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Interview With: Chappaqua Wrestling

Posted on Wednesday 22nd March 2023 at 16:00

Jimi Arundell

Written by
Jimi Arundell



Chappaqua Wrestling take a muscled approach to indie rock. Going big with colossal walls of distortion, dense basslines and vocals strained with abundant passion, their rousing anthems are marking them as ones to watch in 2023!

Born in Brighton Charlie Woods and Jake Mac both share vocals and guitar duties, forming the band as students at Manchester Uni, recruiting additional members Coco Varda (keys) and John-Paul Townsend (drums) after returning home.

Having impressed with awesome singles “The Rift”, “Full Round Table” and “Wide Asleep”, they now prepare to drop their eagerly awaited debut album Plus Ultra in April and then kick off the promotional headline tour the following month. CLICK HERE to book your tickets!

Plus, you can see Chappaqua Wrestling play at Neighbourhood Weekender on Saturday 27th of May at Victoria Park in Warrington when you grab tickets with Gigantic. The two-day festival offers the best in legacy indie acts and cutting-edge bands, seeing headliners Paul Heaton & Jacqui Abbot, Pulp and The Kooks top a bill including Self Esteem, Anne-Marie, Confidence Man, The Big Moon, Sea Girls and more! Tickets available HERE.

Gigantic is very excited to chat to Jake of rising stars Chappaqua Wrestling about their upcoming first album, life on the road and the importance of politics in music.



There’s a huge amount of hype surrounding you. How does it feel to be tipped by tastemakers as one of the potential breakthrough bands of the year?

That’s good to hear that it feels like that for the tastemakers! I don’t think we’ve really thought about that too much just yet. All we’ve done for the past 2 years is concentrate on writing the music and now all we are concentrating on is getting it out to the world. It feels great that people are digging it, may that continue!


It seems like everyone is either a spoken word post punk band or synth-pop indie outfit right now, whereas your sound borders between grunge and shoegaze. Do you feel like you stand alone from any sort of scene?

Yeah, really good question as we definitely don’t sit in a lane with other bands at the moment. We are very much detached from a scene. I think that works for us. It’s recently been called ‘brit-grunge’... not sure how that sounds but we kinda like it, it’s definitely unique compared to the current scene.


Last month saw you unveil new single “Wide Asleep”. It feels way more anthemic than your previous output, going deep with emotion. What is the song about?

“Wide Asleep” is a letter of complaint. Mostly to ourselves for being consumed by social media. It was one of those songs that came out very quickly. I (Jake) went around the chords a few times and then the melody came instantly. I thought “Surely this is already a song, feels too catchy to not of been nicked yet?”, seems not. It’s ours now. As soon as the melody was down, I angrily poured out a bunch of lyrics about being sick of social media and how it miscommunicates important stories. It’s basically a big whinge, that’s followed by a moment of hedonism about concentrating on the present - that and a load of other nonsense.


And following that, your debut album Plus Ultra drops on Friday 14th April. What can fans expect from your first full length release?

Yeah, I guess “Wide Asleep” epitomises a lot of the album. We’ve grown up as writers and started to point out what’s going on around us is often wrong. There’s a lot of big conversations throughout the album; homelessness, cultural appropriation, general mess of social politics in the UK... but like “Wide Asleep”, we also love to thrown caution to the wind and let loose sometimes. That means the album gets very big at times. There’s also a couple sweeter moments for the people that like to take it easy. Plus Ultra is a journey.



You have announced your biggest ever tour in support of Plus Ultra with headline shows throughout May. How do you prepare for the rigours of life on the road?

We prepare through sheer excitement. That and sourcing some comfy tracksuits. On our last tour, which was our debut headline tour, we played the majority of the album to packed rooms of people who didn’t know it. So, this time out, we’ll be playing songs that they actually know which will be a crazy energy. Can’t bloody wait.


Politics in music is clearly important to you. But to many, the current climate looks decidedly bleak. How do you think bands can help spur on progressive change?

We didn’t realise when we started writing that people would care about our political stance. That seems to have changed and it feels good that people care for what we have to say. As a writer you are influenced by what’s going on around you and currently, it’s a shit show around us. The system isn’t set up for any one like us to have much sway in progressive change, but that won’t stop us. Hopefully our music becomes more of a platform against the people at the top.


Following the tour, what’s next for Chappaqua Wrestling?

Big debut album. Big album tour. Lots of festivals. Straight into a big second album. Fighting talk. Thanks for speaking with us Gigantic!


Get your Chappaqua Wrestling tickets with Gigantic today!


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