There’s a lot you may not know about Chase Bryant. To start, it’s possible you don’t know that he first pursued country music in fast-paced Los Angeles. You probably don’t know that he’s really into Jessie J and Katy Perry right now. You almost definitely don’t know how the 22-year-old Texas native feels about Spotify and what streaming services means for artists like him and tour-mate Brantley Gilbert. We found out all of this and more when we sat down to talk.
Your family has been involved in country music for generations. How much has your family influenced you in becoming a singer-songwriter?
Definitely. That’s really the biggest influence on me, my family, you know? I think they just kind of set down the path for me to fall into music. I was never forced to do it. It was always kind of around, and they were very encouraging when I did pick it up.
What’s the best piece of advice your family has given you based on their experiences in the industry?
Don’t follow your head, follow your heart. You know, if you got a song in your heart, you kind of feel everything out and know what to do and what not to do.
Going along with your journey in becoming an artist, you spent some time in Los Angeles before heading to Nashville. How are the two cities different for a songwriter?
I think that the pace of LA is a lot different from Nashville. I think LA is so quick and so moving and so up-tempo all the time, but I think Nashville is built more around story telling. You know, telling stories with songs, painting pictures. I think LA’s a little more scatterbrained when it came to writing. Also, there’s a lot more songwriters in one song in LA then there is [in Nashville]. I kind of feel like there’s a lot of people getting credit that shouldn’t in LA when there’s, like, ten writers on a song, when in Nashville, you have a co-writer or two others.
Did you work on country songs while you were in Los Angeles?
Who were you writing for? Yourself, other artists?
I was writing for myself.
So then, you obviously moved to Nashville and the rest is history. And you currently on tour with Brantley Gilbert. How’s that been so far?
Oh, it’s been great. You know, Brantley is a good buddy of mine. Being out on tour with him has been something that’s really fun, to get to spend time with him and hang out. Great crowds. It’s a different crowd than what we’re used to. It’s a little more rock and roll than what we’re used to, but it’s been really good and fun to adjust.
Are there any crazy stories so far from the road?
[Laughs] I don’t think anything like that. We went on stage when [Brantley] was up doing his song “Country Must Be Country Wide.” I dressed up my band. My band dressed up like his band. We went up on stage and mocked them all. Also, Brantley is a really fast dude. We race by foot a lot in the parking lot, and I haven’t beat him yet. He’s a quick dude. That guy can run.
This tour is in support of your new EP, Chase Bryant, which features five songs that you’ve written. Are all of these songs going to be featured on your upcoming album?
They will. These will be songs that will also be on my album, and my album will be about sixteen songs.
So this is like a little preview for now.
Yeah, it’s a little sneak peak.
“Take It On Back” is your first single, and it’s been doing pretty well so far. Do you have any hints about your next single?
I mean, there’s been a couple things tossed up in the air. My hope is that it’s “Change Your Name.” I would like for that to be my next single. But who knows? It could be any one of those five.
I mean, I really like the idea of “Change Your Name” being the next single because it’s kind of the biggest change of pace on your whole EP.
Yeah, it’s a different side of me, for sure.
Do you know when your upcoming album may be released?
I don’t. It’s going to be in this new year, like January or a little after.
So like early 2015.
Going back to Brantley Gilbert, I wanted to ask about his and other country artists’ decisions to take their music off streaming services. Brantley Gilbert just took of his most recent album. Jason Aldean, who’s one of your fellow artists on BBR Music Group, also took off his album. Gilbert and Aldean are artists that have been around for a while and aren’t in the beginning stages anymore. For a newer artist, how do you view streaming services? Do you view them positively or negatively?
Well, I mean, look, you’ve got YouTube, where you can go all day long and listen to music for nothing. Why, I don’t know. But that’s okay, that’s a video. That’s something somebody else has put up and said, “Hey, I don’t own this song, blah blah blah” But when it comes to the whole Spotify thing, to be god honest, I feel like our perception of it… we spend a lot of time making these records. A lot of time. And for those people who can’t pay the $10 a month for a subscription, but they work their tail off to go by the record… you know, that serves more of a purpose for me, for you to go buy the record. It’s a big deal to me because we work so hard to get done what we have to do. Then [for fans] to go out and get it for nothing is just crazy.
Which makes sense. I read that Jason Aldean said something very similar to you, that he wants to make sure everyone gets the fair compensation for what they do. Not just you guys, but everyone who works behind the scenes.
Oh, yeah. I mean, as much as we love what we do, it’s also our craft.
Do you have any artists that you’re really into right now?
Going back into my old favorite records, like Augustana and Switchfoot and Keith Urban, a ton. Gosh, who else? You know, Vince Gill, Rodney Foster, Bryan Adams Tom Petty, Fleetwood Mac, people like that, those are people I’m getting back into. Also newer stuff… there’s some newer pop I’m getting into like Jessie J and Katy Perry and people like that.