Chase Petra is a Long Beach, California based band that is blending genres in a way that sets them apart from others. Their album, Liminal, focused on the perils of growing up and experiencing the world as we get older. Chase Petra’s music is catchy and emotional with deeper meaning hidden in each layer of their tracks. The band is comprised of Hunter Allen (vocals and guitar), Evan Schaid (drums), and Brooke Dickson (bass guitar and vocals). We have recently been obsessed with their music and we are super stoked to share this interview with!
WCBG: Thank you so much for speaking with us, we are hyped to have you here! Can you please introduce yourselves and tell us a fun fact about you?
Evan: Hello, I’m Evan and I enjoy looking at candy in bulk on Amazon.
Hunter: I am Hunter and I have a cat named Styx who is the love of my life.
Brooke: I’m Brooke and instead of a crazy cat lady I aspire to be a crazy dog lady.
WCBG: We have a question that was asked at our freshman orientation that we love asking people. If you could be any utensil in the kitchen what would you be and why?
Brooke: The big scary knife so everyone knows what they’re dealing with…I’m talking murder.
Hunter: A kettle because I like fire.
Evan: A coffee maker since it’s the only thing I know how to use.
WCBG: What music are you currently listening to?
Hunter: Caroline Polachek. It’s apocalyptic pop, which is very fitting for what’s going on. Also, Hayley Williams Petal for Armor. Oh, and this Boy Genius song.
Brooke: I have a quarantine playlist it’s like scary zombie apocalypse quarantine music that sounds like it’s the end of the world. Music like old Cold War Kids from like the first two records, everything sounds like it’s constantly falling apart and it’s not afraid to be gritty, ugly, and dirty.
Evan: When I listen to music, I try to find bands I really like. It’s been a lot of B sides from bands I enjoy. A lot of music that’s like a little under math rock—elementary school math rock—tricky phrasing not tricky playing.
WCBG: How did you pick your respective instruments?
Brooke: My dad taught me and my sister how to play the guitar when we were little. My sister stuck with it and I didn’t like that the strings were so small and hurt my fingers. Then I saw the movie School of Rock and saw that the bass player was a girl and I just thought it was so cool that you can do that. It’s such a stupid, simple concept and in my mind as a young kid it was revolutionary to be a girl and a bass player. I really liked how low it is [in sound] and I told my dad that I wanted to play bass. So, he took me to Guitar Center, and I got one for my 10th birthday.
Evan: I thought drums was cool—it’s still cool. My brother plays guitar and it made sense for me to play drums. You sit behind the drums and I think there’s a part of everyone that has rhythm and everyone and anyone can do it.
Hunter: I’ve been singing since I was a kid. My dad is a musician and we immediately started writing songs. My dad would record them with me and eventually he tried to teach me how to play the guitar. At this point I didn’t want to do it and then it was in 8th grade and I was listening to All Time Low and I wanted to be able to do that myself.
WCBG: What’s your writing process like?
Hunter: We are trying new ways of going about it. In the beginning I had a plethora of songs written and we would go into studio, I would play the song and we would learn it part by part and arrange it together. Now we try to write the song together in the studio. Brooke is getting more involved in the lyric writing. We are trying to switch it up to see what works.
Brooke: It’s fun to write all together. Evan will set a challenge for us, so we try to write a song to try to do this thing that we haven’t done before. I love that we get to work from the ground up all together. It also shows the growth of our band.
Evan: The first go around with our full-length Hunter came in and brought in these songs and we would flush them out. This time around it’s a personal goal of mine to try to write and hear songs already recorded in my head before we record them so production is done before we record so we can have an idea of what it will come out as. It’s been fun to write together, and I love it!
WCBG: What is your favorite part of a song you’ve written?
Brooke: In “See You Next Tuesday” we have a transition section into the outro chorus that we took forever one day figuring out what the counts. We were going for this weird transition, but we figured it out and it’s just this weird transition it’s like a bar of 7 into…I don’t know. We try to count it, if we do it’s a problem so we don’t. I get to do a fun little bouncy bass line that I enjoy.
Evan: the song “Contractual” is still my go to. It’s one of the oldest things we’ve ever done and it’s still my favorite thing. The way we orchestrated that song, we wanted to keep it tight and it never opens up until the bridge. It’s this sense of relief for me.
Hunter: Overall my favorite song is “In an Emergency Such as the End of the World.” It consistently feels like…it’s just a fun song and I like it a lot. About the new things we’ve written, and speaking of trying new things, the bridge in “Paranormal.” It felt like the first step into doing things that weren’t like what we’ve done before.
Evan: The new stuff could be some of my new favorite stuff too. We finished song last week and we can’t wait to release it.
WCBG: Describe your sound in 3 words.
Evan: quarter-life crisis rock
Brooke: honest, fun, powerful
Hunter: from the heart
WCBG: You guys are travelling together in the van, what are three songs that must be in your playlist?
WCBG: What’s the scene like in California?
Chase Petra: The scene is interesting. LA feels pretty good, Long Beach is not quite what it once was; it’s not a younger crowd. There are a couple of cliques around our city that we don’t fall into. We can’t break into them here, so we play a lot in LA. We are not super tuned into what’s considered the most trendy—it seems to be sort of a fusion of genres like things seem to be getting more sound cloud hip hop like. There’s a kind of like Burger Records lo-fi surf-punk scene that transitioned into regular old emo again. There’s a big punk scene in Long Beach and we are more aggressive rock not necessarily “punky.” It’s a blend of lo-fi with a lot of different genres.
WCBG: What are your plans for the new decade of 2020?
Chase Petra: For the band to tour
Hunter: To get a job as a substitute teacher.
Evan: To get my masters and live on my own and get really good at recording drums. Do session work and be in this band.
Brooke: To find career stability, financial stability, and to become a self-sufficient wood worker and maker of things and also to become good at all the instruments I’m not so good at. Oh, and to be a good friend!
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Check out their music here