PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — While many were digesting or shopping, there was a rock show blazing through the windows of Electric Factory in Philadelphia.
Local favorites Circa Survive and Balance and Composure were joined by the hard-charging Thrice and the progressive jams of CHON for the first of two nights at the venue.
For CHON, a mostly instrumental band, their lush and intricate sound tapestries in odd time signatures has earned them the label of ‘math rock’. It’s a category that guitarist Mario Camarena doesn’t completely understand.
“I don’t really listen to a lot of math rock or anything. I first heard about it because people called us math rock” he explained from the band’s bus before the show. “The name’s pretty funny though.”
“I feel like music these days is so diverse. Each artist has such a diverse sound. We have straight up trap songs, we have chill jazz songs, we have songs that sound like they could be from a metal band or something. I think a lot of new artists are like that, so it’s way harder to describe our sound in a couple words. I usually just say rock.”
CHON’s brand of rock won over the crowd Friday night. In between the aggressive fury of the other acts, that’s no small feat for technically sound instrumental artists. It’s a testament to them in an era of short attention spans that a band built on proficiency and not hooks has gained their level of success.
“I feel like no matter what kind of music you do, if you do it in a real way, people will connect to it” says Camarena. “For some reason more people started getting into this style of music lately.”
“The first like four years we were a band, we had no fans. Played so many shows in San Diego to no one” he remembers. “Every time we would talk to someone about it, they would be like, when are you getting a vocalist? Why don’t you have singing? But now that’s not even a question anymore.”
We had a chance to talk with CHON more before their first night at Electric Factory. To hear the full interview, listen above or click here.