July 28, 2008
Shure Steps Out with James Chapman and Maps NORTHAMPTON, UK, July 28, 2008 — Working under the name Maps, James Chapman recorded Start Something at home on a 16-track recorder in 2006. Subsequently released on his own label, Last Space Recordings, the project met with critical acclaim leading to 2007's We Can Create, a full-length album given note for its synth-fed spirituality and psychedelia. Ultimately taking to the stage with a full band, Chapman and the members of Maps were soon heralded as a driving force behind the rebirth of the UK's "shoegazer" indie rock scene, a musical genre spawned in the late '80s by bands maintaining a motionless performing style onstage, thus appearing as if they were "shoegazing." Currently touring on the festival circuit with Maps and its dreamy brand of electronica, Chapman is expending energy this summer performing live and writing songs for a new record. Having chosen a Shure Beta 57A® for his live show's vocals, he admits, "My voice isn't very loud, you see... I found that this mic really helps support my style of singing. It has a very crisp, clear sound, and really makes the best use of my voice. Our sound guy introduced me to it, and within 15 minutes I was like, 'yep, this is the one'." Chapman is additionally making plans to make a switch to Shure in-ear personal monitors in the near future, a move he feels will carry him to new levels in live performance. "In-ear monitors will help us to hear exactly what we need to hear," he says. "I always want my voice really loud in my monitor because it helps me keep in tune. I think this change will improve our confidence to no end—we're really looking forward to it." We Can Create was nominated for the UK's Nationwide Mercury Prize in 2007. Last year, Chapman and Maps also played five dates in the US, with talk of a return to the colonies remaining active this year. In addition to Chapman, Maps includes Phil Thurlby and Matthew Roberts on keyboards and vocals, Andrew Lowther on bass, and Ben Gordelier on drums.