About Chick Quest

Spaghetti Western Post-Punk Dance Party from Vienna, Austria? Chick Quest is the sound of four people playing sweaty, quirky, danceable rock and roll built on creativity and fun— trumpet and all.

Biography

Chick Quest began in early 2014 as an idea by Ryan White, an American expat living in Vienna, Austria, to combine dancey post-punk with 60’s Western soundtracks from the likes of Ennio Morricone.  The original name for the band was Lee Van Cleef, named after the famous actor who starred in many classic western films like The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

White started the band with his friend Iris Rauh, urging her to buy a drum set and learn the drums despite no prior drumming experience. He then began to focus on writing songs based on chopped up snippets of “Spaghetti Western” chord progressions and simple, repetitive drum beats for Rauh to play. The idea was to be “simple” in structure and technique, yet intricate in arrangement and layering, while energetic and explosive in delivery. The only instrument in the band with a license to do any kind of soloing would be the trumpet, which would emphasize the “Spaghetti Western” chords and bring a different color to the often exhausted Post-Punk genre.

LP1: Vs. Galore

The following few months proved to be a productive, inspiring time for White, who had fleshed out more than half of what would become their debut album, Vs. Galore. Soon they added Magdalena Kraev on bass at the suggestion of a mutual friend, and everything began to come together for a future studio recording up through the autumn of 2014—except the addition of a permanent trumpet player. For the recording, Christian Sonderegger was brought in to record trumpet, but it wasn't until after the mastering of Vs. Galore that they found Marcus Racz, who permanently joined Chick Quest as their trumpet player and keyboardist.

By the time the album was being prepared for release, the band decided to change their name due to "Lee Van Cleef" already being taken and also to avoid any potential issues of using a famous person's name. "Chick Quest" was chosen as a nod to cheesy 60's B-movies that lent itself to dirty surf rock, pulpy garage rock, and still yet... spaghetti westerns. It would also conveniently accommodate the female-oriented lyrics White had written for the songs before the name change, as the name is supposed to be read "A girl on a quest" instead of "Guys on a quest for girls".

Vs. Galore was released digitally on April 20th, 2015. Working under a very motivated DIY ethic to finance, record, promote, and book everything themselves without the help of labels and managers, it was decided to hold off on the printing of the album until it became more financially practical. Instead, they set their focus on touring and expanding their reach outside of Austria. Meanwhile, the album was met with glowing reviews throughout the year, including its release mentioned on Pitchfork, songs premiered on KEXP & CMJ, an invitation to play live on Okto TV (Austrian Television), and by the end of the year, an honorable mention as one of six best albums of the year by Der Standard, Austria's biggest newspaper.

LP2: Model View Controller

In early 2016, Chick Quest began preparations to enter the studio to record their 2nd album, Model View Controller, an album that proved very stressful to write and record for White, who had struggled with a long period of writer’s block and visa issues.  Nonetheless, the album was recorded in the summer of 2016 and was released on February 24th, 2017 to high praise.


Check out what critics have said about the music.

Press Archive
Ryan White

Ryan White - vocals, guitar

Iris Rauh

Iris Rauh - drums

Marcus Racz

Marcus Racz - trumpet, keyboard

Magdalena Kraev

Magdalena Kraev - bass