Tell us about your band…

I guess the band came around out of a kind of creative necessity. I was between projects and had all these tunes I’d been working on, called up Andy, an old drummer from my years in the Performance course and one thing led to another. We waited a while before settling on a bassist but Blair fit us like a glove. I’ve always found the three piece attractive in the power of its simplicity – really careful dynamics, using silence as an instrument, and just a really great sonic shape for jamming on. 

The moniker chrdbl is just a brutalisation of my own name I’ve used for social media for a few years now and I’ve always found it worked well as a brand. I do write all of the tunes myself but the guys really help me traverse those creative bends and hone the songs into what they’re meant to be. Fantastic players both of them and lovely to work with. 

How would you describe your music and which artists would you say influence your style?

This questions always a killer. I really do like to think I have an eclectic music taste, I love the old jazz greats like Miles Davis as much as I do the Sex Pistols or the Smiths, or the soundscapes created by Radiohead. 

I guess in terms of composition I really take a lot of influence from bands like the Clash, Arctic Monkeys, I’m a big fan of songwriters like Paolo Nutini and Amy Winehouse too. 

What advice would you give to fellow musicians looking to start up their own band?

Honestly – just do it. Stop talking about it with your friends or your partner, stop strumming away to imaginary crowds in you bedroom mirror. If you have your instrument, you have all the gear you need, the fancy s!@* can come later. Get the songs together, practice like hell, and gig as often as you can, as far afield as possible.

Why did you want to study at Riverside Music College?

Funnily enough I’ve had a pretty long stint at Riverside. I started first year performance in 2017, took a year off to work, second year performance in 2019, and returned to begin Sound Production in 2021. I’ve loved every minute of it looking back, and I’ll be honestly sad when I complete this academic year!

I’ve always seen myself in the music industry, in one capacity or another, and I really feel the combination of creative and technical knowledge I’ve developed between the two courses has set me up for a strong career. 

How has the Music Performance course helped you – which skills, knowledge/classes have been the most useful for you?

My favourite part of the performance course, and honestly the most helpful in retrospect, is simply networking. It’s a great environment to meet likeminded and talented individuals, to either work on projects or even just share knowledge and ideas with. Little tips and tricks add up over the years. 

As for production, really genuinely understanding the studio environment and the gear used in recording and live sessions has helped me step up my playing and writing in a way that is constructive and efficient in both of those settings. It’s also opened up whole new revenue streams and career possibilities, and in this industry the ‘gig economy’ is everything if you’ll pardon the pun. 

Do you and your band have any exciting plans for the rest of the year?

In a word – Growth. The last couple years have been rocky for me personally, above and beyond the Covid crisis and the effect it had on working musicians. I’m so happy to finally be at a point again where I’m committing totally to my work and my studies, and I’m really focusing on taking as many gigs as possible, and growing my online presence so that once I’m ready to release music, the audience is there and eager. 

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Catch Chris LIVE at Broadcast on 16/12/22