Chappo: Another Universe

The New York-based quartet fashionably returned with a follow-up to their first EP, Plastique Universe – and they are doing it for free.  Fans were able to download their new EP, Plastique Universe II: Pisces Princess, digitally, on August 15, at no charge. It comes at a perfect time as Alex Chappo (vocals/guitar), Chris Olson (vocals/keys), Zac Colwell (drums), and Dave Feddock (guitar) are part of a solid lineup of bands performing at Sunset Strip Music Festival in Los Angeles this weekend from August 18-20, 2011.  Before they head out Glide caught up with Feddock, to discuss their new EP, their unique fashion sense, and the background story of how they all met.

Your latest EP, Pisces Princess, has been described as a "concept CD" – a follow-up to Plastique Universe.  Is there a full length still in the works?  What can you tell me about the new EP? 

The EP is a follow-up to the sci-fi bandit adventures of the Plastique UniversePisces Princess takes place on an island world and is a love affair between a caped shape-shifter and an underwater siren. As the two creatures fall in love, they must struggle to survive an underwater volcanic eruption, a massive cyclone, and the psychedelic fruit of the island.  He takes her out of the ocean for the first time… We will finish our first full length at the end of August.  We’ll keep you posted for a release date!

Can you explain to me your on-stage apparel?

Our on stage apparel has been a pretty gradual progression.   We want to put on a show that is also visually interesting.   A natural place to start seemed to be with our own appearances.   I think the feathers were originally inspired by a song Alex wrote called, “Native Savage.”   Zac’s girlfriend, Rawan Rihani, is a great designer.   She designed our costumes.   There is also a vague military motif that started with Chris’s general jacket.   We basically found a few elements we liked and have been building around them.

Rihani designed the artwork for the EP cover as well.  What other projects have you worked on with her?

We have seen her previous watercolors and drawings and wanted to find a way to collaborate with her. The imagery in the new EP gave us a chance to see this collaboration in action.  We’ve also collaborated with her with our costume designs.  She’s amazing and we love her ideas.

The band is currently based in New York.  When did the band form and how did you all meet?

The band went through various primordial formations.   It didn’t really become Chappo as we are now until Chris put down the sax and started wailing on the keyboards and Zac on drums and producing the band.  We’ve all known Alex for about four or five years (when Chris and him met through craigslist and became roomies).   I’ve known Zac since 2001.  We met at a second chance school for New Jersey drop outs.  Chris and I go way back to Washington state where we went to high school together.  Our dads went to high school together too…for real! 

Who does the songwriting or is it a collaborative effort?

At the very least, the majority of the arranging of the songs is collaborative.   Like what parts go where and the form of the song.  That’s the case for at least half of this new album.   The majority of the core ideas have come from Alex so far.  We’re striving as we go along to become more collaborative with the song writing. 
How would you, as a band, describe your sound and what and who are your influences?

Our band sound is an updated version of the classic rock style with a mixture of elements sprinkled in from all kinds of popular music from the last 40 years.  Not to say that the band goes into writing a song with a clear template that has been used before.

You are headed back to the West Coast for a few shows.  One of your shows is at the Roxy for Sunset Strip Music Festival.  It’s a solid line up this year.  What are you looking forward to most?

We’re excited to get in front of a larger Los Angeles audience of people who haven’t heard or seen us play.  It’ll be fun to play our first show at the Roxy, too!

What is your fan reception like between the two coasts?  

Pretty consistently positive.   All the girls from Baton Rouge were the sweetest of all.  "Y’all had a good show."   Hang out there for a couple nights and you’ll start wanting to begin every sentence with “y’all.”

Craziest on stage moment?

Nothing too crazy yet.   We’re still waiting for some crazy extended family member to come gun one of us down during the set.
What do you all do when not playing music?

Three out of the four members have been experimenting with hot yoga.  We’ve gone on a few band bike rides as well and around Prospect Park.

Photo by Gino DePinto, via

Related Content

Recent Posts

New to Glide

Keep up-to-date with Glide