Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Chicken Coop”?
It was one of those rare songs that came to me quickly – I got the whole thing out in a day or two. Typically my writing process is more akin to wrestling a small bear for a couple months. But yeah once I had that guitar lick and the first couple lines, the rest just came tumbling out one morning. I really like songs like that. It didn’t leave much time for me to over-analyze or get in my own way too much.
Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
Not a particular event – probably just a couple too many consecutive nights at a bar. Bars are kind of like a weird social experiment where if you look around and pay attention, you really get the full spectrum of human emotion and behavior. Oh, also, fast women.
Any plans to release a video for the single?
I want to release a couple live videos once the record is out. Not sure if I’ll do Chicken Coop or not. I think there’s other songs on the record that would lend themselves better to a live intimate performance.
How was the recording and writing process?
The writing process took me several years, which might sound a little ridiculous for a 7-song EP. But a lot of this record was me just learning how to write. I threw a ton of songs away before we went in to record. I also hadn’t really played with a proper band since high school. When I brought Erin Nelson and Katie Blomarz in for our first rehearsal, I remember being really nervous, and by the time we were done I remember thinking “this is what these songs are supposed to sound like”. We recorded at my friend Randall Kent’s studio, and he was really the final element in bringing these songs to life. It’s nice when you have a vision for a record and you’re able to surpass your expectations. Having talented folks on your side helps.
Though Americana and Country are your thing, I can hear some Blues too – how do you tend to blend all these styles together?
I grew up listening to a lot of Neil Young, James Taylor, Bob Dylan – so the folk/americana thing has always been in there I guess. That’s probably what comes out naturally. I wouldn’t feel comfortable labeling myself a country artist at all, because I’m not, but living in Nashville for almost 4 years I think some of that is bound to creep in to your sound. Blues is funny because I don’t really listen to it too much, but I get really excited if it comes out when I’m fooling around on my guitar. Chicken Coop is a sort of blues tune I guess.
Does one genre tend to shine out the most depending on the lyrics’ theme?
I listen to a lot of singer-songwriters. I like the “feelers”, the ones who just pour their guts out onto a page. That’s what I strive for. So a lot of my songs tend to be lyric-based, in which case I just want a chord structure that will sort of carry the song along, as opposed to having flashy guitar parts or super complex melodies.
What role does Gregory Alan Isakov and Jason Isbell play in your music?
Those guys are very different kinds of writers but equally important to me. I didn’t discover either of them until I moved to Nashville. Gregory has a way of evoking a feeling or frame of mind through his arrangements and his lyrics are more fragmented – random imagery and not so linear. I would love to be able to do more of that. That’s poetry to me. Jason Isbell has a way of throwing you a more literal, linear set of jabs and punches that just leave you stunned and wrecked. There’s lines of his that on the hundredth listen, you’re still like “good God…” Even though he’s a big influence, I have to be careful listening to him too much. Too much influence can be a bad thing if you start losing your own voice so to speak.
How’s your new album coming along?
Any tentative release date or title in mind?
Feb 24th, tentatively.
Any plans to hit the road?
I would love to bring my band out for a couple one or two week mini tours in 2017. We’ll see if the money gods are fair to me this year.
What else is happening next in Chris Moyse’s world?
Writing the next record! Playing shows. Learning a lot. Trying to get better. The usual.