I have been listening to a lot of Cocteau Twins lately so when I was introduced to The Veldt it segued right into my playlist nicely. They break all preconceived notions you could have about them. You can not know the sound by looking at the band. They take your mind on a musical adventure but also appeal to your warm heart. Genres do not define their music. They are adventure-takers with sound and they have soul. That’s really all you need to know.
This is the story of The Veldt.
Identical twins Daniel and Danny Chavis may originally hail from Raleigh/ Chapel Hill, North Carolina, but they have been East Village residents for the past 28 years. They are also co-founders of thegroundbreaking band The Veldt, who lifted their band’s name from a Ray Bradbury science fiction story. Musically reared in the church and juke-joints of their native southern state, the twins have been performing since they were children, listening to music that included gospel, Motown and Pink Floyd. They now make music, together with bassist/programmer Hayato Nakao, returning to their roots with the release of The Shocking Fuzz of Your Electric Fur: The Drake Equation Mixtape EP. The album releases on April 8 and to celebrate, the band is doing a whirlwindl tour of Central Canada (see tour dates below)
The first single is the emotionally wrought Sanctified, a ballad that perfectly captures the lush sound of Danny’s screeching guitars and decibel-breaking distortion, along with Daniel’s soulful wail and Hayato Nakao’s deep bass grooves and guitar feedback, the track serves as theperfect re-introduction to this dynamic band. The title The Shocking Fuzz of Your Electric Fur was borrowed from an E.E. Cummings poem. Its raging sound was influenced equally by the emotional soul of Marvin Gaye, free jazz warriors Sun Ra and Pharaoh Sanders, various Drake hip-hop tracks, and their own fertile electric imagination.
In their early days, the Chavis brothers making a name for themselves playing throughout the south at a time when fellow southerners REM and Superchunk were securing major label deals. As more black rock bands (Living Colour, 24/7 Spyz) began selling records and gigging throughout the world, The Veldt was courted by various labels, including IRS Records and Capitol.
Initially signed to Capitol Records in 1989, The Veldt embarked on a musical journey that changed their lives. Soon, they were in the studio with dream-gaze guru Robin Guthrie working on their initial recordings, playing American concert halls with Cocteau Twins and The Jesus and Mary Chain, and recording Marigolds with Linco ln Fong (Moose).
The Veldt were a sensation from the start as they became a part of a movement of innovators who came of musical age at a time when rhythmic rebels were reflective, gritty and wild. Their sound inspired future generations of alternative artists, including TV On the Radio.
They switched labels and Mercury Records released Afrodisiac in 1994, produced by Ray Shulman (The Sundays, Bjork, Sugarcubes). Their single Soul in a Jar was an underground hit.
As the brothers moved to expand their musical language, fusing more electronics into their soundscape, they retired the “Veldt” name and, for various reasons, began recording and touring under under the name Apollo Heights. In 1999, the Chavis brothers met bassist Hayato Nakao, who would become their permanent partner. Their music was loud, exploring color, space, sensuality and beat driven melodies with rhythmic and dynamic tension. Daniel’s falsetto vocals cast a contrast upon the wall of sound created by Danny’s heavy rock dreamscape guitar and Hayato’s pounding and licentious beats.
Although The Veldt had signed to two major labels after leaving Mercury Records in 1995, the brothers decided to remain indie and self-released their 2008 album White Music for Black People. “The major labels were always trying to get us to change our sound, our look or both,” Daniel laughs. “But, we had no interest in being the next Lenny Kravitz or Tony! Toni! Toné! Unfortunately, not everyone shared our vision. We weren’t trying to be rock stars, we just want to play our music and pay our rent.”
Apart from Robin Guthrie and A.R. Kane, who produced ‘And It’s You’ from this EP, they have collaborated with TV On The Radio, Mos Def and Lady Miss Kier (Deee-Lite), and have shared the stage with My Bloody Valentine, The Pixies, Echo & TheBunnymen, Cocteau Twins, My Bloody Valentine, Manic Street Preachers, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Oasis, Living Colour and TV on the Radio, among others.
They eventually changed their name back to The Veldt. The Shocking Fuzz of Your Electric Fur serves to mark the band’s re-emergence and will be followed by another full album of material on their Resurrection Hymns LP later this year (via SonaBLAST! Records). Indeed, for these veteran musicians and passionate noise technicians, this newest EP marks a new beginning.
PRE-ORDER The Shocking Fuzz of Your Electric Fur will be released via UK label Leonard Skully Records on April 8, 2016.
The Veldt will be touring central Canada and North Carolina in early to mid-April and also will be opening for The Brian Jonestown Massacre for various east coast dates during their forthcoming U.S. tour in May.
- In a Quiet Room
- One Day Out of Life
- And It’s You