Lewis Bowman from Chapel Club Has a Really Loud Mini-Schnauzer

I managed to cut through the Cujo-level barking to get his opinions on UK club nights, the new video for "Good Together," and what it feels like to leave a major label.

Jan 17 2013, 4:55pm

A few hours ago we dropped UK synth-popsters Chapel Club's new video, "Good Together." If you haven't seen it yet, let me convince you: it's kind of like watching Altered States through a kaleidoscope with a mellow indie-electro soundtrack. I liked the video so much that I called up singer Lewis Bowman to chat. During our conversation, we were regularly interrupted by a dog barking in the Cujo decibel range. I managed to cut through the barking to get Lewis' opinions on UK club nights, the new video, and what it feels like to leave a major label.

Noisey: Hi Lewis! It's Ben from Noisey. What are you up to?
Lewis Bowman: I'm good! Just at home in Hackney [suddenly, there is an extremely loud barking sound].

Wait, was that a dog barking? Do you have a dog?
Yeah, a mini-schnauzer. He's really cute, but he hates everyone besides me and my wife.

So where do you live anyway?
I live in Hackney. Hackney once was the kind of the heart of working class East London and now it's kind of rapidly changing. It's the typical place to live if you're young living in London. It's a bit nice, it's cool. Nice place to live.

So I love the new video. Can you tell me a bit about it?
Sure! It was done by Oliver Murray, who's done videos for the Horrors and Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, people like that. We just knew we wanted something where we didn't feature too heavily. We all think videos are a bit better without the band in them. We are in it a bit, because Oliver really wanted us in there, but we made him cover us up with weird shit. We looked for a slightly glitchy, psychedelic vibe.

I heard that you used to be a promoter and a DJ before you were in a band. Can you tell me a bit about that?
(Laughs) Well, I was involved in putting on club nights and DJing at club nights, but I would never define myself as a promoter or a DJ. I wasn't making money from it, you know what I mean? I got like 100 quid to DJ and then I'd spend it all. It wasn't a career thing; I was just unemployed and doing it for fun.

In New York we call that "Flash Cash."
(Laughs) Flash Cash, exactly. And you know, I was flashed at that point. I was as flashed as anyone at that age could be. But then the hangovers start to kick in and it doesn't really work anymore.

Hmm, that's not exactly what it means, but I get it. Did you like those UK club nights? I always feel like it's just a bunch of sweaty, thuggy frat dudes pushing each other around.
Yeah, that's what happened to it around 2007. Not that I have anything against students, but in Britain there's this stereotype of the student who all he wants to do is get really drunk and talk about how drunk he got. Clubs kind of got taken over by those people. So my kind of club involvement died a long while ago in that sense. But I was getting old anyway.

So what is your ideal night out?
Three or four people sitting around a record player drinking gin.

Tell me about leaving Polydor last year. They're a Universal imprint... You left a major label. That much have been a big change! What happened?
Well, I've got a line to say in case anyone ever asks me about that.

OK, can you quote exactly what you've been told to say if anyone asks you about leaving Universal?
I think it was just something innocuous and noncommittal. Something like: "We had different ideas with our labels, and they were kind enough to let us off without too much of a hassle." Something like that.

Perfect. Thanks Lewis!

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