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| 28 July 2015 | Reply

One of the up-n-comers in Country music creating a buzz around his second Top 40 hit is Chase Bryant.  Out on the road supporting Tim McGraw on the Shotgun Rider tour, Chase has been getting plenty of stage time to entertain his fans as well as make new fans every night he hits the stage.  With an EP available and a complete disc recorded just waiting to be released, Bryant is ready to take on the world and share his music with anybody willing to listen, whether it is in a club, on a festival stage, or the top of a party bus.  Taking time out during a day off in Cleveland (where he is visitng the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame), Chase shared thoughts on the tour, his fans, and his desired longevity…


Toddstar: Chase, thank you for taking time out. We really appreciate it.

Chase: Oh, man, no problem, no problem at all.

Toddstar: Let’s talk about it, man. You guys are out on the road on the Shotgun Rider tour with Tim McGraw. How’s that tour rolling so far?

Chase: Man, it’s great. Tim’s such a great guy and such an icon to most of us that are part of Country music.  He’s one of those guys that, he truly is a legend in what he does. He’s one of those guys, one of the few guys, that has every song was just a great song. Every song he ever wrote, they were hits, you know what I mean, and they were hits for a reason. They are great songs, he has a great ear, he’s a great guy, he’s a great entertainer, and most importantly, he’s a great artist. I think, for me, I look up to him on many different levels, and I’m just glad to be a part of this tour.

Toddstar: You talk about what a legend he is and he’s been around forever and you’ll still hear him talk about his legends and who took him under their wing. When you’re out on the road on a tour like this, is he giving you pointers or is he talking to you and saying, “These are things to do. These are things to look out for”?

Chase: The best pointer he ever gave me is one I’ll use for the rest of my life. He told me, he said, “It’s not about who is the most talented, because there are people who are more talented than both you and I, but the one who works the hardest gets the job.”

Toddstar: That’s quite insightful, actually.

Chase: Yeah, it stuck with me hardcore, for sure. It was something that, when he told me that, I was just, like, “Man, this is the words I’m going to live by for the rest of my life.”

Toddstar: I’m excited you guys are coming to Detroit next Sunday, August 2nd when you play DTE Energy Music Theatre, but you got a little taste of Michigan last night at Soaring Eagle in Mount Pleasant. How was that show?

Chase: Man, it was incredible. We went on about 6:10 yesterday, and Tim wanted us to play 45 minutes yesterday, so we played 45 minutes, the crowd was there, the crowd was great. I just saw a picture a second ago of me standing on the stage and the crowd with their hands up in the air. It was just a live interactive crowd, and it was a blast. Michigan’s always been that way for us; it’s always been great for us to go and play there.

Toddstar: You mentioned you played 45 minutes. The EP clocks in at just under 18 minutes. What kind of stuff did you throw in there for fun?

Chase: We’ve cut our record. I’ve been able to play a bunch of songs out there that are off our new record which will be out hopefully this next year. We threw in some Steve Miller, we threw in some Michael McDonald, so it was fun, you know?

Toddstar: Sure. I’d love to hear you do a live version of “Honky-Tonk Woman.” I love the version that’s on YouTube.


Chase: Yeah, man, we do that every now and then, too. It’s a fun one.

Toddstar: It is. Speaking of the Shotgun Rider tour, you went out earlier this year and did your own headlining club tour. How different was that to do than what you’re doing now?

Chase: When people know one song and you’ve got to hold them for 75 minutes, or at least 70 minutes until that last five minutes to “Take It On Back,” it’s a whirlwind, because you’ve got to make them believe that all the other songs that you’re playing are hits and songs they know, even though they’re not. It was fun, it was another game for us, because it was something we had never done before, so we were excited to go out there. To be honest, what you learn from what you do wrong is when you’re best, because that’s what you learn from.

Toddstar: Sure. “Take It On Back” is obviously the huge hit single. If you had to take another song or two from the EP that personally either meant more to you or you thought would be stronger, what would they be?

Chase: Yeah. My new single “Little Bit Of You” is one of them, which that just went Top 40 today, which is pretty awesome, so my second Top 40. That or “Change Your Name,” off my EP, are two of the ones for me.

Toddstar: Okay. You’re a co-writer; you’re a young guy in the country business. There are so many co-writers out there, and for you to actually put your stamp on every song, how is it that you’re able to pull something like “Take It On Back” or, like you mentioned “Change Your Name?” These are very emotional songs. Where are you drawing your inspiration on these tracks?

Chase: I think it’s having your heart broken a lot of times, falling in love and thinking you know what it is about and then you’re wrong. I think, for me, I just draw from what’s real, because I want people to relate to me and relate to the things I do. For me, that’s where I really pull a lot these days, is from the experiences I’ve learned the most from or I’ve had the most fun doing. I think “Take It On Back” is innocence, being fun and reckless, being a kid in high school, or “Change Your Name” is falling in love with a girl who you really want to spend the rest of your life with, and then, of course, she breaks up with you and it doesn’t end up that way. There are  songs like “Little Bit Of You” that may be about that same girl that you really just, anything you can do to get there to her. I think it’s all things that we’ve been through and things that are real.

Toddstar: Well, let me say “Congratulations” on making the Top 40 with “Little Bit Of You.”

Chase: Thank you.

Toddstar: Hopefully that will go the same way as “Take It On Back.” What was it like to know that you’ve made it with a Top 10 Country Air Play Track with “Take It On Back?”

Chase: Man, it was the moment that I went, “This is real. This is happening. Now I’ve got a shot, now I’ve got to keep it going, I’ve got to keep the songs coming, because if I don’t, then I’m wrong.” It was just one of those moments that I was really honored. I was blessed that I had a Top 10, and people of Country radio who I’m really great friends with, and people that are now fans that I respect more than anything on this planet, I’m so glad they bought that record and called in and asked for that record to be played on their radio stations. It made my life. It made what was a hobby now a job, and it made what was my dream, it made it a reality.


Toddstar: You talk about your job and reality, and you have mentioned idols and icons. You’ve mentioned in the past that Mike Campbell and Lindsey Buckingham were some of your guitar influences, but when you’re playing, man, you put such a heavier, rock and roll spin than what those guys have brought to the table typically. Where do you draw your real heavier rock influence from?

Chase: I love Tom Petty and Bryan Adams and a lot of those records that Jeff Lynne made and even T-Bone Burnett records, or you go back into guys like Mutt Lang. Those are records that I loved, or guys like Eddie Kramer who would do the stuff like Jimi Hendrix. My guitar playing is a little more aggressive, because I think I’m a pretty aggressive person, passive I think, and sometimes I’m quiet. Then there’s the times when I really get into something or I’m hurting over something. Whatever it may be. I’m aggressive and I can get angry at some times, and I think the feeling in the guitar is what speaks for itself. There are certain songs that are meant to be played a little softer, but you’re right, a lot of my stuff has that edgier, louder, structured guitar sound. I think that was all just built around whatever I’m feeling at that moment, you know what I mean?

Toddstar: I do. Going back to Country for a second, though, you’ve played a stage that every legend in Country music has played; you played the Opry, and you showcased a song called “Yours Tonight.” How big an honor was that for you to be asked and then to be able to stand on that stage?

Chase: I’ve played there multiple times, but to be asked to be a part of that record is one of those things that I couldn’t even tell you how awesome that is. My mom, my dad, and I, and my grandfather on my mom’s side, we all used to sit around when my brother and I were kids. We used to listen to WSM radio and see it when the Opry, I believe it was on a channel called TNT. Do you remember TNT, that channel?

Toddstar: Yeah.

Chase: I can remember that they would show the Opry on Thursday, Friday, Saturday nights, whatever it was. I remember, I’ll never forget, we used to go to this little restaurant in my hometown, this little Mexican food restaurant, and we used to get bean and egg tacos. It was our thing, me and my dad and my grandfather and all of us. We would sit around the TV and watch the Opry, and now to know that I’m part of that. I go back to the times when I was a kid, like when I would watch Delbert McClinton go on and play or host it, or whatever he may be doing. I go back to those moments, and I relive those moments of, that’s what I wanted, this is the one place I wanted to play. That’s like the Royal Albert Hall to people like Adele, or people like that. That’s the most sacred place as a Country artist or any artist, you could ever stand, and now that I know I’m part of that record, it’s really cool.

Toddstar: Definitely, you’re part of history, that’s for sure.

Chase: There are no words to explain it.

Toddstar: I’m sure there’s not. The Shotgun Rider tour, again, is going to roll through Detroit here at the end of the week, but last Friday you were in Kansas. How different was it to be in Kansas, opening for Tim McGraw, than it was when you were playing on the top of a bus at the Kicker Country Stampede?

Chase: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Oh, my God. I think that Country music fans in general have been gracious to me, and I’m a guy that, after every show you’re going to see me at a merch stand signing autographs. I don’t care what time that place closes down, we’ll keep it open until we’re done meeting with these fans, because they paid to come in and see a show. I’m appreciative of that, and I think for me, that was all about going out and connecting with the fans and playing up on that bus, somebody’s bus that looked like it was about to fall apart. I’m on a second-story risking my life, as well as about 30 other people up there playing, whatever it was, “Take It On Back” and “The Joker.” Going from there to going out and playing with Tim McGraw every night, you’re going out in hopes to take a crowd that is so enthralled with Tim McGraw and hope that they will become fans of what you do and fans of the art that you make. It’s a whole other world, but it’s a fun world with him, because it’s something different every single day. State to state, town to town, stage to stage, it’s all different. It’s never the same night to night. You can’t make plans. It’s not like having a girlfriend and making dinner plans, because it changes.


Toddstar: You mentioned getting out there with the fans and doing that whole routine, but when’s the last time you were star-struck, Chase? When’s the last time you were the fan?

Chase: Oh, man. There’s been plenty of them, I think. When I met Michael McDonald I was incredibly star-struck. I did a thing with a Kia commercial where I cut “Taking It To The Streets.” I’m never really star-struck, to be honest, because I know we’re all normal people and we all live our lives on the same place, but when I met Michael, he had come in to listen to what I had cut, and he was in there listening while I was cutting. I’m playing guitar, producing this session with my best friend, Derrick George. We’re both playing guitar and producing this session of a song that we both love and have drawn from, and there’s Michael McDonald sitting on the other side of the glass listening to the cut. That’s when you’re like, “Holy crap, the guy that I grew up listening to on an old static, beat-up radio that I had had tin-foil wrapped around the antenna to hope to get better reception from an oldie station in Corpus Christi, Texas. That’s just one of those things, that, here I am in the city that I love, making music and re-cutting, and hoping to do justice to a song that I was nothing but absolutely inspired by as a child. That was pretty cool.

Toddstar: I bet it was definitely a defining moment. When it comes to writing, again, Country music, there’s so many guys out there writing, guys and girls, and you put your hand on every song. If there was one or two writers out there that you would just love to sit down and pen something with, who would they be?

Chase: One of them, I do it all the time with, but I look forward to every day doing it with him, is Tommy Lee James. He’s one of my favorite songwriters of all time. I’m going to give you three, because there are three people that I truly do love. One would be him; the second would be Dave Loggins. “Please Come To Boston” was my favorite song of almost, one of my favorites of all time. Then there are guys like Bono. “With Or Without You” was just one of the most sacred, creative songs of all time, or even Tom Petty is great, Vince Gill is great. I think guys like that I really relate to, and there’s also a guy, Travis Hill, or Scooter Caruso, as they call him in Nashville. He wrote one of my favorite songs. There’s just so many guys that I think are great people who you love to be around and you love to spend time with, and somebody that’s got a story to tell and will help you tell yours. I think guys like Tom Petty, and a guy like Bryan Adams or Dave Loggins, those guys are all just such great and fascinating writers that I really respect.

Toddstar: Very cool. Listen, I know you’re busy, so I’ve got one more for you, so you can go and enjoy your day at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Chase: Yeah, no problem.

Toddstar: With everything going on, man, again, you’ve got a Top 10 single, you’ve got a new Top 40 single, you’ve done headlining club tours, you’ve played the Opry, and you’re out with Tim McGraw. What’s that next plateau? What’s next for Chase Bryant?

Chase: Overcoming being the new guy on the block. You want to be the old guy one day, and I hope what’s next for me is 20 to 30 years of, or the rest of my life, I don’t think I can put a schedule on it, but the rest of my life people wanting and craving to hear what I’m doing musically. I think, to me that is more important than anything in the world right now. I’d love to have platinum records. I’d love to win Grammys and love to win CMT and CMA and ACM awards, but at the end of the day you want to leave people wondering when they’re going to hear your voice again. That’s all I ever want; that’s all I’ve ever wanted. I’m never going to stop working for that. I think that’s the biggest goal for me, is to spend a lifetime playing the music that you love and the music that people inspired you to play.

Toddstar: An awesome answer, man. I can’t wait to be one of the fans at DTE Energy Music Theater when you guys roll into town next Sunday, and hopefully we’ll get a chance to say hello and thank you in person.

Chase: Absolutely, Buddy, we’ll see you soon.

Toddstar: All right, Chase. Have a great day.

Chase: All right, man. All right, Buddy. Thank you very much.






Photo Credit(s): Glenn Sweitzer (1 & 4), Chris Tuite (2), Westin Heflin (3)

Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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