You have a very interesting musical background, who have been some of your biggest musical influences, personally and professionally?
My biggest musical influences in my personal life would be members of my family. My grandmother, who is an amazing composer and singer, taught me how to play songs on the piano by watching her hands when I was seven. I remember my mother improvising on the piano, as well as writing poetry, which gave me the idea to try to write songs of my own. When I was even younger, my parents took my sister and I to musicals and nightclubs a lot, so we got the idea to put on little ‘Phantom of the Opera’ concerts for them at home, always utilizing the drapes for effect! Professionally, my producer ToneDef has had the biggest influence. I wrote the songs you hear on the EP on either piano or guitar, but always intended them to have a larger hybrid electronic sound, which we were able to fully realize in the studio.
What are some of your professional goals as a musician (albums, tours, award/recognition, etc.)? Coming from a family of artists do you set higher goals for yourself; do you feel like you have more to live up to?
Well, one of my biggest goals was always to go on a national tour, which is actually happening this summer, pretty insane!! Beyond that, the ultimate goal would be to play a huge stadium at some point, I really just want to know what that feels like! In general though, I want to be able to keep making music as a job as long as I want to, for as many people as want to listen. As far as having more to live up to, I’m not going to BS, that’s absolutely true, but that’s a good thing!
When you’re not creating your own music who are you listening to? What current artists/bands surprise/impress you?
It’s funny, the band I’m most obsessed with now is actually the same band I used to be obsessed with like 10 years ago, Muse. I remember the first time I heard their song ‘Bliss’, and it was one of those moments when you’re like, “s!@t, that’s the best song ever/I wish I had written it!” I liked all their stuff in between then and now, but when ‘Madness’ came out, I not only listened to it on repeat, but I gained even more respect for those guys than I had before. They took a big risk with that new sound, and unfortunately converted a few so-called die hard fans into haters, but I see it as their own evolution, rather than just doing the same thing forever.
Who pushes you the most creatively, on stage and in the studio? Who would you like tour/work with (that you haven’t already)?
On stage, I don’t think anyone pushes you harder than the audience honestly! Even though half the time it’s hard to see anybody, you pick up the vibe going on and you have to go off of that, otherwise it’s a one way show! As far as the studio, that would have to be my slave driver producer ToneDef…actually, we’re pretty laid back in the studio I write the songs beforehand anyway, so I don’t ever have to worry about churning out material on a deadline. That way ToneDef and I can just focus on instrumentation, interpretation, and laying down vocals! I would love to make a track with Deadmau5 at some point. I just really like the way he puts his tracks together.
Your website features some really beautiful photographs (chrischace.com/gallery/chris-photography), have you always had an eye for photography? Are your creative passions fueled by the same things, or do different things “get you in the mood” for different things (art, music, photography, etc.)?
Thanks! I never studied photography, but I’ve always enjoyed taking pictures… just not being in them! When I was about 18, I ordered this Sony camera off of amazon that had full manual controls and a laser grid autofocus thing that looked like ‘Predator’ when it activated! Since that camera, taking artistic photos became something I would do for fun if I had free time from everything else. As far as music and art, it’s really hard to predict what is going to strike some inspiration, especially music. I guess the best way to put it would be that with photography, I actively go and look for things that inspire a photograph. With songwriting and drawing, it just happens.
As someone who is very active on Twitter (@ChaceChris) and Instagram (@ChaceChris), how do you feel that social media has changed the music industry and the way artists represent themselves? Do you think that this is a good or bad thing for the industry?
I’ve actually never had a personal Facebook, let alone Twitter or Instagram. I have always preferred talking to my close friends and family in person or on the phone. In the industry though, it would be impossible to connect with everyone who listens to your music in person, so in that sense, social media is an awesome thing. There’s also the obvious benefit of getting more people exposed to your music on your own without necessarily having to rely on a record label. The only downside is that this is true for everyone trying to make it, so there’s a lot more competition out there now. I don’t think it has changed how artists have represented themselves necessarily. Rather, what has changed is that artists ARE representing themselves now, as opposed to all info coming from the press. In a broad sense, whether you’re a musician or not, I think as long as your real life dictates what you do with social media, not the other way around, it’s a good thing. You never want to get taken out of the moment.
Does having traveled and lived abroad change the way you view life and everyday experiences here in the US?
It definitely has. Living around so many kinds of people, cultures, and attitudes actually made me realize that people everywhere have way more in common than we are led to believe. It’s easy to focus on the differences, which are just details half the time. With day to day life though, living in Europe for an extended period of time made me realize how fast paced life is here in the US. In a general sense, they leave themselves more time to enjoy their days than we allow ourselves here, which makes our days seem to pass more quickly when I compare the two.
Do you have any favorite spots around the world? Any one place that you would move to permanently if given the opportunity?
It’s hard to pick favorites, but here goes! For a romantic stroll into the night, it would be between Venice and Prague. For old fairy tale Disney movie landscapes, the middle of nowhere in the Salzburg region of Austria. For big city craziness, between London and New York. And chilling at the beach, either Nice or Hawaii (I realize those two are totally different!). At this point in my life, I couldn’t imagine being anywhere but California, I really like living here. But when I’m old and retired someday, maybe you’ll find me back in my father’s homeland Greece with my own taverna!
Head over to Broken Records Online to check out the premiere of his brand new video for “If We Did It All Again”