The Chats

The Chats have just released their debut album “High Risk Behaviour” that is now available via Bargain Bin Records and Cooking Vinyl Australia. “High Risk Behaviour” is an album that’s over in 28 blistering, funny, sweaty, unforgettable minutes, with half of its 14 songs failing to reach the two-minute mark. Some might call the Queensland trio lazy. Singer-bassist Eamon Sandwith, the man whose mullet became an international talking point following the success of 2017 viral hit ‘Smoko‘, sees it differently.
“I don’t want to make the songs boring, so I just keep them short and sweet. We try not to think about it or complicate it too much. You don’t want to force it or the song’s going to turn out crap.”

The Chats have the cops to thank for the title of their debut album “High Risk Behaviour“, if they didn’t keep hassling drummer Matt Boggis about skating in places he shouldn’t, and giving him tickets listing that as the offence, who knows what idiotic title the self-proclaimed “dropkick drongos from the Sunshine Coast of Australia” would have come up with. And yet it’s the perfect name for an album that does not fuck around. An album that sounds like Aussie greats the Cosmic Psychos downing beers with The Saints before doing shots with the Buzzcocks and then spewing it all up behind the kebab van. 

Since forming in their mate’s bong shed in 2016 while still at high school, that attitude has taken The Chats, completed by guitarist Josh Price, who once wrote a song called ‘How Many Do You Do?‘ in which he boasted of doing 52 “dingers” in a night, from the sleepy coastal village of Coolum (located roughly two hours north of Brisbane) to venues around the world. Their fanbase includes Dave Grohl, who loved the video for ‘Smoko‘ so much he showed it to Josh Homme, who then asked the trio to support Queens Of The Stone Age on their 2018 Australian tour. Iggy Pop is also a card-carrying member of The Chats‘ fan club, requesting that they support him in Australia in early 2019 and peppering them with questions like, “What’s a smoko?” and “What’s a dart?”

The rest of 2019 was spent taking the world by storm armed with nothing more than guitars, drums, shorts, shirts and thongs (or, if it was a formal occasion, sandals and socks). Shows across Australia and the UK were sold out, and they performed their first gigs in America, including an LA show that was attended by Josh Homme, Dave Grohl and Arctic Monkeys‘ frontman Alex Turner. The band capped off the year with a return visit to Britain, selling out venues such as Manchester’s O2 Ritz, you can read The Punk Site review of that night here, and London’s 2,300-capacity 02 Forum.
Suffice it to say, life has changed a fair bit for The Chats over the past two years.
“Well, I don’t have to work at the supermarket anymore.”

The Chats have been too busy touring, writing songs and, when their gigs took them to Victoria, dropping into engineer Billy Gardner‘s studio in the coastal city of Geelong for a day of recording. That they chose this piecemeal approach explains why the album took 18 months to finish, a luxury considering their 2017 EP “Get This In Ya” only took four hours to record one hungover afternoon.
“If we’d just done a week and slogged it out we could have had an album before now but we just kept going in there and making newer and better songs so it’s hard to put a stop on it. Some of the songs were first-take and we were like, ‘That’s good, whatever’We’re really not perfectionists.”
The end product is an album that buzzes like an out-of-control chainsaw, propelled by Sandwith’s spoken-spit-sung vocals, their three-chords-is-one-too-many approach, and an exacting combination of youth, vigour and drunkenness. But don’t mistake simple for stupid, if it was easy to make songs this short and catchy everyone would be doing it.
“I think they’re good songs, and at the end of the day, if I like it then fuck it, who cares if other people do?”
Despite being the subject of a record label bidding war, The Chats have released “High Risk Behaviour” on their own label, Bargain Bin Records. It’s indicative of a band that have embraced DIY culture since day one, to the point where Eamon Sandwith used to spend his days at the post office sending out merch orders.
“We thought, if we just do it ourselves we don’t have to worry about getting swindled, we’ve always done it our way.”
Their determination to do things “our way” extends to their music, which is why “High Risk Behaviour” delivers everything you’ve come to expect from The Chats, only a lot more of it, and confirms their status as Queensland’s greatest ever export, apart from maybe Bundy Rum.
“I just want people to have a good time. I want them to dance around and have a beer and enjoy it. We don’t make songs for people to look at in a fucking emotional or intellectual way. We just make songs for people to jump around and have fun to.”

The Chats website is here and you can also find them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. You can stream and purchase “High Risk Behaviourhere

The Punk Site review of “High Risk Behaviour” can be read here