SoCal Musician Jesse Rutherford Details His Personal Journey of Writing The Neighbourhood’s Latest Album, Chip Chrome & The Mono-Tones

SoCal Musician Jesse Rutherford Details His Personal Journey of Writing The Neighbourhood’s Latest Album, Chip Chrome & The Mono-Tones

Samantha Deras, Editor

Alternative SoCal band, The Neighbourhood, released the deluxe version of their 4th studio album on December 11th, following its initial release on September 25. The deluxe version of this album, titled Chip Chrome & The Mono-Tones, includes 4 new tracks to complete the story: “Stargazing”, “Over the Influence”, “Here We Go Again”, and “The Shining”. 


This new album, the last album to be released under contract with Columbia Records, puts the spotlight on Jesse Rutherford’s new alter-ego Chip Chrome, a persona Rutherford claims he created to give the band a “new leader” and give himself an opportunity to express his ideal self, free from his real insecurities. Chip Chrome pulls inspiration from David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust, flaunting an all silver suit, completed with silver makeup and bright eyeshadow. 


Chip Chrome & The Mono-Tones was written following Jesse Rutherford’s new journey to self-discovery off social media. During the early months of 2020, Rutherford completely deleted himself off of social media, citing the unberability of comparing himself to others in the music industry as the main catalyst for the difficult decision. 


Most of the songs on the album, such as “Lost in Translation”, “Middle of Somewhere”, and “Silver Lining” contain experimental synths, mellotron, and lyrics demonstrating all of Rutherford’s real struggles and insecurities. 


The track “Lost in Translation” is the second track on the album consisting of a funky, pop sound that details Rutherford’s communication problems within his relationship. “I feel like it’s what this band has been trying to do from the inception of the whole project—mixing all of these genres together. But I feel like we just did it in a way that’s less juvenile,” Rutherford says.


Soon after the release of this deluxe version, the band released a music video for the newly published track “Stargazing”, which contained cameos from famous celebrities and musicians like Mac DeMarco, Lana Del Rey, Alexa Demie, Jaden Smith, and Blake Griffin slamming the door in front of Chip Chrome’s face as he tried to entertain them. 


When asked about the significance of the video Rutherford states, “It is a testament to my team and how far we’ve been able to make it with the power of our creativity and dedicated fanbase. A little recognition never hurts but I’ve stopped chasing that. I’m way more focused on being better at what I get to do… and appreciating what I already have.”


Rutherford emphasizes on the album multiple times his feelings of being a burnout music star in the competitive industry, and he frequently finds himself comparing his achievements to others and seeking constant validation for his work. Rutherford claims that after the bands dramatic success of their hit “Sweater Weather” he has failed to feel this level of accomplishment since. 


After isolating himself from social media and the opinions of others, Rutherford was able to discover a personal word in which he feels confident and happy with his accomplishments. He claims that during this time he was able to write the music he has always envisioned for the band, yet that his mental prison was stopping him from pursuing. 


Rutherford states that writing this album was an eye-opening and personal experience that allowed him to find comfort in personal validation and fan praise, shaing, “We haven’t maintained a presence at radio, and don’t always get press, so I can really only attribute our success to ourselves and our fans. We all change and grow together.”