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B1G CH0MP3RS D3V0UR Their First Interview

B1G CH0MP3RS is a hyper punk multimedia project making “internet music” like no one else. Listening to their fusion of funk, surf rock, digital hardcore and more can feel like spending a day at a virtual amusement park—it’s exhilarating, overstimulating, and probably not for those who get motion sickness. The sheer adrenaline rush induced by CH0MP3RS is better than the best sugar high, and amidst their concocted chaos they managed to congeal their sound into a debut EP entitled D3V0UR.

Being the band’s first release, D3V0UR serves as an introduction to the expansive CH0MP3RS universe, covering more ground than you’d think possible in its nineteen minute runtime. Opener “VERMIN CITY” plays like a cursed travel advertisement, welcoming the listener to silly town where you can “take a dip in the sewage fountain” and “dip your flippers in the cesspool.” It frantically hops between vocalists and genres, lingering just long enough on bursts of insanity and moments of clarity (something that can be said of most every song on the EP). The following “BRATS” introduces the band and their reckless antics. Featuring an infectious chorus and surprise dance break bridge, it’s no wonder it was the first single CH0MP3RS released. “CHILI COOKOFF” explores the groups origins and is home to my favorite chorus on the project, while “MOUSETRAP” casually details the perils of a tantalizing, well, mousetrap. Last up are “BURGLAR KING” and “COMPUTER TRASHPIE,” the first of which feels like a high speed chase inside a video game while the latter is a full throttle send off and window into CH0MP3RS’ food service side hustle.

B1G CH0MP3RS’ studio music is electrifying, but their live show takes the energy to a whole other level. I was lucky enough to catch them at a Valentine’s Day themed Lovebomb Party, where they turned the bar upside down with a mixture of live band shenanigans and electronic mayhem. The CH0MP3RS show is visceral and relentlessly fun, inviting the audience to let loose and not take themselves too seriously. There were so many moving parts it was hard for me to keep track of what was happening, and perhaps fully losing myself in the music would have been preferable to exercising my analytic faculties. Alas, knowing a conversation with the band was imminent, some focus was necessary—I’ll unleash my full silliness at the next show. I met up with the rodents after the gig at an undisclosed location to discuss the world of B1G CH0MP3RS, D3V0UR, and more. Read the full interview below and be sure to stream their debut EP.

David Feigelson: Let’s start off by talking about the origins of B1G CH0MP3RS. How was the project conceived?

Emole: I met these wonderful friends at a chili cookoff; I had the secret ingredient that they needed. I met Spicy first, who introduced me to Speedy and Stinky. From the moment I met them I felt like I really understood what they were all about. So I said, “Hey, why don’t we make a band?” Because we hate cats. And love cheese.

DF: Were you guys competing against each other at the cookoff?

Stinky: No, we were competing against Shitty the Shrew.

Emole: I don’t think Shitty deserves our time. I don’t want to talk about them.

Spicy: Shitty is fine. Shitty just sucks.

Stinky: I don’t like when Shitty tells me to be quiet. And to take a shower. They have too many rules.

Spicy: Shitty’s a fucking square. But yeah I was at the chili cookoff which I found out about through an ad that was on a pole in the middle of the city. I was like, “Oh shit, let me get my buds to come help me out.” So I made a little team with Speedy and Stinky. We were competing against Shitty, who’s this shrew that we run into often. We were struggling and Emole came up and offered us the secret ingredient that we will not name.

Emole. Right. My ingredient had such a strong smell that they could sense it from miles away.

Spicy: Yeah we sensed it in our innards. We sensed it within ourselves.

Speedy: We’re blind, so we can smell really well. We have a heightened sense of smell and direction of smells.

DF: Good stuff. Your first EP, D3V0UR, came out yesterday. How are you feeling?

Stinky: Really excited! It’s so fun to finally see it come to fruition. When we started, we just had a loose idea of what the sound would be. At our first show we only played covers. Then throughout the process of making the project we found sounds that really resonated with us

Emole: It was an amalgamation of a bunch of things I wouldn’t have predicted going into it

Spicy: We knew that punk was important to all of us. Electronic music too. Post PC Music music is important to us. But we didn’t anticipate all of the funk rock and 70s R&B influences that came into it.

Emole: Exactly. When I first had the idea for this project, I was listening to a lot of hyperpop and modern post punk, like Squid and Black Midi. I thought melding those two things together would be cool because they have similar sensibilities. That was where it began, but I could not have foreseen the funk.

DF: How does something like that creep its way in?

Emole: I think the first instance I remember is when Speedy created the bridge for “BRATS.”

Speedy: To be fair, we’re all influenced by Primus and The B-52’s. Definitely an inspiration for this EP. A lot of things came together to give us a really unique sound.

Stinky: It also has to do with Emole’s ideas about industrial pop and how it started in new jack swing.

Emole: Right. There are a few moments with new jack swing elements and I feel like that comes from a conversation I had with Stinky about it regaining popularity in some niche areas of TikTok. Well, I liked it before that. But it’s an area that no one was tapping into and I just want to create more of that music. I think it will appeal to people.

Stinky: When I met Emole it had a playlist called Industrial Pop and it had a mix of old new jack swing and SOPHIE. I had never heard that comparison before—the really loud snare, the slam sounds. Even those Michael Jackson songs that have super distorted tones in them. I think that’s the throughline between the funky, cheesy, synthy, drum machine new jack stuff and the hyperpop sensibilities.

Emole: Definitely, that was another area where I saw potential for melding sounds together. A. G. Cook had that one song called “Nu Crush,” and I know it’s a bit more popular as we speak, but at the time no one was doing that. I thought it’d be cool.

DF: Awesome. I know you guys collaborate a lot on songwriting, with different members bringing different sounds and ideas into the fold. How does that process usually work, if there is a usually? Is it smooth or do you butt heads a lot?

Stinky: I think there’s definitely a process. As time has gone on we’ve locked in more.

DF: So you’ve had to learn how to work with each other?

Spicy: We’re all a little bit rowdy. We’re some rascals.

Emole: There are some strong personalities at this table.

Spicy: That’s for sure. So when we butt heads, we butt out in the right direction in the end.

Emole: We write our songs in a shed called Dinktown Studios. It’s our recording studio—it’s really expensive, you wouldn’t be able to afford it.

Spicy: But it’s busted, and we rag-tagged it together.

Stinky: It’s in my backyard.

Spicy: A lot of the time we’ll start songs individually and bring them in for a group check in. We’ll discuss if it's working and figure out where to take it. As we were writing our first project, once we had some songs we liked, we talked about if new songs were fitting for that EP or if they should be set aside for later. Then we started figuring out how to fit funk into the fold, but making it more electronic, punk and hardcore adjacent. That’s what we fell into to have some sort of cohesion in the record.

Stinky: It was a process of figuring out what the sound even is—or at least some of the sounds.

Emole: We took bits and pieces from everyone’s idea of B1G CH0MP3RS and tried to make songs with that. For example, with “CHILI COOKOFF,” Speedy had the idea for the bassline, and I took it and tried to produce it. Then we went section by section. There are a lot of different genres happening in each song, so we usually do it section by section.

Stinky: Yeah, there were also a lot of times when we would start something together and then it would go in a completely different direction that we did not anticipate.

Emole: Yeah that happens a lot.

Stinky: I’m thinking of “VERMIN CITY” for example. When we started it, all I had was the rhythm of the snare in the beginning going into a punk beat. Then Spicy added the dinky organ thing, which we didn’t think we would end up using.

Spicy: It’s a stock, broken organ patch that sounds ridiculously dumb.

Emole: It was meant as a joke, and when we all heard it we thought we would cut it, but it ended up sticking.

Spicy: A lot of the project actually came together like that. We would put down ideas as a bit and then grow to like them.

Stinky: Yeah we definitely had the mindset when writing of if something was making us laugh, we did more of it.

DF: That’s really interesting. A lot of the music is so detailed and seems meticulously thought out, but at the same time, it’s very humorous and doesn’t take itself too seriously. I think that’s a big part of the appeal. How do you strike that balance?

Stinky: I think adding all of the details makes the jokes land better. We care a lot about our music and what we’re doing, and it is very meticulous, but then throwing a fart sound effect in the middle of that makes it even funnier.

Spicy: And the fart sound can be run through a granular distortion.

Stinky: That’s true. You can process any sound.

Emole: Stinky and I have also noticed a movement of dinky songs. We discovered it first through TikTok. Artists like DaDood and Yuno Miles. As much as everyone takes it as a joke, it’s resonating with people. Some of it is really good. Hyperpop has some of that same sensibility of making a joke of itself, but there’s usually not as much dinkiness. It’s a stylistic choice to include those sound effects, not just as a one off joke, but to integrate them into the aesthetic of B1G CH0MP3RS.

Stinky: It’s in its own category. Dinky beats is a growing genre that I’m a huge fan of. It’s such great music because it’s so silly and ridiculous; hearing it live is euphoric and you can just have fun. I hate going to a club where people are super serious and everyone’s trying to look cool or hot. No one’s skanking to 808s, hi hats, and fart sound effects, and that’s what I like. It’s fun! People should have fun with music. Inviting people to not take themselves too seriously and to just have fun is a goal of mine.

DF: That’s great. They don’t call it playing music for nothing. You also mentioned that many of these songs move pretty quickly between ideas and genres. How do you maintain what still feels like a cohesive sonic universe while constructing these songs that are very disjointed?

Emole: I think it works as long as each idea recurs in different songs—the funk isn’t a one off thing, it comes back in different ways. As much as individual songs might be disjointed, when you listen to the project as a whole, it makes more sense because all of them are like that and they all have similar influences. So I think it’s cohesive as a whole.

DF: That makes a lot of sense. As a listener I had the same kind of experience, because I was hearing some pre release snippets that were cool but felt all over the place, and finally listening to the project front to back made it feel a lot more like one thing.

Spicy: Also walkdowns. And the V (five) chord. And walk ups. It’s either having some instrument or sonic elements remain through different sections or just making it make some kind of harmonic sense across different parts.

Stinky: I also think that there are parts of the project that aren’t cohesive and that’s okay! It’s fun. There are definitely sonic inconsistencies but I like them.

DF: Got it. On the topic of wanting people to have fun listening to your music, where does the live component of the project come into play? Is that aspect on your mind as you work on the songs, or is it a translation you make after the fact?

Emole: Well when we started the band, playing shows was one of the end goals.

Spicy: It was also the start.

Emole: Yeah it was. We threw a show when we didn’t even have original music just because we wanted to embody a certain live energy. For me at least, wanting to be incorporated in the scene through playing shows and trying to become a part of the community of artists we look up to is one of the reasons for B1G CH0MP3RS.

Spicy: I’d also say that a lot of the time “internet music” can be disconnected from a local music scene in a place, but supporting the community and DIY is important, even though we have music that incorporates other genres than typical straight ahead punk. Things are changing though, I’m really into the digital hardcore scenes in New York and other places. I think it’s important to have some really weird electronic stuff happening but also to be supporting artists and growing a community.

Stinky: It was also a fun challenge. We like a lot of hyperpop and electronic music that usually isn’t played with a band; It’s more often a DJ set with a vocal. But artists like 100 gecs, Frost Children and Jane Remover, as well as some others I’ve seen here in the city, have begun incorporating live instruments with that sound. It’s been super exciting. When we originally started, we had some demos that weren’t playable by a band, but when we set out to make this record the live aspect was a goal from the start. Even if we created things that we wouldn’t play exactly that way live, or that we might play over, thinking about how it would translate to a live setting was important. That led to a lot of cool sounds we probably wouldn’t have explored otherwise, particularly the funk and rock elements. Also, we talked about trying to make the band stuff in an electronic way, and trying to make the electronic stuff in a live band way. 

DF: Could you elaborate on that?

Spicy: Yeah. We wanted the band to sound processed, which affected the ways that we treated the instruments. Also, this might not end up applying to all of our music, but for this project we wanted to make the timing feel mostly locked in with the grid, to sound more electronic and punchy. On the other hand, we wanted to make the electronic sounds fit into the way we’re performing live and have it feel like the band is weirdly digital.

Stinky: Yeah, we were taking a lot of the acoustic sounds that we were recording and doing the same processing on them that we were doing to some of the electronic stuff—glitching out guitars, cutting sounds off abruptly, that sort of thing. Treating those instruments as a sampled sound. On the flip side it’s like what Spicy was saying. It’s also having elements like risers in rock sections, or using patches that were made for an electronic song but playing them live. Like Spicy was playing the hardcore techno kicks in “BRATS” on the sampler.

DF: That’s really cool. Even though I caught you at a show with some unfortunate technical issues, you could still feel the music come to life in a really compelling way.

Stinky: Thanks! I was really excited when we started getting ready to perform these songs live. We hadn’t played them together as a band until we rehearsed for the first show, and it really changes them. The live set feels very different from the recordings, in a cool way. Real drums are good.

DF: Yeah the drummer I saw you guys with was crazy. How do you choose songs to cover in your set? I’m especially a fan of your take on “Doritos & Fritos.”

Speedy: We all throw out ideas, like for example I suggested that we do [Nicki Minaj’s] “Roman Holiday.” It was a weird option, but I said “Hear me out.” Everyone ended up being on board and tried to make it work. Through their teamwork and cooperation, we were able to close our set with that cover, and it was very iconic.

Spicy: In general we just cover what we wanna cover.

Emole: Yeah. Maybe sometimes we’ll try to fit the theme, like at the Lovebomb Party we did “Loveshack,” but that’s as far as it goes.

Stinky: We all listen to so many things and have so much that we’re bringing into the sound of CH0MP3RS, so it’s fun to reference where those things are coming from. All the songs we’ve covered are definitely big inspirations for the project. Even “Roman Holiday.” Nicki Minaj is an inspiration, especially that record.

DF: Awesome. I’m not too familiar with the city you guys have mentioned. Can you tell me a little more about where you come from?

Emole: Sure. So in our opening track, we talk about our hometown, Vermin City. It’s a cool little town. You might’ve been there. There are a lot of eccentric characters around: There’s our friend Squimpy the Worm, and there’s this guy The Scrambler who we have a weird relationship with. He might get us some opportunities.

Spicy: Yeah, he’s kinda gross.

Stinky: Kinda sketchy.

Emole: He’s weird but we might have to work with him on some stuff. We’re a band and we’re trying to get by. We’ll see how that works out.

Spicy: It’s literally so rough balancing your job with your politics.

Emole: So true. And we talked about our arch nemesis Shitty the Shrew a few times on this record. In fact, we were able to sneakily record a little cameo that we threw into “CHILI COOKOFF.”

Spicy: To answer your question more directly about where we come from, it’s just a city with a lot of rodents, bugs and other creatures you might recognize.

Stinky: Yeah, it’s a very big city, so there are a lot of people and things to explore. A lot of inspiration that we’re excited to make into music.

Spicy: But it’s definitely rough living here.

DF: Do you think you’ll live there for a long time?

Spicy: We don’t want to.

Emole: Yeah, we might move but we can’t afford to right now. We’re just scraping by.

Spicy: Speedy, Stinky and I opened up a back alley restaurant called Trash Pie Pizzeria where we serve edible consumption goods.

DF: Love me some edible consumption goods.

Spicy: For sure. It’s currently helping us fund the band, as well as feed the people. Emole works with us now; we’re besties.

Emole: Yeah, I joined you guys at the chili cookoff because I saw your culinary talents. I knew it right then and there.

Spicy: We don’t fuck with fine dining.

Emole: We don’t fuck with mild flavors. Fuck that.

Spicy: We don’t need to slowly baste in butter, we’ll throw the stick of butter on, and then pour a bunch of hot sauce on it. And that’s dinner.

Emole: Someone may have said in the past, “Anyone can cook,” but that’s not what we believe. We believe anyone can eat anything.

DF: Nice. How do you guys plan on sharing more about this place that you live in? How will it manifest in what you present musically, and how will it come up in your band promotion on social media? I’m just curious how you strike that balance between explicitly talking about your origins in your music as opposed to showing people through your bonus content.

Spicy: We’re just trying to tell our story through the music. We’ve made our music 100% ourselves.

Emole: No one else was involved. We made it, for real, for real.

Spicy: We’re also trying to make it on TikTok.

Emole: That’s for sure.

Spicy: We need to get popular on TikTok. There’s no other option. We are influencers by nature. It’s in our DNA. Our TCG and A.

Emole: We love TikTok.

Spicy: And we’re hashtag hits.

Emole: We’ll talk about upbringing and our world. I think that just comes with the territory of sharing your story online.

Spicy: Period. And as things happen to us in our lives, we’ll put it in the music, because we’re genuine to the core.

Speedy: To the corecore.

Emole: Just like Speedy said. You also might catch us releasing a few websites in the future. Maybe we’ll put our pies on the site.

DF: Perfect. And how do you see things progressing going forward? Do you have a sense of future projects, how the show might evolve, or anything on the horizon?

Emole: We’re actually working on TikToks right now. We love making TikToks, so we’re doing that for this month. Next month we’re gonna start trying to figure out what our next project is gonna be and we’ll be working on that. As far as shows go, we have a couple lined up.

Spicy: We’re just trying to get booked. We love to play. That’s why sometimes we have to resort to working with sketchy people like The Scrambler.

Stinky: We wanna have fun with the people. Dance and groove.

DF: Nice. Lastly, would you like to leave readers with any recommendations? It can be music, books, movies, or anything you’ve been into recently that you think people should check out.

Spicy: DaDood.

Speedy: Emily Montes.

Resounding agreement

DF: Who’s that?Speedy: She’s a hyperpop artist, born out of quarantine. Very influential for vocal effects and song length.

Spicy: Also Katie Dey. She’s doing it like no one else is doing it. Her vocal chain is crazy and her music hits me in my MIDI core.

Emole: I have three recommendations. Play Subway Surfers, watch Minecraft videos and watch epic fail compilations.

Spicy: And eat Mr. Beast Feastable bars.

DF: Awesome thanks so much guys. Looking forward to the future of CH0MP3RS.


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