The Cool Kids Talk New Album, Working with Pharrell
The Cool Kids debut album, "When Fish Ride Bicycles," has been in the works for the past three years. Countless delays and label troubles have forced the duo, consisting of Chuck Inglish and Mikey Rocks, to continually postpone the record, leaving in their wake an EP, "The Bakesale" (2008) and two mixtapes,"Gone Fishing" (2009) and "Tacklebox" (2010). All worth of potential, but discarded, album cuts. But on July 12, "When Fish Ride Bicycles," will finally see the light of day, released exclusively to iTunes by Mountain Dew's imprint, Green Label Sound.
"I'm excited, but also a little nervous," Chuck told Billboard.com's The Juice. "Until July 12 gets here, I'm kind of sitting Indian style just trying to breathe slowly, and hoping it actually happens."
His apprehension is totally understandable. After garnering a significant amount of hype in 2008 with their '80s revivalist brand of hip-hop, The Cool Kids were on the cusp of breaking out. Unfortunately the legal trouble with the label took its toll, comparing it to "getting a divorce," said Chuck. He even admitted, with a laugh, that he freaked out when he saw the billboards in Los Angeles predicting the apocalypse for May 21. "I was thinking to myself, 'If there's a fucking earthquake and this album doesn't come out, I'll be pissed on my way to wherever the afterlife is.'"
But the group couldn't stop, and often found solace in its music: "We invested our whole lives into this," said Chuck. "Not for financial gain or for the purpose of creating some sort of fame; we did it because we knew this is all we really nice at." Chuck added that the album cut, "Bundle Up" was recorded after one of worst days of the band's life.
Throughout the delays, The Cool Kids continued to develop as artists. Chuck, who makes the beats, toyed with various synthesizers and production techniques, even finding inspiration in "That's The Way Of The World," a forgotten 1975 film that stars Harvey Keitel as a record producer trying to break a band played by Earth, Wind & Fire.
The Cool Kids recruited notable names for "When Fish Ride Bicycles." The Chi-Town natives' debut album features guest spots from Ghostface Killah to Blink-182 drummer, Travis Barker. Chuck said he was really excited about "Gas Station," which features Bun B; and raved about working with The Neptunes, who produced two album cuts.
"When I walked in there," Chuck said about collaborating with the Neptunes, "the first thing I said was, 'Yo, I want [Clipse's] "Doorman" and I want the beat from "Grindin'" together as a baby. And [Pharrell] was like, "That's what you do, dog. I'm trying to do something else." And I'm telling you, I didn't want to hear that; but now when you listen to the record with those two songs the shit is like balanced."
Even though "When Fish Ride Bicycles" is finally seeing its release, The Cool Kids have no plans to slow down. Chuck hopes the follow-up album, "Shark Week," will be out by Christmas time, and perhaps even drop a third record next summer. An ambitious undertaking, but perhaps it's the group's way of making up for lost time.
"I'm not really gonna stop. We've got so much stuff to do, so many songs we talked about, so many things to record," Chuck said. "I want to be a band that people haven't seen. I don't want to be the next shit. Everybody wants to be like, 'Oh it's the next big thing.' Fuck them. I don't want to be them. I want to be us. And I don't think what we've done has been done yet."