Interview with Chad Chadwick, Rhythm Guitar, Lead Guitar, Background Vocals, Songwriter - Southern Crudder:
Let’s start off with the basics. Tell us who you are, where you are from, old friends, favorite drinks, entertainer, who inspires you to greatness, family, hometown, song, book, we will find you in your spare time doing… what? My name is Chad. I was born in Texarkana, Tx. Lived in De Queen, AR up till my ninth grade year. Then we moved to Eagletown, Mc Curtain Co. Oklahoma. I grew up listening to my Uncle playing old country artist like Hank Williams, Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash, Johnny Horton, (my uncle also bought me my first guitar, god bless him). Where I’m from is a small town where everyone knows everyone else’s business. Its been almost ten years since I graduated, and most of my old friends have moved on, but there are a few that are actual friends that I still stay in contact with. I all ways just kind of picked around on my guitar and never took it to serious, until I was introduced to Texas Country Music. I’d like to thank Pat Green for the hidden track Songs About Texas. It really turned my back on to playing. I spent most of my time in college drinkin’ beer, skippin’ class, and playing my guitar. I eventually graduated with a degree in Occupational Safety & Health. As far as music goes I pretty much dig on anything Red Dirt or Texas (Jason Boland, Stoney La Rue, Mike Mc Clure, Pat Green, Roger Creager, Cross Canadian Ragweed, anything like that). My parents have been the biggest help always supporting us in everyway possible(especially financially). If it wasn’t for them we wouldn’t be where were at right now.
How did you get started? When? Why? My cousin and I used to sit around and play guitars when we got off work. We just kind of screwed around for a while with my little BR 1180 recorder in the back room laying down songs we knew. One day I called him at work and told him about a song I had written. I told him we had to start a band so we could play it for people. This all started taking place about two years after I graduated college. It was about 6 months later when Jay came around and began playing and singing with us. Then we started to write more songs and decided it was time to take our shit to the stage. It all started with two guitars and some pretty damn good songs.
What are some of the toughest challenges you’ve faced to this point? Being unemployed for as long as I have been has been real tough. I know it sounds like fun, to lay around all day write a song play some guitar, but there’s more to it than that. Up to this point I’ve done most of the booking and I’ll say it’s a full time job to try and keep a band booked up (especially a relatively unknown band). Money has been a problem, but when is it not. We’ve managed so far and we will keep on pressing forward no matter what. It’s not so bad lately now that we are finally getting our name and our music out there.
Songwriting, do you write most of the songs, or do you write with others? If so, who? What inspires you to write? What was your first original song preformed by you? What qualities/abilities do you feel make a good songwriter? Is there a magic combination of things that make a song “good” versus just “taking up air”? I do a lot of writing myself, but when I do write it’s mostly with Jay Smith (our lead singer), and we have a few friends that we like to write with (Zack Jones, Evan Felker). Women who have pissed me off, done me wrong, good times and good friends, that’s all it takes to write a country song. I think you really need to have been through something to be able to write about it, or have a damn good imagination. I like to keep it simple when I write 3 chords and the truth has always been a good formula for me. If you write with someone that has been through the same situation as you, then it really makes it easier for the song to come out. And I think there’s a little bit of magic in that. You know when you’ve just wrote a damn good song.
In playing cover songs, do you find there is a magic mix for the fans, or the venues? Not really a magic mix we just play songs that we like ourselves. And most of the time the crowd responds to it. I mean you can’t go wrong with a Boland or Cross cover song. When in doubt you can always pull Sweet Home Alabama out of your ass, it never fails.
How should cover songs be used by a new band starting out? Like I said earlier we play cover songs that we like to listen to, so if you don’t have good taste in music you may want to be careful.
How would you define the music you create? It’s a big mix of Red Dirt, Texas Music, Blues, Country, and Southern Rock. To sum it up OKLAHOMA ORIGINALS!! We have songs to fit just about any occasion: heartbreak, beer drinkin’, good times, songs about the surrounding country. Everything except a song that suit for a wedding. Our music is meant to entertain everyone wherever we play, so hopefully we got a song that can reach any person out in the crowd.
Do you play both acoustic and full band gigs? Which do you prefer, and why? We haven’t played any acoustic gigs in about a two years. But for about a year that’s all we did play, because we didn’t have a drummer or a bass player. Now all we really play is full band, which is fun. Full band gives me a chance to really cut loose. I like to move around a lot on stage or off stage. I’ve been known to fly off the stage on occasion. But I would like to start playing some more acoustic gigs, just because it is so honest. No sound effects or anything. Just an honest song the way it was meant to be.
Would you take a couple of songs and tell us how, why, when, etc you wrote them? How about some you co wrote… just a couple, do you mind sharing with us the songs and how, why, when, etc... that they were co wrote and who with… what else was going on at the time? I wrote “Never Talked to an Angel” about a year ago. Basically it was about a girl that I was friends with but kind of had a crush on. One night we were all hanging out at her apartment in Durant and I decided to write a song about her. Nothing ever came to be between us except a damn good song. Thanks. “Memories into Dust” is a song that was written by me and a bunch my drunk friends one night at my house. We wrote a 2/3 of it and then I came back in and wrote the last verse about 3 weeks later. Its basically about a guy that gets done wrong, loads up in his truck, takes off to the woods to drink and ride around until her memory is gone. I’ve been in that situation a few times, so it was easy to write.
Who would you cite as your biggest musical influence? Who has influenced your life more than anyone else would? Do you have a mentor in the business? Who is the one you most wish to emulate in the business since of this profession? Up to date Pat Green is my biggest influence. I remember the first time I seen him live. The way the crowd went nuts over every song and every little thing that he did. I thought to myself that is what I want to do.
How important is creative freedom to you, both as a writer as an artist? Creative freedom is a must. If you don’t give an artist the space they need to be creative, and you let someone else tell them what to do then all you get is a manufactured product.
What do you feel your greatest reward has been as an artist thus far? Getting to play music full time, seeing new places and meeting new people. But there is no greater high than a crowd going completely insane after you play one of your songs. Complements never hurt either.
What advice do you have for aspiring musicians? It’s a long hard road. It’s real hard to get a band together(especially where were located), let alone keep it together. No matter how hard it gets you got stick with it. If it’s something you love, you can’t quit on it. It’s really a lot of fun, and there are a lot of rewards that can come from it.
What were some of the toughest challenges that you faced when you first started out? Getting a band together. And getting all the music equipment that we needed to play a full band gig.
How do you feel that the music market in Texas or Kansas or Arkansas differs from Oklahoma; or Nashville? Just about everything you hear in Oklahoma, Kansas, or Arkansas comes out of Nashville. Texas is about the only place you can find a radio station that plays anything but Nashville music. It’s also really hard to find a Texas artist’s CD in Oklahoma.
What location do you call home, and how do you see the market there? How are the fans? How are the venues? How is the overall music business climate there? Eagletown , OK is home to me and probably always will be. There are a lot of people who do support us, but then there is that group that doesn’t, we call them the haters. There isn’t a whole lot of venues around here to play. There’s probably about 8 that are within an hour to two from the house. Music really needs some mouth to mouth down here.
A lot of artists/bands starting out say…” Nashville or East/West Coast Music sucks”…. What is the difference between Nashville and Oklahoma music? Or is it the level of maturity and understanding that sort of hits when one realizes “it is about money, because I need to pay bills??” Your opinion please? The only place in Oklahoma that plays any Red Dirt Country is probably Northeastern cities. Down here it takes an act of God and congress to get some good music on the radio. Most of what I hear on the radio is Nashville music. As far as the money goes we’re flat broke, but still getting to play the music we love and believe in.
Living in Texas, is there something special about Texas and being from it that has helped or hurt your career? Is Oklahoma music and its perspective different, if so, how? Is there something about playing here that you feel might boost your career? One of our goals is to break into the Texas Music and Red Dirt Country scene. I think that the people in these areas really want to hear your original stuff, they want to hear what you got to say. I think playing these areas would definitely help us move along. But the ultimate goal is to bring the music back here.
Who are some of the best instrumentalist, and vocalist, you have ever performed with, and why? In these areas, who would you like to perform with and have not to date? We’ve got to open up for Deryl Dodd, Stoney La Rue, Jason Boland, Cooder Graw, and some others. These guys are true musicians they know how to get the crowd going and keep them in the palm of their hand. They been there and done that, and are still doing it. I’d like to play with Cross Canadian Ragweed. We had a friend of ours from another band tell us we need to play with CCR, so we will see.
What big things, plans etc are in the works that you could and would share with the readers on Payne County Line? We got some new songs that we just recorded that we are trying to get to radio. So keep your ears open.
What makes your music stand out? What is your "edge"? I think our sound combined with the versatility of the songs we write makes us stand out. No one has every showed us how to play or anything like that so everything we come up with is original, and that makes us stand out.
Who are some folks who helped you get started that you would like to recognize... say thanks too, etc? Family, friends, venues, etc? Chad Sargent at Abendigos Grill and Patio in Hochatown, OK. He let us play up there when we were just an acoustic act. Maybe it’s because we built the stage. But it’s the first place we played live together.
What were some of the places you played around Oklahoma starting out? Abendigos, Red Barn, Dillons, and some private parties. That was about it starting out. But up to date we played every big venue and every small dive possible around here.
Are you self managed, or is there someone helping with that? Do you do your own booking? I’ve done most of our booking. But we do have a few agencies helping us out now, which makes life a lot easier.
How do you travel from gig to gig, and what’s that like? We have a 96 chevy van and a 6 x 12 trailer. It’s really not that bad traveling. We like to be out on the road, because that is the only way we are going to get our music out there.
How do you perceive a band to be? Is it family, business, friends, etc??? How does one work through problems that come up? It’s all the above, but mostly family. You have to consider all aspects of a band. As far as the problems it depends on how much we’ve had to drink (ha ha).
Where have you all played? What was your best show to date? Abendigos, Pure Country, Phil’s Big Rock Saloon, Red Barn, Cheyenes, Night Ryders, Carlotta’s Cantina, Crawfish Festival, (OK)—Dillos, The Hangout, Mikes, Crosswire, Fat Jacks, Elks Lodge, and some others I probably forgot (TX), Caliente (AR). We’ve had some good times at just about all of them so I can’t pick a favorite. Playing with Jason Boland at Pure Country was probably the best now that I think about it.
Has the make up of the content of your music changed much over the years? If so, how? Not really we just write and play whatever kind of music were in the mood for. It make be a really crunchy rock sound, blues, or just plain country. Listen for our new song “Wildfire” you’ll see some of our diversity.
Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years? 10 years? Somewhere playing our music to a crowd that really enjoys it. To both questions.
From all the things in life you have done so far, and accomplished, what is the one thing that was the greatest accomplishment, and why? My music. It’s what I love!
To all our supporters, Thanks. To all the haters, get over it.