Chase The Monkey is a Pittsburgh rock band. I am honored to have them help me celebrate ten years of HughShows today and want to thank Alberto Sewald (Guitar/Vocals) for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.
The first album you ever bought?
I’m not sure what the first album I bought is, but I know the first one I ever had. Back when I was about 6 I heard AC/DC’s ‘TNT’ on the radio in the car and it just blew my mind. So I when I got home I ran to my dad, and I sang what I could remember of the song to him. He recognized it immediately and bought me “AC/DC Live” in a two-CD “Collector’s Edition” set (I think he wanted it as much as I did!). It was my only album for a long time, and I listened to the hell out of it for a large chunk of my childhood.
Your last album bought? Just a couple days ago on a trip to Nashville I bought “Our Mother the Mountain” and “For the Sake of the Song” by Townes Van Zandt at the Ernest Tubb record store. My friend recently got me into Townes.
Favorite album of all time?
That’s a tough one, but I’d have to say “In the Aeroplane Over the Sea”. Both of Neutral Milk Hotel’s albums are really special, but discovering “Aeroplane” was a breakthrough moment for me, as it has been for a lot of people I guess. I listened to it like four times a day for a couple weeks when I first heard it. Every now and then records by Weatherbox, Mischief Brew, and Tom Waits jump up into that top spot too.
Least favorite/most disappointing album?
My dad’s friend gave him a copy of the “Donnie Iris Christmas Album” one time. With all due respect to Donnie, we tried…
First concert attended?
In the second grade, I went with a friend to see some this local band Transition (who are now defunct) and a couple smaller touring acts at a place that was packed with high school kids, which was interesting. But my first show with an act that people have heard of was Green Day at the Mellon Arena when I was in middle school and really into them. Billie Joe walked into the audience and up the aisle I was sitting by that night!
The last show I saw that I wasn’t playing in was Bipolaroid and our friends The Nox Boys, all the way back in April, at the Get Hip Recordings headquarters. Chase the Monkey is actually playing with The Nox Boys and Blaire Alise & The Bombshells at the second show in that concert series on August 7th. We’re really excited about that.
Favorite concert ever?
Probably the first time I saw Mischief Brew at Roboto, or maybe the Front Bottoms at the Smiling Moose, or maybe Jeff Mangum solo. All those shows just blew me away with how harmonious and just…into it…the crowd and the performers were. The energy in those places reminded me of why I’m a musician. Seeing all those different people singing and jumping and dancing around together, and just generally being good to one another…it’s magic. Also it’s just a hell of a lot of fun!
Least favorite concert?
I really try to find good things about every concert I see. I wouldn’t name anything here unless I thought it was really bad, and I’ve had pretty good luck seeing shows in my 17 years. All the shows that haven’t been incredible just sort of lump together in my mind.
Favorite thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
Pittsburgh…It’s home; It’s where I learned to play guitar and where I played my first show and saw my first show and wrote my first song. I’ve continued to meet all kinds wonderful people in this city, musical and otherwise, who have made it a great place to grow up and get into music.
Thanks, Alberto. Transition, huh? I saw them a couple times as my cousin was their drummer. Too bad they broke up.