Chantel McGregor - Exclusive Interview


Rockgig have been lucky enough to secure an interview with British Blues Awards winner Chantel McGregor. So if you want to know about her new CD, the secrets of Chantel's ipod and other things then read on.


RG - Your first CD Like No Other, opens with the song Fabulous. We all love the song here at Rockgig, but it took us slightly by surprise. How did the song come about and how did you get such an unusual guitar sound?

CM - Fabulous is a great fun song to play, I guess it was my Lady Gaga alter ego coming out. I wanted to write a pop/rock song that would make people feel good, so it's about getting ready to go out on a big night out, dancing around your room in high shoes, drinking cocktails and generally gearing up for the weekend. The guitar sound was really just how it sounded in the studio, there was quite a bit of double tracking and stuff going on, but other than that, it was just the guitar, amp and me. I had a lot of fun playing with a Kaossolator on that song, sort of like a touch pad mini synth, just to add to the crazyness of the track.

RG -  Who are your musical influences?
CM -My influences are so vast, I literally listen to everything. I'm really into Steven Wilson and also his old band Porcupine Tree, I love prog rock. I also listen to pop like Lady Gaga and Bruno Mars. Fleetwood Mac and Jeff Buckley are also big influences. I guess I could never just be into one genre, I like to be really open to new music.

RG - Are there any plans for a second CD?
CM - Absolutely, I'm currently writing it, so fingers crossed it should be recorded and out there sometime soon. It's one of those difficult things with me, I'm a perfectionist and I like everything to be right, I'll never put something out that's rushed, not quite right or something I'm not completely proud of. Once its out there, you can never take it back.

RG - You are currently doing some shows supporting Mostly Autumn. How are they going and how did they come about?
CM - Mostly Autumn are a wonderful band and such lovely people. They used to come and watch me when I played pubs in York when I was just starting out years ago and we've kept in touch ever since. Bryan called me earlier on in the year and put the idea to me of doing some shows together, and I didn’t hesitate in saying yes. I love watching them so for me it's brilliant, I get to have fun doing what I do and watch one of my favourite bands, all in the same night!
  
RG -  How did you meet up with Rich and Keith Bass and Drummer in your band?
CM - I've known Ritchie since I was about 12, I used to play a couple of jam sessions a week from that age, and it was a treat when Ritchie would walk in, I'd be the first to go over to him and ask him to jam with me! When I was looking for a bass player a couple of years ago, my dad spotted him on a music website, so I contacted him, and the rest is history really! It's funny with Keith too, I'd heard some amazing things about him, and a mutual friend had put his number in my phone. When I needed a drummer, Ritchie said he'd heard of someone called Keith, gave me his number, and when I typed it into my phone, his name popped up - I took it as a sign!
RG - How do you measure success? Packed gigs,Multi platinum albums, song writing awards? What would you like to achieve?

CM - I think that you shouldn't measure success by awards, album sales or numbers, yes they can equate to financial success, and they are really satisfying, but they don't necessarily mean life success. I guess you have to sit back and look at life and go - Am I happy? Can I live comfortably? Am I doing something that I love? If the answer is 'yes', then you're successful. There are so many people out there who have full audiences, million selling albums, etc and you watch them on stage, going through the motions, clearly having had enough, and you think, isn’t it time to stop now? Obviously it's more fun to play to 1000 people than 100, and when your album sells, you know your getting something right, so yes, I think every musician wants to achieve those things, but I think being happy doing what you do is the ultimate goal.

RG -. If we were to listen to the music on your ipod would we find any surprises?
CM - Absolutely, you'd probably throw it in the bin hahaha!!!!! Skimming through I've been listening lateley to:- 
Adele, Air, Ani Di Franco, Aristocrats, Beyonce, Bonnie Raitt, Bruno Mars, Carrie Underwood, Daft Punk, Evanescence, Fleetwood Mac, Foo Fighters, Gomez, Grace Potter, HAIM, Incubus, Jeff Buckley, Jessie J, Joe Satriani, John Mayer, Kate Rusby, Keith Urban, Kid Rock, King Crimson, Lady Gaga, Liz Phair, Michael Jackson, Neil Young, Nero, Opeth, Paul Gilbert, Porcupine Tree, Ryan Adams, Steven Wilson, Tori Amos, and much more that I can't admit to, haha!!!!

Rockgig would like to thank Chantel for her time. We look forward to seeing her live again and hearing new CD when it is available.




NH

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