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| 24 December 2020 | Reply


According to a recent press release: “Set for release in February 2021, The Neverlutionaries’ self-titled LP comes alive with catchy, heavy, textural, sometimes trippy sounds and moves with thought invoking, soulful lyrical delivery that nods to the rock and soul strains of Lenny Kravitz and Prince fronting the bombast of Soundgarden in songs like “Hopped Up On Crazy,” “Ticking Away,” and “Everybody’s Losing Their Minds”.  A Led Zeppelin/Jack White dirge and groove is sprinkled in “Save Yourself.” “Ariana” is joined by the other Pink Floyd-blended ballads “As It Burns,” “Precious Eyes,” “Unconditionally,” and “Stumble.”  Two retro rock-inflected songs “Ill Equation” and “Stardusted” round out the track listing.  The bonus track “Ellis Street Stomp” is a piano and horn driven spoken word hazy jazzy brew of Prince, Mayer Hawthorne and Steely Dan.” We get Christopher Harold Wells, brainchild of Nashville-based psychedelic alternative rock band The Neverlutionaries, to discuss new music, reflection on his past, and much more…

Photo credit: Michael Phillips

1. Tell us a little about your latest release.  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through?  Are there any hidden nuggets you put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

The first single is “Ariana” and I’m so totally stoked about putting it out and the reception that people have given it thus far.  I think the listener after having a few listens, will hear all sorts of different layers of guitars.  It sounds like keyboards but it’s not.  The swirling sound at the beginning and the end is an EBow which is a device that has magnets and vibrates the string you hold it above produces an oscillating effect which makes the note constant.  Rock nerd stuff!  There are no hidden nuggets, but I think folks will enjoy the ride.

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

When I was young, I was at a family reunion in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. There was a band playing as entertainment and I remember being transfixed and feeling something funny while they played.  I sat at the front for as long as I was allowed to.  I remember the drummer giving me a stick at the end of the show.  After that, I got into doing musicals in school and that was it. I’ve always kind of known.

3. Building on that, is there a specific song, album, performer, or live show that guided your musical taste?

There is a song called “The Beautiful Ones” by Prince that always gets to me.  I’ve felt that romantic desperation before, so it always struck a chord in me.  It was when I first understood the power of song.  Goose bump stuff for damn sure. Prince taught me that as long as you mean what you sing, you can say it anyway you like!

4. Who would be your main five musical influences?

The aforementioned artist above, Led Zeppelin, Robert Johnson, The Cure, and Cream.

5. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be, and why?

Omar Rodriguez Lopez!  All of his music is cool and he goes for it in terms of sounds, tones, layers and explosive guitars parts.  He is a true visionary and they don’t make a lot like him.  It’s almost like he is from the future and he came back in time to prepare us for what is coming.

6. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before? What is the one comparison a reviewer or fan has made that made you cringe or you disagreed with?

My music has so many facets, so this is a tad tricky.  It sounds like life.  Sometimes it’s hard.  Sometimes it’s easy. Sometimes it’s psychedelic and sometimes it doesn’t make any damn sense.  Getting compared to Lenny Kravitz makes me cringe.  I respect him and like his music, but I think it’s just easy to do because we are both Black artists who play rock.  His music to my music is like comparing figs and chicken wings.  They are both tasty but completely different things.  My music is a bit darker and has depth located at different parts of the ocean if you know what I mean.

7. When your band is hanging out together, who cooks, who gets the drinks in, and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

We’ve been separated by the pandemic but when we were recording and such, it was pretty mellow.  These cats are seasoned vets so it’s been a joy to say the least!  No nonsense just straight up grooviness.  But if one is to start clowning and crooning, it’s usually me.

8. When was the last time you were starstruck and who was it?

Robert Plant!  I was in New Orleans a few years Back for Jazz Fest and I was coming down the street dusting off myself from a night of gambling and I literally ran into him in front of the Omni hotel as he was preparing to board his tour bus.  I remember quickly mumbling something about how his music has influenced me, etc.  He was really kind and thanked me. A true English gentleman indeed, considering I ran into him.

9. What is the best part of being a musician? If you could no longer be a musician for whatever reason, what would be your dream job?

The best part of being a musician is making people feel something – it’s possibly writing something that connects them with something they’re going through that makes them feel better.  Maybe it gives them hope.  Maybe it makes them think about something in a different way.  And maybe it just makes them think. I would be a chef as I love cooking but never did it as a job because I like to take my time and not be rushed.  Being a musician and a chef has a lot of similarities. Ingredients aka musical elements.  Timing is key in both.  Harmony is also very important.

10. What is one question you have always wanted an interviewer to ask – and what is the answer? Conversely, what question are you tired of answering?

No one ever asked me why I play in the first place.  The reason I play in the first place is because it was literally in my blood on both sides of my family; it’s something within me something that has always been with me and will always be the biggest part of my being.  It’s something that makes me very proud to be connected to something so sacred and pure. I honestly don’t get tired of answering anyone’s questions.  I’m just stoked and honored that they care enough to ask.

11. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over,” even if it didn’t change your current situation?

Nope.  I wouldn’t change one thing as I believe everything happens as it should and you can’t alter what is destined to be.

12. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

I would be hanging with Jimi Hendrix and the Experience when they recorded their debut record in London.  There must have been an amazing creative freshness bristling in the air… For me, that record means everything.  It changes the game forever and sets the bar high.  Maybe too high!  He was so damned good!  Period!  It’s like he taught us all a new musical language and then he left before we could learn more.

BONUS QUESTION – Due to the current world situation with COVID-19 / quarantine / shelter in place, what have you discovered you miss the most from your life before the pandemic struck?

Traveling.  Traveling.  Traveling.  Did I say, traveling?  Our reality at present is curious to say the least.  Just the fear of getting sick doing everyday tasks is heavy as hell.  And the thought of flying is even worse.  My dear friend and Neverlutionaries drummer Chris McGrew and I were set to fly to Paris in April to play some shows and do some promo stuff, so I was hella bummed when all this happened.  But, when the time and opportunity present itself, I will be ready and will rock hard every time I set foot upon a stage.




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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