By Nicholas Jason Lopez
Influenced by bands like The Maine and Boys Like Girls, Chris Siglos originally started Chase Your Words as an alternative pop-rock quartet in 2013 with the intent to bring mid-2000’s nostalgia back with a sound that contained even catchier hooks and more infectious melodies than its predecessors.
In October 2019, after six years of music and memories, the other two members of the then-trio left the group. After a discussion, it was decided that the band would continue with Vocalist Siglos, but with members deemed worthy enough to be “passed the torch.” Thus, via the group’s social media pages, Siglos introduced new members Dylan Elkin (bass), Justin Mattock (guitar/vocals) and Lucas Bayley (Drums).
Though the Vancouver, British Columbia group have played their final shows of 2019, they’re set to release a new EP ‘Sayonara’ before the calendar turns to 2020, when they’ll write music for a later release.
For a taste of what ‘Sayonara’ will bring to the table, look no further than the single/music video for “Battle Scars,” a song that was written about a woman Siglos (guitar/vocals) fell for in 2017. The two met, befriended one another, had mutual feelings for each other until she grew distant. Siglos was conflicted and then things unraveled when she declared a relationship wouldn’t materialize. The lyrics revolve around the confusion of whether or not she truly had those feelings and his desire to be on her mental “radar” or in her heart.
The music video brings the events to life, as it focuses on an original story which featured reenactments of actual date moments from the girl, but throws in comedic dramatizations of Siglos’ real-life experiences in today’s digital dating scene. People have dating profiles of the many “types” one comes across, from dog lovers, sugar babies, people who fetishize physical height, catfishers, everything imaginable. Dating apps bleed into life nowadays and the video plays off the idea, best described as “Pokémon GO meets Tinder.”
“I guess the concept of the music video is it’s the idea of kind of getting over an ex,” Siglos said. “Truthfully, I wrote this entire EP that’s on the way about her as well. Now, I can’t take the full credit for it, but I think lyrically, that’s where I kind of take that creative side of things. The rest of the video though is kind of in reverse to getting over an ex. The video is just basically reminiscing on past events, but the idea I guess primarily came from myself. Originally, we were just going to make this music video performance-shot, but I thought, ‘You know what, there’s so much more to this story than people even realize.'”
‘Sayonara’ deals with subjects like being free and having fun away from the city (“Let’s Go”), romantic uncertainty (“Now Or Never”), hoping “she’s the one” even though she might not be the best kind of girl (“Safe And Sound”) and the decision that separation is probably best for them both (“Sayonara”).
“I think people are gonna see this as a more mature grown sound of Chase Your Words,” said Siglos. “Ultimately, I think the writing process has just been really reflecting on this short-lived relationship and friendship and trying to understand the lessons learned from it as well as put that into something more than words and I guess ultimately, that’s what made the EP come into fruition. I think we chose the right songs for the record and this honestly does feel really good. I couldn’t be any more stoked for this.”
Chase Your Words originally amassed a huge following via Twitter, which was a payoff of “follow for follow” marketing the band did for some time. One of their songs caught the attention of a 5 Seconds Of Summer fan account just before they got popular. She reached out to ask to share it with her friends. Siglos had never heard of them prior, so he didn’t see any harm in a song reaching a few more ears. He recalled what happened the next morning.
“I wake up to my phone vibrating like crazy,” said Siglos. “It wasn’t from a phone call. It was just notifications and tweets and pinging sounds galore. My phone is getting blown up. I go on Twitter and I see thousands of new followers within the span of a couple of hours and it’s just people tweeting saying, ‘Oh my god, I love your band, please follow me. Please, guys, please.’ It was happening on my account, the band account. We didn’t know what to do with that, so we kind of just did the whole ‘live stream’ thing for a little bit, performing for people. I guess because those potential listeners wanted to hear Five Seconds Of Summer songs not from Five Seconds Of Summer, we were just covering that on those streams, and it gained us so many thousands of followers and we didn’t know what to do with it. We had no new content to record or release, but that was one of the weirdest things I’ve ever experienced.”
Twitter also led them directly to Sleeping With Sirens’ Kellin Quinn, who reached out to say he wanted to help them become more known. Quinn worked closely with the group on their 2017 EP release ‘Here To Stay,’ which he released on his independent label, Pretty Rad Records. Also produced by Cameron Mizell (The Word Alive, Memphis May Fire), the EP garnered widespread praise. Over time, Chase Your Words have shared the stage with bands like Against The Current, The Wonder Years and I See Stars.
Recent events have surely spelled a new chapter in the book of Chase Your Words, but if anybody treasures what the past holds and what it means for the future, it’s Siglos.
“I want [people] to feel a sense of nostalgia,” Siglos said. “Even if they weren’t listening to music around [2005 and 2006], to be able to identify as the band that makes them think of bands that were from that era, because while we didn’t get to experience playing with some of those great bands or releasing music around the same timeframe, it exposes them to something that is different from today’s world and today’s music. There’s so many bands that are trying to bring that back. We’re one of them, so in retrospect, we want to be seen as the band that tries to revive that.”