We are pleased to have “One of Canada's best-kept secrets” Rich Chambers from Vancouver, British Columbia for this interview.
Starting with the 2019 release of his Christmas album, “Santa’s Rockin’ Band,” Rich has been on a roll. His Christmas album produced one single, “the Snow Miser vs. Heat Miser,” which has been streamed more than one million times on Spotify to date.
Following this has been six single releases beginning in January 2021, including his film festival award-winning video for his rock original, "I'm So Tired,” which has received accolades in over 50 film festivals across the globe for its hard-hitting social commentary
Q : ' You’re a Nice Guy But…,' is a funny, energetic & polished guitar-driven rock n’ roll song ! What inspired you with the idea ?
Rich : The song emerged from out of a true story, coming from a place of simple honesty and perspective. It organically arose from out of a relatively benign discussion at a band rehearsal one Sunday afternoon and was co-written by myself and my three band mates at the time.
We had just finished a couple of warm up songs when the bass player asks the drummer about a date he had been on the night before. Jeff, the drummer, gets a sheepish look on his face and proceeds to tell us about an awesome date where he thought everything was going well until he went to drop her off and she said to him, ‘Jeff, you’re a nice guy but…,’ at which point Jeff stops his story. There is a moment of silence before we all start breaking into laughter. We knew exactly what she said after that ‘but.’ Hell, we had all heard the same lines countless times ourselves. The floodgates then opened up and we all started sharing our own unique “Nice Guy But…” stories, which were a plenty! And then, without even realizing what we were doing, we started singing our “Nice Guy But…” stories and about 30 minutes later, the song was written. What a great time writing that song was!” We all still remember that day very fondly!
Q :“Rock n’ Roll Reimagined” is your style of combining classic rock with a modern vibe,giving us something refreshingly and excitingly new, how did you develop this process ?
Rich : This is a great question and in many ways is kind of hard to answer. How does one ascertain as to how they got to where they are with a passion within them? The music I write and record has always just been a part of me. But, looking at the question as objectively as I can, I think it really comes down to the massively wide array of influences I have. I love so many different styles and often find myself borrowing little bits of melody, harmony, chord progressions, production techniques, etc., from all of my influences, but never copying or modelling myself after any one in particular. The end result ends up being “me,” which is a mash up of styles ranging all over the rock, pop, country, and blues spectrums and time continuums.
Q :The music video is without doubt the perfect way to deliver this song, how did you work on it and decide what to include in the visuals for the video?
Rich : I owe a lot of it to my video director and life-long friend Rob McFadyen. He has a visual/cinematography eye that I do not have, plus he is meticulous with his production and editing. But before we actually got to the shoot, where Rob always takes over, we talked about the tongue n’ cheek feel of the song and felt that the video simply had to model that in some way. I was willing to play the poor” woe is me” dumpee and made a point of doing a lot of my scenes a little “over the top.” We asked our female leads to do the same. Bringing random people into the choruses to say “You’re a Nice Guy But…” was something that just evolved in the middle of one of the shoots. We asked a couple of strangers if they wanted to be in the video, they said yes, it worked, so we kept going with it! The shoots for this video were so much fun, which I think comes out in the final version of the video.
Q :Your storytelling ability is very catchy in this song, describe your creative process when you write new music ?
Rich : Firstly, thank you for such an amazing compliment. I can’t take full credit for “You’re a Nice Guy But…” though as it was a joint effort with myself and my three band mates at the time.
Secondly, in regards to my creative process, it really is something that I absolutely love. When I kick into creative moments, I feel on top of the world. I also feel extremely fortunate in that I don’t have to wait for creative moments to hit me. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes a wonderfully spontaneous bit of inspiration will hit me and I am off and running with a new song, and I love those moments when they happen, but I also have moments where I sit down and consciously decide that I am going to write a song. I don’t always come up with something in such situations, but more often than not, I do come up with an idea that later forms a new song. I feel extremely fortunate that I can write a song on demand like that!!
As for the process of writing itself, I am often asked what comes first, the lyrics or the music, and 95% of the time it is the music. Once the music is all written, the tone and feel of the music will tell me what kind of lyrical content to give it. On the rare occasions I write from lyrics first, the song is almost always formed around a hook chorus line and nothing more. I then write all the music and fill in the rest of the lyrics afterwards.
Q :What accomplishments do you see yourself achieving in the next 5 to 10 years?
Rich : 5 to 10 years seems so far out, but I realize that it isn’t really. I am absolutely determined to make myself a household name. I have unwavering confidence in my songwriting and always have since I wrote my first song at 14, but I never had the same confidence in my musicianship. It has taken me a lifetime of hard work and perseverance to finally get my musicianship and producing abilities to the point that I can make the songs I have been hearing in my head for so many years a reality. In the next 5-10 years, I will be releasing a lifetime of songs. I am so excited to make all my songs a reality and to get them out there to the general public!
Q :What is your personal favorite of the songs you have released? You can only pick one!
Rich :I can only pick one? Ah man, this is the toughest question of all!! 😊 But seriously, I think all artists have their own personal favorites of the songs they write. I like all of my songs that I have so far released, but if I had to pick one song, it would be “High School Can’t Last Forever.”
“High School Can’t Last Forever” took me one afternoon to conceive and about 20 years to complete. I just could never quite finish it. I realize now that I needed enough maturity to look back upon my teen and high school years with the perspective of experience.
The song is all about the idea of innocence being within one’s thoughts and own perspectives and that once one let’s go of the idea that innocence has no correlation with actual age, they will achieve a true level of innocence. The backdrop is a musical theme and production that mashes together Buddy Holly and Green Day, which was intentional. I thought what better way to show that innocence has no correlation with age, or eras for that matter, than to mash up two eras and musical styles that are so dichotomous on the surface yet surprisingly strikingly similar at their core.
Q :Which skills have you gained that help you perform effectively as a musician?
Rich : Maturity, wisdom, experience, and empathy are probably the biggest skills/traits that I have gained that help me perform better as a musician and songwriter. The tangible skills I acquired through practice and lots of hard work and commitment, but it is the human traits that truly make me who I am and come out in my songwriting. I am thankful that somewhere along my life path, I had the wherewithal to realize that these human traits are truly my biggest assets!
Q :What's the best piece of advice another musician ever gave you?
Rich : Very simple … practice, practice, practice. The second most important piece of advice I was given was to be prepared to hear a lot of “no’s” and to not let it get me down when I did. All the practice I did helped me to acquire the skills needed to become a professional musician and songwriter and learning to dust myself off after all the “no’s” gave me the perseverance of character needed in order to keep practicing to gain all the skills to become a professional musician and songwriter.
As we get to the end of this interview we want to thank Rich for this great opportunity.
You can give a listen to ' You’re a Nice Guy But… ' below and make sure you give a follow to stay tuned with his future releases