When I try to explain the psyche rock outfit CHALAXY to people, I describe them as the guy in a sequined kimono who dropped a couple hits of acid and crashed a party where everyone else is sporting flannel and skinny jeans and drinking PBR.
CHALAXY combines a dreamy ambience with trippy guitar riffs, lots of layered vocals and an atmosphere that melts out of the neon colored amps it’s played through and saturates the room with magic that makes you want to shake it. Influenced by the likes of the Flaming Lips and My Morning Jacket, the guys in CHALAXY playfully experiment with audio samples, synth and percussion to create a unique musical experience. Perhaps the most alluring thing about CHALAXY is the live shows, which are difficult to describe because they are different each go round. CHALAXY gives a wildly energetic performance that may very likely feature led hula hoopers, glitter, confetti, Taylor’s signature red face paint, a mesmerizing light show and/or neon glow tape stuck on every thing, and if you’re really lucky you’ll catch friends of CHALAXY onstage dressed in giant vegetable costumes shooting streamers at you out of a leaf blower. At the very least, you can expect to be fully entertained.
On one of my most recent and, naturally, entertaining encounters with the band, front man Taylor Cole asked if I would come shoot behind the scene photos at CHALAXY’s latest video shoot, which enticed me since I’ve wanted to photograph the band since I heard about them almost a year ago. I pulled up to an old empty warehouse to find all the guys inside, covered (literally) from head to toe in dirt and cobwebs, sitting on the ground sorting piles and piles of glow sticks; 1000 glowing lights to be nitpicky. Taylor enthusiastically briefed me on the plan which involved hanging each of glow sticks one by one from the ceiling by tying them to impossibly thin and all but invisible pieces of fishing line of alternating lengths on both sides of a long tunnel to create a floating double helix effect when you went through it. And just as quickly as the clear as mud plan was explained to me, I found myself on the ground with the rest of the band, covered in dirt and cursing at thread for being so darn difficult to keep tied in a solid knot. I don’t remember much of the next five hours, I think I entered some sort of black hole of where time is tossed to the wayside, but I when I finally peaked at my phone, I realized I was very late to cover another show, and that I also hadn’t gotten a single picture of the band that day. The real magic happened the next day when I came back for the actual filming and watched the guys finally get to crack every last one of those glow sticks. It was a moment of sheer revelry for everyone involved. One comparable to that time Clark Griswald saw his Christmas lights lit up for the first time.
Without farther ado, here’s the premiere of CHALAXY’s new video for “Shere Khan.”