Yesterday, we caught up on what Nashville-based rock duo The Cold Stares have been up to in the past few years, and how they’ve gotten to where they are now. Lead vocalist and guitarist Chris Tapp had recovered from a bout with cancer, of which he says, “Not trying to be a preacher but I feel blessed by God.” The band forged ahead with the goal of finding the perfect producer to lead them through recording a full length album. They sent some samples to L.A.-based Mark Needham, who brought Tapp and drummer Brian Mullins out to record with him.
Chris Tapp was kind enough to give us a closer look at what The Cold Stares have been doing in L.A.
Q: What led you to seek out Mark Needham as the producer of your newest record?
A: We were close to signing a deal right before I found out I had cancer… When I got to a place of recovery, that we started playing gigs again and were starting to look at taking another crack at a deal, I wanted to have someone in place that could help steer where we were going, advise us, and that had a great reputation in the business. We have a great lawyer on the business side, and wanted someone on the music side of things on our team. I had two guys on my short list, and had spoken with a friend of mine who really thought Mark was perfect… I sent him a couple of songs and told him where we were… Mark flew in and we spent a couple days at Blackbird studios in Nashville. Another thing God had his hand in, because it was just a perfect fit for us.
Q: Did you have all the songs written and picked out for the record before you started recording, or are you writing new tracks while in L.A.?
A: We sent Mark most of everything we had and just let him pick ten or so songs to see how his choices lined up with what we felt we would want to present to someone. One of the songs that we had that we were going to wait on was Jesus’ Brother James, but… Mark heard it and dug it, and we ended up cutting it. Everything else we chose prior to going out to LA and just went in and played live.
Q: How is working in L.A. different from your recording experiences in Nashville?
A: LA was great. No egos, no comparisons, healthy rock environment and opportunity for us to work in some places that embrace their music history… We are a rock and roll band, so it was great to have dinner at the Rainbow and hang out at Swingers.
Q: Have you recorded any songs that you're eager for your Nashville area fans to hear?
A: We are eager for the fans to hear everything we've done on this session, because I think it's the first time we've recorded something in the studio that matches the energy we have live. A few songs like 61 Blues and Jesus’ Brother James are a little new from what we usually do live, but we aren't going to change what we do live because that's where we got our fan base. The album and record label stuff to us is a means to an end to be able to play live in front of as many people as possible and share that magic that comes from playing electric music – Loud!
The Cold Stares are back in Nashville this Friday, at 3rd & Lindlsey.