For this month’s ChicagoVerseUniteD cover story, every day in January will preview a different local artist’s plans for 2011. Going out big, today’s third feature: Hey Champ!
For whatever else the band accomplished in 2010, including heading down to SXSW and performing at North Coast Music Festival, Hey Champ’s most long-awaited and well earned achievement last year was easily the release of its debut full length, Star. The synth-heavy offering served as a declarative statement that the band did, in fact, have songs beyond just inescapable Soundcloud staple “Cold Dust Girl.” Now, in 2011, Hey Champ is set on demonstrating what else they can do.
Earlier this month, the group announced that it would be hitting the studio with UK producer Eliot James, whose past credits include work with names like Kaiser Chiefs and Bloc Party, among others. After a week of recording, Hey Champ frontman Saam Hagshenas talks to CVU about the experience.
“(James) had heard demos of some new songs we’d put together and liked them so he flew out to Chicago to record, which was his first time working in the US anywhere outside of New York. We’ve never worked with a producer; we’re so used to doing everything ourselves, so the experience was unbelievable. He’s really, really good at what he does. Eliot is mixing the tracks in London and we will be releasing them in spring.”
Chicago Music Project previously presented this live version of Hey Champ’s “Silver City,” then titled “Chi Town.”
Prior to the group’s new springtime material, Hey Champ plan to film a video for the hometown anthem, “Silver City,” with that track also set for European release in the coming weeks. “We decided we really wanted to do a video for (“Silver City”) with our friends here in Chicago, so we’ve enlisted Israel Fernandez (of Chicago Music Project) to direct it,” Hagshenas explains. “I think for part of this vid we may take the “Cold Dust Girl” approach; that is, just throw a crazy party and film it.”
Watch for more on Hey Champ in 2011 right here at CVU.