Choice Cuts In Depth: Chad Hollister
Date: Sunday, September 13, 2009 @ 15:30:09 UTC

Chad Hollister - Choice Cuts In Depth
Chad Hollister comes from the "it's-all-Ive-ever-done" school of indie musicianship. He graduated from the University of Vermont and immediately went full-time. That sense of unapologetic freedom comes through in his plain-spoken and occasionally sardonic lyrics as well as the ebullience and resolute rock in his compositional approach. "Id like to get across to listeners that they can do anything," he says.

By Barney Quick

Solo shows are his bread and butter, but he relishes dates with his band and recording sessions with the wide variety of players he has met throughout his career. It's all a matter of the type of venue that is booking him and what kind of fee can be negotiated.

Planning his touring schedule also involves staying on top of when his bandmates are available. "They all teach and have other gigs," he explains.

This has led to drawing on outside resources on occasion, such as when he used drummer Dave Mattacks, an original member of the British folk-rock group Fairport Convention (think 1968) on a recent show and some studio tracks. "We met at a cocktail party," says Hollister.

He uses Mattacks and other musicians beyond the confines of his band on his new, self-titled album. "This record was about doing what's right for the song," he says, which meant some arrangements calling for instrumentation he hadn't used before.

The producer for the record is Anthony J. Resta, who has worked with Collective Soul, Shawn Mullins, Elton John and Duran Duran. "The whole thing about Anthony is that he got me right away," Hollister says. "So many producers come in and take over the project, saying, 'Here's what you're going to do.'" Hollister liked Resta's style of giving "little suggestions, like holding a bass note a little longer."

For any management activities beyond what he handles himself, Hollister maintains an association with Eugene Foley. "He's an amazing guy," he says. "He basically represents me to the press, and he does a lot of my legal work. We did a radio push on Spirits (the most recent album by the Chad Hollister Band)."

He is basically his own manager, though. "I'm in this purgatory phase, like a lot of indie acts," he observes. "Agencies don't want anything to do with somebody making a grand a night." He says radio is a big component of his marketing effort. "A Vermont station called Point FM has us in medium rotation. WCLV in Portland, Maine is playing our cover of The Cars' 'My Best Friend's Girl.'"

Hollister experienced a shot of career recognition when he won the Billboard Songwriting Contest in 2003. "We were on tour in Colorado," he recalls. "I'd submitted songs to other contests, such as John Lennon, so I didn't have big expectations. We'd had some bum shows. We were at a Quizno's in Kremmling, Colorado and my manager at the time called and said, 'Are you sitting down?' Interestingly, the song, 'Jesus, Bon Jovi and Tarzan,' won in the alt-rock category. It bumped up the vibe on the rest of the tour. It definitely brought some people out."

He lives in the country in Vermont with his wife and kids. "A lot of people have told me to move to L.A. or some such city, but I can do what I want to do from this base of operations," he says. He plays a lot of private events in nearby Marblehead, Massachusetts, where he has lots of family.

The stage is where he really sees everything his career is about come together. "I feel so comfortable, like I'm in my living room," he says. He notes that his gratitude for his success never falters, and that "the whole band hits the stage with that appreciation."

He expects to see that in other acts as well: "I can tell when a performer doesn't give a shit about being onstage. I've opened for Warren Haynes and Paul Simon at various times. Guys like that have been onstage thousands of times for decades, and they still get it. They appreciate every time they play for an audience."

"I get so angry when I see people who abuse their power in this business, putting out stupid, vulgar messages," he says. "We're in such a position of power. Artists should think about that."

Indie-Music ProfileIndie-Music Profile - Play "Grow"

Artist Website:

Chad Hollister

Chad Hollister

Choice Cuts In Depth
is an interview series featuring one of Indie-Music's Choice Cuts Featured Artists. I-M's staff screens Members' music each month, highlighting the 10 best songs for your listening pleasure. One outstanding Choice Cuts performer is chosen for the In Depth interview.

Read More Choice Cuts In Depth Interviews

This article comes from

The URL for this story is: