Champagne Republic is a great new band from Vancouver, Canada consisting of Emily Chambers, Marty Majerski, Philip Laessoe, Eric Lipschultz, and Nathan Wylie. Despite only forming in 2012 Champagne Republic have already started to establish themselves as a dynamic act with some good new material and therefore we were delighted when they agreed to be interviewed by Song Revelation. Read on to discover what Champagne Republic have been doing over the last 12 months, their career highlights and who they would like to collaborate with given a chance.
Q: If you could use a tagline of less than 20 words to describe your music and who you are what would it be?
We’re fun, energetic, and original. Incorporating funk, soul, R&B and pop, we have developed a sound that is uniquely ours.
Q: What is your musical background?
Everyone in the band has a different background, from blues to pop to jazz to rock, but we all came together over a mutual love of soul and R&B.
Q: How have the last 12 months been for you?
Busy and exciting! We played 65 gigs over the last 12 months, including The Langley Canada Day Festival, The Spirit of the Sea Festival, The Vancouver Fashion Week Opening Gala, and opening for KO at the Vancouver Music Festival. We have also become well acquainted with Vancouver’s downtown venues, playing at Club 560, FanClub, The Cellar, The Biltmore, The Fairview, The Railway Club, Malones, Backstage Lounge, Media Club and Joe’s Apartment… just to name a few. This winter signed a management deal with Raincoast Music and have had the opportunity to professionally record our first 3 tracks: Broke Broke Girl, Fire’s Burnin’ Hot and Let’s Get It On, all available for streaming through our website. This spring we’ve been able to book our first tour dates and we are stoked to hit the road this summer!
Q: Who inspires you musically?
We are all influenced and inspired by the R&B classics: Stevie Wonder, Etta James, MJ, Curtis Mayfield, Aretha, James Brown, Prince… but we are constantly sourcing out new music by up and comers to keep our prospective fresh.
Q: Which modern day artists do you look up to?
Adele, ZZ Ward, Amy Winehouse, Lauryn Hill, Jamiroquai, John Legend, Joss Stone… the list goes on…
Q: Is there anyone you would like to collaborate or gig with?
Anyone and everyone listed in the above question!
Q: What songs are you listening to at the moment?
To name a few favourites of the moment: Bright Lights by Gary Clark Jr., Charlie Ain’t Home by ZZ Ward, Gorilla by Bruno Mars, Soulman by Ben L’Oncle Soul, and Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke and Pharrell.
Q: What is your creative process for creating a track?
Usually someone will come up with a riff or chord progression we all like and then we will expand on the idea with Emily writing the melody and lyrics. And vise versa, sometimes Em will come to us with a melody and we will write a chord pro underneath and go from there. It is a collaborative effort. Then the details and Champagne Republic-isms get hashed out in a jam space.
Q: What’s more important, melody or lyrics?
Melody for sure, but to any great music lover, the lyrics are super important. The melody gets stuck in your head but the words resonate with you.
Q: Where are you based?
Glorious Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Q: What’s it like being where you’re from?
It’s awesome. You have the beach, the ocean, the forests, and the mountains – what more could you want? Vancouver is beautiful. We definitely feel that there’s a West Coast vibe to our sound and a lot of that comes from the city we live in.
Q: What are you currently working on?
Right now our main focuses are expanding our live show for our upcoming tour dates and continuing to write new material. We’ve recently added two background singers to our live lineup and we’re working on some other cool additions. We’re also shooting to record an album by the end of the year, so we’re constantly writing.
Q: What’s been the highlight of your career to date?
The band has officially been together for just over a year now, and there are a few moments that have stuck out for us… One was playing the main stage at the 2012 Langley Canada Day Festival; not only was it a great experience playing to that size of a crowd, but it was a show that spring boarded us to a lot of new opportunities, including our relationship with Paul Shatto and David Wills from Raincoast Music. The other gig that comes to mind was opening for KO at The Biltmore as part of Vancouver Music Fest. The Biltmore is one of Vancouver’s coolest venues for live music, and to open for KO was the icing on the cake. You can check out live footage from that show on our YouTube channel at youtube.com/ChampagneRepublic.
Q: What are you hoping to achieve in over the next 12 months?
Our main goal for the next year is to spread the word about the band and our music beyond Vancouver. We want to hit the road, and that’s going to start with a couple small festival tours this summer, including one to Oregon and one to the BC interior. By the end of the calendar year we’re also hoping to have the means to record a full album. The game plan is to use that momentum to get into some of the major industry festivals and conferences in Canada and the US, including Breakout West, SXSW, Canadian Music Week, among others. By summer 2014 we hope to be touring extensively throughout Canada and the US.
Q: Do you have any gigs or shows that you’d like to tell us about?
We currently have 5 summer festival dates that we’re really excited about:
July 1 – Langley Canada Day Festival (Langley, BC)
July 19 – Salem Art & Music Fair (Salem, OR)
August 6 – Harmony Arts Festival (West Vancouver, BC)
August 9 – Lillooet Community Concert Series (Lillooet, BC)
August 16 – Chilliwack Party in the Park (Chilliwack, BC)
Check out www.champagnerepublic.com for additional set times and additional summer dates.
Q: What do you do to relax?
Each of us have different ways to unwind, but we can all agree a drink and some good live music is never a bad time.
Q: Where would your favorite holiday (vacation) be and why?
Probably Jamaica or somewhere in the Caribbean. Caribbean music is amazing. The sunshine and scenery wouldn’t hurt either.
Q: If you could give a little piece of advice for new or aspiring musicians what would it be?
Just do your thing and work your ass off…if it’s meant to be it will happen.
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to let our readers know about?
We love to hear from our listeners! If you ever want to drop us a line on twitter @ChampagneREP, facebook, or via email about upcoming shows, venues you’d like to see us play, or even to just talk shop about new bands and what’s going on in the music scene today, we are all ears!
Editor’s Note: We’re really looking forward to how Champagne Republic’s influence within the international music scene over the coming months increases as more listeners discover their energetic funk-inspired sound.
If yoiu’d like to learn more about or get in touch with Champagne Republic just follow the links below:
YouTube Channel: www.youtube.com/champagnerepublic