Upon my first ever listen to The Old Adage, I was immediately taken back to the time when I first came out openly about my love for trap music. Kiiara’s Low Kii Savage E.P from 2016 was my gateway drug and from that moment on I couldn’t get enough.
The Detroit duo (siblings Mimi and Nino Chavez) would call it a great disservice to be known as a trap band as they’ve shown to be fairly experimental in their short career as musicians. Their two records thus far, 2014’s Matches and 2016’s Cycles don’t really sound that alike, encompassing elements of electro-pop, synth-pop and indie rock, with the latter featuring more of a dream pop feel.
The “trap” tag is attached to their recent offering “Lame” which although accidentally has ended up being one of my favourite tracks from the last few weeks.
I recently had the pleasure of interviewing The Old Adage and I attempted to find out just what made the both of them tick.
B.G.M. – Hey guys! First of all, can you describe your band and your sound in three words.
Mimi Chavez – Bubbly, Lively, Clean.
There is a notable shift in sound from your debut record Matches to your follow-up Cycles. Was this intentional or was it something that happened randomly?
Mimi – It happened very naturally. Our taste in music shifted a lot and we were listening to a lot more bubblier, poppier types of music, when before we were very alternative. Taylor Swift became a heavy influence.
Talk us through your song writing process. How do your ideas start and how do you mold them into complete tracks?
Mimi – Most of our songs are my ideas and melodic lines that we come together and elaborate on. I come up with a melodic line and sometimes a chord progression and we go from there.
I’m really digging your most recent track “Lame”! It has such an infectious trap sound. Is there a potential record featuring this track in the works?
Mimi – Thank you! ☺️ Yes! We’re releasing our E.P December 1st. All but one of the singles on the album are released. But we are very excited for people to be able to have a hard copy of the album. Also the unreleased track is Nino on lead vocals!
How easy was it to progress as a dream pop band in your hometown of Detroit?
Mimi – It is still a process and not easy at all. There aren’t that many other pop groups coming out of the area. So it’s tough to put together shows sometimes. It’s also nice though because we don’t seem to fit in anywhere.
Is there any advice you’d give to like minded artists wanting to make a name for themselves there?
Mimi – Make sure you really want it. It’s hard to work on a music career and it takes everything to make it real. We’re still working on it. Stay focused. Don’t get too into drugs.
What can people expect from your string of live shows in November?
Mimi – New music! And a stronger performance. We’ve been back to playing more shows and we’re very much enjoying ourselves at every one. We love to bring a certain type of atmosphere when we perform.
How do you prepare for your live shows? And which of your records is your favourite to play live?
Mimi – Nino is in charge of setting up the set list and tracking mostly. He sets up the show and transitions sonically, then we go over the whole set and practice our performances together. I think Cycles is more of a listening than performance album. So I’d say Matches.
Do you have any plans to perform a Christmas themed live show later this year?
Mimi – We do not! But we do plan to cover some Christmas music.
Is there a notable difference between the both of you as a band from the both of you as brother and sister? Do you draw the line between them or do they both just flow seamlessly?
Nino Chavez – Our relationship as a band has really brought us a lot closer as siblings. Before we did music together we didn’t have that much in common but that was back in high school when Mimi felt a lot older cause she was two grades ahead of me.
‘When we started doing music together and especially when we started taking it seriously we became best friends.’
Nino – At this point after doing it 10 years it’s one of the things that keeps us close for sure. Being adults, having bills, jobs, our own social circles and responsibilities it’s hard to make time for your siblings sometimes but I’m glad we’ve found something we both want enough to stay close.
What do you get up to on days away from songwriting/performing?
Nino – Most the days we aren’t recording, practicing, writing, or performing were working on promoting, brainstorming, or doing the tedious work like working on our website, mixes, or promo. We have day jobs too and that take up a good portion of our week too. So always busy ha.
What are your favourite bands/musicians at the moment?
Mimi – G-Eazy, G-Eazy, G-Eazy
Lets say for a minute that neither of you became musicians. What would be your dream jobs?
Mimi – I can’t.
Nino – Adult Film Star.
Any last words?
Mimi – If you’re going through a rough time, just remember it’s a bad time, not a bad Life. Life is good. Must enjoy this wonderful adventure.
Freelance writer still stuck in the 90’s.
Favourite albums; Young Americans, Hours, Out From The Vein, In Utero.