After spending a short time away from music, Chil returned to the public eye on September 27th with a new release and tribute show for their bandmate and longtime friend.
Composed of brothers Nick and Ben Batton, Chil is a familiar name to the Kent State community.
“We’ve all had a really big connection with Northeast Ohio, Ian was from Painesville but we all ended up at Kent State, so we all share that common culture. I’m not so sure it influences the music directly, but I think the community around it provides a shared ideology,” said drummer Ben Batton.
However, being from this region does come with some complications.
“Being from the Kent and Akron area is an odd thing because it’s not like Nashville or New York or Los Angeles, it’s its own little scene in itself,” Nick said. “We came up watching other bands like The Black Keys, Made Marriot, Strange Familiar, they’re all these bands that had to ‘pop the bubble’ and jump onto larger scene. We’re looking at these guys as role models for marketing and advertising, studios they’ve been in and connections, it drives us to do bigger things than this area provides.”
In their quest to pop the bubble themselves, the band found themselves recording three new singles with renowned producer Al Groves in England, who is known for working with the likes of Arctic Monkeys, Oasis, Bring Me The Horizon and The 1975.
“It was a lot of pressure in that room with all those gold and platinum records on the wall. They put some plants in there to calm us down,” Ben joked. “We’re really happy with the product though - Al Groves is a super cool guy. I think we all had a really good time in England, so we’re happy to share some of the stuff we created there.”
The first of three singles released from that session is “Gold Skies / NYC” a song that according to Nick, has been in a work in progress for some time.
“To be able to put it out finally was like ‘oh my gosh we’ve been working on this song for two years’ and to finally have it out is so exciting for the both of us. It took us a while to figure out how we were gonna go record and do this project, and as everything came together things went really smooth.”
The single’s release was in line with a special concert for the band, as well as their friends and family. The show at Musica in Akron was a tribute show for Ian Minnick, who passed away earlier this year.
“Tonight’s show is a statement - rather than capping off the end of an era with Ian, it’s the start of an era that’s for him.”
Ian had been a part of the band since 2012. His personality, as well as incredible hair, left an impact on his bandmates that will last a lifetime.
“Tonight is a way that Ben and I can pay tribute to Ian and all the work he did in the band. This show’s for him. He wrote and recorded the new songs with us… Ian’s been really influential to the band in our creative process, our ambitions, what we’re meant to be as musicians and what our life path has been. I just want to do everything I can to fulfill what he found what was most important in his life.”
While things have been quiet, the band has been planning what their next moves are.
“There’s plenty of stuff in the works for the remainder of the year, especially for the beginning of next year. We’ve got some pretty cool ideas as far as promotion and the next steps. Over the next month and a half here we’re going to be rolling out a bunch more announcements.”
“There’s another song that we recorded in England that we’ll be releasing in the near future. I think at the time we all agreed was Ian’s best work - I’m really excited to share that.”
You can find Chil’s music on all streaming platforms.
The Minnick family founded the Ian Minnick Memorial Scholarship in Ian’s memory. Consider giving their facebook page a visit for more information on the fund and how to donate.