Massachusetts-based band Chester French has Milwaukee ties, so it won't come as a shock to learn that the duo -- featuring area native DA Wallach and Boston boy Max Drummey -- has been at Wauwatosa's Burst HQ for weeks working on its next record.
The two musicians met at Harvard University and made a splash last year with its debut LP, "Love the Future." That record had been preceded by an EP and mixtapes. Kanye West and Perez Hilton have been among Chester French's biggest supporters.
They've toured with N.E.R.D. -- and guested on a Common record -- Matisyahu, Lady GaGa and others.
Now, they tell OnMilwaukee.com about recording in Milwaukee...
OnMilwaukee.com: So tell us why you chose to come "home" to make the new record.
DA Wallach: Milwaukee is just a great city, especially at this time of the year, and we wanted to work in a place that wasn't full of distractions, where the people are friendly and the beer is good!
OMC: Has it been hard to keep it quiet and prevent hangers on from showing up?
DAW: Not especially. We've had a couple of minor incidents with fans but nothing super disruptive. Since we have a lot of great friends n the city, it's been fun to work in an environment where we could hang out with them.
OMC: Have you been flying in all kinds of top name friends under cover of night to make guest appearances? Ha ha
DAW: A few folks have been in town to work with us on the record, but we can't reveal what, if any, guests are going to be on the album just yet.
OMC: Have you worked with local musicians at all on the record? Also, tell us a bit about working at Burst with Daniel Holter and Kyle White.
DAW: We haven't worked with any local musicians on the record, although we did use some great string and horn players on the last album. Dan and Kyle are both awesome dudes, so it's been fun to work in close proximity to them.
OMC: What can we expect from the new record?
DAW: More visceral songs, from the production to the lyrics. We're very excited about this work.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.