w/ Jane Weaver & Unwed Sailor
Formed in Dunedin, New Zealand in 1980, The Chills gained deserved acclaim for their early singles including Pink Frost, I Love My Leather Jacket and Wet Blanket, released by legendary New Zealand indie label Flying Nun.
The song writing skills, vision and determination of front-man Martin Phillipps provides continuity in The Chills across the decades, through a series of line-up changes and tragedies, many international tours, and several label changes. Martin’s perseverance is inspirational and his ability to maintain a hold on his vision despite life’s obstacles has enabled him to grow and add depth to his already great song writing. The Chills have a large and loyal cult following around the world built on the strength of their recording and live shows in over 40 countries – including being only the third band from the West to play in East Germany in 1987. There have also been numerous festival appearances including Glastonbury (1987) Primavera (2016) and SXSW (2019).
Martin has a single-minded determination to take quality, original NZ-sounding, music to the world. His requirement of band members has been to meet a standard of musicianship, which is necessary to deliver The Chills songs with essential consistent energy.
Although The Chills have famously been through many personnel changes, the current line-up has been in place, more or less, for longer than most rock bands survive. This line-up provides the stability and musical competence that enables Martin to build on his legacy, and continue to write, record and perform his impressive collection of songs.
Martin’s determination stems from the punk rock ethics of his musical awakening and from the subsequent proximity to people like Chris Knox who drove home how crucial it was to deliver music always with intensity and conviction. It’s the live energy and the consistent quality of their songs which have established The Chills as one of the most well-known New Zealand groups to date – particularly in the US, UK and Europe.