Today we have a Interview with the one and only, Suzi Chunk. For all of us who are garage rock/ mod / british invasion/ or anything close to “Medway Sound” fans , Suzi is the vocalist you would want in your band. She has a way of taking you back to those days in London where everyone looked so cool or for you kids who relate to things on a different level, like in Austin Powers when everything was groovy. Her voice can make you forget what time it is .Once you start to listen you get so hooked in, that yard work gets delayed, bills go unpaid, you’re late for work , your Wife wonders why you’re still with Headphones on 4 hours later. Yes, Suzi is that much fun and like I’ve said a 1,000 times before if music isn’t fun, what’s the point….
For those not familiar with your back pages, could you give us a little history of previous Bands and your solo career .
Started singing in bands when I moved to Cardiff from Teesside. Did a few bits n bobs with various people, then joined a funk/rock (or “runk” as we called it) band called ‘Dark Chunk’ (this is where my surname from – we all took on the surname ‘Chunk’ I just stuck with it afterwards). We did quite well and ended up winning best unsigned for Glastonbury 2004, playing in the dance tent at that years festival.
After that I was in an electro-funk outfit with the guitarist from Dark Chunk (Krik) called ‘Omega66’. Then I joined a Led Zepplin covers band called ‘The Hindenburgs’. Fantastic band, and as a massive Led Zep fan it was fantastic fun to do, but those screaming Bobby Plant vocals are not easy to kick out, and it was starting to affect my voice negatively so I knocked it on the head. Since then I’ve been in a number of local funk bands, and I’ve now got 2 bands going locally, one doing funk, and one doing old motown/stax kinda covers. I also do a bit of session recording here and there for a few people, as and when it comes up.
You have such a fantastic throwback voice to the sounds of the 60s’ soul era, did you listen to a lot of that growing up and what where some of your favorite Albums from your Teenage years.
Most of the music I listen to is old stuff, 60’s and 70’s mainly. Grew up listening to Beatles, and Simon & Garfunkel, Dusty Springfield and such-like. Got into more groove-orientated stuff as I got a bit older. Always loved a strong soul voice – gets you right in the guts!
Can you tell us how your collaboration with ” Groovy Uncle” came about.
Glenn (Groovy Uncle) heard some Omega66 stuff on MySpace (remember that? J) and we got chatting. I really loved his songs and we had a very similar sense of humour so got on really well from day 1. Eventually he asked me if I’d like to sing a couple of his tunes. This ended up snowballing into a whole album (Girl From the Neck Down) which was released in 2012.
I have a few friends who all picked “One Vowel Away from The Truth” as one of the top albums of 2014. With that and the great write ups in Shindig Magazine , are you and Groovy Uncle surprised at the amount of love you get from music junkies.
The reaction has been fantastic! We’re obviously delighted! Taking myself out of the equation, as far as I’m concerned Glenn writes absolutely fantastic songs! Great melody and great lyrics! A great song stands up on its own! He’s got a gift in my opinion! It’s a joy to work with him (and the musicians he puts together to make the records).
Favorite concert you saw before you turned 20…
Saw Neil Young in Birmingham NEC when I was young, fantastic! More into the ‘harvest’/’after the goldrush’ sort of stuff, of which he performed plenty. Great artist!
Favorite Concert after that..
Can’t choose just 1. Saw Jimmy Cliff in Glastonbury in 2003 – absolutely awesome! P-Funk in London last year was fantastic! Fishbone in a small Cardiff venue a few years ago was mind-blowingly good! But seeing Larry Graham & Graham Central Station in London a couple of years back was gob-smackingly good, have to make sure I catch him again soon!
Will you tour the U.S anytime soon?
We’ve had such a fantastic response from the US (far better than locally), we would absolutely love to get over there to play! We’re not signed artists, with any financial backing, so we’d need some kind person or organization to get us over there. If we could get one gig that paid our transport costs, we could hopefully organize a few other gigs around that time that paid enough to cover our costs. None of us are making any money from this (or expect to) but it also can’t cost us any money – we just don’t have that sort of cash. If it can pay for itself we’ll happily do it. We did 3 gigs in France a couple of years ago – didn’t cost us anything as the 3 gigs just covered our transport and accommodation – we had a ball! We’re a very DIY kind of operation J
Can you tell us what your working on now, plans for the rest of 2015-2016 and when can we expect a new solo album or a new album with Uncle Groovy
I’m actually going down to Medway next weekend to finish recording a couple of tunes, then we’ll have another Groovy Uncle album, which hopefully we’ll be able to release this year (not sure in what format as yet – watch this space) – Suzi Chunk .com