ALL SYSTEMS GO! are back with a new album so beautiful and mighty that it could only be named Mon Chi Chi. But why the long, lonely wait, it’s been more than three years since 1999’s self-titled debut. Well kids, the story is … after original bassist and contributing songwriter Frank left the band (due to a hatred of touring), the remaining three members (Dean Bentley - drums, Mark Arnold - guitar, John Kastner – vocals, guitar) vowed they would not record until they found a fourth member who did more than fit in; no, they wouldn’t stop looking until they had found their missing link, their long lost brother in rock. To this end, they played with many different and very talented low end men, and along the way they toured America, Canada, Europe and Australia, taking a number of the new recruits on the road for a test drive, but somehow it was never quite right. And then, one day, there was Thom D'Arcy, a young man who played the bass like an old pro, could sing with the best of them, and write the pop hits as well.
With all the pieces together, the band headed to Los Angeles to make a new album. Mon Chi Chi was recorded at famed stoner chateau Donner and Blitzen by Daniel Ray (Ramones, Misfits, Entombed etc), a man the band had known for years and who would understand what they wanted to do; and what the band wanted to do was have a lot of fun making a rock and roll album; and that is exactly what they did. The album was recorded in two weeks and captures a band at the peak of their powers doing what they love. It was mixed by Dave Ogilvie at the Warehouse in Vancouver (Bryan Adam’s studio).
The songwriting on Mon Chi Chi was evenly divided between John and Tom, with Kastner contributing Stooges-fuelled punk anthems, and D’Arcy mixing in his Elvis Costello tinged pop treasures to create an album that is smart, varied, funny, emotional and jam packed with monster rock hits like Motorbikes, Tell Vicky and Normal. Guest musicians and songwriters include Greg Dulli formerly of the Afghan Whigs currently of The Twilight Singers a co-writer on Fascination Unknown, which also features backing vocals by Pete Stahl from Scream; Leonard Phillips of the Dickies lends his pipes to Robots; Running blind was co-written with Ivan Doroschuk; and Melissa Auf Der Mar (Hole/Smashing Pumpkins) brings her lovely harmonies to Megan’s Law.
When asked about the state of nation ALL SYSTEMS GO! and his thoughts on Mon Chi Chi John Kastner had this to say: “We’ve never been happier. The only reason we do this is because we have fun. We’re in no rush to do anything, or get anywhere. This is a very natural record for us, we never had to worry or labor or sweat, we just sat back and enjoyed ourselves, and it came out just the way you hear it, which is just the way we wanted.” And that, as they say, is that. Look for ALL SYSTEMS GO! as they take Mon Chi Chi out on tour to all five continents in 2002 and 2003.