With the approach of autumn, Brooklyn’s Chumped is offering the perfect song to complete any farewell-to-summer playlists. As frontwoman Anika Pyle explains it, “‘Hot 97 Summer Jam’ tells the story of falling in love very fleetingly over the course of the summer season.” With a catchy pop-punk melody providing the backdrop for Pyle’s youthful voice, the song oozes with nostalgia for summer love while channeling ’90s-era anthemic punk.
Citing bands like Superchunk and Jawbreaker as two of their influences, the self-described “bummer punk” band, which also includes Drew Johnson (guitar), Doug McKeever (bass), and Dan Frelly (drums), has been performing together for almost two years. With plans to release its debut LP Teenage Retirement on November 28 and upcoming appearances at Riot Fest Chicago and The Fest, Chumped are in for a busy fall and aiming to grow their fanbase beyond New York City’s limits.
In the meantime, Chumped will release an EP, That’s The Thing Is Like…, on September 9 to give fans a glimpse of what’s to come. We chatted with Chumped about their forthcoming debut, their favorite summer jams, and their latest EP’s addicting new single [below].
MELANIE GARDINER: What’s the backstory on “Hot 97 Summer Jam”?
ANIKA PYLE: Dan wrote the guitar part for the song and we were all like, “This is awesome, let’s play this.” The meaning behind the lyrics was just to have a fun and summery kind of song. It’s about feeling really strongly about a connection and then watching it go away, as summer flings do. You try to grasp it, but it’s always going to slip away from you.
GARDINER: I love the title Teenage Retirement. What sort of themes do you guys explore on this album?
PYLE: It’s like “Forever Young” for punks, essentially. It explores those darker things, like watching people get old, seasons getting away from you and people you love dying, but at the same time, it discusses holding onto what makes being young so fun and trying to retire in that. There are a lot of songs about aging and coping with getting older and grappling with the nostalgia of watching your youth run away from you. But there’s also stuff about trying to hold onto what makes you feel young, because that’s so important for enjoying your life.
DREW JOHNSON: I also think it’s a double entendre in the sense that it’s about trying to hold onto that point in time in your life but also the acceptance of it maybe being time to retire a lot of these feelings or ideas and start to develop as an individual and hopefully progress and move on.
GARDINER: After playing The Fest and Riot Fest Chicago, you’re going on tour with PUP. How pumped are you for that?
JOHNSON: I think I speak for all of us when I say that we are incredibly stoked to be going on tour with those Flying Canucks. We actually played a show with them before and it was probably the worst show we’ve ever played in our entire lives.
GARDINER: Oh no! Why?
JOHNSON: There was a multitude of reasons, but in essence, we got asked to play this showcase for this label super last minute. One of the bands dropped off, and the promoter asked us if we wanted to play, even though we had nothing to do with the label. It turns out none of the bands actually had anything to do with the label except for the band that dropped off. We also got asked if we minded headlining. So we ended up headlining the show that got announced with us on it and there were like seven people in the room, four of which were the dudes of PUP. But we bonded with them, they were awesome, they’ve done amazing stuff, their record is great, and we’re very excited to be rocking with those dudes.
GARDINER: I saw a cover you did of Ke$ha’s “Die Young” on YouTube. What made you choose that song?
PYLE: That took a lot of teeth-pulling. I really wanted to cover a Ke$ha song and I figured out how to only play 30 seconds of that song in front of another song of ours and it fit so well that I convinced the dudes it would be a good idea.
JOHNSON: We weren’t so on board with doing a full “Die Young” cover, but when we found out it was in the same key and we could just blend it with our song, it was a no-brainer.
DOUG MCKEEVER: It’s such a great song too. You couldn’t ever go wrong with a huge pop song like that.
DAN FRELLY: We were just fucking around at practice with it for so long.
PYLE: We haven’t agreed on anything else to cover since.
GARDINER: You gave fans a great summer song with “Hot 97 Sumer Jam,” but what jams have you been digging this summer?
FRELLY: The new Joyce Manor record is really good. I’ve been listening to it a lot. It’s a crucial summer jam.
MCKEEVER: I’ve been listening to the Adult Swim single series that they put out a lot. The new Diarrhea Planet song is a jammer on that. They’re all summer jams if you want them to be.
JOHNSON: joyride! from San Francisco are seriously awesome, and their new record is great. They just put it out on their Bandcamp. And there’s this band from Brooklyn called Adult Dude that released an EP and it’s super solid. Our first tour we ever did was actually with those gentlemen. They’re the number one homies in New York for sure. They’re really great people who write really awesome songs.
PYLE: I’ve recently revisited a lot of Brandy circa 1994 to 1999.
FRELLY: I’ve been listening to a lot of A$AP Ferg this summer too.
GARDINER: Your music tastes are all over, I love it. But I need to know—what’s one album everyone should own?
JOHNSON: I’m gonna say TLC CrazySexyCool. That shit was tight. Forever chasing waterfalls.
PYLE: I’d have to say Weezer, The Blue Album for sure.
MCKEEVER: I’d say Graceland. Everybody needs that. It’s unavoidable.
FRELLY: Magical Mystery Tour by the Beatles was one of the first albums I ever had and I think it’s perfect.
CHUMPED PLAY BROOKLYN NIGHT BAZAAR SEPTEMBER 5 AND SAINT VITUS SEPTEMBER 6. THEIR EP THAT’S THE THING IS LIKE… IS OUT SEPTEMBER 9. FOR MORE ON THE BAND, PLEASE VISIT THEIR WEBSITE.