Thursday, 1 May 2014

Chris Hess Q&A

Your name: 
Chris Hess.

Where are you from? 
Homewood, Illinois, USA.

Name of band: 
Souljunky, Ola Kuna and Soul Explosion Orchestra.

Who else is in your band? 
I continue to work with some incredibly talented folks and for some time now. I have been working with singer/ songwriter John Mott (Souljunky) for well over a decade now. I also just started a new record label with the bass player from Souljunky, John Vander Weit and we are gaining some moderate success. And I just recently was featured on Shades of Fame’s new single “Staying Away” with Brad Smith from Blind Melon and that record was a total blast to make.

How would you describe yourself? 
I consider my self a fine artist first, a musician second, a producer third, label owner fourth and a digital designer last. I should note that I believe all of the disciplines I practice are of equal importance. So order isn’t necessarily important.

Who are your main influences musically? 
My family selected these and they stuck. My dad loved jazz and soul and my mum loved the Beatles. My sister listened to disco and new wave, my brother was in to rock and me, well I grew up on hip-hop. Also, I always admired the Cure’s work and that band continues to influence the way I write music.

What do you hope to achieve in music? 
Fame and awards have always eluded me and I have never really craved any of those sorts of things. I guess I simply make my art; whether the media is music, paintings or graphic in nature, it is a need for me. I try to be honest through my art and in return I make myself happy. I think that as long as I just do that I might just make a few other people happy.

What has been the highlight of your career so far, and why? 
There are so many fantastic highlights in one’s career that it is hard to pinpoint the best memories. I used to be in a band called Bellsize and we played a red-cross benefit for 9/11, I shared the stage with Local H, Urge Overkill, Wilco, The Bodeans and many more. Needless to say that is a very special highlight.

And what’s the moment you want to forget? 
Playing a sports bar in Chicago every Wednesday night because my manager told me it would be good money. Honestly, you really need to think everything out and determine whether it is right for you or not. It’s an honest thing to do, determining whether that gig or session is the right one for you can profoundly shape your life.

If you had to pick just one of your songs to represent your music, what would it be and why?
Souljunky – “Chinese Tattoo” would be that song. I feel that “Chinese Tattoo” represents my music’s best moments because it is a perfect amalgam of dance, rock and pop.

Where can we listen to it? 

Where can we find out more about your music?

Anything else you’d like to say about your band/music that I forgot to ask?
You forgot to ask what my favorite food is. Pizza. Let it be known that I do not prefer deep dish but rather authentic Napoletana pizza. If you are ever in Chicago go to Spacca Napoli they do it proper.

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