Exclusive Interview: Why Ya Gotta Be in Love with Annabelle Chairlegs

Updated: Sep 15

Austin-based psych rockers, Annabelle Chairlegs are back with a new supply of soundscapes. Taking a departure from the sunny poolside vibes of Watermelon Summer, the group dives into murkier waters with their latest album, Gotta Be in Love.

Freshly out of college, vocalist Lindsey Mackin carried the idea of Annabelle Chairlegs into existence after moving into the area back in 2013. About a year later, she started throwing house shows to familiarize herself with Austin's local DIY community. Over the years, the group continued to take part in the supportive community and quickly gained notoriety within the psychedelic underground. Mackin's Joplin-esque vocals and shimmery guitar chords are quite captivating and really stand out on tracks like "Axe Me if I Care" and "King of the Future".

After recording their debut album in their home studio, the A.C. came together after a few lineup changes in 2017 to record Gotta Be in Love. Being an independent artist definitely comes with its fair share of struggles and Mackin and the boys weren't spared in this case. A lack of band funds and the constant quest to find a trustworthy label paused the release time for their newest project, but the wait has been well worth it.

Gotta Be in Love has gotta be their heaviest release yet.

Set to drop on September 1st, the project is self released and will be their first physical record. Give yourself a taste by tuning into the group's latest music video for their single, "Outside".

I had the opportunity to catch up with Lindsey back in July while she's away from Austin, visiting family out in NY.

Here's what she had to say:

Q: When did Annabelle Chairlegs come together as a band?

A: So I went to college in Santa Fe, New Mexico and moved to Texas with some bandmates from another band I was in. Once we moved to Austin in 2013, I started Annabelle Chairlegs with some of my old bandmates and friends from college. 

After about a year, we kind of got booted out of our house because there were alot of changes going on in Austin. They all decided to move elsewhere, mostly back to Santa Fe, so I just decided to keep up with the project and started playing with some new people. There’s been a couple of transitions since then. As of now, it’s three of us. I’ve been playing with our current bassist Derek for about six years, so he’s been around for awhile and our drummer Billy has been with us for over three years now. 

Q: Would you consider your newest project, Gotta Be in Love, to be your debut album?

A: Well, it’s our second full length album. Our debut album, Watermelon Summer, was released back in April 2015, so it’s been a little while There was a bit of a hold up because  we lost a drummer, spent time recording again, you know there was another transition. So there’s been a lot of dragging my feet with the release and trying to get it all sorted. 

For a while we were trying to shop it around and get some label support because we didn’t really have the money to put it out ourselves. I guess we were finally able to save and get friends to invest a little bit so we could work together to put it out. It took a while since we recorded the new album back in 2017. 

Q: When you initially started making music before your first album, what drove you to create a new blend of psychedelic rock?

A: I think it was just a mix of everything. In college, I was studying musical theater. I was doing that for a while and I guess it wasn’t really doing it for me. I didn't really feel like I fit into that world. Then I started playing in this dirt-pop punk band and that inspired me to really wanna learn how to play guitar and start writing songs. 

Ya know, the first album is sort of dreamy, desert-like while this next record is a lot heavier and a bit darker which takes a lot of inspiration from the Austin music scene and peers we come across.

Q: What was that DIY scene in Austin like when you first started out?

A: It was awesome, I mean it still really is, but it’s moved around and changed quite a bit. I was really surprised when I moved from Santa Fe since there wasn’t a really big music scene out there when I played in a band. We’d play shows with a metal band one night and a country band the next. It seemed like there was only one band for every genre. 

So once we got to Austin, there were so many bands and I was surprised by how kind and welcoming everyone was. They were all willing to put shows together and throw house shows. It was just a very warm and supportive community ya know, it was very easy to make that transition. 

Q: Was it easy to host house shows out there, the authorities didn’t really mind much?