Airs have been popularly assumed to be many things: aesthetically sloppy, possibly songless, certainly joyless, part-time Twitter trolls. ALL OF YOUR ASSUMPTIONS ARE WRONG. Chris Broyles & Co. kicked everything up a notch with their (allegedly torturous) L.A. Blues (Part Time Punks Session). Now on the eve of their exceptionally crunchy and amazingly tuneful Apart EP, it’s probably best you reassess your opinion. While there have been lineup changes and recording snafus, the core has always been in place, and it has evolved, brilliantly. If you’ve been sleeping on Airs, it’s past time to wake up. If you’ve been waiting on Airs to break out, this train’s already leaving the station. We sat down with Chris from Airs to set the record straight.
Exclusive pre-release track stream from Airs: ‘Apart’ EP. Preorder here.
DKFM: Introduce yourself!
Chris: I’m Chris from Airs, and I hate my life.
DKFM: You’re on tour again, got a new EP coming out, tell us about it.
Chris: It’s five songs, it’s the best EP ever recorded, and if you don’t listen to it you’re a fucking poseur.
DKFM: Airs has been through so much in the last year. Personnel changes, touring with someone fronting the band that isn’t on the recorded EPs. How is this holding together?
Chris: It holds together because, up until now I’m the only person who’s written the songs, or done anything. Like now, with our newest songs that aren’t even recorded yet, EVERYONE here is involved in some way or another. But up until this point it’s been just me, so it’s like, it could just be me and it would still be the same band. Now that’s not the case. I need these four people to sound right. But that’s how we survive. That’s how I survive.
DKFM: Airs’ sound has gotten bigger and crunchier, especially over these last two releases. Apart EP sounds especially HUGE. What influenced you to go in this direction?
Chris: James Brown. (long pause) It is what it is. (laughs)
DKFM: So, obviously you’ve become good friends with Mark Gardener and Ride, and have engaged on Twitter…
Chris: Oh, I love his hats. I LOVE his hats. The man has the best hat collection I have EVER seen. Honestly, I think my goal in this band is to have as many cool hats as he does. I mean, I think he has every color fedora they’ve ever made.
DKFM: Would Airs ever consider going on stage, every band member wearing a fedora as tribute?
Chris: It’s been brought up, multiple times. We were just discussing it. Pat was actually telling us the real name for a fedora… Anyway, fedoras aren’t actually fedoras, they’re something else, so they’re not actually douchey to wear. So we’re all gonna wear fedoras. It’s gonna happen. We’re coming for you Mark.
DKFM: Tell us about your newest band member.
Chris: Our new singer is Sam. She replaced Aaron. So now we sound good. (Sam shakes her head no, Chris shrugs). I keep it real.
DKFM: You’ve obviously generated some notoriety on Twitter recently for bold remarks and scene criticism. Tell us a little about your Twitter personality and what you’re trying to say about what you do.
Chris: I just tell people that everything they like sucks, and they get mad about it. It’s true for the most part. I mean, Loveless is a shitty album, every band from LA is fucking stupid… I hate everything you like. Honestly we don’t see ourselves as belonging to any scene or wherever so we don’t play the whole “support your scene” game. I’m not going to suck your band’s dick cos you’re from down the street. Scene mentality breeds such unbelievable garbage. So it’s not really a Twitter thing for me. We’ve gotten into a lot of trouble for being bullies or whatever.
DKFM: What makes up the Airs sound?
Chris: Not much, actually. I use an OCD into a Dreamsicle, which is like an old Muff clone with a tone bypass on it. And that’s really it, that’s ‘the sound’. There IS a tuner. (laughs) The tuner really helps with my sound, it gets those shimmering highs, I think. I’m not a real musician.
DKFM: Apart EP is JUST out. What happens next recording-wise?
Chris: We’re doing a split with The Cherry Wave next, and that’ll be out …someday. And we’re still working on an album that we’ve been working on for the last two years. That has now been scrapped, and we’re going to re-record it with some different songs. There’s a lot to do.
DKFM: Tell us about the struggle. Independent band, touring costs…
Chris: I make everyone else in the band pay for it. I buy myself some candy and soda every now and then… Actually lately I’ve been buying everyone video games, so there’s that.
DKFM: Plans to tour outside of California?
Chris: I wish.
DKFM: Gas prices came down before they went back up…
Chris: What a good time that was. Too bad we weren’t playing any shows. Furthest we’ve ever gone is Seattle. Wanna try to get to Arizona this year, maybe, gonna start branching out that way. Might do something even further with Crisis Arm …next year? I just take these things as they come.
DKFM: The split with Nevermind Me, how’d that happen?
Chris: Chris from Ritual Tapes (s/o 2 my homeboy Gelpi), he put out their first EP on tape, and I don’t remember how I found it, and I was like, ‘damn!’. So I hit them up on Facebook. ‘You wanna do a split?’ And Tom, their drummer replied back to me. ‘Actually I was gonna ask YOU guys if you wanted to do a split!’ Cool. And it took about a year to come out, because every label dropped the ball on us. Then we just put it out digitally. Aaron had already left and those songs were recorded forever ago, we didn’t want to have it backlogged, with this new lineup.
DKFM: Process of writing, got new stuff you’re working on, especially now you have a new vocalist in the mix?
Chris: We have one new song right now. It’s gonna be on the split with Cherry Wave. It’s just called ‘Split’. (pause) It’s actually a pretty good title, it’s growing on me now. (laughs) But everyone wrote their own parts for it, and that’s a first for me. It makes it a lot easier on me, and it’s probably our best song yet. We’ll be playing it a lot this year.
DKFM: Tell us about the Part Time Punks session? Understand that was a bit of a battle.
Chris: Eh, I slept through most of it. We recorded it and it sounded cool. They gave us three different guitar amps to use, and for some reason I didn’t think to bring my own amp probably because I expected this studio to have something passable in the backline. But everything just sounded awful. All those amps sounded terrible. So I just picked the least terrible sounding one, and played the worst guitar tracks ever. But whoever mixed it made it sound cool. And I thought that was just gonna be the end of it, but we did our stuff, I took a lot of naps, and we went on our way. Two weeks later, they’re like, ‘Your vocal tracks are unusable.’ For both of us, for Airs and Crisis Arm. They said all our tracks are unusable. But they didn’t really give us the choice, so, for the next week or so, like every night we were just out in Aaron’s shed, knocking out vocal tracks. But I thought it was cool, cos we got to put a little nod to The Stooges in at the end of the Spacemen 3 cover that we didn’t do before, cos I was rushed. My original plan was to just cover Fun House beginning to end, actually. Instead it got reduced to a ripped off lyric and the title of the physical release.
DKFM: Drums as well, had to re-record?
Chris: Drums were fine. They were just… (laughs) Actually the guy mixing it managed to gate the entire drum track out. And didn’t notice! So, we had to tell him that the entire drum track was missing.
DKFM: What’s next for Airs going forward?
Chris: Probably gonna get beat up.
DKFM: You’ve done that recently.
Chris: Probably gonna get beat up again.
DKFM: Anything else you want to tell the audience?
Chris: We don’t like you.
Airs ‘Apart’ EP cassette preorders shipping in advance of May 30th release, available at this link. Follow Airs’ new music on Bandcamp, check out their website, follow them on Facebook and Twitter (at your peril!).