During a polar vortex, guitarist Ben Rudolph and drummer Jono Giralt drove a van that contained a motorcycle, a dog, and various musical instruments from Orlando, Florida to Chicago. As they tell it, they “couldn’t go faster than 10mph for two days, and were counting all the flipped trucks. When we got to Nashville it was -13 degrees.” Bassist Russell Harrison had done the same move the previous year—without the blizzard. The goal was to play in a band with a friend who had moved north for school. However, when Giralt met vocalist Doris Carroll through a mutual job at a dog daycare, the lineup for a different band was serendipitously completed.
The goal for this new group was to create an extension of a previous hardcore punk band of Rudolph’s and Harrison’s that never left Orlando. The initial plan was for the band “to be like an L.A. punk band trying to play Crass Records anarcho shit as fast as possible,” along with some “weirdo Dead Kennedys stuff.” In May 2015, C.H.E.W. was officially born.
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