After going triple platinum in Europe for “In Your Arms” on recent album Passing Through, Chef’Special has been creating a lot of buzz internationally.
Joshua and Jan sat down with us to talk about Chef’Special’s funk filled humble beginnings. Before their popularity bloom, the band was driving across Europe, hitting surf camps just to get a place to stay while they performed. That reality has grounded their style, as they dig for inspiration from Tom Waits to Mos Def, Chef’Special stays blending their various music loves into a single sweet product.
How did you guys meet?
Joshua: I had just ended things with the band I had before and I was looking to make things a little more serious. So I met Jan who is also from the Holland music scene where we grew up. And I loved him as a drummer so I asked, “are you down for a new project”? He was like yea sure, but he already had a thing going on with our current key player named. They have been playing together for a long time so he was on board. He was a great musician and key player and was studying in Rotterdam, playing with Jan the bass player. Once we stared jamming together it felt right so we bought a van and went out touring. We took a long road trip on the west coast of Europe through a bunch of surf camps. We did a lot of shows whether it was for a place to stay, or some beer, and it was a great first trip to get to know each other musically. We didn’t have any songs, we just jammed and songs emerged from that. We had a lot of fun and thought “hey we have a good vibe together so let’s do this for real.”
How did you guys get the name Chef’Special?
Joshua: There are a lot of different stories for that, but the story we go with is pretty interesting. Finding a name for your band is probably one of the hardest things to figure out when you’re just starting to get your things together. We were already playing shows and stuff but didn’t really have a name. So we decided to go out to a restaurant and at some point and time the waitress came by and she showed us the menu and ended with “The Chef’s special tonight is…” and that is when we knew we were destined to be called Chef’Special.
Who are some of your influences? I’ve heard that you guys pull from a lot of different genres for inspiration.
Joshua: I mean, you can hear in our music that we do a lot of different styles. We actually started out as a Hip Hop / Funk band, almost rage against the machine like. We used to lay down a groove, build on it, and that would lead to a lot more rapping. Now, we’re back with more…well trying to sing. There are a few artists that we all love like Bob Marley, Tom Waits, Jimi Hendrix. I’m a big fan of Mos Def and Lauryn Hill.
Who wrote the song “In Your Arms”?
Joshua: A combination between me and Guido, our guitar player. We were writing and recording in Brooklyn, New York. The producers had told us we were done writing songs and were going to focus on tracking. Later that day Guido played those chords that go with, “From the day that I met you I stopped feeling afraid“. That little bit really killed me, but we went on working on our other stuff. Later I woke up with that song in my head and the thing was…I was trying to write a song for a long time for my dad who passed away and I failed a lot of times. I gave up and figured I just have to wait until it comes to me. That night it came to me when I was sitting in the car watching the rain. The next day I showed it to the guys; they said this is really nice let’s record it. That’s how the song was born.
If you could do a feature with any artist in the world who would it be and Why?
Joshua: I always wanted to do a thing with Amy Winehouse, but that’s just me I can’t speak for all of us. She had the best voice of this generation of pop artists. It’s all because of that great voice, and she made awesome songs.
Jan: Well we all listen to different things, and I’ve been listening to a lot of Run The Jewels. I’m a big fan and just love Killer Mike’s voice. I’d be honored if we could just muster up something with him. We kind of go all over the place style wise.
Chef’Special will begin touring in the United States starting in May as the opening act for Twenty One Pilots and have already sold out many of their venues, so if you haven’t already go check them out!
NORTH AMERICA 2016
ALL DATES SUPPORTING TWENTY ONE PILOTS’ “EMØTIØNAL RØADSHØW” TOUR
31 Cincinnati, OH US Bank Arena – SOLD OUT
1 Pittsburgh, PA Stage AE – SOLD OUT
3 Clarkston, MI DTE Energy Music – SOLD OUT
4 Grand Rapids, MI Van Andel Arena – SOLD OUT
5 Rosemont, IL Allstate Arena – SOLD OUT
7 Toronto, ON Molson Canadian Amphitheatre
8 Cleveland, OH Wolstein Center at Cleveland State University – SOLD OUT
10 Columbia, MD Merriweather Post Pavilion
11 Camden, NJ Susquehanna Bank Center – Radio 104.5 Birthday Celebration – SOLD OUT
12 Portsmouth, VA Portsmouth Pavilion – SOLD OUT
14 Boston, MA Agganis Arena – SOLD OUT
15 Boston, MA Agganis Arena – SOLD OUT
17 Uncasville, CT Mohegan Sun Arena – SOLD OUT
18 Gilford, NH Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion
19 Hershey, PA Hersheypark Stadium
21 Buffalo, NY Canalside – SOLD OUT
28 Charlotte, NC Uptown Amphitheatre @ The Music Factory – SOLD OUT
29 Raleigh, NC The Red Hat Amphitheater – SOLD OUT
1 Orlando, FL Amway Center – SOLD OUT
2 Sunrise, FL BB&T Center
3 St. Augustine, FL St. Augustine Amphitheatre – SOLD OUT
5 The Woodlands, TX Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
6 Austin, TX Austin360 Amphitheater – SOLD OUT
8 Allen, TX Allen Event Center – SOLD OUT
9 Oklahoma City, OK Zoo Amphitheatre – SOLD OUT
10 Kansas City, MO Sprint Center
12 Morrison, CO Red Rocks Amphitheatre – SOLD OUT
13 Morrison, CO Red Rocks Amphitheatre – SOLD OUT
15 Las Vegas, NV The Joint – SOLD OUT
16 Salt Lake City, UT EnergySolutions Arena – SOLD OUT
18 Seattle, WA WaMu Theater – SOLD OUT
19 Portland, OR Moda Center
21 Berkeley, CA Greek Theatre – SOLD OUT
22 Berkeley, CA Greek Theatre – SOLD OUT
23 Los Angeles, CA The LA Forum – SOLD OUT
24 San Diego, CA Viejas Arena – SOLD OUT
26 Phoenix, AZ Talking Stick Resort Arena – SOLD OUT
28 Lincoln, NE Pinewood Bowl Amphitheater – SOLD OUT
29 St. Paul, MN Xcel Energy Center
30 Milwaukee, WI BMO Harris Pavilion – SOLD OUT
31 Indianapolis, IN Bankers Life Fieldhouse – SOLD OUT
2 St. Louis, MO Scottrade Center
3 Rogers, AR Walmart Arkansas Music Pavilion
5 Orange Beach, AL The Amphitheater at the Wharf
6 Duluth, GA Infinite Energy Center – SOLD OUT
7 Nashville, TN Ascend Amphitheater – SOLD OUT
10 New York, NY Madison Square Garden – SOLD OUT
11 New York, NY Madison Square Garden – SOLD OUT