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An Interview with OKC's Chelsea Days

Chelsea Days was formed in 2019 and is based out of Oklahoma City. The band came together when Tim Miller, Ashton Gary, and Alec Hamil met each other while attending The Academy of Contemporary Music at UCO. The 4th member, lead-guitarist Ethan Wilcox, is Ashton's cousin. All with previous musical experience in different endeavors, Chelsea Days draws from a wide variety of influences that inspire various genre-bending compositions.

Tell us a little about your musical backgrounds.

Alec: I started out playing bass in high school. I just slowly throughout high school started learning more instruments one by one. I started out on the bass, like I said, then guitar, learned the keys and kinda familiarized myself with drums. Then I met Tim at ACM.

Tim: I play guitar, I can kinda fumble around with other instruments, but yeah first guitar in seventh grade and then I've been writing songs ever since. I was just one of those kids who would sit in my room and write songs sometimes - a lot of the time.

Ashton: For me, my dad had a guitar when I was a kid so I just always picked that up and strummed it, didn't really know how to play it. Then I finally learned how to play the guitar , stopped for a while because I got into skating, then I was like "fuck that". So I started playing guitar again, then started writing songs. I recorded a song with this guy and it just really inspired me to start recording so now I've tried to learn every instrument I can.

Ethan: I started playing guitar because of Ashton, he would be playing guitar and I just wanted to play guitar too so I learned. Then I just kind of taught myself guitar and taught myself bass, which is pretty much the same thing, then I just started writing songs with Ashton, I guess.

Tim: And then we all met at ACM and became friends, slowly at first.

Ethan: And then Tim mixed the Love Seats album a year ago.

Tim: That whole process made me realize that we have a lot in common musically, and we just became better friends, chilling every day and writing songs, and that's what we did.

What was the inspiration behind the group name, Chelsea Days?

Tim: Me and Ashton were on the way to a New Years Eve party and that had been the topic of discussion for months and months, we did not know what to call ourselves. We had a few really bad ideas at first that I'm glad we didn't stick with. We wanted to incorporate a name in it, which is kind of where Chelsea came into it. Anyways, we were riding to this New Years Eve party and there's a song by Noah and the Whale called L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N. and there's a part in it that says - we were listening to it super loud on the highway-

Ashton: We were listening to throwback songs from middle and high school-

Tim: And there's this line that says "From the hard time living, til' the Chelsea Days" and that line really stuck with us. We were like "there it is!" we were just screaming on the highway like (Tim and Ashton simultaneously) "CHELSEA DAYS!" it was perfect.

Ethan: I remember getting a phone call, too.

Tim: We had a great night that night and the name just stuck.

How does Chelsea Days differ from other music projects you've had in the past?

Tim: I did come out with an album, but I like to consider this a fresh start for me. I'm taking it more seriously. I had a Soundcloud account too when I was in high school and put some stuff on there, popped off on there for a little bit. Now I basically consider this to be my first crack at it more professionally.

Ashton: As for Love Seats, we've just got more brains -

Ethan: More people going into it, more production, more ideas. And we all write songs.

Tim: Yeah sometimes it will be me and Ethan, sometimes Ashton and Alec, sometimes me and Ashton. We're all just coming to each other and saying "hey look what we did" and we bring it together as a group. Everyone finds their own place within a song. It works out for us.

Ethan: It's also very sonically different from anything I've done.

Ashton: Love Seats, we had a specific idea that we were trying to achieve, I don't know if we achieved it but we tried.

Ethan: We had an idea and that idea was strong. Bt there isn't really an Idea with Chelsea Days it's just really good songs right now. Not that there has to be an idea.

Tim: It's good to have an identity and we're really excited for what's coming soon because we've been working really hard on developing our songs more and I really feel like we're getting closer to what we eventually want to become.

If your music was a drink, what would it be?

Ashton: Let's think, when I show people our music they typically say "oh it's really chill". What's a chill drink?

*band debates for 5 minutes...*

Tim: NEON SUNSHINE. That's definitely our vibe.

*Rest of band repeats Neon Sunshine in agreement*

You recently released two singles, Girl and U. Tell us a little bit about them. What was the creative process like?

Ashton: So the first one, Girl, we recorded up at ACM with Derek Brown of the Flaming Lips. That was really cool.

Ethan: He helped us with keyboard and played a few instruments on the song.

Tim: And that was the second song that we had written for Chelsea Days, it's kinda funny how that one still stuck around.

Ethan: Yeah we didn't know if we liked it that much, I was so confused about it in the beginning.

Tim: Eventually it just made more sense the more we worked with it.

Ethan: After recording it at ACM we took a break with it, just kept coming back to it and mixing on it, adding things.

Tim: And our friend AJ Slaughter played on it. He had randomly been up at the school that day in a practice room and we were like "hey man sounds good, wanna come try to throw that on our song?" And so the second half of the song is really highlighted by that instrument. He kills it.

Ashton: For U, we recorded all of that one here at the house. We weren't even planning on making that one a final master, we were just having fun.

Tim: Yeah that one was recorded 100% in here, and it kinda has its origins back to when I was in high school writing songs. Obviously we tweaked it a bit, but that one's evolved for a while.

What or who have been some of the biggest influences on your style and sound?

Tim: It's funny because we're all songwriters, all four of us, and we all have inspirations. We're constantly sending each other different things to listen to.

Ashton: We all fucking love the Beatles though.

Tim: It's sounds so cheesy, but when it comes down to it it's hard to deny.

Ethan: Andy Shauf, Richard Swift.

Alec: It really depends on who's in the room at the time too.

Tim: What I really love about this band is that we're all very different but when we come together we make something really cool.

Ashton: A lot of early 70's stuff too. Some Paul Simon.

Tim: There's a really corny band from the 70's we've been getting into called Bread too. Maybe we'll throw in a cover someday.

What can we expect in the future from Chelsea Days?

Ashton: Lots more live shows and we're gonna try to start getting our record recorded.

Tim: Expect an album in the works and lots of shows in between.

You can find Chelsea Days on Instagram @chelseadaysband

or email to contact.

You can Listen to Chelsea Days on Spotify here:

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