Q&A: Atlanta duo Chapel on their part-animated quarantine music video with over 200,000 views

"It’s not about one person’s vision, it’s about both of ours."

Atlanta alt-pop duo Chapel were "genuinely surprised" that amid a global pandemic their music video for 'Mushy Gushy' has surpassed over 200,000 views.

Carter Hardin and Kortney Grinwis found the director for their part-animated video, Peter Rosati, online and they worked remotely to produce the uplifting visual, which saw them create a new animated friend who gets "Mushy Gushy" with them.

Here, Kortney tells Lizzie's Lowdown all about their successful promo and what fans can expect from their upcoming debut album.

How have you been coping with lockdown and how have you been spending your time? Lockdown has been quite alright for the both of us!

We’ve been lucky enough to be together since our tour ended early March, so we’ve been taking advantage of all this down time to write a lot of new music and plan out our album release.  Congratulations on the video for 'Mushy Gushy' reaching over 200,000 views.

How does that feel, especially given the times? Thank you! To be honest, we are both genuinely surprised.

It has now passed 'Caught Up,' which before Mushy, was our most viewed video on YouTube.

We’re just glad it can give people some entertainment since we’ve all been stuck inside for so long. 

Tell us about the idea for the video and how much you were involved in the process?

Since being in quarantine, we were unable to physically meet up with him to shoot.

He sent over his first treatment with the idea of having this animated character feeling all “Mushy Gushy” towards Carter and me.

Peter came up with the idea of filming a few webcam-style shots while we were at home here in Atlanta, Georgia.

He had a few initial visions of what our scenes would look like but gave Carter and I the total freedom to shoot however/wherever we wanted.   Every release has always been accompanied with amazing visuals and art, is it just as important as the music to you in terms of telling the story? Thank you, we appreciate that.

We absolutely think it’s important to have visuals that match up with the audio.

It’s cool to have another take of what the song is about, it helps bring the music to life in a weird, online visual mode.  You returned last year after a two-year break. What did you get up to in that time? Was it a break or were you working on music? We spent most of the past two years working on this upcoming album.  What can fans expect from you after 'Mushy Gushy'? We have another single coming out within the next month or two that will be accompanied with the album announcement.  Did the pandemic stall any of your plans, festivals or anything? We had a few awesome tours in the works that unfortunately didn’t end up happening, but hopefully those will get rescheduled.

I’d say it stalled our releases a little bit, but hey, shit happens. It’ll all play out how it’s meant to.  How would you say you’ve developed sonically since your EP, 'Sunday Brunch'? When writing the EP, we were really just experimenting with all sounds.

Since then, we’ve really tried to hone down on what Chapel is and with each release we will continue to get closer and closer to what that is.

With this new album we’ve tried to lean more into the nostalgic synth sounds that we loved growing up as well as experimenting with a lot of weird percussion elements.  You have such a great bond between you, what makes it so special? We’re boys!

We’ve always had a lot in common musically as well as our chemistry, so we just clicked right out of the gate.

Over time we learned to be very honest and communicative with each other, which has helped build our bond over the past couple years.

It’s also been key to learn who we are as individuals and accept that we are very different humans.  Do you ever have creative differences, if so, how do you work things out? Yeah, of course.

We know that when it comes down to the music, we drop the egos.

We’re very open and honest with each other when it comes to writing and we let the song direct us.

What we’ve known from the start, it’s not about one person’s vision, it’s about both of ours. It’s those compromises that make the band what it is. You started Chapel on a mutual love of Prince. Which other artists are you both inspired by? Lyrically, we take a lot of inspiration from Outkast and Cherub.

What inspires us to be more creative musically would definitely be Jon Bellion, Sir Sly, and The Killers. When isolation is over what are you most looking forward to? Getting back on the road so we can play all of these new songs for everyone.

Stream 'Mushy Gushy' on all major streaming services.