Q&A Scene: Ben Simpson ~ CHAVEZ CARTEL

Tell us about your new single DeadWeekend? 

It’s a slow burner with a good story about life kicking you around until you stand up to it. By the end you know it’s been stood up to. Big dirty sounds help take the fight up a notch at the end. It’s a battler. 

What’s your favourite work at this point in time?

there’s a song called Coming Around on our upcoming EP that I think best captures everything we’ve worked towards to this point. Great guitar work and great breakdown. We dig it a lot 

How would you describe your sound in food form and why?

I don’t know but I’m hungry now. Thanks for that. 

Tell us a quick, on the road or studio, anecdote.

We did a little bit of a promo tour for the upcoming EP middle of last year and my car has never looked the same since. Tom crashed it into a car park wall after gig number 1 of the tour. The tour was literally a car crash. Only a little one though we were barely moving. Massive dent though. Panel beaters dream. Could probably retire after 

What, or who, inspires you?

In terms of life, my daughter. She’s everything. Watching her conquer and learn each day gets my chest pumped out proud. She makes me wanna be better every day. In terms of making music I get my inspiration from within. Feelings, triggers, my take on life events, my outlook, my opinions. Very self involved writer 😂

Which song do you wish you wrote?

I wish I’d written ‘Fault Line’ by Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. It’s so simple and perfect.

What’s next for you?

Next up for us is we’re supporting The Reytons on their Australian tour next week! They’ve just released a UK number 1 album so this is massive for us then we’re into our our first ever international tour! We’re heading over to UK in May to play some shows and festivals. 

What’s your scene?

Garage rock and leather jackets. 

Liven up your day with a sonic cocktail of hazy guitars, moody melodics, and sultry swagger courtesy of the brand new single Dead Weekend out now from Gold Coast rockers Chavez Cartel.

A track that would equally be at home soundtracking a slick HBO series as much as it appears to unfurl like a shot of single-malt whisky, Dead Weekend finds Chavez Cartel teaming up with ARIA Award-winning producer Govinda Doyle on recording and engineering duties to bring this dark and blazing tune to vivid life. Drawing inspiration from two key hypnotic, slow-burning tracks, Colossus by British rockers IDLES and In Every Dream Home A Heartache by Roxy Music, Dead Weekend also pulsates with nods to Black Rebel Motorcycle Club alongside deep and mature self-exploration, as the band elaborates, Dead Weekend is all about deep self-reflection. It’s about everything we have been through to get us to where we are now – the current version of ourselves. No matter how low we allow ourselves to go in life, it’s always ultimately up to us to pick ourselves back up, and it’s also up to us on how high we are able to climb. Dead Weekend is all about that. And if you’re to look at that notion fully, it’s also up to us how to decide how low we allow ourselves to fall in the first place. Dead Weekend is brutal in its take on self-accountability, but it admits that it’s all part of the act. The title of the song is sort of like a grim way of looking at growing the fuck up and sorting out your life from the pit of the stomach. When we are younger, we tend to live for the weekend, but Dead Weekend is about the stage of life a little later on when we’re looking to live for a lot, lot more.”


Perfectly complementing the sonic flavours on display, the accompanying music video for Dead Weekend is deliciously dark and equally hypnotic. With Nathan Frost helming the clip as director of photography and producer, whose work also extends to music videos for Tory Forsyth and Bad Pony, and film work on Aquaman, Alien Covenant, Pirates of the Caribbean and Thor Ragnarok, the end result is a finely-tuned work of art – but don’t be fooled into thinking it’s a lyric video, as the band explains, “The concept of the video is very much inspired by the concept of the song. We wanted it to be dark, minimalistic, and hypnotic and for it to all be in one place. The idea of keeping the camera up close to Ben’s face throughout means the viewers have nowhere really to look except where we want them to: directly into the eyes and soul of the storyteller, which is essentially what the song is about – looking into the mind and soul through different eyes and moods. There’s a lot of words in the song that suggest really delicate, perhaps desperate, inner dialogue; words like “pray” and “praying”, “fear”, “believing”, “toxic”, “control”, we really wanted the viewer to be right up close to these intensities. There’s lyrics running through the video that could be mistaken for subtitles. This is deliberate. We wanted the viewer to feel like they were being spoken to directly. Almost like a therapy session and the viewer is the therapist interpreting the words in their own way. It’s important they hear the right words which is why we added lyrics into the video – but it’s equally as important they make their own minds up on what we’re actually saying. It’s a mysterious-sounding song to be fair, and this was our attempt at adding that to the visual.” 


Spending the past 12+ months honing their sound and crafting a new batch of music, Dead Weekend is the perfect addition to both 2023 and Chavez Cartel’s ever-growing catalogue. A group equally enamoured by music as they are with art and food, Chavez Cartel, comprised of four self-described “working class dreamers”, firmly embrace the loose acronym for the word “Chavez” with every creative move they make – aka “Can Have it All Very EaZily”. Constantly spurring themselves to surge forward, their relentless hard work has also led to the group working with a UK record label and ultimately, as of this year, ticking off an exciting career first: their first ever overseas tour, with festivals and side shows lined up in the UK this May. And before they trek across the pond, Chavez Cartel will also appear as the main support for UK rockers, and current UK and Ireland #1 Album Chart toppers, The Reytons, with a show in Sydney next month. And as to what fans at home and abroad can expect from a 2023 Chavez Cartel live show. “We try to make sure all our shows have big energy and big sound,” the band conclude, “but we’re really excited by all this it’s our first time being booked overseas so the enthusiasm is through the roof. We don’t really know what to expect…us on steroids, I guess! 

Dead Weekend is out now.



supporting THE REYTONS



Tickets available from www.eventbrite.com.au | All Eventbrite Outlets




Tickets available soon


About Mary Boukouvalas 1593 Articles
Mary is a photographer and a writer, specialising in music. She runs Rocklust.com where she endeavours to capture the passion of music in her photos whether it's live music photography, promotional band photos or portraits. She has photographed The Rolling Stones, KISS, Iggy Pop, AC/DC, Patti Smith, Joe Strummer, PULP, The Cult, The Damned, The Cure, Ian Brown, Interpol, MUDHONEY, The MELVINS, The Living End, Foo Fighters, Smashing Pumpkins, Rage Against The Machine, The Stone Roses –just to name a few - in Australia, USA, Europe and the Middle East. Her work has been published in Beat magazine, Rolling Stone magazine, Triple J magazine, The Age Newspaper, The Herald Sun, The Australian, Neos Kosmos, blistering.com, theaureview.com, noise11.com, music-news.com. She has a permanent photographic exhibition at The Corner Hotel in Richmond, Victoria Australia.