“You Talkin’ To Me?” – Chavez Cartel

A swaggering, dazzling mix of classic rock and modern hues, the brand-new track Midnight Skies from Gold Coast quartet Chavez Cartel will light up the night sky and drive into your soul. Moody, edgy, yet ever-so-charming, Midnight Skies also marks a polished glimpse into Chavez Cartel’s upcoming new EP Man’s Best Friend, which is out now.

Opening with swirling textures, affable beats and crisp guitars, Midnight Skies evolves into a pulsing cinematic rock dream, like a vintage Camaro tearing through a dark and dusky desert. And while the tones may be coated in smoky modernity, Midnight Skies would equally be at home soundtracking HBO’s Peaky Blinders, showcasing the Gold Coast group’s glamorous grit and reflecting the band’s eclectic yet complementary influences; a fact that carries throughout the broader upcoming EP.

Tracing the journey to their forthcoming new release Man’s Best Friend all the way back to 2021, the road to conjuring and shaping the end product was also firmly linked by a key inspiration: the hard-driving and rebellious spirit underpinning the aforementioned HBO series Peaky Blinders, including the series’ iconic opening credits featuring Nick Cave’s explosively moody Red Right Hand. Teaming up with ARIA Award-winning producer, musician and recording engineer Govinda Doyle, as well as Callan Holstein and Froggie Evans from Studio One16, to bring their striking new EP to life, the end result is a unique, dark and ambitious joyride on its sonic surface, while also deeply targeting themes of trauma, pain, strength and positivity.

Name: Tomer Isaacs

Alias: Tomer Isaacs

Band: Chavez Cartel

In less than 50 words describe your music, your band and yourself.
I’d say we got a grungy alternative rock vibe going on – we all have very different influences, so they all come together to make our own sound. As a band we’re always in sync and on the same level which is always a help when writing music.

What was the first rock/pop concert you attended?
Rise Against in 2014 at Riverstage. They were my first heavy rock band that I saw live and mannnn it was wild. I couldn’t bring myself to go in the mosh ( I was 17 at the time) but if I was there now…I’d give it a shot !

Punk or Goth Music: Punk.
Who are you excited about, music wise, at the moment?

I’ve been really digging All Them Witches. They’ve got a great sound, very bassy and drum oriented and the songwriting is phenomenal.

The Best live artist/band you’ve seen:
Arctic Monkeys have to be in the top three there. I’ve seen them 3 times now and each time their energy and performance was top notch.

Your “In the mood for love” song:
Close to You by The Carpenters. I’ve got a soft spot for The Carpenters – even though most songs are about the opposite to love haha

What are you currently reading?
I wish I had more time to read but I’m not really reading anything at the moment ! Working full time and when I’m not working it’s all about the band.

Your favourite Sunday morning chill out record?
Red Hit Chilli Peppers – Love, Sex, Magic.

Which song do you wish you had written?
Like A Stone by Audioslave. Chris Cornell has such strong lyrics and his acoustic one of this song just hits all the spots.

Author Manuel Puig said “I’m not terribly happy about rock and roll. Rock music is uninspiring, numbing; it makes you feel like an idiot.” Discuss.
I guess it’s each to their own. No one will ever be into every genre of music but all you have to do is just respect everyone’s opinions.

Vinyl, Cassette, CD, mp3 or Streaming?
I stream a lot of music, it’s easy and very handy for when you’re not home. But at home I’ll always try to use my record player as I love the sound of vinyl.

If you could hang out with any music artist, in a bar one afternoon, who would it be?
If it could be anyone whether they are still around or not I’d say Chris Cornell. I grew up on his music and it never faded for me. He always inspires me and gets my feelings going haha

What is your worst habit?
Tapping my fingers haha. As a drummer I have a habit of always tapping my fingers on things and I guess it can get annoying to some people at times .

How often do you look at your mobile phone?
Not too often actually! I try to keep my phone time to a minimum and my phones always on silent, so I don’t get tempted to answer every message as soon as it comes in.

Any good back stage stories?
Not at the moment sorry , maybe the good backstage stories are yet to come!

An alien lands on Earth and wants to know what Rock and roll sounds like. What song do you play him?
Wanna Be Your Dog by The Stooges. If he doesn’t rock out to that he can go back to his planet.

Favourite all time TV show:
Vikings! Have watched it so many times and the character development and storyline is just so good!

What is your specialty in the kitchen?
Well as my full time job is being a chef in a middle eastern restaurant I’d say cooking anything from the middle eastern cuisine.

With whom would you like to record a song with?
I’d have to say Kevin Parker. He’s a musical genius and I would love to see how he works and how his mind works in the studio.

You have tickets to see The Killers and Bruce Springsteen but they are on the same night. Which one do you attend?
I’d have to say The Killers. Always wanted to see them live and I’ve always been away when they’re around my hometown!

Where do hope to be in 12 months?
Full time in this band – able to make a living through the band so I can give all my time and effort to it!

Interview By Geoff Jenke

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