“We have the entire world in front of us to conquer.”
It’s hard to imagine a more fitting name for Chip DiMonick’s new band than “the Charge Ups. After 11 years at the helm of his hard rock/hair metal project (called, in the eponymous tradition of Alice Cooper and Dio, Chip DiMonick), Chip & the Charge Ups is full of new electricity.
“I feel like, ‘Hey, I’m starting back at the beginning, this is fresh, we have the entire world in front of us to conquer,’” DiMonick explains over the phone. “No one has told us we’re not good enough. We haven’t had the rejection that veteran bands have to experience over time. So there’s a lot of that piss and vinegar feeling in the band.”
CHIP & THE CHARGE UPS CD RELEASE PARTY. 8 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 15. Black Forge Coffee House, 1206 Arlingtion Ave., Allentown. Sold out, walkups may be admitted after 9 p.m. as venue capacity permits. www.blackforgecoffee.com
Tomorrow, the band – which also includes Chris Bowers on guitar, Jeff DiPerna on drums and Maleena Dominik (Chip’s 16-year-old daughter) on bass — celebrates its new CD, Flow of the Current, Part 1 (+) with a release show at Black Forge Coffee House in Allentown. The catchy six-track album is full of hooks and youthfully heartfelt lyrics that almost belie the overall radio-ready polish. It’s (mostly) a softer, poppier approach than DiMonick has taken in the past, but it’s a path he came by honestly.
In 2015, both of DiMonick’s parents became ill, and moved in with him. Though music was mostly forced to the back burner, he recalls that at the end of the day, when his parents were in bed, “that was my time. And sometimes that time would only last 10 minutes but I would grab my acoustic guitar and start writing.
“I didn’t have the luxury of cranking up an amp to 10 and writing heavier stuff so I started writing a lot of stuff on acoustic, and kind of fell in love with a different type of genre,” he says. “I think it leans a little more towards power pop, although I occasionally my punk influences, metal influences, hard rock influences rear their heads.”
Tomorrow’s show is sold out, which – considering that it’s only the Charge Ups’ forth show — speaks to DiMonick’s reputation as a performer among local rock fans. Cultivating a stage persona is tricky business, but DiMonick’s approach is intuitive, and comes from his own passion for live music. “Basically I try to create the band that I want to see,” he says. “[Hair metal] made me want to be a larger-than-life persona. … Not someone who [makes the audience feel like] they’re looking in a mirror and seeing themselves sit there, but something that earns their attention, something that earns their passion and their interest ….just being able to give someone a spectacle to see.”
Check out the new video for Chip & the Charge Ups Green Day/Poison mashup below, and learn more about the band at www.thechargeups.com
By Margaret Welsh is the Pittsburgh Current Music Editor. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org