SOUND OFF: Interview with Chip & The Charge Ups

A promo photo of a punk rock band in mid air as they jump and make funny faces.

Sound OFF! It’s your turn to tell the world!

Band: Chip & The Charge Ups
New Single: “Good Riddance/Fallen Angel” – a Green Day and Poison mashup! Check out the music video below!

Soundwave Brigade: The greatest challenge to date your band has met and conquered was?

CHIP DIMONICK: When we set out to do a video for our Green Day/Poison mashup, “Good Riddance, Fallen Angel,” we really wanted to authentically recreate both videos and combine them to tell a unified storyline. When I explained our vision to the director, his first reaction was “Well, you may have to make some compromises.” But, I told him I did not want to compromise! So, we put in an incredible amount of attention to detail to recreate the videos. I painted a bedroom. I spent an entire work week – over 40 hours – shopping for wardrobe and props. Jeff even found a way to get a real bus – for free! We’re thrilled with the end result. It wasn’t easy to nail all of those details, but I think we crushed it!

SB: Prior to an evening’s performance do the band members have a ritual or exercise or something unique they do before hitting the stage?

CHIP DIMONICK: We’re still fleshing out some band rituals, but I personally have my own ritual. About 20 minutes before we hit the stage, I disappear. I try to find a secluded place in the venue. But if there isn’t such a place in the venue, I will go to the vehicle I came to the show in. I have a vocal warmups album on my phone. My vocal warmups consist of some standard exercises, but they also involve doing embarrassing things like blowing bubbles with my lips and imitating sirens. So, that’s why I do them in private!

SB: The biggest thrill when playing on stage is?

CHIP DIMONICK: The biggest thrill of playing on stage is to see the audience physically move to our music. That is how you know you made a connection. Sometimes, if we’re playing to an audience that is unfamiliar with us, people will be standing still for the first song or two. But when we finally break through and they start moving, it is quite the rush!

SB: Does the band have an opening song by another band they like to have played just prior to going on stage? If so, what song is it?

CHIP DIMONICK: We’re still experimenting with this! We are also tinkering with ideas for our walk-on music. For our CD Release Party, we used WWE wrestler Shinsuke Nakamura’s theme song to walk on! It was cool, but I’m not sure it was the one for us, long-term. We’ll continue experimenting. I think that will keep things interesting for our crowds!

SB: What are the bands favorite fast food eatery when on the road?

CHIP DIMONICK: I advocate for eating Subway Veggie Delights before every show! Veggies – especially cucumbers – are hydrating foods, which are great for singers. I sing most of the lead vocals, but Maleena sings lead on a few songs every show and Jeff is very active with backing vocals. So, eating voice-friendly foods before shows is important for us to sound as good as we possibly can. And you don’t want to eat anything heavy to weigh you down during a performance. We save the more decadent foods for after the show!

SB: When you want to buy music how do each of you buy it? Download, CD, Vinyl?

MALEENA DOMINICK: CD’s are the best, man!

CHRIS BOWERS: I always love going into a record shop to grab some new vinyl. There’s something special from the art work, to dropping the needle down on the record, to holding it in your hands, and most of all: the warm sound that you cannot get from a CD or audio file.

JEFF DIPERNA: If I’m going to buy music, it will usually be a CD, primarily for a new box set or a live release from one of my favorite bands. Lately however, I’m back on the vinyl train! The sound from vinyl cannot be matched. Pulling out the old records and tossin’ them on the turntable sometimes becomes an evening event at my house. Most of the time, I’m just listening to iHeart or Pandora.

CHIP DIMONICK: I’ve been a subscriber to Apple Music since it launched, so I stream a lot. But when I buy physical music, I prefer CD’s. I like to get the jackets autographed by the artists and they are much easier to carry around than vinyl LP covers!

SB: When performing in a several band line-up do you have a particular place in the line-up of 1,2,3, last that you as a band like to perform?

CHIP DIMONICK: In a four-band show, going on second or third is our preference. When you go on first, a lot of people haven’t shown up yet. When you go on last, some of the people that were there early are tired of hearing loud music already and make an early exit. So, being in the middle is the sweet spot. If it’s a hot headliner going on fourth, we’d prefer going on right before them.

SB: If you each could say a few positive words about each other in the band- what words would you choose to describe one another?

Chip – How many other teenagers can say that they get to perform on stage with their dads? He is my biggest inspiration; always has been and always will be. His energy and passion for the band always drives me to do better. When I’m performing on stage, or just doing anything in my life, I always try to be like him and think the way he would. Overall he is the most inspirational person I know, and it’s not only a blessing to be in his band, but to be his daughter as well.

Chris – Chris is one of the most talented guitar players I know. He always has a go with the flow attitude, and is willing to do so much for the band! He brings a whole new side to the band and he’s not like anyone I’ve ever played with before. He is a very hard worker and always puts so much effort into the band to push us to be the best we can be.

Jeff – Jeff is one of the most positive people I can think of. He is so enthusiastic about the band, and just music in general, and he brings that excitement and positive energy. He always encourages us, and he works very hard to make sure that we live up to our full potential. He’s so talented, and he always has a way to see the positives. He’s very fun to be in a band with!

Chip – I’ve known Chip for many years. We’ve shared the same stage several times and we built a friendship around our musical careers. But now, I’m performing WITH Chip & let me tell ya, he sheds a whole new light on my love for music. He electrifies not only the crowd, but he releases so much energy on stage during our performances which literally enhances the way I perform and play the drums. Chip is a phenomenal artist and I’m not sure I’ve been in a band with anyone as dedicated as Chip.

Chris – Since I’ve joined the band in early 2018, I’ve gotten to know Chris and I admire his musical talent. Chris is an amazing guitarist and he puts in hard work to help make Chip & The Charge Ups a success. He brings a young vibe and a diverse feel to the table at every show. I feel Chris and I have built not only a great chemistry together at rehearsal and on stage, but we’ve also built a friendship together.

Maleena – AHHHHHH Maleena! What can I say? In my years of playing music, never did I think I’d be jamming with a 16 year old female bassist/vocalist. Maleena’s musical talent and knowledge definitely has me more focused as a drummer. It’s hard to explain. She’s dedicated and works very hard for this band. Maleena actually takes control of rehearsals at times, teaching the 3 of us to sing our parts. Her musical knowledge, personality and stage presence gives me chills at times. Love this kid and she has become like family to me. Oh and, we like to dye our hair…J. Shhhhhh “Never Say That Out Loud”!

Chip- It’s truly an honor to share the stage with Chip. His passion and energy fuels the stage. He knows how to engage and move a crowd. I also admire his persistence with the goals he sets for the band. If Chip has his mind set on something he will find a way to overcome and succeed.

Jeff – Jeff is the backbone behind the band. Every time he gets behind the drums and starts playing I find myself getting lost within the music. The drive and enthusiasm that he offers within his playing also pushes me to take my playing to the next level whether it be at rehearsal, or playing live.

Maleena – Maleena is accomplishing more at her age musically than I have when I was 16 years old. I wasn’t even in a band at her age! She is proficient at singing vocals and playing bass for Chip & The Charge Ups. Maleena provides great energy on stage and is also knowledgeable in musical theory. She is an inspiration to other women that want to pick up an learn a instrument, play in a band, and to voice their opinion.

Maleena – My mind is blown when I think about what Maleena is doing as a 16-year old. She plays bass like a pro. She sings like a pro. She performs on-stage like a pro. Like a seasoned rock star, actually! When you think about her being only 16, you instantly know how much potential she has to go extremely far in music. She is so inspiring to me and I think that she inspires others. She has quickly risen to be the star of the band, the one that people come to see. Definitely our rock star!

Jeff – Jeff’s enthusiasm is unparalleled. Something that can quickly kill the vibe of a band is when someone seems like he or she doesn’t want to be wherever you are: a rehearsal, a gig, wherever. And it’s usually the drummer, am I right? We don’t have to worry about that with Jeff. He always has this excitement about him that is contagious. When he’s excited, the rest of the band is excited and we can convey that to our audience and get them excited. He’s like the pilot light of our band – always on and always ready to ignite everyone around him!

Chris – Chris is one of the most open-minded people I know. He is forever willing to listen to ideas and contribute whole-heartedly towards making the band a success. His audition for the band was short. I knew almost immediately that he was “the guy,” from both his playing and his personality!

Connect with Chip & The Charge Ups:
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Snapchat

Stream their new mashup “Good Riddance/Fallen Angel”! (Plus, check out their originals too!):
iTunes | Spotify | Google Play | Amazon Music

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