January 11 at 6:20 pm et
Episode #411: A.V.A Live Radio Behind The Music with Jacqueline Jax : http://tobtr.com/9732293
GETTING TO KNOW CHAPELL
by Jacqueline Jax host of A.V.A Live Radio
Interviewing: Alan Chapell
Heroes – Album: The Redhead’s Allegations
This is sort of a dark topic for a pop song, but the song is about the Deep Water Horizon explosion and oil spill into the Gulf of Mexico back in 2010. I remember watching day after day of the video showing billions of gallons of oil gushing in to the gulf. At some point, all this oil gushing each day became the new normal. So much that many of the major news outlets even stopped covering it as other stories made their way through the news cycle. And I thought to myself – “is nobody watching this but me? Is nobody else seeing what I see?” Is there someone out there going to be able to save us? And that became the chorus for Heroes.
For the Heroes video, we went a bit further with the idea of saving the environment. And we borrowed a big from one of my favorite stories as a child – The Lorax by Dr. Seuss. (And perhaps a bit from Yellow Submarine as well.) The key theme – “Unless someone cares a lot” could be used in a whole host of contexts today.
Just about all of my songs are autobiographical. I like to tell stories. For many of the songs on The Redhead’s Allegations, the songs were set in Greenpoint Brooklyn during the mid to late 2000’s when Greenpoint was experiencing a particularly robust music scene during that time and I found myself going out and seeing a ton of live music back then.
I’m midway through recording my next (currently untitled) album which I hope to release in the Sprint or early Summer of 2017. I couldn’t be more excited about it and have begun to feature songs from that album heavily in my current set.
I’ve lived in NYC…
for most of the past twenty years. I spent several years in Greenpoint Brooklyn, but have lived in the West Village for the most part. The West Village has relatively few music venues when compared to other parts of NYC, and almost none that focus on indie rock. But for me, the West Village feels like home. One of my favorite things is walking up and down Greenwich and Washington Streets in search of the right song lyric.
Over the past couple of years, I’ve started to get into storytelling and have done a bunch of different Moth-like storytelling sessions. Some of the stories have even begun to make their way into my live show.
I’m not sure what that means. There once was a music business. Nowadays? I’m not so sure. Can someone make a living in NYC solely from musical endeavors? Certainly. My band are all pro’s. But it’s a hustle every day.
I really enjoyed most of David Byrne’s book. Not so much for his analysis of the business end of making music (because I don’t think anyone has really figured that shit out.) But I really enjoyed what David had to say about how he creates. For me, that’s significantly more interesting than the business side.
I would love to have 5 minutes alone with…
For me, it’s not about one person. I love talking about the create process. A few years ago, I became friends with someone who was a world-famous silversmith – someone who is at the pinnacle of his craft. I don’t get to see him anymore for reasons I’d rather not get into, but I’d found him to be one of the more interesting people I’ve ever met. One of the things that he loves talking about is the act of creation – and he certainly wasn’t limited to talking about HIS art. He loved talking about just about anyone’s process. The discussions between him and my dad (a jazz saxophonist) were some of my happiest moments of recent memory.
I love hearing about other people’s creative process…
I think: maybe I can learn something. But also, I want to see if people follow the same process each time – particularly songwriters. Unlike my friend the silversmith, I almost never take the same path from song to song. What worked for me in “Heroes” most certainly did not work in “The Game.” Sometimes I start with the lyrics, tho most of the time I start with a vocal line or some kind of lead riff/hook thing.
Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/thisischapellmusic