Music interview: Deuce & Charger

The Reverend Chunky Butt Funky in the video for Deuce & Charger's Wild and Free.
The Reverend Chunky Butt Funky in the video for Deuce & Charger's Wild and Free.
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Leeds electronic group Deuce & Charger return this week with a new EP.

The trio – Pete Bott, Becky Keighley and Yoni Collier – have previously created a stir on the internet with the tracks Always Broke and Stop The Sky From Falling, which have had thousands of plays on YouTube and their website.

Now they’ve decided to collate their collaborative work from the past 12 months into a five-track digital release, adding to it a new song, Wild and Free.

“I think the way we are describing it really is as a document of our first year,” explains Bott. “There’s Always Broke [featuring the vocals of Benn Moore] and the remix of that [by US producer TYR], that was one of the things that went huge on blogs – it had 100,000 plays in less than a month. It was premiered on a blog called dubstep.net.

“Then we’ve got Stop The Sky From Falling, the track we did with Bianca Gerald and Weezy Jefferson and there’s a live version which we did for the #PeaceSignSelfie campaign [for which fans were encouraged to tweet pictures of themselves on Twitter].

“The fifth track is a brand new one, Wild and Free, with the Reverend Chunky Butt Funky, which takes it up to date.

“It’s really exciting. The first two tracks have got traditional songwriting. We wanted something a bit different for us – a touch more upbeat but still keeping in with the ideology we’d established in the first two songs. We did not want an in-the-club pop track.”

The idea behind Wild and Free was to “catch a late 60s, early 70s Easy Rider, free spirit type of atmosphere, What’s Going On social commentary without being too full on about it”.

They chose the Reverend – aka Cleve Freckleton – as guest vocalist because “if there’s anybody who embodies the spirit of wild and free it’s him – he’s a brilliant personality”.

Deuce & Charger wrote the lyrics as a “freedom of speech type of sermon”. The musical vibe was influenced by the Primal Scream song Loaded and “recordings of street preachers and civil rights activists”. They also shot a video for it with Aidan Metcalfe, featuring a convoy of VW vans which drove from Leeds to Flamborough.

The band recently recorded a session for Alan Raw BBC Introducing West Yorkshire programme for BBC Radio Leeds and made their first live appearance last Saturday during Bianca Gerald’s performance at Seven Arts Centre in Chapel Allerton. They’re planning to rejoin her on November 16 at Leeds Music Video Awards, where Deuce & Charger have three videos entered for prizes. The wards take place at the East Leeds FM Chapel.

Looking beyond this year, Bott says: “We really see this being the very much the starting point. It’s opened the door for us literally to meeting lots of new people. In terms of our own creative imagination, we’ve been thinking, ‘Could we do more collaborations with more interesting people?’ We want to push the envelope and try new things.”

Deuce & Charger EP1 is available to download from iTunes and Amazon. For further details visit www.deuceandcharger.com or www.facebook.com/deuceandchargerofficial

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