The Chills frontman and self-confessed hoarder Martin Phillipps has unearthed around 400 items from his expansive personal collection for an exhibition opening at Otago Museum this weekend.
Titled Things Change, the exhibition will showcase many never-seen-before pieces of Chills memorabilia.
Almost 40 years since forming and Phillips says the band are having a resurgence.
“The odd thing that is happening now is people are discovering The Chills more so now than back then,” he says.
“We're getting approached by people my own age, who went through bands and are kind of post-Nirvana [and] rediscovering a lot of stuff that slipped under the radar at the time.”
Much to the delight of their fans, new and old alike, The Chills are still making music and even have a new album due out later this year.
“We were really pleased, as were the critics and fans, with Silver Bullets,” Phillips says. “And we feel we’ve topped that again with the new album, Snowbound.”
Read Nick Bollinger's review of Silver Bullets here
The idea for the Things Change exhibition was inspired by the creation of a Chills documentary currently in production by filmmakers, Notable Pictures.
The feature-length documentary follows the dramatic story of the long-running band, and goes deep with Phillipps who was told by doctors in 2016 that he had a 30% chance of dying within six to twelve months if he did not make substantial lifestyle changes. He has Hepatitis C.
Exhibition curator Michael Findlay says they were keen to support the documentary as well as have something special in Dunedin to celebrate the band’s legacy.
He says the exhibition includes many “unexpected things that people won’t have seen before“.
“Martin is a collector and it’s an extraordinarily well-organised collection, so it’s been a real pleasure to work with but sometimes you just see things and you go ‘oh that has to be in the exhibition’,” Findlay says.
“So we’ve done a rough count up and we’ve got over 400 objects. When we started talking about the exhibition it was going to be 20 posters, so things have developed.”
The exhibition and the process of its creation was captured by Notable Pictures, and will be included in the documentary which is expected to premiere internationally in 2019.
Phillipps says over the years there has been a lot of discussion about having an exhibition of his eclectic collection, and finally the time felt right.
“There’s certainly enough Chills history and some quite interesting stuff has turned up in the search. Just even today I’ve come across a bag of quite extraordinary original artwork I’d completely forgotten existed.”
Things Change: Martin Phillipps and The Chills
H.D. Skinner Annex, Otago Museum
23 June - 15 July