How would you classify your music?
Who are some of your top 5 musical influences?
Sarah McLachlan; Patty Griffin; Neil Young; Peter Gabriel; Belly and of course, lots of 90s rock.
What do you want fans to take from your music?
I would like fans to come into my world, my story through music. Hopefully, identify with the songs whether melancholy song of lost love or celebration of life even through its rough times. I want them to get to the end of the record and want to start it all over again. I want them to walk away from a show and feel like they’ve just experienced something extraordinary.
Can you tell us a bit about your latest album? When will it be released and how does it differ from your previous work?
My latest album “Tales of the Aftermath” took 8 years to finish. I released it Sept 16th,2015. This has been a long road finishing this record. When I first started demoing for it I didn’t really love the songs, I called them my bastard children haha.. but after some personal difficulties as well as losing the work we originally did to a computer crash (a blessing in disguise really) I started writing again and this time really felt connected to what I was writing. Sean Hoffman and I got to get some distance and decided to approach the sound of the record differently than we had originally planned. I feel like this record is so different from my previous records in many ways. First of all sonically its superior to anything I’ve done, I also feel like I’ve grown as a songwriter and singer creating more intimate songs and finally delivering vocally on record what has eluded me in the past.
What do you love and hate about the Music Business?
I love working for myself. I run my own label and decide what kind of music I will make and when I will tour and gig. I love the independent music community. I love that there is more opportunity for indie artists such as myself to actually make a living doing what we love to do. What do I hate? Promoters who engage with pay to play or venue owners who want you to play for free -you know ALL the exposure you’re gonna get right???ugh. I hate hearing about my friends and colleagues who have been used and abused by big labels.
What is the best concert you have been to? What do you like most about playing live?
hmmmmm….best concert? I would have to say Feist at The Hollywood Bowl in 2008. I thought she was provocative and a great musician. I loved her use of media while performing, something I am working on myself. I love performing. My favorite things about performing are letting go and letting the music take me on a journey. I love the audience. When you have an engaged audience, its an energy flow thats hard to explain but I feed off of it. And most importantly, if I LOVE the music I’m playing I can delve deeper into that experience. While I love the studio, its controlled and there are retakes and retakes to get it perfect. When you perform, thats it, and you don’t know where its gonna go sometimes, its never perfect and thats the beauty of it… its like a beast you learn to dance with.
Is there a song on this latest CD that stands out as your personal favorite, and why?
Wow. Thats kind of hard. This record went from being a batch of bastard children to becoming all my precious babies. They all hold something special for me. But if I had to pick just one at this moment, I would say “Winter”. I wrote it when I had to move home for a few months. I was playing around with my guitar in my father’s music room with the shades open watching the rain fall. It became this meditation for me (i love it when the song just moves through you ) and it was about dying to the last phase of my life to reawaken for the next.
How have you evolved as an artist over the last few years? What made you decide to come back into the music business?
I’m by far a better guitar player and still working that aspect of my musicianship. I feel I have matured not only as a singer and writer but as a person which spills over into my artistry. Joining other musical projects on the side has contributed immensely to my growth as a musician and artist. I can hear the evolution in my voice and writing when I play my records back to back which is satisfying because thats been my #1 goal for awhile to evolve, explore and grow and change as an artist. I don’t want to keep putting out the same records or doing the same shows- what is the point in that?
If you could meet, play a gig, co-write a song, have dinner, get drunk with any band or artist (dead or alive) who would it be?
Wow..thats another tough one. I think I would have to say Peter Gabriel. I love his songs and I love how he digs into his pain but has a sense of hope. His musicality excites me when I listen to his records. I bet I could learn a lot from him.
So tell us what’s next?
Right now working on a video for “Extraordinary Lives” and in 2016 releasing 2 live records – one acoustic and one full band.http://ventsmagazine.com/2015/11/09/interview-courtney-chambers/