On an East Coast to Texas tour, Chappo, the four-piece psychedelic-pop band based in Brooklyn that’s named after singer-songwriter Alex Chappo, is playing a show Monday in his hometown, Baton Rouge.
The previous Chappo appearance in Louisiana took place in nearby New Orleans at Tipitina’s.
“Which was really cool for me,” Alex Chappo said. “Being from Louisiana, going to shows at Tipitina’s when I was a kid and being a fan of Dr. John made playing a show there really awesome.”
Dr. John’s early recordings are part of Chappo’s musical foundation. Traveling during their tours, the band listens to Dr. John’s classic early albums as well as the New Orleans singer-pianist’s Grammy-winning, Dan Auerbach-produced 2012 project, “Locked Down.”
“ ‘Locked Down’ actually vibes back to his old days,” Chappo said. “Dr. John’s whole spirit, the way he brings that sort of voodoo magic into his performances, that’s something we’re inspired by. And he’s just so funky and experimental and psychedelic and catchy. He’s a good combination of everything.”
Chappo’s second album, “Future Former Self,” to be released in early 2015, also blends many musical elements.
“We wanted it to be more cohesive, but still weave itself around different genres and vibes,” Chappo explained.
“Future Former Self” is also a concept album. The vinyl LP version of the album will include the album’s story of René in text form. René is alone in space, traveling to a black hole for the purpose of communicating with a parallel universe.
Chappo doesn’t want to emphasize the concept aspect of “Future Former Self.”
“Because people might roll their eyes,” he said. “It’s too much, like a plate of cheesecake. You can’t eat the whole thing. So we’re trying to let people discover that, like unraveling an onion, layer by layer.”
“Future Former Self” joins an expanding, outer space-oriented Chappo discography that includes the EPs “Plastique Universe” and “Plastique Universe II” and the group’s 2012 full-length album debut, “Moonwater.”
Chappo has maintained a constant membership featuring singer-guitarist Chappo, keyboardist Chris Olson, drummer Zac Colwell and guitarist Dave Feddock. All of the band members live within minutes of each other in the same Brooklyn neighborhood.
Chappo moved to Brooklyn in February 2006. After his 2005 graduation from the University of Evansville in Indiana, he earned money for his move to New York City by working for his parents’ Baton Rouge landscaping business during the day and at DeAngelo’s Pizzeria at night.
“Future Former Self” is a more collaborative effort than the band’s previous recordings, Chappo said.
“Different guys bringing different ideas to the table,” he said. “And then just kind of swirling them around in a big psychedelic blender, trying to figure out what sticks to the sides and what tastes good.”
Many songs from the new album are already in Chappo’s show.
“We’ve been experimenting with the songs, sharing them with the crowds,” Chappo said. “And they seem to be digging them.”
There are new visual elements to the group’s show, too, via Jason Tschantré’s projections and lights.