Chester French is a duo comprising singer and songwriter D.A. Wallach and multi-instrumentalist and composer Max Drummey. Bringing together classic songwriting and pop hooks with adventurous, experimental arrangements, the group has drawn comparisons with everyone from Weezer to Outkast, and in its 9th year continues to explore radically inventive sounds.
Always at home in the studio, Chester French originally formed during Max’s and D.A.’s freshman year at Harvard when they both joined the school’s on-campus recording studio as engineers. Producing and recording classical instrumentalist classmates and Boston-area bands by day, they spent their nights developing Chester French’s sound and recording a full-length album. By their senior year, that album, written, engineered, and produced by the duo for less than $2,000, sparked a bidding war between some of the biggest artists in popular music, including Kanye West, Jermaine Dupri and Pharrell Williams. Ultimately, D.A. and Max signed to Williams’ Star Trak Recordings.
The result was Chester French’s 2009 debut release, Love The Future, described by Rolling Stone as “a collection of pop songs with Brian Wilson melodies, early-Beck humor and synth beats that celebrates romance over digital-crisp surf pop.” The mag declared Chester French an artist to watch, as did SPIN, stating, “The band brings the smoky pop genius of The Zombies oohing and aahing back to life.”
In addition to Love the Future, the duo also released a free, full-length concept album entitled Jacques Jams Vol. 1: Endurance. The album featured collaborations with Jermaine Dupri, Diddy, Pharrell, Talib Kweli, Bun B, Janelle Monae, and many others. Over 400,000 fans have since downloaded Jacques Jams, available at www.ChesterFrench.com/mixtape, and publications ranging from VIBE to the New York Times have praised the project’s creativity.
Since then, Chester French has played hundreds of shows alone or with its three-piece backing band, touring the US and Europe as a headliner or with Weezer, N*E*R*D, Common, and Lady Gaga. D.A. & Max subsequently performed on many television programs, including Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel Live!
In 2010, D.A. and Max moved back to D.A.’s hometown in Wisconsin and began working on their forthcoming album, which approaches their typically melodic pop songwriting from a more visceral, electronic and emotionally unvarnished perspective. Entirely self-written and self-produced over two winters in a small village recording studio, the album is a sonically dense and lyrically direct window into the minds of two unconventional artists coming to terms with materialism, race, love, and other existentially vexing matters. Over Max’s lush and obliquely-beautiful arrangements, D.A. delivers concise, honest lyrics that capture the moment of their creation and cement a collection of ten songs that will fulfill the high expectations of Chester French’s diverse and dedicated fans.