Thursday, November 15, 2012

Interview with Chuck Hancock

Interview with Chuck Hancock

Lamitschka:  How was the last year for you? What were your highlights?

Chuck Hancock:  Last Year was great, We finished recoeding our 1st county Album On A Personal Note, we also appeared at the American Music Theatre in Lancaster PA with Ray Price and Gene Watson (to an absolute packed house) we released „They Don’t Stay Little Long Enough“, our first single off the album. It went #1 in Oct, in the Inspirational Country Charts and is in the top 20 on the Country Charts as well. We have just returned from the ICM Awards show in Nashville where I performed „They Don’t Stay Little Long Enough“ and recieved two awards, Songwriter of the Year and Male Vocalist of the Year. So far this year has been a „Great“ One.

Lamitschka:  What is your latest CD and how's it doing?



Chuck Hancock:  „On A Personal Note“ it features 12 songs that I have written with two cover songs and It is doing great

Lamitschka:  How did you choose the title for the CD?  Is there a story behind the name?



Chuck Hancock:  Yes, Long story, sometimes when we travel, my wife drives and I play my guitar. I asked her if she had something I could write on just in case I had an idea for a song. She handed me a small note pad with a heading „On A Personal Note“, I couldnt come up with an idea, and I just kept starring at that note pad. Thus came the idea for the song „ On A Personal Note“. My album touches on several of my favorite country styles, and actually has a couple of songs that you might would hear on todays country, but I wanted to produce the album with lots of traditional country feeling, lots of fiddle and steel guitar out front in the music. You’ll hear Texas shuffle, Texas swing, Hurting Country, even a song with a Buffett feel. So its kind of a „Personal Note“ from me to the listeners.

Lamitschka:  Please tell us about the songs on your album (influences, etc).



Chuck Hancock:  My publicist and promoter Marty Martel decided we needed a couple of cover tunes, because we wanted to really break into the market in other countries. Being a new artist to these listeners we felt they would like to hear a few songs that they would recognize from the original artist. I chose the first song to be an old favorite called „Step Aside“. Its my kind of song and I stylized it a tad to make it my version of this great song, I think it turned out ok. The #2 song Almost Dancing is one of my favorites, the idea came from when my wife and I were watching the movie FootLoose on TV, it seems the preacher would not let his daughter go to the prom because he didn’t believe in dancing. Long Story short at the end of the movie the preacher condeded to allow her to dance at the prom. There was the final scene where he and his wife were standing outside listening to the music and they swayed just a little. Then he walkd off and his wife looked back and said you know, „ We were almost dancing“. That hit me like WOW what an idea for a song. So one hour later we had „Almost Dancing“. Our third cut – „Just can’t get the Texas out of me“ is influenced by me being born and raised in the great state of Texas. A true Texan’s roots run deep and no matter how far away or how long away, he is still a Texan. I spend a good bit of time in Texas when I can and I love Texas swing and Twin fiddles, another one of my favorites. The 4th cut „Can’t Make It Past Your Memory“ is another 4/4 shuffle, with Ray Price enfluences. This is one of my publiscist Marty Martel’s favorites. The # 5 cut is a love song I wrote for my wife, Cynthia, and we did this with strings and nice back ground vocals, I could hear Ray Price sing this song, except I wrote a Conway Twitty style recitation that is a little different, maybe some will find there way back. Also I might mention that throughout this album several of the songs we had me sing background on. Its perfect matched because Im singing both parts and I think it worked well for us. The #6 song „Just Can’t One Night Stand It“ is a up tempo, fast line dance tune that has a great feel to it. I think it will do well on radio. The # 7 song „Through The Eyes of a Fool. This is one song I may have 2nd thoughts on the production. It’s a great song, I did the 1st part of the song in a 2/4 time and the last solo in 4/4 shuffle. Not sure I shouldn’t have done the 4/4 from the beginning. It really a great song. I just like the movement of the last half better. # 8 „These sunny beaches and me. I wanted to break up the consistency a little, so I wrote a fun, in the sun type song that almost has a Jimmy Buffett flavor, but would appeal to a younger listener perhaps we should say. # 9 „On A Personal Note. We already talked about how this song came about. The story is unique and I think this song could be played on todays country radio. Hope you like the song, it is not as traditional as the others. #10 „Don’t You Ever Get Tired of Hurting Me“. This is an old Ray Price song that I stylized a tad to make it my version. But no one does it like Price. Hopefully you will hear some small differences that maybe you’ll enjoy, I hope so. # 11 song „Where Lonely Gets Too Loud“ Here is a song that focuses on the Hurt (after the leaving). I wanted to get that Vera Gosdin feel in the song, he sings the best hurtin songs. I invited James Payne to give me some thoughts that would help capture the loneliness and this is what we came out with. #12 – „Forever Don’t Last That Long“ I originally wrote this as a slower song, as I worked with my arranger, Mike Schrimpfth, we actually changed the arrangement to a more groovy up tempo song, I like it and hope you will as well. # 13 song „They Don’t Stay Little Long Enough“. What can I say, our 1st single off the album goes #1 in record time-It is just one of those songs that everyone relates to. I think the song will be timeless. It is one of my favorites. #14 song „ The way You Move Me. Here is one of those unique sounding songs that the younger crowd seems to like, certainly not traditional but not so far off that it unbearable. I kind of like some of the lyrics, they have a younger feel and the arrangement is different. So that is the album layout. My traditional roots up front to my Texas swing, and boot scootin country. You’ll hear hurtin country and some nice love ballads and ending up with some song that might be heard on todays country stations. Its not a pigeon holed project, just a „Personal Note“ of Chuck Hancock music.

Lamitschka:  Your current single is being played by radio. What do you feel is special about this song that makes people want to hear it?



Chuck Hancock:  „They Don’t Stay Little Long Enough“ prompts the listener to remember their children growing up so fast and the memories, the empty nest leaves you with. Everyone can relate, the parent and the child. We may not all be parents, but we were all children

Lamitschka:  What will your next single be?



Chuck Hancock:  I think Marty Martel, will decide, It will be Can’t Get Past Your Memory which is now being played on UKCountryRadio.com



Lamitschka:  What kind of songs do you like to record the most?

Chuck Hancock: I love these all, but I guess I would have to say traditional country , dance tunes and also songs with feelings and emotions

Lamitschka:  How much creative control do you have over your music?

Chuck Hancock:  Total, however I like to get other opinions as the songs move along toward recording. There are certain people I may ask concerning melody, others concerning lyrics and structure, but in the end I decide how and when we record it.

Lamitschka:  There's a lot of work that goes into a number one hit. What did it take to make it in your case?

Chuck Hancock: A great deal from a lot of committed people. First the song needs to be a quality product with potential, the promoters and publicist have to sell the sizzle to the DJ‘s, and they have to play it enough to catch on and ultimately the listeners have to like it enough to give the radio people feed back and request the song Heavy. There is a lot of great songs out there.

Lamitschka:  Who inspires you musically and how deep do your musical roots run?

Chuck Hancock:  I have loved music from the time I was a little boy. My father’s side of the family was very musically inclined. They all playied in church at one time or another, many played dances, my dad and my Aunt Jewell have written songs. My aunt Jewell has had songs recorded by many Nashville artist, including Hank William SR. (My Son Calls Another Man Daddy) I played in country bands in Texas and toured the midwest for years. My enfluence was Ray Price, Merle Haggard and Vera Gosdin. All the Texas swinger Jonny Bush, Daryll McCall and so many great ones.

Lamitschka:  What do you think about today's music scene versus its past and where do you see it going in the future?



Chuck Hancock: You know todays country is not bad, it just different. I don’t think mainstream will ever get back to the traditional country sounds that we all love, but my hope is maybe meet in the middle. I hope to see some traditional sounds coming back. I have written a song that i will pitch to George Jones, called „This Ain’t My Country Anymore“. I think that pretty much covers that question. 

Lamitschka:  What do you think about today's music industry?



Chuck Hancock:  I think the internet has leveled the playing field for some of us. The independent artist has a vehicle to get his or her music out there without having to go give the big record companies the lions share of the revenue. Still can’t get players on mainstream stations, but several independents are doing well.

Lamitschka:  If you had the chance to change something about the music industry, what would it be?



Chuck Hancock:  The age ceiling, There are still so many artist over 30 years old who can’t get the big break and they have so much to offer the industry. This industry is missing a lot of quality, but no shortage on quantity.

Lamitschka:  What inspired you to become a songwriter?

Chuck Hancock:  I am a hopeless romantic and writing has always been my best form of expression. When I’m writing the world stand still for me. When I hear a song that someone has written , that just blows me away, I always think now why didn’t I think of that? It’s just what I love to do.

Lamitschka:  When you get time off, how do you like to relax?

Chuck Hancock:  With my sons, We still love to team rope, hunt and jsut hang out. We like our horses, and sometimes I’ll try my hand at golf. I’m thankful I don’t have to make a living doing that.

Lamitschka:  Is there anything in your life that you would change if you could?

Chuck Hancock:Yes and No. I wish I had persued music more aggressively in my younger years. But things are turning out pretty good now, so yes and no.

Lamitschka:  What hopes and desires do you have?

Chuck Hancock:  I hope I can write some hit songs that will be recorded by some of the Icons in the industry and I really want to come to Europe and other countries to perform my music. That is on my bucket list.

Lamitschka:  What can your fans expect to see when they see you in concert?

Chuck Hancock:  Just an old country cowboy that loves to sing his songs to folks who love to hear them. I interact with my fans and get up close and personal with them. They are an important part of my show, because without them there wouldn’t be a show. Youll see some energy , feel some emotions and hopefully become a fan of my music

Lamitschka:  Many music fans today get their information about artists online. Do you have your own website and what will fans find there?

Chuck Hancock:  Yes, we have chuckhancock.com. Still working on it but it shows tour dates. You can download my music, buy caps and T shirts, albums and join our fan club.

Lamitschka:  What message would you like to send your European fans?

Chuck Hancock: Get ready to meet me in person soon. My goal is to do some shows over there and im a pretty determined old Texas cowboy that’ll Git er Done.

Lamitschka:  How do you feel about being winning the Songwriter and Male Vocalist of the Year?  What has it done for your career?

Chuck Hancock:  It will allow me to become more recognized in the industry, exposure is the key and these kinds of things usually help you get more exposure

Lamitschka:  Describe what a perfect day is like for you.

Chuck Hancock:  I slept good the night before, wake up feeling good, no stress, have a great cup of coffee on my veranda looking at my horses, spend some quiet time with my Lord and Savior, have breakfast with my boys, go out and rope a while, write a great song in the afternoon , have a great dinner and evening with my wife, play with my dog and pray that I can do it again tomorrow.

Lamitschka:  Most careers don't last as long as yours.  What's given your career the staying power?

Chuck Hancock:  A true passion, committment to get better at the kraft, keep thanking God for this opportunity, being sincere and real with your fans and always appreciate the disk jockies who have our careers in their hands.

Christian Lamitschka ( Ch.Lamitschka@t-online.de )

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