INTERVIEW: Chadwick Station
by Cyrus Rhodes
Waiting for a Sunny DayĒ from Chadwick Station has everything. Itís an endearing album limited by nothing. I would imagine in time we will hear more from these guys later this summer when their full length CD comes out. Time will tell but I can honestly say this is one band thatís set up for success down the road with their UK appeal and fresh sound that gives modern music a well needed shot in the arm.
"gives modern music a well needed shot in the arm.."
- INDIE MUSIC DIGEST-
IMD What do you want fans to take from your music?
AK Alvis Kensington, here. Iím the lead singer and songwriter in the group. I think what we want fans to take away is that this is not just some band throwing music together in a studio so that we can get them to a concert to sell them a t-shirt. It may sound cliche that we have something to say but thatís basically the point, now isnít it? I mean, if youíve nothing clever to contribute then why be in this business? Every song we do is designed to speak to the fans on some level. I want them to understand that we write and produce our music with the aim of connecting with them.
IMD Who are some of your top musical influences?
AK Each of us has different influences. Curly Maddox, our bass player, for example, is influenced by Bob Marley and John Entwistle of The Who. I think it shows in his bass lines. Iím more of a Led Zepplin and ELO guy. Maybe some Spin Doctors and, of course, The Beatles.
IMD What was the best concert you guys have ever been to?
AK Hmmm, that would be a difficult call. Actually, this may sound a bit odd but Iíd have to say Alice Cooper. Iím a big fan of theatrical-style concerts. Alice, in his heyday especially, nobody could touch him.
IMD Tell us about your latest release? How did you guys form and meet?
AK Well, our meeting is not so melodramatic as something like we formed in high school and won some record label talent contest and got signed on the spot or anything like that. We were all doing our various day jobs and Iíd sit and wait for my train each morning and I noticed John Cotner , who Iíd never met, sitting there with his guitar case waiting for a train. He was heading into the city for an audition for some band and we struck up a chat. Before we knew it I had missed my train to work and he had missed the audition and I said, ďWell, alright, then. I guess that settles it.Ē And John knew Curly Maddox and Curly knew Ian Lancaster and, bobís your uncle - we had a band. As far as how we got to this point, my agent had actually connected me with a motion picture producer in the states that was looking for original material and he got one of my songs landed in the film. We recorded the song as Chadwick Station for a demo but, of course, it would have to be recorded in a proper studio. Plus, we wanted to be closer to the filmís production and really give them what they wanted so we packed up and moved to Nashville. Whilst there we met Bill Cuomo (the EPís producer) and decided to do more than just the movie song with him. He ďgotĒ what we were doing from the start and was just wonderful to work with. He brought so much experience and knowledge to the table.
"I want them to understand that we write and produce our music with the aim of connecting with them."
- Alvis Kensington -
IMD Whatís the best and worst things about being an Independent Artist in your area or locale?
AK I suppose the worst thing is when you say youíre based in Nashville people automatically assume youíre country and western. They donít realize thereís so much more to Nashville than that. Did you know Jack White lives here? Yeah, The White Stripes, The Raconteurs, all that. Iím certainly not knocking country music, mind you, but weíre not country. But thatís the upside, too. When you tell someone youíre based in Nashville thereís an instant credibility that goes along with it. Hell, even the bloody waiters here are seasoned musicians. Itís crazy. But being an independent artist, so to speak, means independence. Weíre with a small label, sure, but that label was formed specifically for us. I mean, they believed in us that much and they pretty much let us call the shots. But donít tell them I said that (laughs).
IMD Do you remember the first song you guys wrote?
AK Iím ashamed to say that I donít. Iíve been writing for so long, I guess it would have to be when I was a teenager but I canít recall the song.
IMD Is there a track that stands out on your latest release that stands out as being your personal favorite?
AK Theyíre all like my children, you know, itís hard to play favorites. I guess you have a sense of what you expect to hear with the finished product when youíre writing the songs and I must say that Cuomo exceeded my expectations. But if I had to pick one that stood out to me it would be Startiní Tomorrow and hereís why. We came back into the studio to work on the EP after weíd cut that track and Bill said, ďI want you to hear these background vocals in solo.Ē Now, these were the answer refrains in the song Iím talking about. He played ďWhat would I do with out youĒ in four-part harmony and he said, ďIt sounds like Queen!Ē ďCrikey!Ē I said. ďWe HAVE to have that a cappella. At the very top of the record!Ē He tacked that phrase on the opening and it just made that track. Thatís what collaboration will do for you.
IMD Whatís the best thing about performing live?
AK I know this may sound odd but Iím not too keen on it, actually. Itís not that I havenít done it or I wonít do it. Itís just that I think thereís far too much emphasis placed on performing live when thatís not what builds a bandís legacy. Steely Dan toured very little when they were making music. In fact, itís my understanding that they stopped touring altogether so they could concentrate on making great albums. Thatís what lasts. Does anyone remember The Beatles for their live shows? Of course, not. Theyíre remembered for their prolificacy in the studio. Do you realize The Beatles wrote and recorded 229 songs in just 9 years? Thatís about 25 songs a year. You canít do that when youíre crammed in a bus or a plane and youíre exhausted all the time. I donít want to belabor the point but I really do believe touring is overrated.
IMD Whatís next for Chadwick Station?
AK We hope to follow ĎWaiting for a Sunny Dayí with another EP in the summer. Iíve already fully developed two songs for the EP. And, by the way, I donít believe in putting out albums. I think thatís an antiquated model that some record companies cling to and I hope our record company doesnít. Back in the days of vinyl you had a couple of stellar tracks and the rest was filler. Why? Because you could get a lot more money for 12 songs than you could for two or five. There was a lot of greed involved. I think digital download has put a bullet in the head of albums and theyíre slowly bleeding out. The consumer is much too savvy for that these days. In fact, the consumers pick the singles anymore. We can lead with a single off the EP but itís ultimately decided by which one gets the most downloads. And as it should be. Itís about time the consumers had a say in the matter. I didnít get into this for the money. Iíve done quite well for myself and Iím in this for a totally different reason. I want to make great music, okay? I want our music to make a statement. Itís all about quality and perfection. I have a lot of respect for the listeners out there. I think they deserve more. Thatís why we plan to only release EPs, if I have anything to say about it. We release five great songs at a time - thatís it - and we leave the rest in the bloody can.
interview conducted by Cyrus Rhodes. Property of Indie Music Media LLC.
Copyright © 2013
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