Erick Hansel performing with Chon at the Observatory North Park
Chon (sometimes stylized as CHON) is an American progressive rock and math rock band from Oceanside, California. Their music is largely instrumental with only a few songs containing vocal performances. The band consists of Mario Camarena (guitar), Erick Hansel (guitar), Esiah Camarena (bass) and Nathan Camarena (drums). On November 8, 2015, Chon stated via their Twitter feed that they parted ways with Drew Pelisek due to 'artistic differences'. It was also confirmed by Drew on a personal account. Since Pelisek's departure, Chon has had 3 touring bassists, including original bassist Esiah Camarena, who played bass during the Journey's Unplugged Tour. Esiah has returned as a permanent member of the band following his attendance on the Robot With Human Hair Vs. Chonzilla tour with Dance Gavin Dance.
Chon began in 2008 with the recording of their four-track self-titled demo. In 2010, the band began a brief hiatus, but reunited in 2011 to record two new songs, "O.G." and "Breathe". They returned in 2013 with the release of their debut EP entitled Newborn Sun. The following year Chon released their second EP, entitled Woohoo!. In 2014, Chon embarked on two consecutive nationwide tours with Animals as Leaders. In December 2014, Chon signed with the record label Sumerian Records, and announced they would be releasing their debut full-length album the following year. On February 5, 2015, the band announced their debut full length titled Grow would be released in March 2015. On March 5, the band premiered their song Can't Wait from the album via Red Bull. They released the album on March 24. Eight days prior the band embarked on a 27 date tour supporting Circa Survive. On December 16, 2015, Chon announced their first full US headlining tour, titled the Super Chon Bros Tour, with accompanying bands Polyphia and Strawberry Girls. They sold out every single show on the tour. Chon was also an opening band during the Sonic Unrest Tour, featuring headliner Periphery, and bands Sikth and Toothgrinder.
Chon endorses Ibanez guitars and Overdrive Straps guitar straps. Guitarist Mario Camarena currently rotates between 2 different Ibanez AZ model protypes – one white and one pink with white pickguard, an Ibanez RG652fx with a custom floral print (including a black Yoshi character which Mario uses as his main in Super Smash Bros), and an Ibanez S5521Q. He can also often be seen playing a custom RG created by Seth Hollander. Before "Homey" album, Mario used a Vox AC30 tube amplifier and a Fender Super Sonic, but has now switched to a Matchless amplifier. Erick Hansel primarily plays a custom Ibanez AZ prototype, a RG652FX with a custom paint dip, a RG321MH (early albums and performances) and a prestige Ibanez Talman. Recently Erick has been seen with either a Vox AC30 or Matchless amplifier. Chon's early work was known to largely shun the use of effects pedals, but the band has since started experimenting heavily with pedals during the writing process for Homey.
Musical style and influences
In the early days the band were influenced by metal bands such as Necrophagist and post-hardcore band The Fall of Troy, but the band have also listed pianists such as Hiromi Uehara, Tigran Hamasyan, and Alex Argento as influences in their sound. Chon's music is noted for its use of complex harmony with heavy emphasis on seventh chords, as well as the odd time signatures and polyrhythms typical of the progressive rock genre. Their latest release Homey, saw the band incorporating elements of trip-hop and electronic music, which can be heard in tracks such as 'Nayhoo.'
- Mario Camarena – guitar (2008–present)
- Nathan Camarena – drums, percussion (2008–present)
- Erick Hansel – guitar, (2008–present); vocals (2016–present)
- Esiah Camarena – bass guitar, vocals (2008–2010; 2016–present)
- Former members
- Drew Pelisek – bass guitar, vocals (2012–2016)
- Touring members
- Brandon Ewing – bass guitar (2016, Super Chon Bros Tour)
- Studio albums
- Newborn Sun (2013, self-released)
- Woohoo! (2014, self-released)
- CHON (2008, self-released)
- Story (2015, Sumerian Records)
- Splash (2015, Sumerian Records)
- Sleepy Tea (2017, Sumerian Records)
- Waterslide (2017, Sumerian Records)
- Nayhoo (feat Masego & Lophiile) (2017, Sumerian Records)
- Peace (2019, Sumerian Records)
- "CHON on Twitter: "We've parted ways w/ our bassist the Other Guys. He is / will always be the homie and we wish him the best!"". Twitter. Retrieved 2016-04-28.
- "Instagram". Instagram. 2015-11-08. Retrieved 2016-04-28.
- Lion, Brian. "EP STREAM: CHON – 'Newborn Sun'". Under The Gun Review. Retrieved 28 March 2015.
- Sharp, Tyler. "CHON sign with Sumerian Records". Alternative Press. Retrieved 28 March 2015.
- Sharp, Tyler. "CHON announce debut full-length album, 'Grow'". Alternative Press. Retrieved 28 March 2015.
- Sharp, Elliott. "CHON: 'Can't Wait' Song Premiere". Red Bull. Retrieved 28 March 2015.
- Sharp, Tyler. "Circa Survive announce headlining tour with Balance And Composure, CHON". Alternative Press. Retrieved 28 March 2015.
- "CHON on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 2016-01-03.
- "CHON Reddit AMA". Reddit. Retrieved 2016-12-03.
- "CHON Reddit AMA 2". Reddit. Retrieved 2016-12-03.