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The Chevin

Coyle Girelli

Words Paul Watson

Coyle Girelli is frontman for The Chevin, an explosive UK rock band whose musical journey has taken them stateside. The band, now based out of New York City, released their first EP in 2011, which was followed by a debut album in 2012, and they’re currently in the studio working on their new record. Girelli tells Headliner how hard work, self belief, and a reliable motor, are the key ingredients to making things happen in America...

What first brought you to the US?
We first came in the band we were in before The Chevin, in 2009 – we signed to Universal over here, and I’ve been here ever since. Our whole team is here, and we’re very happy in New York.

Do you think the US market is more suited to your music?
No, I don’t think so; it’s a market that needs more time and focus because it’s such a massive country, and the way it’s put together means a lot of radio stations in a lot of different cities, so there are perhaps more things you have to spend time on. It’s not necessarily any harder, just a little more work, maybe.

Your song, Champion, featured on the world-famous computer game, FIFA 12, was ‘Song of the Week’ in the US iTunes Store, and sold 250,000 downloads of the single in a week... That’s not bad really, is it?
[laughs] Yeah, FIFA is a bit of a global phenomenon, so that was a great one for us; millions of kids play that game every day, so the exposure was amazing. I’m not sure how they do it, but it’s remarkable how early they found out about our music. The FIFA game we were featured on had so many bands on there, and they approached us literally just after we’d finished our record – there were also a whole bunch of other acts on there that at the time hadn’t released anything either. It’s a great soundtrack – being a football fan too, it’s a great thing to be on. I’ve played FIFA since I was a kid!

Do you find you’re playing more shows now as there is more money in live?
We’re playing more, of course – but we don’t think, ‘lets tour more so we can make some more money’. But you’re right, it’s definitely more important, and for the listener it is as well. Really, buying an album was all about seeing the artwork, being absorbed by the concept and the vision of the band, but now the physical ownership of the music has gone, so I think the only way for someone in the audience to connect with the band on that sort of level nowadays is live. It’s the only way to experience what a band is trying to say, and what the concept or the image of an album or a piece of music is.

You’ve been testing out DPA’s d:facto II mic during rehearsals... How’s that been working out for you?
Yeah, I’ve used it live and to record with, and I’m really impressed with it. I usually use a [Shure] Beta 58 live, and I thought the d:facto blew it out the water a little bit to be honest, which was quite an eye opener. It sounds great recorded, too; it gives that live feel to the vocal and the sound quality is a lot better; you have to do a lot less work on the sound quality, post recording. I didn’t notice any noise either, when handling the mic – that was another surprise; and when I’ve been recording demos with it, I’m often holding it, especially if I’m riffing with a lyric or something. But there were no issues whatsoever.

Have you gigged with d:facto yet?
Not yet, as we haven’t had one since I got it, but we have set up and recorded demos of the new stuff in a venue we often play in New York where our live engineer often works when he’s not on the road with us, and it just sounds great – it really does. I’ve used the 58 for a long time, and I’ve tried a lot of other microphones, so didn’t think anything of it, but I was really shocked at the difference, so I look forward to trying it on stage.

What are your top tips for success?
Hard work is the number one – it sounds obvious, but I would say never be satisfied, and always work harder. There is always so much more to learn and to do, and it really does need to be emphasised that the more you rehearse, the better you’ll become.

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