HBH: Tell us about the band?
Chris: Babylon Shakes formed back in July of last year when I met Jeff (Mortimer) at (ironically enough) a Faster Pussycat show in Baltimore. It was also my previous band's last show and we struck up a conversation at the after party and we really hit it off. We corresponded through social media and I sent him some demos that I had been working on. I told him I really wanted a sleazy throwback sound, really blues based and pure rock and roll and he was all about it. He brought in Gary (Jordan) to play bass and the three of us got together in September to jam. Those two guys are a monster rhythm section and have played together for several years. When we all hit the first few chords of "Sunset Striptease", it was pure magic. We have been going ninety miles per hour ever since. We rehearse at Gary's house in essentially his man cave or as we call it now- the Babylon Bar. We have recorded there now with our own gear and just have a blast together!
HBH: The new ep has a really cool throwback sound. Can you talk about who inspires you musically and some of your musical influences.
Chris: We are all very heavily influenced and inspired by Aerosmith, Rolling Stones, Hanoi Rocks, KISS and a lot of 70's glam and punk. When I first saw Hanoi Rocks on MTV as a teenager it just blew my mind. The raw energy and the execution floored me. Just the brash mix of blues, sleaze and attitude really resonated with me and of course the fashion is iconic. Those guys almost single-handedly inspired late 80's hair bands.
HBH: What's the response been like so far to the new video 'Velveteen Libertine' and are there any plans for more videos?
Chris: We have had great response to the "Libertine" video so far. People seem to really connect with the song and the bands look and feel. Its a great calling card for us and it really encapsulates who we are. We are tossing around ideas now for another video, once the EP is out and we can coordinate schedules and start planning.
HBH:. Does the band have plans to release a full length album?
Chris: Our plan right now is release 2 5-song EPs, one on April 20 and the other sometime in August- both available on CD and digital and then in late fall have all 10 songs available as a full length vinyl record. It will also be available on CD and digital. "Exile To The Velveteen Lounge Vol 1 & 2".
HBH: There's been a lot of talk lately of bands banning cellphone use at shows. What's your take on people using phones to take videos at shows?
Chris: I have been seeing a lot of articles about banning cell phones at shows lately. I normally don't even touch my phone when I'm at a show, but I can understand why someone would want to capture the moment. I think that type of technology has become rooted in all of our lives and its going to be really hard to put parameters around it. I see tons of shared video on social media that came from local and national shows. It doesn't bother if someone is recording us. I find it way more flattering than intrusive.
HBH: Your voice and vocal delivery are very reminiscent of Tamie Downe of Faster Pussycat. Is that a band you followed back in the day?
Chris: I do get that quite a bit, lol! Believe it or not, my voice used to be really high and clean..more like Vince Neil..but as I've gotten older it's become a little scratchier and worn. I purposefully started singing with more of an emphasis on having some grit and bluesy growl to my voice, specifically for this band. I was hearing Steven Tyler and Mick Jagger in my head. I am a huge Faster Pussycat fan and still follow them to this day. They are an iconic band like Motorhead, New York Dolls and Ramones. I always take the comparison as a huge compliment.
HBH: Give us your top 5 albums of all-time.
Chris: Aerosmith- "Toys In The Attic", Hanoi Rocks-"Two Steps From The Move", Rolling Stones-"Exile On Main Street", Pretenders-"Pretenders"(1st album), The Black Crowes- "Southern Harmony&Musical Companion"
HBH: What's the bands summer schedule look like? Will there be an east coast tour, or does the band plan to play shows locally?
Chris: We are booking now into August and November and currently have June dates in Raleigh,NC, Philadelphia..some things are still tentative at the moment. We definitely will be hitting the mid-Atlantic east coast pretty heavy with a couple of more NC and Virginia dates in there as well.
HBH: Anything you would like to add?
Chris: Be sure and check us out at the sold-out M Pre-Party event on May3rd. It's a great showcase of original hard rock bands from all over and it precedes the M3 festival every year. Our first EP will be available on Friday, April 20th and you can get on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play or you can order CD's directly from us at www.babylonshakes.com.
Thanks so much for your support!
You can check out Hairbandheaven.rocks album review for Babylon Shakes HERE
Check out Babylon Shakes at the links below:
Facebook Page : https://www.facebook.com/BabylonShakes/
Website : www.babylonshakes.com