UNDER THE SPOTLIGHT | An Interview With Daniel Chavis From Seminal Shoegazers The Veldt.

The Veldt Peterborough 3 - credit Alexander Kretov

The Veldt are an amazing shoegaze/post-rock inspired dream band, who began their career in the 1980’s; born from the Chapel Hill music scene (but never officially wearing the title), many remember them as being a distinctly original driving force in the underground; playing ear piercingly loud shows and blending genres to create sonically beautiful recordings in a period when the mainstream relied on boring synth lines and the birth of stadium rock. Through the years they have subsequently influenced major bands including Bloc Party and TV on the Radio and began playing in the stylings of such majestic musicians as Memoryhouse, The Jesus and Mary Chain, The Pixies and Slowdive. Our contributing writer Cam Phillips put some questions to Daniel Chavis about the bands history, the Chapel Hill music scene, the influence that New York has had on the bands sound and future musical plans! We’d like to thank Daniel for taking some time out from his busy touring schedule to answer Cam’s questions.

We’d also like to thank  Alex Kretov for kindly allowing us to use his live photos of The Veldt for the purposes of this interview. Check it out:

CP: Hi Daniel, Could you tell us a bit about your bands history? What made you decide to start a band in the first place?

DC: Our band is primarily from a hardcore background. We were brougt up in hard core circles. As far as being exposed to “Live’ “indie” music, Corrosion Of Conformity were the catalyst for our band’s inception. We were then called “The Psychodasies.”

CP: Back in the day, how involved was The Veldt in the Chapel Hill music scene and how did what was going on in and around the scene shape the bands sound? 

DC: We were pretty new and we kind of made our way through on our own without actually being part of a scene. We just played in front of everyone we could because we were naive enough to believe everyone was open minded. We soon learned that wasn’t so. There were very significant bands, who were influences and who helped us out in the beginning in Chapel Hill and Raleigh. They are no longer together, but we are still in touch with them.

CP: You stated in a recent interview how much Soul music influenced the sound and song writing of The Veldt; Is Soul music still relevant on your latest release ‘The Shocking Fuzz of Your Electric Fur: The Drake Equation’? 

DC: This is the basis of the initial concept of our writing. The forlornness of wondering if you are alone in this existence in the universe. When “Love” as a concept can be explained as nothing more as a simple emotion that serves a purpose of an “at the moment concept”.

CP: Does living in a city like New York shape your music in any way?

DC: It makes the music colder and more insular in my opinion. I don’t live in NYC at the moment so my compositions are more aligned in relation to how “I” think. In my brothers concepts I cannot really explain because it, like mine, is ”sometimes” a collaborative effort and my job is lyrical more times than not.

The Veldt Peterborough 1 - credit Alexander Kretov.

CP: What do you think of the current climate of music as an art form with elements like piracy and the online downloading market becoming more and more used to illegally obtain music?

DC: It’s become flaccid and self indulgent with no integrity.

CP: In what way has the writing and recording process altered for the band since entering the studio to records Marigolds?

DC: It has changed and gotten better with technology and basically has been in suspended animation for 20 years until now.


CP: What has a programmer like Hayato Nakao brought, and subsequently, continues to bring to the band and its sound?

DC: Bringing the writing and ideas to their current state with his additional creativity and input.

CP: Why revert back to The Veldt after releasing music under Apollo Heights?

DC: I felt it was too much of a legacy to leave behind and Apollo Heights was just the direction The Veldt was going anyway.

CP: How important is a record label to an alternative band like The Veldt?

DC: Are they even relavant anymore? In terms of industry? And “If” they actually are, then what is their significance if they cannot do what is already being done (without them)?

CP: Who’s the best band that you’ve ever shared a stage with?

DC: Pixies!

The Veldt Peterborough 4 - credit Alexander Kretov

CP: What’s next for The Veldt? 

DC: To continue to to grow creatively and share our music with people who like it. There’s also an LP ‘Resurrection Hymns’ coming out later this year on Sonablast Records and before that lots of gigging. We open for Brian Jonestown Massacre on several dates in May and will be playing the Levitation Festival pre-party for The Committee to Keep Music Evil in Austin at the end of this month. Lots more happening too …..


04/28 Austin, TXLevitation Festival / Committee To Keep Music Evil Pre-party at Barracuda
05/06 PhiladelphiaUnion Transfer (with Brian Jonestown Massacre)
05/07 Boston Paradise Rock Club (with Brian Jonestown Massacre)
05/09 New York CityWebster Hall (with Brian Jonestown Massacre)
05/15 RaleighHaw River Ballroom (Stand Against HB2 – N.C. Musicians United for Equality NC)
05/22 New York CityUnion Pool (with 33 Black Angels, Steep Leans, Earnheart)





ALL PHOTOS: Alex Kretov


Bio Pic

C. Phillips is a writer and above all, a music lover, who seeks to gain experience through writing and listening. He is also an avid film viewer and art and literature junkie who enjoys creative writing. His most recent published work was featured on the Australian heavy music blog, I Probably Hate Your Band.

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