- Join Bony Chanterelle members (from left) Devrett Gupta, Jake Satathite and Chris Fraser at Spoken Moto on 5/25 as they release their debut album.
The name of Bony Chanterelle's debut album, "This Can't End Now," accurately describes my interview with the trio last weekend. I can definitely say I've never had more fun interviewing a band. Seriously, I didn't want it to end. The Bend-based group blends folk, dream pop and surf rock with honest songwriting about things we can all relate to, including love, family and politics.
Bony Chanterelle, which features Chris Fraser on guitar and vocals, Devrett Gupta on bass and Jake Satathite on drums, takes its name from a suggestion by Fraser's sister.
"I said we're looking for a band name and gave her a list of our ideas," Fraser says. "She straight up said no to all of them and said to give her some time. She texted me the next day and said 'Bony Chanterelle.' She knows I've always been into mushroom foraging."
Fraser and Satathite met several years ago when Fraser took over Satathite's room in a house on the west side of Bend. At the time, Fraser and Gupta played together in a band called The Chinups. They'd talked about starting a new project, so they recruited Satathite as the drummer.
While each of the guys have been in bands before, this is the first time any of them have been in a band releasing an album—and it's been a long time coming. Last winter, the band attempted recording material in a studio, but after dealing with the insane snowstorms and a spotty studio schedule, they realized they weren't quite ready to record. They recorded four or five songs, which they used to help get gigs.
"We learned a lot from that first recording experience," Satathite says. "We've been really good about progressing and trying to be better musicians and live players. When we have a show coming up here, we work really hard with that goal in mind. Having notes from the last studio time, we realized, we thought we were ready for the studio and we weren't. It gets in your head and it worked out a lot better this time."
The band's debut album, "This Can't End Now," takes its name from a line in the song "Cat and Mouse," one of the standouts on the album. The song echoes, "This can't end now, a cat and mouse game."
"Essentially, it's politics I'm talking about," Fraser says. "Everyday life, it's a cat and mouse game; you never want it to end. It's kind of beautiful in a way, too, just saying none of this can end now as long as you're in the right mind space."
The band says they often have conversations about what's next. Over the last year, they've saved up earnings from their gigs, using the money to pay for studio time. They met their short-term goal of recording an album and now say they'll take the band's future as it comes, naturally.
"We want to continue to have fun," Satathite says of the future. "If we stop having fun, then it's not worth it anymore. We strive to put on a good show, but I think we're doing it more for ourselves."
To that, Fraser adds, "The fun part of it is meeting other musicians and playing with other musicians," he says. "Whether you thought it was inspirational or cool at first, it's really cool to play with other people. People are actually at our shows and having fun. That fuels my fun for the band."
And on planning for the future?
"I think we are all willing to give up our lives in Bend if this was to blow up," Gupta says. "If we get a tour, we're ready to go. None of us have kids yet or major responsibilities. We can totally do it and I think we should. "