By Max Sullivan
Boston based group Chelsea on Fire will be performing for the first time in over ten years next Friday night, as they open for Boston’s own Cult 45 at the latter’s CD release party at Radio in Somerville, MA.
Considered, “legends” of Boston’s music scene, Chelsea on Fire found success in the late 90’s as an opening group for Joan Jett with their unique blend of punk and alternative.
Amy Di Sciullo, the band’s bassist and a native of Union Square, said she’s been extremely excited about the reunion, though she admits it’s been a challenge to get back into the swing of things a decade after the fact.
“It wasn’t really there,” Di Sciullo said. “It had been a long time since the three of us had played together or revisited that material. So, that’s where the nervousness comes in.”
According to Di Sciullo, the band first got together this year with no intention of a reunion show. It was more about testing the waters with old band mates. The group gathered for a meeting to talk first, then “gave each other homework”, as in learning songs from their old catalogue.
It was Cult 45 that pushed the group to do the reunion show when they were asked to open on Jan. 4.
“We didn’t really even have a plan to play the same material, we just did it because that’s how we got reacquainted with each other,” Di Sciullo said. “So we ended up learning a bunch of original material that we had written before and we had sort of thought about a show, and then Bob from Cult 45 had sort of woke us up and asked us if we wanted to play a show with them.”
“We were very unscheduled in our plan for the entire time we were playing until then,” Di Sciullo continued.
Di Scuillo said that it was strange being in the practice room again for the first time with her former band mates.
“You feel embarrassed and shy, and it’s weird to get back together,” Di Sciullo said, “But it quickly felt pretty good. It was really nice and it ended up being a lot of fun and really cathartic.”
Di Sciullo wouldn’t reveal her favorite songs, in fear of giving away too much of the set list. She did admit, however, one song that will not be played, to her dismay.
“I would suggest a song (Dry Eyes) and Josey would say, ‘Oh I hate that song,’ and I would say, ‘Oh, I never knew that’, so we’re picking songs that speak to each of us individually.”
I might be able to convince her to go back there. Maybe she’ll change something,” Di Sciullo added.
Now 43, Di Sciullo said that the band is able to enjoy themselves much more than they could in the 90’s. At the time, the success of being a favorite of the Boston music scene and touring with Joan Jett caused a great deal of stress. What should have been fun, according to the bassist, ended up becoming a serious burden at times. This time around, everyone has cooled off, and the three band mates can relax and have fun with their music.
Di Sciullo said the band is intending to write more material after the reunion show with Cult 45, but they don’t know where they will end up beyond that. They are taking it one step at a time.
“After the show, we’re gonna start writing new compositions, we already started that a little bit.”
See Chelsea on Fire open for Cult 45 Friday, Jan. 4, at Radio in Union Square. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the door.