As English-speaking music listeners, we get far too accustomed to bands singing in our language. Indeed, even though we’ve covered bands from all over the world in the last few years, very few have sung in their mother tongue and we love it when we encounter music in foreign languages.
One such discovery is German band CHIOPS, who’ve honed a catchy, punk-fused pop-rock sound that they describe to us as “alternativ poprock.” The latest offering of this is new single Tote Fische, the closing track of this year’s debut EP.
It opens up with a cool flickering lick that continues alongside lively guitar chords and drums. That gives way to a laid-back opening verse of vocals over light guitars, then dual vocals build up to a big singalong chorus.
A second chorus closes with more guitar chords over extended chorus vocals, bringing the track to a rocky ending. Check it out in the video below:
We chatted to singer and songwriter Tilo Reichold – in English, as our German is far too ropey for even the most basic conversation – to find out more. Read on below…
GR: Who are CHIOPS?
TR: “We are a pop-rock band and come from Germany. I myself am the singer of the band and have been active as a musician and songwriter since I was a teenager. My wife is a bass player and has also always made music. Over the years we have played with various bands, produced CDs, toured around… everything you do as a band.
“It always went quite well, but deep inside there was still a dream of making completely different music. A few years ago, a friendship began with two very young musicians. At some point, we tried something together and there was an immediate musical spark.
“Finally, the idea was born to found a new band with these people and to name the band after my nickname ‘CHIOPS.’ Since 2018 we are together and it is really perfect.”
GR: You just released Tote Fische. What should people be expecting from the song?
TR: “The social researchers say about the current youth that it is the most adjusted generation there ever was. No-one wants to get off on it and everyone swims in the mainstream. In our song Nur Tote Fische schwimmen mit dem Strom (Only dead fish swim with the stream) we thematize this.
“The song should shake-up to not follow every trend, awakening from the grey mass and live the original.”
GR: I think you’re the first band we’ve met that sing in German. Are there many German-singing bands around?!
There really weren’t many, everyone just sang in English, but there are more and more bands singing in German like us.
GR: How would you describe your sound to people that haven’t listened to you yet?
TR: “We play alternativ poprick. Our sound is characterized by catchy melodies, rock-punk guitars and subtle synthesizer sounds. Our current album offers a broad spectrum, from soulful ballads to rousing rock songs.”
GR: What influences you to write music? Any key themes or topics that you write about?
TR: “The lyrics are created by everything that touches and drives me personally. These are themes that I have lived through myself, individual fates that I encounter in my environment, but also general social themes that I perceive.”
GR: Which bands/musicians are/have been your strongest musical influences?
TR: In my teens, they were musicians like Bob Dylan and Jimi Hendrix. Later they were Aerosmith, Limp Bizkit and Linkin Park. Today, I listen to a lot of different music from Coldplay to Katy Perry to P!NK.
GR: What have you got coming up through the rest of 2019? New music, new gigs, recording etc…?
TR: “Currently, we are in the studio working on our new single Wer du bist (who you are), which will be released at the end of November. At the beginning of December, there will be a concert where we will play the new song live for the first time.” (Tickets for that gig are here)
GR: Anything else you’d like people to know about you/your music?
“What makes us most happy is when people give us feedback and tell us how they touched our music. People have often told us: ‘The songs describe my life as I could never put it into words myself.’ That’s wonderful! That was the dream in me for my music.”