10 Questions with ... Chase Rice
July 27, 2014
1) Hi Chase! Thanks for taking time out to talk to All Access. You're only 27 and have already accomplished a lot. You're a successful Country songwriter and artist, but that's only part of what you've done. You were the starting linebacker at UNC, a member of a NASCAR pit crew, a contestant on 'Survivor.' Out of all the things you've done, of what are you most proud of?
I'd say out of all those, as much as I love football, that "Ready, Set, Roll" is what I'm most proud of. It going gold has shown that I've done it at least a little bit of the right way when so many people told me I was doing it the wrong way. I was building it through touring instead of through radio at first, and was told that was a terrible decision, but I have fans and that shows with this song going gold. The fans love what we've built together and I'm very proud of that.
2) As we just mentioned, you were a starting linebacker at UNC with NFL aspirations. That level of athleticism requires a lot of discipline. How does that work ethic translate to your music career?
It's the same thing. If I didn't go in there and put in the extra work and every ounce of energy I had in football, then I wasn't going to play. I was athletic, but there were guys who were way more athletic than me. It's the same thing in music. There are way better writers, singers and guitar players than me, but I promise you there's no one that will work as hard as me.
3) You were on 'Survivor: Nicaragua' and made it to the end. Did anything happen on 'Survivor' inspire any song ideas?
There's an old song called "Beats A Million Bucks". It's on an old EP I did. For the most part, it prepared me for the music industry. You're on a show where you're on an island, and nobody wants you there. That can be music sometimes. There's other artists, or people in music, for one reason or another, that don't want you there. Especially the way we've built this career; we're kind of breaking the mold. There's been a lot of people who haven't wanted me around. But, the success of "Ready, Set, Roll" and the "Ignite The Night" album already, is really cool and shows us that we can keep doing it the way we've done it.
4) You're somebody who got your own start without the help of a major label, and now you've recently teamed up with Snagajob for their Hourly Gig contest. As someone who's done it on their own, what does it mean to you to be able to give an aspiring musician the chance to open for you?
I basically feel like I'm giving myself a chance three years ago. I would have died for that opportunity from Snagajob. People who enter have to make a video of an original song and me and some other judges will vote and pick the top 5. On August 22nd, we'll release the top 5 and then the fans will get to vote, which is the most important part. It gives someone the opportunity to open for me and play for a sold-out Denver crowd. It's a really cool thing.
5) You're having contestants submissions include music videos of an original song performance. What's going to stand out the most to you?
I'm looking for someone real. That's the only way I've known how to build my career. I've always sang what I've wanted to sing and have stayed true to me. They won't have the be the best singer or the best writer, but if I look at them and think that they're real and can believe what they're singing, then that's the most important part.
6) As we just mentioned, you started without the help of a major label, but you recently signed with Columbia Nashville. What excites you most about this new partnership?
That I can take the next step in my career. I've built my career through touring, but radio is still the King in Country music. You can have a career without radio, but you're not going to have a huge career without radio by any means. Columbia is the bridge between me and Country radio and they're doing an unbelievable job for me.
7) Columbia Nashville is under the Sony Nashville umbrella, which just recently signed Garth Brooks. We hear you're a fan. If there's one song in the Garth Brooks catalog that you wish you wrote, which would it be?
The same one that he probably wishes he wrote (laughs), "The Dance"! He's unbelievable; he's a great writer, so I'm not trying to take away from his writing ability. He did something more than writing it, he brought the song to life. Garth has so many other songs that are unbelievable and his live show is unbelievable. One minute he's making you cry with "The Dance" and the next minute you're partying. But yeah, "The Dance" is the best song that's ever been put out by the best artist that's ever been out.
8) A lot of programmers have named you as a hot up-and-comer. You've been out visiting radio. What has been the most unexpected part of radio tour; or did you feel well prepared going into it?
The most unexpected part is how well they've taken me in. There wasn't a real bridge between me and Country radio, for no other reason than the fact that I didn't have a label and a promotion team to get me in touch with them. I think at first radio was confused by me and the crowds I would bring when I would come into the market. Now that Country radio has taken me in and embraced me, I've noticed the crowds getting bigger and I owe it all to them.
9) Your album 'Ignite The Night' comes out August 19th. What can we expect from this project? Is there an overall feel to it?
It's like the "Ready, Set, Roll" EP on steroids. It's got the party songs that I do at my live shows, but at the same time Country music deserves ballads and deserves meaningful songs so there's a couple of those on there; like "Jack Daniels & Jesus". My personal new favorite off of the album is called "Carolina Can". It's basically saying that when I need someone to remind me who I am, "Carolina Can". It's got the party stuff, but definitely the more meaningful stuff too.
10) We've interviewed a lot of people, but you're the only one who has been part of a NASCAR pit crew. What's harder... writing a song, doing a complete car service in under 10 seconds, or being a Division 1 linebacker?
They're all hard in different ways! Physically, you're never going to be hurting worse than when I was a linebacker. My body would get so beat up! But now, my body is beat up from hangovers! (laughs) There's never been anything harder than music for me, but at the same time, it's the one I've felt like is definitely what I need to be doing. There's a lot of people who are coming for your spot, or don't believe in you; but when I walk on stage to a sold-out crowd, that's when the hard work pays off and you remember why you do it.
1) What's the goofiest song title that you ever came up with?
Good question! I tend to write titles down in my phone and I don't have a particular one, but I do know that the craziest song titles I come up with are usually in my phone notes from around 1-4 in the morning. Those are always pretty funny!