Bring That Pop Back Into Rock
Interview with Chip & The Charge Ups
by: Rachel Billard
With a double dose of creativity to shock the world Chip & The Charge Ups delivered a mashup of fun with their Green Day/Poison single/video- “Good Riddance, Fallen Angel.” This is a band who knows music is meant to evoke a good time and put that pop back into each and every guitar riff of rock.
Rachel Billard: How long have you all been together as Chip & The Charge Ups?
CHIP DIMONICK: We started the band in April 2018 and came out firing on all cylinders!
RB: If you would introduce yourselves. Name, what you play, former or other bands you are or were in?
MALEENA DOMINICK: I play bass, and I do vocals – mostly backup vocals, with the exception of a few surprises! I used to be in a band with some friends I met at a program called School of Rock. The band’s name was Wolfblud. Now I dedicate my time fully to Chip and the Charge Ups!
JEFF DIPERNA: I play drums and sing backing vocals. I’m currently in two bands: Neutral Loss & Chip & The Charge Ups.
CHRIS BOWERS: I play guitar for the band. I also play in another band called Kleptosonic.
CHIP DIMONICK: I sing and play guitar. Prior to forming Chip & The Charge Ups, I fronted a band which – in the style of Ozzy Osbourne, Alice Cooper, and Marilyn Manson – was named after me, Chip DiMonick.
RB: What single and music video have stood out to each of you in 2018?
MALEENA DOMINICK: So far this year, a lot of great new music has come out, and I have been loving getting to hear it all. My favorite single that came out this year was “You’ll Be Fine” by Palaye Royale. It is very rock and roll and has tons of riffs and other elements that a lot of modern day music no longer has. As for music videos, I am going to have to go with “Medication” by Yungblud. The song itself is catchy, but the music video adds a whole element to it. There are so many weird things going on in it, and you just have to go back and rewatch it over and over to catch really what all is going on.
JEFF DIPERNA: It’s very difficult to choose, but I’d pick “Bulletproof” by Godsmack for the single. For the video, I’d pick “Body Talks” by The Struts or Queen’s “Under Pressure” performed by The Struts with the Foo Fighters.
CHRIS BOWERS: The single “Ice Station Zebra” by Jack White was the song that caught my attention for this year. I really like the diversity from the instruments, how he portrays his vocals and the overall changes. My choice for the video is “Lost Soul” by BBGUNS. I love the feel of nostalgia when I watch the video because it was filmed at Pittsburgh’s Century III mall. I use to go there a lot as a child with my parents. When I heard that it was closing back in April, I was heartbroken.
CHIP DIMONICK: The single that stood out to me this year was “Killing Ourselves to Live” by Halestorm. It’s like they captured the vibe of their first album, but brought all of their current songwriting chops with them to produce the perfect combination of the old and the new. The video that stood out to me was “Suffocate” by Neverwake. Such a dark and scary video! And to think that the band produced it themselves just impresses the heck out of me!
How did the idea for this mashup come about?
CHIP DIMONICK: I have been composing mashups for about 10 years. Really, it’s just an instant moment of inspiration that hits me that gives me the idea for a mashup. That was pretty much the case with “Good Riddance, Fallen Angel.” Those two songs crossed my mind at a given moment in time, I experimented to see if they would work over top of one another, they did, and a mashup was born!
RB: There had to be some moments of laughter in making this…
CHIP DIMONICK: The video shoot for “Good Riddance, Fallen Angel” was definitely hilarious! Seeing each other in costume and especially recreating scenes from the ’80’s was so much fun!
RB: Where was the video created and who did you work with on its production?
CHIP DIMONICK: We filmed in three locations. The first location was my home. We filmed the dinner table scene, the coming home scene, and all of the Green Day recreations there. We filmed the bus scenes at the Westmoreland Transit maintenance facility. And we filmed the performance scenes at the legendary Rex Theater in Pittsburgh. The video was directed by the insanely talented Marcus Morelli of Skene 19 Films.
RB: Where did you find those wigs?
CHIP DIMONICK: My wife is a photographer who shoots stock imagery, so she has many costumes at her studio. She had the Bret Michaels and Rikki Rockett wigs. The Rikki Rockett wig was not teased like it ended up being in the video, so I do have to thank Bethany from Salon Ivy for glamming it up! We got the other wigs off of Amazon.
RB: Have you heard from Green Day or Poison regarding the mashup?
CHIP DIMONICK: Not yet. Because the video is a bit humorous, we weren’t sure how those guys would take it. We obviously love both of those bands and wouldn’t want them to feel insulted if they thought we looked ugly dressed up like them or something! So, we haven’t tried to get their attention and show them the video. I know some fans want to get it in front of them, so I’m sure they’ll see it at some point. I hope they feel honored because we truly did the mashup in pure reverence to them.
RB: Favorite hair band/80’s 90’s music video?
CHIP DIMONICK: There were so many good videos from that era! There was so much creativity. Bands and directors were so uninhibited in what they did. Today, artists worry too much about coming off as too cheesy. Not in the ’80’s! And that was beautiful! “I Wanna Rock” by Twisted Sister was epic. The opening scene…the continued failure of the teacher…the over-the-top stage performance…All of those things captured the essence of rebellious rock-n-roll!
RB: Are you going to be able to hit the road pretty soon and tour? If so, where might your fans find you?
CHIP DIMONICK: We hope so. We have no confirmed plans yet. But, we believe that our music and our live show can win over fans in any city that will give us the chance to step on stage. At a minimum, it would be awesome to hit the East Coast and the Rust Belt. It would be even better if we could go across the States. And it would be a dream come true to play in the UK and Europe.
RB: What does 2019 hold?
CHIP DIMONICK: 2019 will be very active for Chip & The Charge Ups! Our second album is already done and we’ll be releasing that in Spring 2019. Before that is even out, we’ll be finishing up the recording of our third album and we’ll release that in Fall 2019. We are planning on doing more music videos. And we want to hit as many stages and see as many faces as we can when performing live!
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