RGM INTRODUCING – WE INTERVIEW Archie Baker & Chloe Rogers
Hiya folks thanks for joining us in the virtual RGM lounge today, grab a brew and take a seat.
What made you decide to become soloists?
Archie: I think both Chloe and I became solo artists out of necessity – we both had such large musical aspirations when we started our respective projects and we just wanted to get busy making music. The easiest way to do that was by building our projects from the ground up, starting with some music and ideas that were uniquely ours. Now that we’re both a little more established, we each have a large band and several collaborators who help out too, so it feels more collaborative.
How did you meet each other?
Chloe: Archie and I met in our second year at the University of Sheffield in a blues band. We performed together for years in the band and when we graduated we continued to make our own music, first collaborating on our single ‘Part of Me’, in 2020. Since then we have each formed our own separate projects; Archie Baker and The Blue Meanies and the Chloe Beth Rogers (CBR) project, with me as a lead singer in Blue Meanies and Archie as lead guitarist in the CBR project.
Who’s idea was it to team up?
Archie: It was more of a continuation of our existing musical relationship. We’ve been playing together for so long that it’s almost a default for me to try a new idea with Chloe now. That was exactly how this song came to be.
Introduce us to you and your musical history.
Chloe: our backgrounds are quite different I’d say, but we both grew up listening to blues which I think has been one of the main driving forces of our musical collaboration. When we first met in the university blues band where Archie was guitarist and band leader, and I was a singer. We have both learned so much from each other that I feel like our musical journey has been a joint one. Although this track demonstrates more of soul/pop theme, our favourite thing to do in rehearsal is still a blues jam in b flat.
What’s one question you’re sick of being asked when interviewed?
Archie: we’re not sick of interview questions at all! this is pretty damn exciting for us
Do you sign up to any conspiracy theories?
Chloe: Hmm no we are not the suspicious types I don’t think. But I’d be lying if I said some of the alien conspiracy theories out there haven’t interested me.
I think Archie is too logical to believe in conspiracy theories (he has a background in engineering, so that makes sense). We’re both prone to a bit of healthy scepticism though.
Did you buy anything you don’t need in the pandemic?
Archie: yep. My housemates and I all bought nerf guns. Chaos. Chloe stayed with us for a bit – she was not amused.
What useless party trick do you have?
Chloe: honestly I don’t think I have one! That sounds super boring but I also don’t wanna be one of those musicians who brings a guitar everywhere you know?
What was the most fun you have had on stage?
Archie: In the cover bands that we used to perform with the audience would start to dance and sing along and that would always feel great. More recently we’ve played a couple of big shows with our own projects where we’ve had people dancing and singing our own songs back at us, and that blows my mind!
What was the worst experience on stage?
Chloe: I think we have been really lucky in that even if the circumstances of a gig are poor in any way, we will still be playing music together and that always brings us joy.
A perfect example is a gig Archie had this year with the Blue Meanies. It was a big gig for us and we were all really excited, even me despite having a chest infection, but we had a lot of sound issues on stage which was very stressful. Archie and I shared a lot of reassuring smiles with each other to remind ourselves that it was all okay and that we were still doing what we loved. Not all gigs will be smooth sailing, but if you’ve got a good group of musicians around you, it will always be fun.
Tell us something about you / each member that you think people would be surprised about.
Archie: Chloe speaks (and sings) fluent Spanish which is obviously wicked! For me, I dunno. I’m not very complicated.
If you had to describe your band/music to an alien how would you describe it?
Chloe: I’d describe Archie’s music as the perfect combo of powerful, bluesy guitar solos and hopeful, nostalgic lyrics and catchy horn riffs, but also a bit of naughty funk that makes an appearance occasionally.
For my music, I’d probably describe it as poetry over music. With lots of sexy guitar and candid lyricism.
What makes you stand out as artists?
Archie: Chloe has an incredible gift for creating strong melodies and feelings in her music. Every song that she writes is infectious and beautiful and I really love that. I think that’s a pretty rare talent and definitely makes Chloe’s music stand out.
Because my own voice is slightly lower and rougher than a typical lead vocalist’s, I try to use arranging and instrumentation to make my songs feel exciting and I use other vocalists and musicians to build the songs up. As a result, the music I produce with my band is a unique blend of influences and every arrangement is built around serving the song.
Right now, what’s pissing you off the most?
Chloe: The heat. Currently writing this at 10pm and it’s 28 degrees!! Archie and I are not made for the heat, unfortunately, despite the many sweaty gigs we’ve played together.
What’s your favourite song to play live and why?
Archie: I have this track called Holiday (that Chloe features on too), which is such a fun track to play because it’s built around a catchy pop-style melody, but we break it down with this really tentative, slowly-building breakdown that explodes into an epic sax solo. It always catches new listeners off guard and sets the room on fire.
In the same breath, some of Chloe’s stripped-back, acoustic guitar numbers (such as Yours) are so satisfying and empowering to play.
I hear you have a new single/album/ep, what can you tell us about it?
Chloe: Yes we do! We wrote Missing You together a few years ago, it started with Archie’s chord progression and the rest came naturally. It’s a song that has all of our favourite things; a catchy horn riff, a sick guitar solo and most of all, we got to make it with our friends. We really have put so much effort and consideration into this song, more than our previous collaborations I’d say but that’s because we think this is our best one yet.
I feel like it has a perfect combo of our different styles, and I hope the video demonstrates that too.
Talk me through the thought process of the single/?
Archie: so Missing You is basically the tale of a bad break-up, told from the perspective of each partner. The feeling and lyrics of the song came together easily once we’d played the chords together. The song fell very naturally into place and it felt fun to swap the lyrics around between us – I guess its sort of an ode to Ain’t No Mountain High Enough (Marvin Gaye, Tammi Terrell)
What was the recording process like?
Chloe: the recording process was fun, but different than our usual experiences as it was spread throughout the pandemic with different lockdown rules, meaning there was a lot of time between certain bits of the recording process. We recorded the single with Chris at Foxden Studios in Sheffield, he creates such a relaxed atmosphere that it’s easy to settle into the groove of a recording day. We always have the best time recording as we always record with our friends. Even though it’s tiring and frustrating at times, Archie and I find joy in the whole experience.
What was the biggest learning curve in writing the single/album/ep?
Archie: we recorded this with a nine-piece band. It is hard and complicated and hurts my brain to think about arranging a nine-piece band. Writing just for guitar and singing allows you to change things up until the last minute, but anytime we made a change to the horn lines, or lyrics or guitar parts we had to consider whether it would conflict with the vast arrangement behind it.
Would you change anything now it’s finished?
Chloe: nope. Nothing at all. We have listened to this song so many times with the most minute of changes between each version, and I’m still not tired of it.
We hope that it’s a fresh sound for people because it is for us! We are both so proud of it.
What are your plans for the year ahead?
Archie: we’re gonna play more gigs and record more music. This is only the very beginning…
Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?
Chloe: make sure to download and stream Missing You!!!!! And add to your playlists pls xoxoxox