The Chain Gang Of 1974 are no longer afraid to make pop-oriented music on their forthcoming new album, FELT, evident on the new single, “Wallflowers,” which is premiering below.
Kamtin “Kam” Mohager, who joined 3OH!3 as their touring bassist in 2008 until 2010, is the mastermind behind the Chain Gang Of 1974. FELT is their third album, preceded by Wayward Fire and Daydream Forever.
“When comparing the creation of FELT to my other records, this was a much more exhausting experience,” Mohager says. “I knew that in order for Chain Gang of 1974 to continue, I had to begin exploring new sounds, and to push my boundaries even further. I wanted to present a more polished sound, but I had to stop being afraid of pop music for that to happen.”
In between albums, Mohager worked on external writing, during which he found “beauty in a universal melody.”
“I began to find pleasure in a chord progression that unites big crowds,” Mohager says. “From there, I felt more at ease incorporating these new found skills into the way I write songs for my band. As long as the song has a bit of an 'X-Factor' to it, I am now no longer afraid of creating more pop-oriented music.”
FELT is produced by the Naked And Famous' Thom Powers. The two parties met while on tour in 2012, but their relationship didn't blossom until a few years later.
“He was the perfect producer for this album.”
“He reached out on a very humble level, and we ended up hanging out more,” Mohager says. “One night back in 2015, I told him that I had been writing Chain Gang songs again and that I'd love to play the material for him. We decided to book a writing/recording day later that week, and had a finished song within a few hours After that, I knew that he had to produce the album and help me write these ideas that I had in my head.
“We spent about a year writing the album together before going into the studio to complete it. He was a key factor in pushing me to be more confident with my songwriting. Even to the point where he encouraged me to start taking vocal lessons and learning more about my craft. He was the perfect producer for this album.”
The Chain Gang Of 1974 just hopped off tour with the legends in AFI.
“Touring with AFI was an absolutely honor,” Mohager says. “To have been asked to support a band that has not only done so much for the punk scene, but also for my own personal musical path, was something that I truly never believed would happen. They were so kind and treated us with such respect. I still have a hard time believing that it actually happened.
“It's obvious that our sounds aren't too similar to one another. I knew going into the tour that it we would have to work even harder on stage to try and win over their fans. It was a challenge at times, but overall, was the best thing that could've ever happened. It turned me into a stronger performer. I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.”
The previous single from the album, “Slow,” has a video that features Tears For Fears' Curt Smith.
Mohager says FELT touches on a wide range of emotions.
“Songs of love, heartbreak, infidelity, addiction, death, family,” Mohager says of the album. “Now being in my early 30's, I wanted to discuss the feelings of my past.”
On “Wallflowers,” Mohager says: “'Wallflowers' came from this idea I had of two people only being able to be with each other in their dreams. While awake, they are forced to be separate. But in their dreams, they're able to travel to one another and live in a made up world. A fantasy land of sorts.”
“I believe that FELT sounds exactly like what Chain Gang Of 1974 is supposed to sound like.”
You can preorder FELT here. It releases June 23 via Caroline Records.
“After 10 years of having this project, I believe that FELT sounds exactly like what Chain Gang Of 1974 is supposed to sound like. I have always been a believer in progression, and I have always made it a point that every record of mine has something different to offer. This is the first one for me that is the perfect blend of honesty and accessibility.
“These songs represent me as a human being. They're as honest than anything I have ever done in the past.”
Here's the new single, “Wallflowers”: