JACOB KARLIN '17
You’ve heard of Novelty Daughter, Grand Cousin, and Faceplant too. Party Hats Hats, Skybars, All Caps LADD. But do you know CHEF?
Willa and I sat down with CHEF, one of Wesleyan’s hottest freshman bands, for a chitchat on their origins, progress, and spiritual wellbeing. I was very excited to finally get in contact with this lovable band, whose success comes from both their great music and their tantalizing sex appeal. CHEF consists of the following members: Isaac Butler-Brown, guitar and trumpet; Miles McLeod, MC; Lydia Elmer, singer and trombonist; Henry Kinder, drummer; Anthony Dean, bassist; Max Atkinson, on the keyboard; Max Luten, tenor sax; Willie Molski, alto sax; Annie Flom, vocals; Mimi Goldstein, vocals.
How did your band form?
Isaac: One of the reasons why I came to Wesleyan was for the music scene. From the beginning, I was hanging out and playing music. I would try to have my guitar on me as much as possible, and I would listen to whomever I was jamming with. Whoever my ear kind of picked up I would keep hanging out with them.
Lydia: Yeah, we would all show up at these hangouts, and if Isaac liked your playing or singing, he would ask, “Yo, do you want to be in my band?” He asked me and I said sure.
Isaac: Henry and I went to middle school together, and Miles McLeod, our MC, and I have been best friends since high school. And Anthony, how did we find Anthony?
Lydia: We became a concrete group around October, when Sky Bars offered us a gig to open up for them at 200 Church. We spent the night before until like 2 in the morning trying to pick out a name. We thought maybe “Booty Floss”… or “Grandmother Bench-press”, but we were like “chef” sounds good, we can chill with this for a while. That was the moment we thought “we have a band now, we have a name, we’re into it”.
Isaac: We also thought of “Butterfall”. Butterfall was so good, it still might be a mix tape.
If CHEF were a sandwich, what sandwich would it be?
Lydia: It’s like an Italian fucking sub.
Miles: a deep-dish pizza.
Isaac: I think chef is like turkey pesto with pepper jack, banana peppers and cherry tomatoes.
Miles: No, that’s so fucked. So fucked.
What’s everyone’s background?
(They’re all super talented chol@s!! Sext me for a more detailed version of their backgrounds, or sext me for the sake of sexting) Some cool facts about the group:
Willie: I started saxophone in fourth grade. I did extracurricular jazz bands and sometimes my friend and I would sort of just come up with a group. I’m actually from Middletown so I played a couple venues at Wesleyan when I was little. Like, in 5th grade I would come by Wesleyan and people would throw me a dollar cause I was like 8.
Lydia: Mimi is a Japanese superstar.
Mimi: No, stop!
Miles: as a child voice over star!
Who does what in your band?
Lydia: Isaac’s definitely the primary songwriter at this very moment. We’re trying to make it more of a group effort.
Isaac: It’s a cohesive process, like I’ll bring in material, but the way it gets orchestrated and ultimately plays out and the way the form is…
Lydia: It’s formed by the group. All of our different minds conglomerate together to form this cohesive and unique piece of music. Isaac is the writer and we’re all the collective editors.
Mimi: We’re trying to expand the writing process more so that it’s more of a collective effort.
Lydia: We tend to air our opinions. We sometimes get into heated discussions.
Who would you eat first if CHEF were stuck on a desert island?
Lydia: I would eat myself (Why Lydia!?)
Isaac: I don’t know who it would be, but we would cook them really well.
Anthony: Who would I eat? I’m vegan, I can’t eat anybody, sorry.
Annie: we’ll eat Anthony then.
Anthony: oh yeah, you guys can eat me, that’s fine.
Do you think you guys have changed since you first started, and where do you see CHEF going in the future:
Miles: We’ve started to understand, with a group of 10 people, what we can actually do in terms of instrumentation. We’re still exploring genres; it’s a constant process.
Lydia: We’ve been getting better at, and still are working towards, highlighting the right members of the band at the right time… it’s important to have everybody get their time to shine and have their moments. We’re learning how to refine our music as a band.
Isaac: We realize that not all ten of us have to be playing at the same time.
Lydia: Also, we’re hopefully headlining our own show in April.
Mimi: Or dual headlining.
Isaac: There’s a show in the works to dual headline with Faceplant. We’re going to have a show called Fresh Meat.
Who would your dream date be?
Miles: I’m thinking Norah Jones probably.
Isaac: Watch out Jay-Z, it’s definitely Beyoncé… or Grace Kelly.
Mimi: Justin Timberlake is fine.
Willie: It’s a toss up between Pope Francis and Beyoncé.
Miles: That would be scandalous, dude.
Mimi: Wait, Jimmy Fallon.
Anthony: Jesus Christ
Lydia: Clark Gable
Hj’s or Bj’s
Lydia: Bj’s always!
Annie: Blowjobs forever!
Willie: Blowjobs forever.
Wow CHEF is awesome! You can also check out Mimi’s Japanese superstar career by looking up SMAP.