Lineup changes among bands aren’t all too uncommon an occurrence, but it’s worth noting the rare occasion that bands swap out a singer—especially when the new singer was the voice of an established Milwaukee band for the last decade.
When veteran shoegazers Disguised As Birds went on an indefinite hiatus this winter (before releasing their tremendous We Buy Gold EP in January), rockers Hot Coffin sought the singing services of Birds’ vocalist Chris Chuzles to boost the band after it parted ways with singer and local filmmaker Sean Williamson, who sang on the band’s debut—and only—album, 2013’s LAW.
While Chuzles attempted a pre-existing song once in rehearsal, complete abandonment of Hot Coffin’s material to this point is likely.
“For me to do what Sean did is a challenge,” Chuzles says. “I can’t do everything that he did. We have two completely different ranges, so if anything, the old material would be re-tooled.”
The new model Coffin has already recorded three songs with Shane Olivo at Bobby Peru Recording, with hopes of completing a full-length this summer.
“The writing process is unbelievably fast,” Chuzles says. “None of the new songs sound alike. I think it’s darker.”
Hopefully the writing process is fast enough to fill an opening set for Hot Coffin’s return show, June 27 at Cactus Club with TILTS (members of Torche and Riddle Of Steel) and Haymarket Riot. With a roster that has roots in Red Knife Lottery, The Response, Sincebyman, Whips, Fever Marlene, and now Disguised As Birds, it shouldn’t be tough.