Up-and-coming pop artist Chris Schwan released his latest album This is Temporary with his band Call in Artillery earlier this month. The album itself is an extension of the EP of the same title released in 2014, taking the listener on a well-known emotional journey about relationships and life. Earlier this week, Chris was kind enough to answer a few questions for me about the new album and to share his experiences in the music industry.
1. For readers who haven’t heard your music before, tell us a bit about your sound.
Call in Artillery is a little mix of everything pop. I make sure my music and lyrics have beauty to them; big, powerful, emotionally packed choruses, with relatable and witty versus. I did most of the album with my producer Jon Heisserer, other parts of it were done with musicians around the country. I went out to Nashville to work with a certain guitarist I really liked on “I Won’t Let Go”, then all the way to North California to work with one of my good friends and record producer Nick Watland, on “Hands To The Sky” which is a rock/rap song on the album. If you like catchy, top 40 type songs, but are sick of the same old stuff on the radio, Call in Artillery will be your new favorite band.
2. Who are your musical influences?
Growing up I listening to bands like Bowling For Soup, New Found Glory, Simple Plan, and Goldfinger. Green Day’s Warning album was a favorite of mine too. Another band that greatly inspired me was Third Eye Blind. Not only did I fall in love with their self-titled album, I learned about producers and how much they affect the music they work. Third Eye Blind did that particular album with Eric Valentine, a legendary record producer. I gained a huge interest in producers after that and the role they play in music. Max Martin, Dr Luke, Redone, and John Feldmann have come to play a huge role in the way I write music.
3. Your new album ‘This is Temporary’ was released recently, what was the inspiration behind it?
The last five years of my life were the toughest I’ve ever gone through. I went through a bad break up, had a daughter and then went through a chaotic custody battle. For the first time I had to fight for something I loved. I lost some close friends and watched some friendships fade away. I almost gave up, but in the end found my light. I realized along the way that it’s the same for every twenty-something and I wanted to write songs anybody and everybody entering the real world can relate too.
4. What advice would you have for musicians just starting out in the music industry?
Remember that what you’re doing is a job, whether it’s your only job or not. Treat people and other bands the same way that you would treat co-workers or customers. Remember that you will never lose your own success promoting someone elses. Another really important piece of advice is, always put your record above your ego. Don’t be afraid to let your producer direct you or even take the lead on a song. Don’t be too full of yourself, let a session musician play your parts. Do anything and everything to make your record sound as good as possible. Be prepared to spend money. You will get what you pay for. Lastly, tip your engineers.
5. Last but not least, do you have any upcoming gigs or plans to write/tour?
No tours right now, maybe next summer. I’m actually in the studio now working on a single which could be the start of the next album!
You can listen to This is Temporary here
You can also see my review of his latest album This is Temporary here