Artful Noises

Chamber Noise builds oscilloscopes & startlingly good psych-rock tunes

Eric Christenson, photos by Andrea Paulseth

THROUGH THE BLINDS. Brand new Eau Claire band Chamber Noise is set to make its psychedelic debut with powerful rock songs and inventive on-stage visuals.
THROUGH THE BLINDS. Brand new Eau Claire band Chamber Noise is set to make its psychedelic debut with powerful rock songs and inventive on-stage visuals.

For a band with only a few shows under its belt, a handful of psych-rock tunes, and a bunch of old TVs, the new Eau Claire trio Chamber Noise is laying the foundation for what could be an immensely cool project for years to come. Fueled by analog gear, savvy stage production, and a rich complexity in its songs, the band is as excited as ever to get its music out into the world one way or another.

“We’ve made it a mission to never use Auto-Tune, no digital effects, no sample replacement. Everything is just three dudes in a room.” – Justin Green of Chamber Noise

After reading in this very publication about a passionate Texas transplant who opened a new recording studio in town, Austin Derks (guitar/vocals) and Luke Nyhus (drums) brought a few song sketches out to the remote studio to start laying down some ideas. The two Eau Claire friends had barely scratched the surface of starting to write and record music, but little did they know, they were about to meet the third leg of the stool.

Justin Green, Toy Car’s owner and engineer, heard their songs and the wheels in his brain started spinning. They were crunchy and experimental, with tons of ideas packed into each sketch. Moreover, there was indisputable rock ’n’ roll energy with heady song structures, strange turns, and oodles of raw potential. Now a full-fledged member of Chamber Noise, Green brings expertise and polish to these ideas, and the band is getting better and better by the week.

“You guys came with these seven-minute songs with big jams and stuff. We realized there were like three songs in there,” Green said with a laugh. “We thought about it together and started cutting and arranging and feeling it out.”

“Now we’re getting into our own pocket where it’s starting to feel good,” Nyhus said.

The band is planning on releasing a couple of songs every few months, while playing every conceivable live show within a six-hour drive from Eau Claire. As they prepare to formally release a punchy single called “Solid Gold” on Sept. 9 at a free show out at Toy Car, the band is taking strides to make its live show not just three dudes up there playing instruments, but something on another level entirely.

The band experimented with making functional oscilloscopes out of old analog television boxes. With careful wiring and a little magic, every time one of them hits a note on a guitar or makes noise in a microphone, a tiny electronic wave ripples across the screens. When you add some cool lighting effects teamed with live projections, it all turns into quite the production.

“It’s a full sensory experience,” Nyhus said. Derks put it best, I think: “We just want to do dope sh*t. If I was at a show and I saw something like that, that’s something I want to see.”

That’s kinda the whole vibe of this developing band. They’re toying around, experimenting with different sounds and visuals, and having a blast while crafting a whole experience out of the act of playing songs. The visuals pair undeniably well with the choppy rock tunes, whether they’re performing on a venue stage, at the studio, or in somebody’s basement.

Derks’ lyrics and guitar riffs bubble to life around Green’s throbbing bass tones while Nyhus hits drums with tact and sharpness in a swirl of electronic light. It’s a pretty cool thing to take in. But one of the most impressive parts of this whole thing is the band’s dedication to analog gear. Green’s studio is packed to the roof with vintage-y amps, pedals, effect modulators, and all kinds of gear nerd doo-dads, so Chamber Noise makes it a point to stray away from modern day corner-cutting.

“We’ve made it a mission to never use Auto-Tune, no digital effects, no sample replacement,” Green said. “Everything is just three dudes in a room. It could’ve been produced in the ’70s. Organic music is gonna make a comeback, just like organic food.”

So be sure to catch a Chamber Noise show soon. The band is releasing its single, “Solid Gold,” with a free show on Sept. 9 at Toy Car Studios along with opening acts Nick Anderson and the Skinny Lovers and Sleeping Jesus. To get tickets, head to chambernoise.brownpapertickets.com. To learn more about the band, like their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/chambernoise.

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