Split Lip and their successor Chamberlain surely were one of the greatest bands ever. "Were" in fact as Chamberlain unfortunately called it quits. But there's one more album left called "Five year diary" that contains live tracks with the classic line up as well as previously unreleased material. The release of this album and the fact that Chamberlain left too early in my eyes were the reasons for this interview with David Moore.
Hey David, please introduce yourself. What are you currently doing, hopefully you are doing fine?
My name is David Moore. Iím the former vocalist and lyricist with the rock band, Chamberlain, and the designated Chamberlain interviewee. Iím doing well, thanks.
What are the latest news concerning Chamberlain / Split Lip? I heard that there's a compilation of live/unreleased songs on the way, what can you tell me about that?
New out this month is a 28-track, double album titled, Five-Year Diary. Itís a Chamberlain retrospective that features 13 never-before-released live performances by the original members of the band and pretty much covers the scope of the musical direction Chamberlain traveled during its 5-year lifespan.
How was your involvement with this compilation? Did Ignition ask you before releasing it and were you involved while picking the songs?
The album was released in the United States by Chamberlain/South Bittersweet Lane, and licensed for release in Europe by Ignition Records. The tracks included on this album are a compilation of early studio recordings representative of the Fateís Got a Driver era, the live tracks from 1998, and a few songs we recorded at the old cabin where we practiced and developed the music.
"Five year diary" contains 5 songs from Big Brown. To be honest, I don't know what to make of this, is that a band or am I completely wrong here?
Big Brown is an old log cabin tucked away in the Yellowwood Forest of Southern Indiana. Many of the songs Chamberlain recorded and performed were written there, and the band practiced there for years. It was a great place to create music.
There seems to be some confusion about the current situation in Chamberlain, some claim that you split up while others say that the band still exists. Could you please bring light into the darkness?
Following the recording of The Moon My Saddle in 1998, Curtis Mead and Clay Snyder left the group. That year, bassist Seth Greathouse joined the band. In 1999, drummer Chuck Walker decided to move on, and we brought in Wade Parish on drums. The four of us hung together until the spring of 2000, when obstacles arose related to the bandís future direction. Unfortunately, they were obstacles we didnít manage to resolve.
How would you describe the development you made since the very first Split Lip recordings until the latest Chamberlain record "Exit 263"? I think the sound of the band changed immensely, but in my eyes you always managed not to disappoint your fans, because you always recorded great songs. Would you agree?
Thanks for the kind words. Yeah, youíre right. There was significant development of our music between the first Split Lip EP release, Soulkill, and the songs that were released on the album Exit 263. In fact, each of our four albums present distinctly different musical directions but overarching them all is the influence of the bandís early melodic hardcore/emo beginnings. I can honestly say we never planned the progression Ė never deliberately set out to create a new and different sound. Our musical tastes and inclinations just led us in that direction. From the beginning, Adam and I knew that we wanted to write distinctive songs Ė songs that were not derivative Ė songs characterized by melodic harmonies and lyrics that would engage people and deliver an emotional and intellectual impact. I believe we achieved that goal.
With a song like "Masterpiece" from "Exit 263" you would have the chance to reach a very big audience in my eyes, because such a beautiful song is way better than 99 % than the usual chart crap, and when people like Bruce Springsteen have still a huge success I think you could reach larger audiences, too. What do you think about that? Have there ever been plans to shoot a video?
Thanks again! To reach a large audience requires mass marketing and to market on a mass scale costs a great deal of money. Radio play is key to achieving broad recognition for a song, but unfortunately, radio play is very hard to come by because commercial radio stations donít pay much attention to up and coming bands. Without the resources to secure mass media marketing, itís extremely difficult to gain the broad audience recognition required to push a song up the charts. We actually have a video that was released last year. Itís a 40-minute presentation of shows we played at three clubs in the Midwest. The video is available on our website.
Are you still in touch with the former Chamberlain members, to some the "ultimate Chamberlain line up"?
I see Adam every now and then when he finds his way back to IndianaÖ and Seth who still lives in Indianapolis. Chuck and I got together this past summer. But, I havenít had any contact with Wade or Curtis or Clay for some time.
Does it get on your nerves when people always talk about the classic five piece lineup of Chamberlain? I can't say that I don't do this, because I was very happy to see when Mr. Brett rejoined Bad Religion, my fave band since the late 80s. How do you think about this, does it annoy you at times?
No. I think in most peopleís minds, the original five-piece line-up was and always will be Chamberlain. The five of us established the bandís vision and pursued that vision together for eight years. The edge and the energy of the early music are what attracted fans to the music in the early days, and, I think, these unique qualities have kept our fans interested and loyal all these years.
Why was "Exit 263" released on Ignition and not on Doghouse who put out all of your previous records?
Exit 263 was self-released in the United States as a final Chamberlain offering and an expression of appreciation to the fans who had followed the music of Split Lip/Chamberlain for eleven years. Ignition contacted our management people and expressed an interest in licensing the album for release in Europe. The Rydell guys who run Ignition have been stalwart fans and great supporters of Chamberlain for many years. We appreciate their commitment to the music.
What can you tell me about the statement "With you always" on "Exit 263"? To me it seemed like lyrics to a song?!
ďWith You AlwaysĒ is the last song Adam and I wrote together. Unfortunately, we never recorded the song (Nooooooo Ė Stefan). I say unfortunately because I think it is a good song that harks back to the Fateís era of our music. Our fans would really like this song (Then please please please put it out!! Ė Stefan). We used the lyrics on the Exit album insert because they seemed to be an appropriate farewell message. Exit 263 is a compilation of the recordings that existed at the time of the bandís break-up, some of which were recorded for use as an industry demo and some of which were recordings made during the development of what was then new material.
What are your future plans? What are you going to do in the future? And what about the plans of the other members?
Iíve just completed my undergraduate degree in English Literature and plan to attend graduate school next year. Adam, Chuck and Curtis are still involved in the music scene, but there is no plan to regroup.
Well, that doesnít sound too good. But maybe weíll nevertheless have the chance to see Chamberlain again in the future. So, David, any final words to this interview?
I appreciate the opportunity to answer your questions on behalf of the band. And, I thank you for your interest. The Split Lip / Chamberlain experience was a great ride for everyone involved over the years. Iím glad you and your readers still find something of interest in the story and hope you will continue to enjoy the music.