The Chats’ Eamon Sandwith on writing on the road, playing for Foo Fighters, and their upcoming Bargain Bin Tour

Known for their unbridled energy and cheeky lyricism, The Chats have been making waves in the music scene since the explosive release of their viral hit “Smoko” in 2017. Far from resting on their laurels, the boys have continued to make their mark on the Aussie music scene with hits such as “Pub Feed“, and their 2022 album Get F****dThey’re about to embark on their Bargain Bin Tour, kicking off Feb 9th, and they’re bringing some mates along for the ride. Mean Jeans, The Prize, Ghoulies, The Unknowns and Boondall Boys will join The Chats at various shows across the tour, with each show featuring 4-6 bands in total. I got to sit down with Eamon Sandwith to chat about writing on the road, playing for Foo Fighters, and future plans.

You guys have your Aussie tour coming up and you’re bringing heaps of friends along. What can you tell me about it?

Yeah, you kind of just summed it up. We’ve got an Australian tour and a bunch of our mates are coming along. It’s called the Bargain Bin Tour, which is our record label. Pretty much all the bands on the tour have released stuff with Bargain Bin before, so it’s going to be a big party full of mates.

There’s a couple venues where we can use two stages, so that’s going to be really cool. It’ll be like a mini festival of at most six bands, at least four.

Back in December you had the amazing opportunity to open up for Foo Fighters at their biggest ever Aussie headline show. How did that come about and what was it like?

He [Dave] seemed like he liked us! He kept coming in and having beers with us and talking about music and stuff. Yeah, it was awesome. It was really cool to get to play with them, I’ve loved the Foo Fighters since I was like a kid so that was a really cool experience to get to do that. I know a lot of people say this, but one of the nicest bands ever. Everyone was just so kind and willing to have a chat. No one was too cool for you or anything.

How do you balance the demands of being on the road with the creative process?

That’s a good one! On the last tour, I was writing a little bit on the road, but it’s not really something I’ve done in the past. Not because I’d not wanted to, because I just never really had the time to. It seems like you’re always doing something. On that last tour we were touring with Queens of the Stone Age and they would do a couple shows and then have a day off. So we had a bunch of down time. That was good to be able to write some songs. Me and Josh are always writing stuff so when we get back home we’ll hang out and be like “oh check this out, what do you reckon of this?”

You guys have a reputation for being a little bit cheeky, do you feel pressure to maintain that when writing new music or do you feel like you have the freedom to explore a more serious side?

Yeah, I feel a bit, you know, less put in a box these days. I mean, the last record had some kind of serious songs on there- not like ‘climate change’ serious, but like mental health stuff and having falling outs with friends, just that kind of stuff, you know. I think we’ll always have that kind of sense of humour in what we do but I think there’s a line between being like a- I don’t know what the word is- like a joker. I do want people to like the songs but I know that there’s people who think that we’re just taking the piss or whatever, but people do like us.

Do you notice any unique differences between playing overseas vs. an Aussie show?

They all they always seem a bit younger because in the States their shows are like 14+, 16+, so there’s always like a bunch of kids there having fun, which is cool. I kind of put it down to like a population thing, but there’s just more of an audience for the kind of music that we play over there. I think they get it a little bit more. I think they get the influences of where that music that we play originated from, you know, like on the West Coast. So I think they get where we’re coming from and I think they kind of like the whole Australian thing too. Sometimes you talk to kids and they’re like, “can you call me a C word or whatever?”

What else do The Chats have planned for the rest of the year so far?

We’ve consciously kind of not made a whole heap of touring plans because we’re working on a record. So we’re going to go and do that States run in May. We’ve got a couple of festivals in July in Europe, but I think only a couple, like two. And then we’re going to go back over there in November and do a tour in UK, Europe. So, yeah, it gives us a bunch of time to muck around and try some stuff out.

The Bargain Bin Tour will kick off on Feb 9th in Maroochydore, and will see the band playing eleven different venues across regional Australia, as well as hitting some capital cities. If you want to have a guaranteed good time, snag some tickets to the Bargain Bin Tour HERE.