MEET & GREET: Lewis Bowman of Chapel Club

Chapel Club

Lewis Bowman, on his first job, his worst job, his new job being the front-man of Brit band Chapel Club and more:

Name: Lewis Bowman

Age: 26

Favorite flavor ice cream: Lemon

I’m from: Southeast London


Chapel Club | O Maybe I

Please do not hot link this MP3.

But I live in:
East London: obviously not much of a roamer.

And work at/doing: I’m the singer in Chapel Club.

My first job was: I had a paper round. I got paid £3 a week to deliver about 300 newspapers. It took me about five hours every Wednesday night. Basically I was a little kid and a big company ripped me off. Michael Moore should do a film on it.

My worst job was: I once signed up to this temp agency and some jerk who worked there called me to say she’d found me a few days’ work at the head office of this big chain of newsagents. I was hard up at the time and this seemed like a pretty easy gig, so I went down to the address she gave me and the “head office” turned out to be a dirty old warehouse. The guys who worked there were all miserable old men in football (soccer) shirts and they obviously hated me from the moment I arrived. One of them gave me an industrial-sized broom and told me to sweep the warehouse floor, then they had me pick up random bits of wood that were lying in the yard and throw them in a skip. They told me to carry my bag while I worked because if I left it in the canteen someone would probably steal it. Later on the same day I got promoted to slinging magazines into this giant sorting machine, but that ended badly when I was accused by one dude of stealing a copy of (no joke) Steam Engines Monthly. Obviously my first day was also my last — and I lost the timesheet, so I never got paid for it.

I get my hair cut by: No one. I do it myself.

Favorite gadget: Suddenly realising how few gadgets I’m aware of/into. Generally I find that they complicate life more than is necessary. My Macbook Pro is about the only one I use regularly, that and my phone. But my phone is old and shit.

The best gift I’ve ever received: A couple of years back my brother bought me an incredible original 1950s Jacques Brel poster. It’s big, like 10 feet by 8 feet. It’ll look amazing when I can finally afford to get it framed. My girl always gets me nice stuff too, trips to Paris and the like.

The worst gift you’ve ever given: I think I’m pretty good with gifts. When I was little I probably bought some crap stuff for my family, like bath salts or paper-weights or whatever, but I only got £1 pocket money a week (hence the killer paper round) so really they were lucky to get anything at all.

When I’m in NY I: Go to Sway on a Sunday for that night with all the Smiths songs; eat vegan southern fried chicken from some place in Brooklyn the name of which escapes me; say hi to Claudius, the very lovely guy who produced our next single, O Maybe I.

My five favorite people to follow on twitter are: Oh no, no Twitter. Literally nothing good about Twitter whatsoever. The whole concept gives me the fear.

Right before we perform I: Wait to perform.

I know it’s going to be a good show when: I never do. All our shows have gone well so far, but I never feel sure about things beforehand. I’m too new to all this to feel certain about anything. Although I quite like the element of awkwardness that brings.

While we perform I: Try to escape the moment. The best part of any gig for me is when I forget for a second where I am and what I’m doing.

Right after we perform I: Drink.

My favorite shape is: I can’t lie, I don’t have a favourite shape. Shapes are fine things and some shapes are undoubtedly better than others, but personally I’m fine with them all.

My least favorite color is: No favourite colour either … it’s all about context, isn’t it? Though I do have a bit of a thing for pea green right now.

The weirdest thing that’s ever happened during a show: We’ve only played six shows so there’s not much to choose from I’m afraid. Ask me again after the festivals this summer, I’m sure there’ll be a lot of mischief afoot.

Roses are red, violets are blue: Set up a florist and Watch profits accrue.

Shop at: Um, very few places, if we’re talking clothes. Not many stores do stuff in my size. There’s a store in NYC called Save where I got some cool shirts but I think they sized up their XS stuff since then. There’s a nice shop called Albam in London but again, their smallest stuff is often too big. Apparently 95% of men are giant oafs and trim dudes like myself are rarer than hen’s teeth.

I’m currently reading: The Rest Is Noise by Alex Ross, which is pretty stunning. Alex Ross sounds like a dude.

If you were to teach one subject on a college level it would be (and why): History, because I don’t really enjoy talking about literature or art. Literature is more personal for me … I find conversations about books and authors I love quite uncomfortable for some reason. History doesn’t come with all my weird emotional baggage.

If I’m at a super fun party I really hope I have: Control over the music. I’m like that I’m afraid, I’ll sit in a corner playing Harry Belafonte for hours if no one steps in.

My favorite topic for small talk is: I am awful at small talk, I just kind of revert to a clutch of predetermined banalities and nod along. I’m actually growing increasingly socially inept, which is fun.

If I had a million dollars I would: Buy something, anything, by Miró, and get my younger brother a sweet vintage Patek Philippe.

If I was to be stuck on an island indefinitely I would need: My girlfriend, my dog … I take it I can’t have too much more than that? Being stuck on an island with those two would be pretty amazing, actually. I think we’d have a lot of fun.

If I could only eat one thing for the rest of my life it would be: Pizza is the first thing that springs to mind, but that’d be sick. I’ll go with red pepper houmous and something to dip in it. Pitta bread or plain tortilla chips.

I am influenced by: Everything, I guess, for better or worse. Right now I’m pretty excited by a book of Lorca poems someone gave me a long time ago. The cover image is a painting by Miró, which is what turned me on to it in the first place.

You should know that: I’m a vegetarian? Otherwise you might make the mistake of taking the piss out of vegetarians, which is one of the few things that really winds me up.

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