Today we bring you a Meet The Band with – Chick Quest AND we also can let you stream their excellent debut Album. The guitars are screaming, harmonies are very cool, the backbeats are solid and the horns are the extra added touch that just makes it all so solid. Instrumental tunes would be cool additions to any of Quentin Tarantinos’ movies especially Pulp Fiction. Start your week off in the right direction, discover a new band that you can tell all your friends about…Chick Quest
Hi our name is….. Chick Quest
People say we sound like…… Violent Femmes, Talking Heads, early B52’s, The Cramps
We are…… Iris Rauh, Magdalena Kraev, Ryan White
We are from……..Vienna, Austria (although Ryan is from Athens, Georgia, USA)
How old were all of you when you started to play and who plays what in the band?
● Iris Rauh(drums): I’ve been playing the piano since I was 6 but only took up the
drums at the beginning of last year
● Magdalena Kraev(bass): I have a classical musical background but always wanted to
play guitar and got, by accident, into a band playing bass when I was 16.
● Ryan White(guitar/sing): got my first guitar when I was 15, started writing songs at 16
Who are some artists that have an influence on you?
70’s David Bowie, Talking Heads, Radiohead, tons of music from Athens, GA like the E6
bands or bands from the early 80’s art scene.
Can you tell us about the process you use, from writing the songs all the way through
getting the songs out?
I (Ryan) write the songs and usually meet with Iris first to go over drum parts. We meet in her
flat where she has an electronic drum kit and I bring an acoustic guitar, work through ideas,
and talk about song structure. Sometimes Magdalena joins us, and sometimes I meet with
her separately to go over the general bass line or feel that I think the song needs. Then when
everything is ready to go, we meet in our practice space and put it all together with whoever is
playing trumpet for us. The music for the trumpet is mostly printed out by myself in notation,
but there are often segments where it’s more or less left up to the trumpet player to improv
based on some direction from me.
Recording happens when I feel like we have about 80% of the songs ready to go. For Vs.
Galore, we researched studios we felt would be nice to record in and fell within our budget
while also producing recordings we felt sounded good, then visited those studios and met the
engineers to see what they were like. Then we book a date at the studio, and with all the
tempos for the songs figured out, I could then start recording scratch vocals or midi scratch
trumpet parts to a click for us to play to in the studio. We recorded 23 takes of each song as
a band: drums, bass, and guitar. Then I spent a remaining 2 weeks recording everything else
myself: vocals, trumpet, and overdubs.
What are some of the challenges you face as musicians and how have you overcome
Writer’s block and trying not to write lyrics from my own point of view. Overcoming writer’s
block isn’t easy because, although people say to just keep writing regardless and eventually
you’ll find your way out of it, it’s not about you being unable to come up with ideas, it’s that
you think every idea you have is total crap, whether it truly is or isn’t. I think the best thing to
do is go find something else to do like travel, read some interesting books, or just start
involving yourself in something completely different like starting sport or a marathon of every
Legend of Zelda game from 1986 onward. Separate yourself from music to give it a rest and
try not to force it.
If you could pick any time to travel back to for music, where would you go and what
year would it be?
New York City, 1975ish. It would be amazing to be in that protopunk transition phase of
music right before punk officially fires off by the late 70’s.
Who are all of you currently listening to?
● Ryan:we have a playlist on our SoundCloud that I’ve been slowly cultivating of songs
I come across and really strike me. It’s been a lot of Whyte Horses and Jessica Pratt,
but Spoon’s They Want My Soul was my favorite album from last year, and I’m often
diving back into the vault of inspiration to the likes of David Bowie.
● Iris: I’ve been listening to a lot of Young Knives after catching them live last year
● Magdalena: Mac DeMarco, Charli XCX, Rhye, Best Coast, Sky Ferreira, Kanye West
What do you think of “the state of rock n roll”?
Kind of burnt out and seemingly in the background of a deluge of DJ culture and electronic
Some albums that you have played on repeat over the years:
● Ryan: yikes, I play entire albums daily while at work from a very broad spectrum of
artists. It drives my boss a bit crazy to go from something like Low to Aerial Ballet to
…I Care Because You Do to Invisible Touch to Amnesiac to Embryonic. Throw in a
Madonna’s greatest hits compilation and/or a Ramones album and you have a pretty
● Iris: Some albums I keep coming back to are Richard Hell & The Voidoids’ Blank
Generation, Sahara Hotnights’ Kiss & Tell and Gang Of Four’s Entertainment.
● Magdalena: Jeff Buckley Grace, Mac Demarco Salad Days/2, Madonna’s first
If you could open for any band right now who would that be and why?
Man Man. They’re a tough act to follow. So I would be very happy to hang out with that
madness on a daily basis but not have to deal with coming after them. Plus, they don’t really
fit in with anything that’s been going on in the last 10+ years, and I kind of like that loner
aspect to them. But at the same time, despite being their own animal, they can easily pack
their own heavy punch. They’re clearly very talented musicians, their lyrics are incredible,
their live show is nuts and very tight, and on and on. Their constant creativity is inspiring and
influential to me. Looking at them on stage makes me wish I was up there with them too.
Plus, the title of my favorite album of theirs is a direct reference to Big Trouble in Little China.
Can’t top that.
My youngest son is 13 and in a band, what advice would you offer him?
Don’t focus on solos or being the best or fastest or whatever at what you play. Don’t try to
show off to the audience. Since Jimi Hendrix, everybody’s seen everything and that stuff is
boring and self-indulgent. Focus on your craft and entertain the audience with solid
songwriting and composition, and then practice a lot to play it well. People just want some
sort of emotional connection, whether that be through some sort of honest and beautiful piano
song or an energy driven ruckus that makes a pack room of sweaty bodies dance like crazy, it
just needs to accurately transfer a type of energy to them that they can truly feel.
Also, practice singing now. Even if you don’t end up being a singer in a band, it’s incredibly
helpful to be able to carry a tune no matter which instrument you play, but if you’re not
naturally gifted at singing, it’s going to take years and years and years to find your voice, so
you might as well get the awkward beginnings out of the way now.
Exile on Main Streetor Pet Sounds?
Ay, this is a strange question. I get that one is a lesson in composition and concise pop
mastery, and the other is a sprawling opus of flybytheseatofyourpants genius, but they’re
two very different eras of rock/pop music even though they’re only six years apart. So I’m
going to say Pet Sounds because it’s just the quintessential solid album, showing excellence
in song arrangement and performance. However, had you asked Pet Sounds or The Beatles
(White Album), I would have easily said White Album because I do love that eclectic messy
brilliance that it’s known for, and clearly The Beatles were also masters of concise
composition and pop brilliance, but here they manage to pull it off without even seeming to
give two fucks.
To be honest though, Exile was never my type of record. By the time we travel along to 1972,
I’d much rather prefer Ziggy Stardust or any of the four Led Zeppelin albums to have come
out by then when it comes to bombastic rock stars making rock music. I think the 70’s is a
very complicated (and wonderfully healthy) decade for rock n’ roll, and so had I lived back
then, I would like to wish I’d have jumped ship of the tired ol’ bluesbar rock and roll the
Stones were doing and been cool enough to spot the underground proto punk of the Stooges
or MC5 or early glam stuff coming out of England, since that’s exactly (and thankfully) where
the 70’s would ultimately be going. This was a really long answer… sigh, I promise I can be
fun at parties. Promise.
The one thing we want you to remember while you’re listening to us is:
We are not a punk band (not that there’s anything wrong with that). We just want to make
some eccentric music and dance. And we want you to dance too!
Our plans for 2015 are:
Promote our debut album, Vs. Galore, with as many shows as we can book and see where