Chase Ford and the Gummy Boys | Music | Salt Lake City Weekly

Chase Ford and the Gummy Boys 

Beyond their funny name, the proof of this Utah band's talent is in the music.

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  • Azariah Reese

It's important not to judge a band by its name. Unless it's something completely egregious or offensive, it's good to not shy away, lest you miss out on music you end up really enjoying. Such is true for Chase Ford & The Gummy Boys. The name doesn't indicate what you're going to get, and you're in for a treat with their debut singles.

If you look into Ford's history, you'll find a previous project called Fake Nice, the precursor to The Gummy Boys. Fake Nice was a band put together by Ford and his then-girlfriend, but when they split, he didn't feel right keeping the same name.

That's where The Gummy Boys come in. "The name Chase Ford & The Gummy Boys was just kind of like a joke name," Ford explained. "It was meant to be kind of like a stop-gap, so we could still keep the band going, but also be respectful of the fact that it was a band that I had started with my former girlfriend, but then it kind of stuck."

The name is not going anywhere now—even though there was some hesitation to keep it at first. "I think what solidified it for me was when I would tell people the name, in my head, I was like, 'This is the dumbest name ever,' but everybody kept having such positive responses to it. I was like, 'Man, I think we might be onto something with this name. People really seem to be into it,'" Ford said.

Chase Ford & The Gummy Boys dropped their first three singles at the beginning of the year, and their unique brand of indie rock has inspired a warm reception so far. Ford worried about losing a following as Fake Nice faded and The Gummy Boys came to be, but they still have a strong fanbase and plenty of support from the community.

According to Ford, their most popular track so far—"Howdy!"—was written in a pretty short amount of time. "I felt like I wrote and recorded it in the space of just a few hours, most of what's on the recording," he said. Inspired by another artist on TikTok, Ford took the sound of this other musician and tried to make his own version. Jack Stauber's "Oh Klahoma" is a popular song on the app, and Ford's interpretation of the sound is a worthy successor.

Starting out with a spoken, "Hello / Or, sorry, I mean howdy," the song starts out cheerfully, followed by a bassline that's easy to fall in love with; it's punchy, grainy and slides all over. The bassline is actually where Ford started with the song, building the rest around it. You can hear the influence of Stauber's sound, but Ford still went in his own direction. Vocals have been given an entrancing effect, sounding light and echoey; meanwhile, synths are peppered in, giving it a buzzy feeling.

The next track on the EP, "Don't Make Any Plans," also drew inspiration from other artists. "I had been listening to the Pixies a lot," Ford said. "I really like how they play with tension and just ugly, dissonant-sounding stuff, and I wanted to do something similar to that." Listening through, the influence from the Pixies can definitely be heard in the guitar work on this single.

The EP's closer, "Someone Living in My House," is a bit more on the sad side, and doesn't take inspiration from another musical artist. "I never know if people are going to like really sad songs," Ford said. "It's like me, as a listener, I don't always want to listen to them."

While the track has some sad notes, it won't make you extra espresso depresso. It has a beautiful intro featuring handpicking on an acoustic guitar accompanied by Ford's clean vocals. It's on the shorter side, clocking in at just under two minutes, but it's an alluring, introspective look at oneself and how difficult it is to be so stuck in your own way and in your own head.

Being the frontman, Ford does most of the writing, but The Gummy Boys are an excellent team. "We've got such a great band right now. Everybody's so good at their instrument, and I'm just so excited that they want to play music with me," he said. There's a lot of collaboration and synchrony that happens on stage with Chase Ford & The Gummy Boys. "Everybody is so creative and lately we each have something that we're working on with the band, and it's just nice to have a creative team."

These three songs were a good introduction for Chase Ford & The Gummy Boys, but there's definitely more to come. The band won't be playing as many shows, but the goal is to get a full album out by the time summer rolls around. Music videos are also going to be a focus for the group, since Ford is also a filmmaker. "If you have a strong music video that looks professional, I feel like it raises the level of the band," he said.

There's a lot to look forward to from Chase Ford & The Gummy Boys, so stay tuned. It'll be exciting to see what their new album holds, and how rowdy they'll get at live shows later this summer. And when you're looking at the concert calendar, remember to give that band with the unique name some attention.

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Emilee Atkinson

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