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Hope Chest
Hope Chest
Thanks for coming! 2012 is the 20th anniversary of Hope Chest and our new EP "I'll Walk You Home" will be released at our anniversary / record release show on January 5, 2013 at Rickshaw Stop in San Francisco with our good mates Astral and Tomihira. Cheers!
Tell me about your history? How did you get where you are now?
Like every proper band, Hope Chest was formed in a bedroom - in 1992 by singer/songwriter Raymond Puzey in his grandmother's house, to be precise. After recruiting Paul Straghalis on guitar and Jared Matt from the Rosemarys on bass, the first version of the band set out in earnest for the land of free drink tickets. The following May, the debut release "A Sentimental EP" was recorded by Raymond and Stephen Duffy (no, not that Stephen Duffy - the other one, from Handsome Poets) which got good reviews and no airplay. Released in the heyday of shoegaze and Sarah Records, it's still a strong listen (enough people thought so that a barely-advertised, limited edition CD re-release of it in 2000 sold out its pressing of 500 copies in a month and a half) and the standout track, "Three", still receives frequent college and internet airplay. After a few years and a relocation to Sacramento, Raymond moved on with a new lineup and Hope Chest released "The Bedroom EP" in 1997. With a cover available in 4 different colors, the EP sold out its pressing of 400 in 2 months. The band followed that up with the album "Constellation Prize" in 1998, which received very strong reviews and saw the band on the road constantly. A follow-up album with the working title of "Sugar Fix" was recorded and never released - inner tensions, epic drug addictions, an inability to play anything quietly, and a nervous breakdown caused Raymond to fire the entire band and take a break for 2 years. The tapes sit in their cases in Raymond's bedroom, taunting him with their presence to this day. The year 2000 came and Raymond found a huge collection of people in love with "A Sentimental EP" and, with his spirit rejuvinated, the re-release sold out and the newest version of the band (now with original guitarist Paul back in the fold after a 7 year absence) took to playing live again. New songs were recorded and a compendium album was planned, but was delayed when Raymond was hospitalised and almost died from a ruptured intestine. 2 years were spent recovering but also writing and recording, and the band now finds itself a fully-fledged unit much more capable of expressing the depth of Raymond's songs than ever before. 2012 is the 20th anniversary of Hope Chest and we'll be releasing a free Digital 45 every month, starting in January - one original tune and one cover tune. Go to our facebook page and download our last EP, "If Luck Should Smile Down Upon Us" for free! We've just finished a batch of tunes at Hyde Street Studios which we're shopping to labels, and will also finally be putting out our unreleased album from 1998. Watch for the upcoming 20th anniversary gig with special guests! Cheers!
Have you performed live in front of an audience? Any special memories?
Whenever we can. And of COURSE I like it - we get drink tickets.
Your musical influences
Slowdive, The Smiths, Revolver, Trash Can Sinatras, Ride, My Bloody Valentine, Cocteau Twins, Railway Children, Trembling Blue Stars, Moose, Lilac Time, Stephen Duffy, House of Love
What equipment do you use?
Raymond plays and prefers Gretsch guitars and tons of pedals.