Hi Cris, thanks for answering a few questions.
1). Your fans were very keen for your new album but were patient due to you adding more songs. That is the first time I have heard of a band adding songs! Was it just too hard to pick which ones to leave off the album?
We actually had a song called “Crown and Nails” that didn’t make the record and I did a cover of the song “Hallelujah” (Leonard Cohen) as well as a few others but it just didn’t seem to flow with the record…. and it seemed like the flow on this record was the most important part. It just felt good.
2). A few hours ago when I was writing this you posted on Facebook that you were given some bad advice about keeping your OLR business separate from your personal life. I see many artists struggle with this, and most are leaning now to share more on social media. I mean don’t go crazy like Miley Cyrus then complain that people hate you….. So I guess fans will hear more from you now?
Yea, I would think that I am an introvert by definition. If you look up introvert in the dictionary there is a picture of me next to it. 🙂 So when I used to do social media it would come off as awkward but it seemed like the people that listened to my music got it and got me. We posted about 4 million memes with our logo and Tom Wopat back in the day on Myspace and that ended up kind of being a gateway between us and our fans. But then someone came along and was like, “you can’t be doing stupid stuff like that on social media because no one will take you seriously”. He was a “PRO” social media guy and it just felt like it lost all of its personal touch once we moved in that direction. So now this is where I am, I am not cool, I don’t care if people think I’m cool. I am a singer/songwriter, married, father of two little girls that are my best friends and that’s really all I care to be. There is so much fake going on in music that you can’t find its pulse anymore, let alone its heart. And I don’t buy into it…. I won’t. I refuse to.
3). Now that your album has been released how are you feeling about it all? The lead up to release can be rather stressful….
For me, the lead up to the release wasn’t stressful at all. Making the record and caring for it and nurturing it to be exactly what you heard in your head as an end result is the best feeling. Whether people like it or not, it’s yours and you have to stand by it and claim it as just that. I make songs that I like and just hope that I share a common musical taste with the people that like OLR. If it were up to me I would stay in the studio year-round writing and recording music even if it was just for other artists.
4). Are you pleased with the way ‘The Memories Uninvited’ was received by your fans? I have seen many positive comments about it.
Yes, this record just had a special feel to it. It was recorded in the same studio as the first Matchbox Twenty record, and the Stevie Ray Vaughn records and Collective Soul, etc. I in no way compare us to those bands – but the studio just has a style, a sound and a feel to it and you can hear it in this record. And I think the fans pick up on that.
5). Like many artists you use writing as a therapy session. So the last few years prior to writing this record, you have been super happy and you did not write songs, for your fans that was not good, but for you I guess a happier time in your life is better!
Yea, when I started I was a 19 year old, extremely poor, angst filled young man ready to set the world on its ass and at that time writing came very easily for me…. But music was all that I had and so I was married to it and it was number one in my life. Now music is still my passion but it’s also my job and it finds its place in my life and I do it only when I want to or need to. If I decide to quit tomorrow, I could walk away knowing that I did what I wanted to in music and proud of my catalogue.
6). You took 5 years to write this album, you wanted to take your time and get the record right, did you still feel that you were rushed in any way?
No, not at all. We did this record LAZY!! We had days when we would come into the studio and would record a couple notes and say “ this doesn’t feel right” and then we would head into the recreation room for a killer Mrs. Pacman tournament, or PS4 challenge would break out. We actually only spent about 2 weeks recording the record and the rest of the time we were being total lazy asses. (Sarcasm!! That last line isn’t true). 🙂
7). The album’s opener and second single ‘Break Me’, the lyrics “This outcome disconnects me from the silence you create, I felt so insecure, you never took the time to tell me it was over” resonates with me. A LOT! Can you share your feelings that you were experiencing during the writing on this song?
It’s the feeling of when you have invested into something or someone and they or it couldn’t muster the courage or find the time, or even be bothered with a goodbye, or this is done. That’s a terrible place to be… Love is awesome, Hate I can handle… But indifference destroys.
8). Your ballad “One Day’ displays your song writing at your deepest soul level. Is this written about a person that you loved that you have lost for good? It has the real feel of a “love lost forever”, or at least it feels like that to me.
The song is a prayer, and it’s talking to God about a person that you have known since you took your first breath. And feeling like, “God – I do my best not to bother you and stay out of your way and it’s been so long since I’ve asked you to do anything for me” and feeling that you just aren’t being heard…
9). Album cover is amazing, I also like that you kept that theme with the feathers through your lyric videos. Did you design the concept yourself?
No – that was designed by Maggy Tab from Chunks Creative and I cannot recommend her enough. She is not only a fantastic artist, but a sweet person and easy to communicate with.
10). You say in your bio that “If I decided to stop making music after this album,” says Brown, “I could say that with “The Memories Uninvited” I’d said what I set out to say with One Less Reason. Not to say there won’t be more music. But I could say I’d finished all the chapters of my book. “The Memories Uninvited” feels like it summarizes that project. It’s brutally honest. That’s what I set out to do when I started.”
I hope this does mean that you will keep writing and recording One Less Reason songs! Although if it means that you are unhappy again, I am not sure about that. Thanks for your music, I know that music can help change my emotions and I definitely agree with you, when you say “Not everybody has tons of friends, there are a lot of people that feel like they’re alone, and if you find music that says someone else feels the same way, that you’re not an oddball or an oddity, it’s hard to get anything better than that.”
Music is a universal language that can transcend time and barriers. Whether you know the language its being sung in or not, you can kind of get an idea of what’s being said by the passion and the note choices. I am so proud to have been able to write the songs that I’ve written even though at times I go back and listen to them and they sound like a total stranger to me now. But that’s where I was when I wrote them and there is someone else out there that is going through those same emotions now or will be soon and If something i wrote helps them through their day then this whole thing has been worth it. There have been three records that I believe saved my life and I still get messages from people saying “September” or “A Day To Be Alone” or “Uneasy” did that for them. With messages like that, who could possibly care about being famous or what kind of car I drive. I got to be myself and in doing that helped another soul out. How lucky am I? Blessed beyond measure.
Thanks heaps for your time Cris.
One Less Reason – Links:
Official Website: http://www.olrmusic.com
Check out One Less Reason’s tour dates with Sick Puppies
9/18 Rex Theater, Pittsburgh, PA
9/19 A&R Music Bar, Columbus, OH
9/21 Druid City Music Hall, Tuscaloosa, AL
9/25 Trees, Dallas, TX
9/26 Granada Theater, Lawrence, KS
9/27 The District, Sioux Falls, SD
9/29 Wooly’s, Des Moines, IA
9/30 Pop’s Nightclub, St. Louis, MO
10/2 Route 20 Outhouse, Sturtevant, WI
10/3 Live On Main, Stevens Point, WI
10/5 District, Rockford, IL
10/18 Ziggy’s By The Sea, Wilmington, NC
10/24/2016, Metroplex, Little Rock, AR
10/26/2016, Neighborhood Theatre, Charlotte, NC
10/27/2016, Music Farm, Charleston, SC
10/28/2016, Club LA, Destin, FL
10/29/2016, Dixie Roadhouse, Cape Coral, FL