Having recently released their third full-length album under the moniker The Chain Gang of 1974 FELT, Kamtin Mohager never ceases to amaze music lovers and fans all around the world. The project’s synth-heavy surrealism has evolved over the years, which allows Mohager to continue finding new ways to keep us entertained.
Today, Ghettoblaster is excited to premiere The Chain Gang of 1974’s sleek remix of the single “Wallflowers”.
We caught up with Monhager recently to discuss his inspiration to get into music, how the process of FELT came along, among other topics. Here’s what he had to say.
Tears for Fears single “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” ultimately pushed you to go into music. What was so influential about the song?
To simply put it…It’s the greatest song ever written.
While touring with The Naked and Famous back in 2015, you and Powers connected over a sense of “artistic uncertainty”. What did you mean by that?
Thom and I are both passionate people. At the time of him and I really becoming friends, I was in the middle of a major falling out with a girl who I really wasn’t supposed to have relations with. For the one time in my life, I was “The Other Guy.” And I was t happy about that and myself. Those feelings ultimately led me to having the desire to find myself. I know that sounds a bit cliche, but it helped me to ask myself certain questions about my songwriting. Thom was also going through some personal things in his life at that time. I think the creation of FELT was a good push in the right direction for us both. Our lives needed that.
Working with Powers, what did you learn about yourself?
Thom is in a league of his own. Talk about a true professional. I have had my own way of writing songs for so long, and my stubbornness prevented me from wanting to learn new ways. Between the time of supporting my album Daydream Forever to the start of the writing process for FELT, I began working in the writing world. I ended writing and releasing songs for more Pop oriented artists. I feel like I really learned a lot during that time, and it allowed me to be prepared for writing with Thom. My experience with him only helped my craft.
The overall process when putting FELT was rather exhausting for the band. Why was it more difficult than previous releases?
The actual process wasn’t too exhausting. It did take longer, but that was only due to schedules. The process itself was quite refreshing and entertaining. The reason why it took so long to see the light of day was because we had to find a new record label. My past effort was released via Warner Bros., and we had a big falling out. They weren’t the best label to be signed to, so I fought to get out of the deal. My team and I knew we didn’t want to have another experience with this new record, so we took our time finding the right partner.
With the lyrical content of FELT centering the constant evolution of yourself, did you find it easier to allow yourself to be more open?
My lyrics have always been extremely open. Sometimes I feel a bit insecure about that. Like, maybe I had given away too much? For FELT I had new experiences to talk about. I have always been drawn to bands who have brutally honest lyrics. So perhaps I take a lot of influence from them.
The video for “Wallflowers” is a beautifully-made documentary of two young lovers that face adversity. How did this concept come about?
I made the decision to be more unattached from the treatment. I felt that it could be healthy for me to allow someone to take over the artistic vision of the video. I have been friends with the director Isaac Ravishankara for many years and we have always wanted to do something together. Thought I may not have been 100% comfortable with the idea at first, I was drawn to the originality of the concept. At the end of the day, I’m happy that we got away with doing something different.
Are you wanting to do more videos like “Wallflower” in the future?
I’m not too sure. I am a fan of the performance videos, so that may have been a one time thing for me.
“Wallflowers (MONSOONS Remix)” offers listeners a much breezier sound than the original. Why do an alternate version of the deeply moving song?
Different perspective. That’s the beautiful thing about music. I may hear it one way in my head, but someone else can hear and create it in a completely different way.
I saw that the band doesn’t have any tour dates coming up. What’s the future looking like for you?
The future is unpredictable and I find that beautiful. As of right now, touring is not a priority for this band. I’m sure some shows will pop up here and there, but being home and working on music seems to be making my heart very happy.
FELT is available now via Caroline Records.
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