I want my music to be their therapy, not mine. My listeners desperately need an escape and want fun, upbeat songs because they get enough depression in their daily lives. Country music gets that even a heartache song can be upbeat.

Jacqueline Jax logo photoInterview by Jacqueline Jax
host of A.V.A Live Radio
Band Name: Chris Lee
Song name: Lone Coyote Night
Music Genre: Contemporary Country
 Most of my songs are upbeat but I wanted to share this song, Lone Coyote Night, because it’s more personal and also I like how the music turned out. I wrote it during a period when I lost both my parents and some other people and that caused a lot of self-reflection.
It was weird because I couldn’t really explain what I was feeling. It wasn’t about sorrow and feelings of loss, but more about not knowing what to feel and how to move forward. My music is a full-bodied serving of smooth, modern country flavor but without all the bro or a twangy after taste.

This EP, and my direction, is to try to make catchy music that people want to hear. That sounds obvious and generic but indie music gets it wrong a lot, with music that is too self-indulgent or the songs just sit there and don’t move the listener.

I want my music to be their therapy, not mine. My listeners desperately need an escape and want fun, upbeat songs because they get enough depression in their daily lives. Country music gets that even a heartache song can be upbeat.

In the studio…
I am fortunate to have technical skills and mixing experience which give me the freedom to produce my own stuff. I can take my time in my home studio tracking vocals and guitars and then go outside for other parts. There are a lot of pros of doing it this way because the Internet and apps have opened up so many options.

For example, I was able to find and contract a singer based in Nashville–Sarah Spencer–to do my background vocals for a few songs including Lone Coyote. She has a beautiful voice and the collaboration was great and painless. I am thinking of using a studio to do a couple of singles this year, but my preferred process is what I described.

Equipment that I love…
My favorite guitar is a Carvin electric that I had custom made for myself as a birthday present. It has electronics to let it sound like a Strat, Les Paul and even an acoustic guitar. It also has one of the most playable necks I’ve ever touched. My other favorite piece of equipment is my new HeadRush pedalboard. It’s a programmable system that lets me create all my effects and amp sounds with a touchscreen. It sounds great, and it also looks very sexy.

Staying focused and balanced; that’s always a challenge.

You’re always competing for time with your family or day job, and even music requires more work these days (like doing social media). I read a lot of self-improvement Kindle books and have learned to get things done in small chunks of time during the day. I basically focus on getting 1% done, or 1% better, every day.

Music advise…
ignore other people’s opinions. Make your music, sing your heart out and forget what other people say.

The reason why is because critics, family, friends–basically almost everyone– will actively try to crush your dreams. You can’t let their lack of ambition, insecurities or whatever keep you from sharing your art with the world, wherever it may take you.

This is a good time to thank those people, like AVA Live Radio, who do support and promote indie music and artists. I know it can be an exhausting and thankless job. So thank you!

 

I live in Fort Worth, Texas….
The music scene here has a lot of small venues and people are very supportive of live music with the whole red dirt scene.Unfortunately, it can also be a struggle for musicians because it’s been commoditized and devalued, but at least the scene is alive and active.