Despite more than 400 shows on its roster since its inception four years ago, Atlanta’s three-piece Chew consistently delivers a high-energy live performance laden with spacey psychedelic instrumental sounds that reverb off the walls and straight into your brain. Cofounders of the hard-hitting band are Brett Reagan (guitar/electronics) and Sarah “Snare-Uh” Wilson (drums), who played together in another outfit years ago and quickly bonded over similar tastes in music and a shared ache to tour.
“As soon as we had four songs together, we immediately started touring… and would say yes to every single gig,” Reagan explains. “We had hour sets and would have 20 minutes to improvise our way out of it.” Now, after two releases, the latest the 2017 album A Fine Accoutrement, the bandmates have reached many important milestones — such as touring through Europe, playing Bonnaroo, and signing with Stolen Body Records — but they’re ready for more.
Reagan and Wilson, alongside their current bassist, whom they like to call “Young Jamie,” understand their goals will be reached only by hard work. “We are definitely DIY… We book all the shows, promote [them], and are pretty much our own management company,” Wilson says. “This year, I want us to play more festivals… do the West Coast, Europe, and [release] the new record.” They’re recording their upcoming album, Darque Tan, before hitting the road again on their Mind Abduction tour.
Beyond the DIY mentality and impressive tour roster, what truly makes Chew stand out are its unfiltered performances onstage. Purely instrumental, the music takes the audience on a psychedelic ride led by Wilson’s wild rhythms, which are beautifully complemented by Reagan’s guitar and synth riffs.
The absence of a vocalist might seem strange, but it looks and sounds natural with Chew. “One thing I’ve always thought was important is to always make people feel something and create an experience,” Wilson says. Of course, only the right equipment can create such a full sound onstage. Reagan uses a Roland SP-404 sampler and a plethora of pedals.
Having played at Churchill’s Pub, Miami Psych Fest, and Kill Your Idol, the bandmates are excited to perform in Miami and experience the scene again. Many of the songs they’ll play will be from the new album, so even if you’ve seen Chew before, you’re guaranteed fresh music straight to the face.
Chew. With Pleasures and Glass Body. 9 p.m. Sunday, January 20, at Gramps, 174 NW 24th St., Miami; 305-699-2669; gramps.com. Tickets cost $10 at the door.