Shortly after announcing their forthcoming album Chip Chrome & The Mono-Tones, The Neighbourhood have returned with a new song and video from the project. “Devil’s Advocate” finds Chip Chrome fully adorned in leather heading west towards the desert.
Jesse Rutherford on “The Devil’s Advocate:”
“It’s about getting back to being a simple man rather than trying to chase a designer brand,” he says. “I’m attracted to designer stuff, diamonds, and the good life, but there’s nothing like finding greatness in the simple things.”
Chip Chrome & The Mono-Tones is out September 25th via Columbia Records. The album is the follow-up to their 2018 release, Hard To Imagine The Neighbourhood Ever Changing, and finds the band fully transformed into the album’s title characters with Jesse Rutherford serving as Chip Chrome and the rest of the band as The Mono-Tones. Initially introduced in 2019’s “Middle of Somewhere” video, Chip Chrome and The Mono-Tones quickly became a vessel for inspiration and a tangible extension of the next stage of The Neighbourhood, the characters allowing for a new evolution of their sound and artistry.
“I wanted to speak in a different way with music,” explains Jesse. “At the end of the day, I’ve been trying to figure out what it really means. Sometimes, it’s hard for me to put it into words-even though it’s supposed to be my job with the lyrics. Chip helped me find that voice. He’s the best leader I could be for this project, for the boys, and for my friends. The Mono-Tones are the voices in my head that are always there. They can be a bit haunting and keep me up at night, but I trust their taste. In the same way I want to make the guys happy, I want to make the fans happy. To do that, I shut everything out, sat alone, found what makes me happy, and discovered my voice. The funny thing is it takes the piss out of being so serious. I don’t want to be brooding. A lot of these songs are based on major chords, so it might be a happier version of The Neighbourhood.”
Chip Chrome has always been somewhere behind-the-scenes as The Neighbourhood rose to prominence. Since 2011, the Southern California quintet – Jesse, Zach [guitar], Jeremy [guitar], Mikey [bass], and Brandon [drums] – have collaborated with everyone from YG to Denzel Curry and graced the stages of top festivals such as Coachella and late-night television, including Jimmy Kimmel LIVE.
“We had success with ‘Sweater Weather,’ but then I always got stuck in my head and thought, ‘How can I do it again?,'” Jesse admits. “I didn’t want to do that this time; I wanted to do something totally new. We had a plan to do the music video for ‘Middle of Somewhere,’ and I showed up in silver spandex and paint! To my surprise, it was the best move I could’ve made with the band, because they ended up liking how whacky and interesting it was. In the process, I still got to do the most Jesse thing possible. Chip was a way for me to say, ‘I’m going to do me. You’re not going to stop me’.”
At the top of 2020, he unplugged himself and plugged into Chip. As Jesse puts it, he “got off the internet, picked up a guitar, played it until [his] fingers bled, and learned how to write songs in a new way.”
“I think Chip was really about saying, ‘We don’t know what’s going to happen, but you’re never going to know what to expect from us, because we might switch it up’,” he leaves off. “At the end of the day, this is an art project. It’s supposed to be fun. I feel like the boys and I are closer than ever. It’s amazing we get to live this life of music together. If we still get to have a voice in the world, we’re going to use it. Chip Chrome & The Mono-Tones helped define my voice. The more I hear it, the more I think, ‘This is totally a Neighbourhood record’.”