Now, back in February, I was lucky enough to meet Erik Chandler (from Bowling For Soup), and his friend Ryan Hamilton on their House Party tour of the UK. It was the stuff that memories are made of and it gave me a thirst for Erik’s solo material. Erik agreed to an interview on his next solo tour (which is this one), and my newest Texan friend talks about inspiration, touring plans, recording, and all things music.
CB – Let’s talk about your solo career.. When did it start? Why did it start?
EC – The whole reason it started, was Jaret the lead singer from Bowling For Soup and I had this idea and side project together. We happened to go out on tour with Smile Smile, and while we were out on tour, Jaret and Ryan (Ryan Hamilton, People On Vacation, formerly Smile Smile) started writing music together. Jaret came to me one day, and said he had this other thing going on now..
CB – So he was cheating on you with Ryan?
EC – Yeah. He said he thought I should do a solo album, which was awesome because as soon as I got that news, the direction of the song writing changed completely and it became what it is now. We were talking about doing an alternative country kinda thing, and that’s the kinda stuff I was writing. When he said about the solo album, the writing immediately changed to more a Rock N Roll thing.
CB – Isn’t that what you were aiming for originally?
EC – You know what? The whole idea behind what I’m doing right now is like, if people who like The Strokes can bring back the 80’s sound, I want to bring back an early to mid 90’s sound. That’s my ‘golden’ age of music.
CB – So, who’s your favourite artist from then?
EC – The Lemonheads. In fact I play one of their songs in my set…
CB – I think you did that on the House Party tour..
EC – I did, I did. That was an awesome tour. It went so well, Ryan and I are going to one in the States this summer.
CB – What about the UK?
EC – Next year probably..
CB – So, obviously, we’re not here to talk about Bowling For Soup, but you guys aren’t playing in the UK after the farewell tour this October, but you personally, you’re not going to give up on the UK are you?
EC – No, not at all. I’ll be coming as often as it’s possible. You don’t have to worry about missing me, I’ll be over when I can.
So. What are you plans for the future? How many solo albums have you done already?
EC – Just the one so far. And an EP, which is out over here right now, but we’re releasing the full album in the UK and States later on this year. It’s all finished, it’s all recorded. We’re just waiting to release it, because I’ve just got the full band together right now and so, we’re trying to get some shows under our belts before we release the album. We were a three piece from last November but we’ve just added a second guitar player, and he hasn’t actually rehearsed with us as a full band yet. We will all hook up when I get back.
CB – I wanted to ask you a question. I’ve heard your Grandfather was very influential to you…
EC – My Grandfather taught me how to play the guitar. He started me playing guitar, and I used to go to his house, and sit on his bed, and play his Gibson SG copy, it wasn’t the real thing, but that’s what he played, which funnily enough, that guitar has been promised to me at some point. What you’ll see me playing with tonight, is a real SG, which looks exactly like the one we had, and that’s why I bought that guitar. That’s kinda a homage to Papa.
On that note, we had to end the interview, as the doors to the show were starting to open, and Erik had to go do some stuff before his performance. So this is the point where I sign off, but before I got, I urge you ALL to go check out Erik’s solo material, go to his website (ErikChandler.com) and stream his tracks. Get his EP, wait for his album, and get that too, as it’s some of the most beautiful and best music I have ever heard.