[00:00:00] James: Welcome to episode 174 of the Bandhive Podcast. It is time for another episode of the Bandhive Podcast.
[00:00:07] James: My name is James Cross and I help independent artists tour smart. This week we have a very special guest, Chad Kowal returns to the show. How are you today?
[00:00:15] Chad: I'm doing great. How about your.
[00:00:16] James: Glad to hear that I'm having a fantastic day. It's a pleasure to have you back here on the show. For those who haven't been listening for the duration of the band, hi podcast.
[00:00:25] James: You were on the show episode 78, which was almost two years ago. It was called The Inside Scoop, on Top Lining. So if anyone wants to check out Chad's past episode, head on over to Bandhive.rocks/ 78, that's the number 78, and you can check it out there. But today, There are some huge new developments for you, and I think that's what we're gonna talk about today.
[00:00:46] James: Do you want to give us a little bit about yourself and where you're at? Right.
[00:00:49] Chad: I guess since the last time we talked I kind of exited the world of riding top lines for DJs and I began to start to kind of get the itch to have a [00:01:00] solo project I, I consider myself, a visionary with how I kind of look at my projects and sometimes with that comes like having an idea of what I want the brand to be and, having all the answers before I walk into the situation.
[00:01:12] Chad: And with this being a solo project, I didn't really know initially what I wanted it to be. And then I kind of had like a, moment where it all came to me where I was just like, you know, like, I really should just let this project. Me anything that I am, like all the things that I loved as a child and all the things that I love now, just like having it be a conglomerate of all that.
[00:01:33] Chad: And what that meant was tapping into my love of, childlike things such as drawing or puppets or character development. And then also when it came to the stylistic side of. Letting myself do whatever I wanted because I was looking at the span of every time I did a band from the time I was, 16 to now.
[00:01:54] Chad: And always what the problem was for me was I would get bored. I would get bored of the style that I [00:02:00] played and I would feel too confined within what we did. And even if it was good, I did feel at some point, like I was just kind of bored of doing the same thing over and over again. So that was kind of my Rule with this project is whatever I wanted to do is exactly what I would do, and I'm just really excited for this new era for myself because being a guy that grew up playing in rock bands and then having gone through EDM and top line riding all this and that, this music feels like it is everything that people could expect from me, but in one collective vehicle.
[00:02:33] Chad: And I am very thrilled to be able to.
[00:02:35] James: That's fantastic. first of all, just seeing the music videos that you've put out. , each of them is so different and so unique. it's tough to see music videos from many artists these days where it's just especially in the, in the rock and metal world where it's like the band's playing in a warehouse that's been done a million times, that does not need to be done again. And so like your videos are a breath of fresh air in comparison. you, you had one video, I can't [00:03:00] remember the name of the song, I'm sorry, but it was from your show that you played a few months ago, which was sold out
[00:03:04] Chad: Uh, real boy.
[00:03:05] James: Yeah. Real boy. Exactly. And you combined the footage of that show with some other elements, so it wasn't just performance video.
[00:03:12] James: And I think that's one of the key things, like a lot of bands would've like, okay, cool. Like, here's footage from the show. That's it.
[00:03:18] James: that can be really cool if you're trying to do like a live recording. But for a music video, you need to take it to the next level, which is what you did. And I never know what to expect with your videos.
[00:03:28] James: there's no formula, there's no format. So I I I think you're spot on with what you were saying there, how you just take whatever's inspiring you, especially at that moment. And you do it there's no question of is this gonna work? this is gonna be fun, let's do it.
[00:03:39] Chad: There are a couple rules that my world has. And that's about it as far as things to stick to, One of those is every time that a puppet is shown on screen, it is shown as animat so that the audience believes that it is a real living, breathing thing.
[00:03:56] Chad: the whole goal with this project I'm thinking 20 years from now rather than [00:04:00] in the now with how things are. Like, I want to be so calculated with how I'm building everything to where if you zoom out 20 years from now, I'm like an architect.
[00:04:08] Chad: You're like, wow. there was real, real time and care and effort being placed in all the little details of this thing and. , I look at like Damon Auburn with gorillas and that's such a big inspiration for me with this. I want to give fans truly an experience that they can't get anywhere else, and I hope that it can be fun for them to follow along.
[00:04:29] James: and I think that ties in so much. And for those who listen to episode 78, you know that Chad and I are both huge AFI fans. That's how we know each other.
[00:04:37] James: I see the same thing with AFI back in the day, all those little hints that they would drop and everything ties together. That really kept fans on the edge of their seat.
[00:04:44] James: Now I'll be honest, I don't know that much about gorillas. I enjoy Feel Good inc. And the other singles
[00:04:49] James: they've put out. But
[00:04:50] James: knowing that they've done that as well is pretty cool. one of the things we talk about on the show all the time, is how artists need to create a connection with their fans and keeping them [00:05:00] engaged just by dropping little hints like that.
[00:05:02] James: If you have a dedicated fan base that's, makes such a difference.
[00:05:06] James: And speaking of dedicated fan bases, Chad, you did something that most artists would never even dream of doing, which was you sold out your first show ever
[00:05:15] James: there's so much I could say about that, but all I'm gonna say for now is how, what did you do?
[00:05:19] Chad: I will say that the concept in itself was very ambitious and unique in that five artists played. It was the Vegas Mega Flower, Trevor Blend, and Bryant Powell, and of course myself. All of us are literally best friends. So it's not often that you get a bill like that where you're all that close and you all can kind of work with each other on strategy. Basically, the way that we did it for all of us individually, was we were on a shared Apple note and we had basically bubbles with everybody's names that we were gonna contact, and plus how many tickets that they would be getting. And we were checking in with each other on a daily basis. Did you follow up with this person?
[00:05:56] Chad: Did you follow up with this person? And we just did that for like a month [00:06:00] and a half straight. Yeah, we sold it out I think the spectacle of it being everybody's first show, every artist on the Bill's first show it's a piece of history that, you know, you don't get very often. And I think everyone was excited by that prospect and the fact that they can be there to share in that moment with us that they knew meant so much to us, was very, very special.
[00:06:19] Chad: It was at the Rebel Lounge, in Phoenix, Arizona,
[00:06:22] James: which is not a small venue.
[00:06:23] Chad: is it three 50
[00:06:24] James: online. I saw 200, but that's still a respectable number
[00:06:27] Chad: it was in the hundred, 200 whatever range or whatever. But, the whole thing with that venue, I didn't know anything about it. that venue had been around for like 30 plus years.
[00:06:37] Chad: since like, the late eighties maybe, or maybe even earlier. But I was looking up videos of the bands who had played it, and it was like Nirvana and Lincoln Park and Red Hot Chili Peppers, Pearl Jam. It was just, it was like amazing. And, and the stage pretty much looked untouched. Like they had kept up with it, of course, with, the modern, technology and things like that.
[00:06:59] Chad: But I've been to a [00:07:00] handful of venues across the US where like you walk into the room and you feel the history, and I think that, Very inspiring for us as well, especially for it being the first show. It's like to do it at a venue that is, that holds that sort of weight was, uh, really, really special and cool for us.
[00:07:13] Chad: And uh, was a great night to kick off all of our projects and to celebrate and to kind of usher in this new era for all of us individually.
[00:07:20] James: First of all, I just want to go back and touch again on every artist playing their first show that night. That's so
[00:07:26] James: Like usually there's maybe like one artist on the bill that does that. And I did also just look up to confirm it is 300 plus. You were right. Sorry about that.
[00:07:33] James: but either way, 200 would be fantastic as well.
[00:07:36] James: I saw off with their heads the other night, I'm actually wearing it off with their heads shirt,
[00:07:42] James: that was not planned and they played a 94 cap and they sold out that's a national touring band and they're stoked to sell out 94, so like 300 for five artists playing their first show ever in their hometown.
[00:07:52] James: That's so cool. I want to go more into the strategy of selling tickets. So what you. Is you were DMing individual people, like anyone you [00:08:00] knew from
[00:08:00] James: this list and saying, Hey, will you come, will you buy tickets? Were you doing presales or were you just getting them to commit?
[00:08:06] Chad: Pre-sales. some people that aren't in the industry like they. They might not understand, like shows and how they work and just the overall thing. I started promoting the show before it was announced, internally on my end I was like, there's gonna be a show announcement coming, it's on this date.
[00:08:20] Chad: Cause I didn't wanna have it be like we announced in a month out. And then people are like, oh, I have plans that day, this and that. Like, I wanted to make my list pretty bulletproof in terms of, they were almost a, for sure. Yes. And something that was we all insisted on is we were told these people.
[00:08:34] Chad: We need bodies in the room. If you want to buy 20 tickets and you're trying to show support in that way, it's not to say that we don't appreciate it but especially for promoters and stuff too. Like I've been the local band on Bills where you're just trying to sell tickets to your mom and your dad cuz you can't like, figure out a way to network and stuff if we sold that show out, I wanted it to be body to body in that room so that it was kind of a statement to Arizona that like, we've arrived I think we did a [00:09:00] really good job at that. And I'm just excited to continue that sort of momentum. But I would suggest that just to kind of, as a little piece of advice to anybody that's listening to the podcast that maybe wants to do shows in their hometown, I would say, That's a great strategy.
[00:09:12] Chad: Make an Apple note. Write down each of the people individually, cuz people will escape your mind. You'd be surprised when, when it comes to actually thinking of like, oh, I gotta sell tickets. you're probably forgetting so many people. And some people will be like, oh, I'm gonna bring my, brother and my sister and my dad.
[00:09:27] Chad: There's four tickets. I'm gonna do this, this, this. You know what I mean? so I would say to build lists and then Don't just say, Hey, I'm playing a show. Come out, tell them why it's important, this is our first show. Like the thing I did with mine was I was like, you know, this is my debut show and I'm filming a music video that night.
[00:09:44] Chad: And you're all gonna be in it. people love to be involved in what you're doing. it's a natural thing. So if you can sell as many points like that as possible to them, the ticket will kind of sell itself without you having to be like, Hey, come out. Hey, come out.
[00:09:57] Chad: that's some advice I would give.
[00:09:58] James: Yeah. Cause then there's gonna be people who say, [00:10:00] oh, I could be in a music video, like I'm
[00:10:02] James: down. That's absolutely a selling point. same thing like, Hey, there's gonna be a big party, whatever. It ends up being, and especially, I love that you mentioned most people don't understand the music industry.
[00:10:12] James: they might not expect this to be a big event. They might think oh, it's a bunch of local bands like whatever, or local artists
[00:10:19] James: doesn't matter. It's like, no, this is actually an event. This isn't your average five locals on a Tuesday night.
[00:10:25] James: there's a big difference.
[00:10:26] Chad: I think there was two things that were, big. was there was good amount of people that we sold tickets to in the first two weeks that were like our, die hard. Like, I'm not gonna miss this. And then we sold, so many tickets in the last 48 hours that we were having to like, hit up people to see if they were still using tickets that they bought to, like, exchange for other people's tickets.
[00:10:44] Chad: It was really cool, we kept telling everybody, it's gonna sell out. It's gonna sell out. You need to get your tickets. And they were just like, and then it was like literally like it sold out and then we had a bunch of people hitting us up for tickets. So it's just kind of like the spectacle of them not realizing that it was actually gonna happen.
[00:10:58] Chad: And then kind of to loop [00:11:00] back around on the music video thing, this has been a thing that I've been thinking about a lot with this next chapter of, life and music and all this sort of stuff is, I call them. Catching the baseball moments. people their whole lives have those moments where they're like, I caught a baseball at this World Series game, or I shook this person's hand.
[00:11:20] Chad: And like, they tell these stories for the rest of their lives. for instance, my dad. he went to a Bon Jovi music video shoot, in the late eighties.
[00:11:26] Chad: And he was in, he was in one of their live music videos and he talks about that still to this day. And it means a lot to him cause he's a fan of the band. And like, I was there. I was there for that moment. I want to provide as many moments like that as I can to my fans because I am a fan. I know what that means to me.
[00:11:43] Chad: I know what that feels like and there's so many stories that I've been told over the years. Of people that were there at bands first shows, people that saw my cam in front of 50 people and it's like unfathomable to me that like that actually happened. But there they are [00:12:00] telling that story and I think that if you're proactive about it, you can give your fans a a chance to be a part of your story.
[00:12:05] James: love that. Like that is the Go
[00:12:07] Chad: is,
[00:12:07] James: mindset. Have you read that book?
[00:12:09] Chad: I haven't, but it sounds like
[00:12:10] Chad: it would be good
[00:12:10] James: it is a good book and it sounds like you probably need to read it, but you would enjoy it because it's basically about how by giving to others, you end up receiving back.
[00:12:20] James: it's a great principle and in many ways, it kind of parallels how to win friends and influence people, which is a really scummy title And about how to make friends is really what it is. when it comes to being a go-giver, they go around four or five different categories of how you can be a giver But doing what you're saying there and making those moments, the catch moments,
[00:12:41] James: that's huge because you're already using that one moment to both give because they're excited and receive because they're getting you free promo.
[00:12:49] James: Now,
[00:12:49] Chad: Absolutely. I really don't give a about money. I only care about money cuz I have to. When it comes to just affording things and life and paying bills and things, the thing I [00:13:00] care about is allowing my music to be a vehicle that I can then connect with people. and hopefully that they can hear the songs that I've made and it can inspire them. the impact that music has had on my life is immeasurable. It's not something that's like comparable to anything else in my life. It's been definitely the biggest impactful thing ever. And there are many pillar moments that I've had throughout my life where I've gone to a show and I've met somebody, or I saw somebody do this or this or that, and they still live with.
[00:13:31] Chad: To this day, and they've been driving forces that help me get to where I am now if I can take five minutes and dedicate that to a conversation with a fan or giving somebody some free merch for doing something or this or that, like just giving to the best of my ability.
[00:13:48] Chad: I hope that over the course of time of me doing this, that there can be enough people that have been positively impacted by what I've. done And maybe that can motivate them to get to where they want to go in life, whether it's music [00:14:00] or whether it's some other endeavor. I think the gesture of kindness is uh, something that resonates and stays with people.
[00:14:05] James: absolutely. And especially when in 2023, life is so fast-paced.
[00:14:11] James: Taking that five minutes, like you say, that could absolutely change someone's life. You
[00:14:15] James: never know.
[00:14:16] Chad: I started a phone number yesterday
[00:14:18] James: Yeah, I meant to ask about that. I saw it on Twitter.
[00:14:20] Chad: I've been starting to talk with fans and it's just so cool, man, to hear about what they got going on in their day or just like, some of them have been like, you know, I don't know if you remember me, but we met in Pennsylvania, or this or whatever on tour and this, you know what I mean?
[00:14:33] Chad: We're, we're sharing stories like that. It's just so cool, man. Just to have that moment.
[00:14:37] James: let's talk about that for a second. Cause I'm curious, I know there's apps to do that. Are you using an app for that or did you like just set up a Google Voice number or something?
[00:14:44] Chad: I'm using it through my distribution some people that were thought it was a scam or like, not really me or this or that. Like it's me for sure,
[00:14:52] Chad: I'm sitting there replying to everybody one by one.
[00:14:55] James: Which distributor are you using? Which, one has that feature?
[00:14:57] Chad: a distro.
[00:14:58] James: sweet. So if anyone wants to do [00:15:00] this with your fans, check out Distro Kid. I'm not an affiliate. I think my friend Matt is maybe I'll drop his affiliate link in the show
[00:15:06] James: notes.
[00:15:06] Chad: this is not a paid
[00:15:07] Chad: advertisement
[00:15:08] James: Right. . Well, you know, since you mentioned touring with your band back in the day, I also wanted to ask, how is running your business as a solo artist different from when you were running a band? Like, what are the key differences?
[00:15:21] Chad: I think a lot of ways it's kind of the same in, in some regards because, in a band you have, you know, maybe three, four, however many members you have that you're collaborating with a lot on this sort of stuff. And I think that the biggest difference between being in a band and being a solo artist is I work with a lot of people to do what I do with.
[00:15:42] Chad: Just like a band. The only difference is it's revolving. I have a girl who makes my 3D visualizers, she's fantastic. Her name is Rebel Designer. I have, an incredible co-writer that I work with on every single song I do. Her name is Kimberly George. My director, Jacob [00:16:00] Reynolds. I have a team of people that I work with, whether it's marketing, whatever. The only difference is that if I so choose to, I can revolve this. I can work with a different producer. I can have somebody come in to play guitar on a song that's just for one song, or this or that. And I really like the Freedom man.
[00:16:16] Chad: You know what I mean? I think I gained a lot from being in a band and learning kind of the tools of the trade in that. . But I love the freedom that comes with being a solo artist and being able to try different things and work with different people and have, there not be a hard feelings thing, you know?
[00:16:32] Chad: It's like I'm gonna have you come in and do this cuz you're great at it. And then maybe the next song, I'll have this guy come in and do this cuz he is great at that. So, I don't know, man, it's been fun for me.
[00:16:40] James: Yeah. So in a. The ability to bring in different styles, different elements, instantly. I think that's great. that's something that I've already noticed in your songs. Like none of them really sound the same.
[00:16:51] James: you just dropped one a few days ago called Alt Pop, which there's a video to go with that as well.
[00:16:55] James: to me, it sounds like a rock song, instrumentally.
[00:16:58] James: And then the vocals are,[00:17:00]
[00:17:00] James: and I guess that's where the alt pop comes in. Cause it's not a straight up pop song, but it's not a straight up rock song. that's just so cool. Cause like your other stuff had some like eighties influences in there.
[00:17:08] James: You had some pop influences and this is like the, there's a blazing guitar solo, two
[00:17:13] James: thirds of the way through the song.
[00:17:14] James: It's a pop. So What inspired that combination? Like how did you say, Hey, I'm gonna like do a 180 and have a rock beat under this song.
[00:17:24] Chad: it was a number of things when I was writing the first handful of songs for this project, like Billy Madison and all those sort of songs, those were songs that I had actually started to write while I was still doing the top lining work with Vocal Kitchen. So my motive was a little different.
[00:17:38] Chad: I was just trying to write really catchy songs. I was in the studio. I wasn't thinking about live and things like that. when I started to do the, the latter half of the songs like Impatient Outcast brain Freeze, real Boy, stuff like that, I was starting to experiment with bringing more energy in.
[00:17:53] Chad: And I also will preface it by saying this as well, I was putting rules on myself with this stuff because I was like, I [00:18:00] was in a rock band. I wanna do pop, I wanna do pop. We're not gonna have real drums, we're not gonna have loud guitars in the mix. We're gonna have it be. . And then as I moved into those songs, as I mentioned, impatient stuff, I started to take off more of the rules.
[00:18:12] Chad: I started to write a bunch more songs that I was considering to be songs that would be great, live, really fun songs to play live. And coupled with that, I booked some studio time with Joey Bradford, who, anybody who isn't aware, he plays guitar at a band called the. Which is one of my favorite bands of all time
[00:18:31] James: With good reason.
[00:18:32] Chad: yeah. So on top of that being really fun and surreal in that regard, I knew that if I went in the studio with him, if I wanted to make some really rock focused stuff, I could. So what I did was I took care of the, ensuring as much of the alt aspect as I could, like with the versus being kind of wrappy and, you know, trap elements and stuff, and.
[00:18:54] Chad: And then when we went in the studio and did them, I was like, let's lean really hard into the rock thing, [00:19:00] because I know that I've handled a good amount of the pop and the hip hop aspects and I think that the fusion will be really good. And it's so exciting for me, these songs, because you've, I think I only heard one at this point.
[00:19:12] Chad: but these songs feel like if anybody from any part of my. Heard these songs, this is the time for them to listen because it's elements of what I learned from Vocal Kitchen with the catchy pop writing, incorporating the hip hop elements with the more rappy vocals and then big rock and anthemic moments.
[00:19:33] Chad: And yeah man, I'm just really excited. To be able to have him play guitar on it as well, and play the solo and
[00:19:40] Chad: add his flare .
[00:19:41] James: That was my
[00:19:42] James: next question is gonna be, did Joey
[00:19:43] James: play the guitar on it?
[00:19:44] Chad: He there was a funny moment when we were in the studio and we were building the layers and stuff, and I don't know if I'd cut vocals yet or not, but we were in there just vibe in and stuff and.
[00:19:55] Chad: at one point is like, all right man, we're gonna track guitar. And he hands, he starts handing me the guitar and I was like, nah, dude, [00:20:00] I'm good. You can handle it . I wrote the riffs on it, like the, the main riff. That's an alt pop and stuff. But I'm very much when I'm in the studio, if there's a guy that can do it better than me, I'm not gonna be like, this is my solo project, so I'm just gonna do everything.
[00:20:16] Chad: if there's a guy that's next to me, then I'm like, this guy can. he can have at it, he just did a fantastic job, man.
[00:20:22] James: I love that attitude and I think that's so important because a lot of artists are, stuck in the mindset of we have to do everything ourselves, even if they're working with an engineer. Like, no, we are the band. and just one example that Matt shared my co-host who I'm not sure, he might have been on the episode we did with you, I can't remember.
[00:20:39] James: It was
[00:20:39] James: two years
[00:20:39] James: ago.
[00:20:40] Chad: it sounds familiar. Maybe
[00:20:41] Chad: he was,
[00:20:41] James: One thing he says is that when his band goes into the studio, their guitarist plays both the lead and rhythm parts. They have
[00:20:48] James: two guitarists, and the guitarist also plays the bass.
[00:20:51] James: parts because that is going to be the tightest, most cohesive sound they can get because it's one person playing all the things.
[00:20:58] James: And so that one person's little quirks [00:21:00] in rhythm and technique are going to be in the whole project.
[00:21:03] James: they as a band have decided like, yeah, we're okay with this. The bass player and the rhythm guitarist say, that's totally fine. We get it. bands might not be okay with that.
[00:21:12] Chad: A lot of them aren't
[00:21:14] James: exactly. And ultimately it's up for that band to decide. But if you want the best product, you have to do exactly that. What you were saying, Chad, and say, Hey, you're better at this. You do this, and I mean, Joey Bradford, what else can you do?
[00:21:28] James: Like, there's not gonna be anyone else better in the room unless you have like, Jade Puget in the room or something like that, And even then, it's a close
[00:21:34] James: call.
[00:21:35] Chad: that's kind of my whole thing with this project and you learn this skill through co-writing, If I'm writing with Kim and we're working on one of the songs and she suggests an awesome lyric that totally fits, which happens a lot, I'm not gonna be like, Hey, I didn't think of that.
[00:21:49] Chad: Or, let me try to put my twist on it. Like, if it's good, it's good. The best idea wins. I want my songs to be as amazing as they can be, because [00:22:00] that matters more to me than who came up with what, who played what, like, I've come to really understand artists like a Michael Jackson or people like that, that are solo artists that, maybe Michael Jackson didn't play the guitar on Beat It or play the drums, but he was the one that was in there that was like, you should have it be like this.
[00:22:17] Chad: He was the visionary behind these choices, very much feel this same sort. Calling when I'm in the studio. Like if Joey's in there and he's an incredible guitar player, why would I not utilize that? Or if there's another person that worked on three of the songs that will be on the ep, his name is Hiram Hernandez.
[00:22:34] Chad: He's a great, great producer as well. And when we kickball the songs to him, he added even more layers in it just made the song better, I would, Encourage all bands to take a step back and to think of the final product, not about necessarily their uh, percentage that they've put on the final product.
[00:22:54] Chad: these songs are gonna outlive all of us, what can you do to make these songs the best that they can be? [00:23:00] Whatever that is. I would encourage them to go for.
[00:23:02] Chad: that
[00:23:02] James: I love that. And just to add, you know, who doesn't care at all?
[00:23:07] James: Who did what the fans
[00:23:09] Chad: Yeah, exactly.
[00:23:10] James: if they can vibe to it, if they can jam out whatever, they're stoked. the amount of people who are actually gonna go look at the credits is tiny
[00:23:19] James: And I feel like every musician has gone through that phase when they're in high school and they're like, oh my God, this band didn't do it themselves.
[00:23:25] James: What a sellout. Like, ugh. Most people, if they still have that attitude, are still playing in a garage band. That sounds terrible. I'm just gonna make that
[00:23:33] James: generalization. I used to be that guy and now I'm just like, I love collaborations. It sounds better. So let's do more collaborations.
[00:23:41] Chad: Absolutely. I think that there's some. Bit of a stretch with that. But let's say for instance, like if there's a pop song that has 15 writers on it, which happens, it's not really my cup of tea to like have that many cooks in the kitchen, but if they chose that, that was their stylistic choice to do that.
[00:23:56] Chad: there's certain things that I'm unwavering on, when it comes to the brand of [00:24:00] this project. my characters or my cadence or things like that, but that's stuff that's nipped right at the beginning. And then
[00:24:05] Chad: after that,
[00:24:06] Chad: what we do is open doors.
[00:24:08] James: Right. and there's gotta be that, foundation of you, And that's the whole point. Cause otherwise it's not your music. , working with other people to take that and turn it up to 11,
[00:24:18] James: that's the perfect combination in my opinion. And that's basically what you're doing.
[00:24:22] Chad: I, I don't wanna miss a thing by Aerosmith was written by, Diane Warren. She was the only writer on the song. Look at what that song has done for that band.
[00:24:29] James: and for her.
[00:24:30] James: She's getting all the royalties. they'll get artist cut after the label has recouped, which I assume they have by now. Cause it's Aerosmith.
[00:24:37] Chad: It's been like 30 years
[00:24:39] James: And she gets the songwriting royalties good for
[00:24:41] James: her.
[00:24:41] James: Sick puppies from, you know, 10, 15 years
[00:24:44] James: ago,
[00:24:44] James: amazing band.
[00:24:45] James: Almost every single one of their songs was co-written by a team of writers who wrote a lot of Justin Bieber songs. you look at their list of clients, I can't remember their name, but if you look up any sick puppy song on BMI or ascap, you'll see them listed.
[00:24:59] Chad: I loved that [00:25:00] first Sick Puppies album, dude. I remember that.
[00:25:01] James: Yeah, dude, dress up is life.
[00:25:03] James: Oh, it's so good. you just look up and their list of clients is like Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez, it's all pop stars and then there's sick puppies and they're like, that totally does not fit. But they pulled it off. It sounds phenomen. and I don't know to what extent, like if sick puppies brought them the ideas and then they tweaked it or if they brought the ideas to sick puppies and sick puppies deal was just like, yeah, we're listed as co-writers.
[00:25:25] James: Like I don't know what the deal was, but it worked so it doesn't matter.
[00:25:29] Chad: Yeah, there's also the side of who cares?
[00:25:31] Chad: as long as you have a song that's cool.
[00:25:32] James: yeah, and even today, like I was just listening Trash Boat. They're big singled from their last album, bad Enter. Is a co-write with a guitarist from Silverstein. Guess what?
[00:25:43] James: It's one of the best songs by far on the album because you have somebody who's been doing this for like 20 years co-writing with you
[00:25:49] James: it just sounds sick.
[00:25:50] James: So having that collaboration, which this is turning into a very philosophical discussion slash rant,
[00:25:56] James: I'm so stoked that you recognize that and that you are doing.
[00:25:59] Chad: [00:26:00] Thank you, man. I'll loop back around to this real quick, but the reason why I will call myself an alt pop artist and I will never consider myself to be a rock artist, is that there is way too much gatekeeping in rock
[00:26:11] Chad: and people deciding what you can do and what's rock.
[00:26:14] Chad: And I, I have so many problems not with the genre, the genre's fine. I have so many problems with the fans they always say, you know, I wish more bands were doing this. And then a band does it and then everyone all over them and you know what I mean, doesn't give them any sort of grace or any sort of, credit.
[00:26:30] Chad: And I think that we just need to, stop this nonsense. like we gotta be lifting each other up and encouraging each other to try different things. think about rock history every time that there's been a band that's come out and that's really hit, it's been the opposite of what came before.
[00:26:47] Chad: Always. And I look at hip hop shows these days a lot of the time, like rolling loud and stuff like that, or even EDM productions, I'm like, this feels like a rock. for instance, there's a, [00:27:00] DJ named Cazo, I don't know if you've heard of him before, but he collaborates with a lot of metal and rock artists on his songs.
[00:27:06] Chad: they're heavy songs that he makes, but he's a dj and he just, on this tour that he's gone out on, he took out a friend of mine he goes by, tie drums online. , and then he has a guitar player on stage and it's literally like metal songs being brought to life.
[00:27:20] Chad: But with E D M, production Rock fans might look at that and be like, this isn't real rock because of X, Y, and Z. But it's really not that much different than at Buddy Holly and then looking at.
[00:27:33] Chad: it's distance of time and it's the advancement of a genre and I just, hope that over the course of time that fans kind of learn to be more accepting of things and more open-minded because there's a lot to gain from what's going on right now.
[00:27:45] Chad: So much to gain.
[00:27:46] James: We don't have to be stuck in the nineties or mid two thousands.
[00:27:49] Chad: We don't have be stuck anywhere, man.
[00:27:51] Chad: of my favorite artists ever is Lil Wayne. when he put out rebirth in, I think it was 2009 or 2010, it had like rock guitars and he was [00:28:00] playing guitar on it and he was getting trolled online or he can't play this and that.
[00:28:03] Chad: But do you know how bold that is for a hip hop artist to try to incorporate a genre that is arguably doing not as well as the genre that he's playing?
[00:28:11] Chad: that's huge. I think about this a lot. I'm sorry if I'm going off on a, tirade with this,
[00:28:15] Chad: but
[00:28:15] Chad: two situations I think of with this.
[00:28:17] Chad: fans that have never listened to rock for whatever reason, but they've heard Lil Wayne and they hear guitars. Maybe that inspires him to pick up a guitar. . And then when they pick up a guitar, they learn about Led Zeppelin and ac dc and Green Day and Blink and all this other stuff.
[00:28:32] Chad: It's a gateway for them. And it was the same thing with five seconds of Summer when they first came out. Everyone was fighting against them. Like they're just this one direction boy band. We are entitled to have that opinion. However, flip the coin, they're on stage playing to a bunch of fans that don't listen to Green. and they're listening to them play a cover of American Idiot on a North American tour where they're playing to 20,000 people a night. They're exposing all these young kids to this that might go home that night. Listen to American Idiot that [00:29:00] might listen to descendants, you know what I mean?
[00:29:02] Chad: They might go back, That's what we did when we heard afi, when we heard Blink. we listened to who their influences were. I just wanna encourage everybody to be excited if there's somebody that's out there that's repping a style of music and you might not even care for it, like whether it's like Playboy, Cardi, little Uzi Vert, something like that, there's a silver lining in it.
[00:29:19] Chad: And I hope that the culture can shift to a point where you can be like, you know what? I maybe can't listen to this genre of music or this specific artist, but I can appreciate what they're.
[00:29:29] James: I love that. And I think to sum up what you're saying in a very current, Way as of what you're saying today, which we're recording this like a month before it comes out. It's March 1st. It comes out on March 28th.
[00:29:41] James: Lizzo last night or the night before was in Hamburg and covered Rammstein And I am not a Lizzo fan by any means like respect to her, but it's not my taste, but I'm like, that is sick. And then I see all the metal people being like, oh, this is terrible. It's the worst thing ever. I'm like It's actually pretty good. okay, it's not this like[00:30:00] six foot five German dude, like smashing his fist on his thigh while
[00:30:04] James: he's singing. Who cares? Just seeing that genre crossover is fantastic.
[00:30:09] Chad: There's a story that this brings about, don't know if we talked about this in the last podcast, if I'm reiterating, I apologize, but, with this conversation always comes up the topic of Kim Kardashian wearing metal band t-shirts or any of the Kardashian wearing metal band t-shirts. And I was talking to this guy about it.
[00:30:24] Chad: he said he went to like some house party and he put on Def Leopard and this girl was wearing a Def leopard shirt and she didn't know who the band was and he was like, oh my God, why are you wearing this shirt without this again? I encourage you, flip the coin. What's the group that you have on your shirt?
[00:30:37] Chad: What's the name of?
[00:30:38] Chad: Off at their heads. probably a great group of guys probably out there grinding, you doing their best. that there was a famous model that wore that t-shirt. There is a fraction of the people that see that, that will then go listen to that band and fall in love with their music it'll expose 'em to a new fan base that's where you gotta get out of the,[00:31:00] why are you wearing this shirt if you don't know. Like, look at the other side of the coin. Look at the positive side. That could come from that. I saw footage from the Misfits playing Madison Square Garden a handful of years ago, and I'm like, dude, when they broke up, they were not that size.
[00:31:13] Chad: they were like playing CD punk clubs, you know, on the East Coast
[00:31:17] James: 40 years of hype that builds up a lot.
[00:31:20] Chad: 40 years of hype. And then also the fact that Jerry has been such a relentless genius with selling off that
[00:31:28] James: the
[00:31:28] James: skull logo.
[00:31:29] Chad: yes so that it can be sold in skate shops and this and that. It peaks curiosity. Not everyone that wears a Misfits skull is gonna be a Misfits fan, but a fraction of them will be, and it keeps the wheels turning.
[00:31:40] Chad: There's a reason why we're still talking about the misfits in 2023. When they formed in the seventies, I really want people to try to see that positive side cuz it's definitely there.
[00:31:49] James: Yeah. your example of like a woman wearing that. People never say that to guys. I wear band shirts daily and no one's ever like, oh, name
[00:31:56] James: three songs.
[00:31:57] James: But I have a bunch of friends who are women and they've [00:32:00] been asked to name three songs.
[00:32:01] James: and I get that that's like a meme online, but that honestly happens and I can see how frustrating that is for people. It's like, who cares? I don't know. Every off with their head shirt. I know two albums and I love those albums and I know them front to
[00:32:14] James: back. And then the other album's like, okay, I've listened to them once or twice.
[00:32:17] James: I know they exist.
[00:32:18] James: are you gonna call me out for not listening to those?
[00:32:20] Chad: the same with AFI for me, like I. , I became a bigger fan releasing the sorrow forward, but art of drowning, they have albums before that. It's not that I, I hate them or I, I dislike them. I just, that's when I fell in love with the band and that's my greater impact. Now, does that mean that I can't have an AFI tattoo or that I can't buy a t-shirt or go see them live?
[00:32:40] Chad: No. it's different for everybody.
[00:32:42] Chad: that's even a form of gatekeeping. so a 25 year old female that, doesn't look alternative, she can't wear a slayer shirt. what's up with that?
[00:32:51] James: they also say, don't judge a book by the cover. you never know. I've seen some quote unquote normy people, for lack of a better term, and
[00:32:58] James: they're like the biggest metalheads [00:33:00] ever. and you would never expect it.
[00:33:01] Chad: even a bigger conversation
[00:33:03] James: we could get super deep in philosoph, super deep in philosophical, philosophical, I can't say that word. Philosophical.
[00:33:12] James: The listeners do too. don't
[00:33:14] James: gate, keep my English
[00:33:16] James: Anyway, Chad, man, it has been a pleasure catching up with you. Thank you so much for coming on the show.
[00:33:20] James: Before we let you go, I have two more questions. The first of which is if you're able to share, you already kind of hinted at an ep. are your plans for the rest of the year? You've already released alt Pop just a few days ago. As of, when we release this,
[00:33:33] Chad: as you said, my new single alt pop has just come out on March 24th. I hope you guys enjoy it. It's truly the beginning of a new era for me. The music video. Dives into some crazy concepts basically. I've created this group that's called the Chatter, and basically their whole sort of MO is they're trying to put this message out to the world in hopes to convert people into followers.
[00:33:58] Chad: That seems like it would be [00:34:00] somewhat of a positive thing, but they're only doing it to kind of bait them to them so that they can then control them and use them to kind of destroy. and where we pick up on in the alt pop music video is they've already done a pretty good job of that. And I'm trying to break into their headquarters to play my message over their loud speakers and essentially sort of convert their followers back to remembering the positivity and the light, as you'll see in the video too, it looks like the color has been sucked out of my world.
[00:34:27] Chad: And I think that's something that can resonate with a lot of people, especially in the, the day-to-day society that we live in now. I'm excited to share more of that world. It's kind of interconnected within this ep. The EP should be out I'd say like summertime, but there will be singles in between Alt Pop and the full EP coming out. I'm trying to just do some more shows in Arizona. We're working on a show for. and just expect a lot of world building type of content over the next handful of months. And I would say just in general with the music to expect the [00:35:00] unexpected because there's a specifically a song that's on this EP that is like almost the invert of alt pop. So, kind of playing into that diversity that I love to play uh, around it.
[00:35:09] James: Well, that's fantastic. I'm looking forward to hearing all of the other songs, but especially that one, and see what kind of a loop that throws me for.
[00:35:15] James: I love just getting hit by something that's totally different, but still is cohesive as a part of the whole work. that's always so fun to hear.
[00:35:21] James: All right, Chad, well, last question man. Where should people go to learn more about you?
[00:35:24] Chad: for the most part, it's just at Chad Kowal. .
[00:35:27] James: K O W A L for people who aren't looking at their screens
[00:35:30] Chad: And then as far as all future announcements go, I'm going to be discussing these on my text thread before I do on social media. So shoot me a text at 4 8 0 9 3 4 0 0 6 7. and we can chat about what you got going on in your day and you guys will be the first to know what's going on in future announcements.
[00:35:52] James: Okay, sick. And drop that number again, just so people don't have to rewind. If they didn't catch it the first time.
[00:35:56] Chad: Yeah. The number is 4 8 9 3 4 0 [00:36:00] 0 6 7.
[00:36:01] James: All right. Sweet Chad, dude, thank you so much. It's been a blast chatting with you again, I'm looking forward to number three sometime in the future.
[00:36:07] Chad: Absolutely, man. Sounds great. Thank you
[00:36:09] Chad: for having me.
[00:36:09] James: my pleasure. Thanks again and have a great day.
[00:36:11] Chad: You as well.