News4U October 2015

Page 76



The Cold Stares Part 3 of 3 part series For the last two issues, we’ve detailed the music industry odyssey of one of the area’s most talented bands, The Cold Stares. Guitarist and lead singer Chris Tapp has walked us through the Nashville duo’s attempts to secure a record deal, frankly discussing the highs and lows of a career punctuated by a series of near misses and a major health scare that nearly derailed the entire operation. Through it all, Tapp and drummer Brian Mullins have persevered. In fact, the two blues rockers are currently riding a wave of success with the release of a pair of fantastic new EPs, Resonator and Look Over Yonder Hill, plus a fascinating documentary that recently aired on PBS.

overcoming all that we had and then having these offers come back again. But by the time they came back around, we were so hardened by everything that had happened. We were determined to not sign any deal that was

For the final installment of this three part series, Tapp defends the decision to go the independent route and chronicles the thrill of working with famed LA producer Mark Needham. You walked away from both major label contract opportunities and released your new EPs independently. No doubt it was incredibly tempting to just sign on the dotted line and get on with it. When people are talking about you getting a deal, when you have shows that label reps are at and then a year goes by and you have no news, people start drawing conclusions and rumors start. It’s like agents coming to scout you for the major leagues – everyone wants to know what’s going on. It was a great story,

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slanted so heavily towards the label. Sure, it would have felt great to have had that press release and those articles coming out for our egos – to have been able to say ‘we finally made it.’ But to be honest, it would all be bullsh*t, because we would be more broke, more limited and, in my opinion, “sold out” the integrity we had earned the hard way. Working with Mark Needham in LA must have been incredible. Was this the first time you had someone helping to shape your songs?

October 2015 •

Yes – to this extent, anyways. Mark never really has stepped in and wanted to change things, which is one of the reasons we chose to work with him. Mark’s role has been to record what we do and make it sound great – hopefully give it an energy sonically that portrays what we do live. He believes in us as much as we believe in ourselves, I think. It’s been bewildering to all of us involved to see some our peers sign deals – bands that have opened for us on the road – while we still haven’t. If Mark, who has a history of signing and working with some of the biggest and critically-acclaimed bands of the last 20 years, pitches us to a label and says he believes that we are as good as any rock band that they have, and some 25-yearold A&R kid who has never heard of The Cult or The Clash passes on us, what can we do? I’d rather know that someone actually knows music places that kind of validation on my art than be signed by someone who will be selling Audis in the valley this time next year. Finally, what’s been the response so far to the new EPs, especially considering they were recorded in different parts of the country? The response has been great. The connection that different people have with different songs is very special to us as well as having both EPs being so different from each other. Listening to them, I can go back to the place they were recorded and where the music originated from personally. “61 Blues” and “Heart of Gold” were both released as singles in July – both to different formats of radio stations. It’s nice to be able to cover that ground, to land on alternative rock and blues/folk/roots stations. Follow The cold Stares on Facebook.

*Attention local bands and solo artists: Drop your bio or press kit off at Gordy’s and you just might end up in the next issue of News4U! Call 270-684-2156 for details!

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