Got an e-mail asking if I’d like to check out this band Open Air Stereo the other night. You guys know how much I love e-mails like this, so I did, and I really liked them, so of course I had to interview someone from the band right away. And as luck would have it, they’re going to be here in Dallas on Wednesday October 23 at Southside Music Hall with Hinder, Candlebox, and my new friends in Devour The Day. Chase Johnson was cool enough to call and fill us in on all things Open Air Stereo. The new album is Primates, and I recommend it highly.
So, I just got your CD last night, and I have it on all morning. I’m really diggin’ it!
Chase: Oh cool, I’m so glad you dig it! We try to make universal music and that’s where our name Open Air Stereo comes from. We leave it open for all interpretation and let everyone have their own spin on it.
Yeah, it’s got some great hooks. For someone like me who sits at a desk all day, this is a fun album to jam to.
Chase: We definitely enjoy creating hooks and we’re real lovers of melodies and beats. It’s real easy to get into, we hope!
“Stuck On You” was in my head all night, too.
Chase: (Laughs)Yes!! That’s the plan, baby!
And how is the tour going?
Chase: It’s going amazing, man. Even though we’re one of four it’s been nearly packed houses every night, even as early as we go on. So we’re just blessed to be able to put out make music and hopefully gain fans everywhere we go. Every night we see more and more people singing the lyrics, so this is a dream come true.
Working with Marti Fredriksen, what was that like?
Chase: Nick (Gross, drums) and I have been working with Marti for almost four or five years, and he really became a friend and mentor to me. He’s just a force to be reckoned with and an amazing, amazing songwriter. We’re not one of those bands that shun co-writing, we love it. You get to learn from others, their tips and tricks.
I'm curious. Why Primates for the name of the record?
Chase: It’s a story of evolution, man. Primates really describes us well. We’ve all gone through personal ups and downs in the band, like breakups, or the hiatus. And we’ve evolved as people and as a music family. We just felt it told the story. And with the evolutionary story it was an excuse to put a monkey on the cover of the fuckin’ record (starts laughing)!!
Hahahahaaaa, I am SO quoting you on that!!
Is it vindicating, finally getting this record out after all the band went through?
Chase: Yeah it is. I mean, yeah we make music for ourselves, every band does, but it’s nice that the stuff is doing well. And people are really into it. We are so stoked right now, we really are blessed.
Who primarily does the writing?
Chase: We all contribute to the writing process, and that’s one of the beautiful things about this band. I do most of the lyrics and then we all pitch in. Scott (Pounds, guitar) might come up with a riff, or Nick finds this beat, and it’s awesome to have three other people you can trust. It’s never done just one way. We’re constantly writing, music and breathing are hand in hand with this band.
You're very involved in charity work. How did that start?
Chase: That all stems from my folks, to be honest. We all love doing anything for charity in this band and hopefully one day when we continue to grow and have a lot more means that we can do even more. It feels so good and it’s humbling. Helping people is the most amazing feeling. Some people can’t help themselves and they need a hand. We’re happy to give that hand.
Now for my favorite question: what would you like to say to the Open Air Stereo fans out there?
Chase: I’d really just like to thank you for your support and thank you for loving music. We’re all the same person, you know? I’m either one in the crowd or the one onstage, but we’re all the same people. We wouldn’t be doing what we do without all of you inspiring us.
Pretty cool words from a really cool guy. Be sure to come to Southside Music Hall in Dallas this Wednesday October 23, and make sure you get there early to catch Open Air Stereo. You’ll thank me.