Welcome to the first Patron Update of 2014!
After testing out songs on the road, Chad hit the studio in Chicago on January 5th to start recording the new album. He’ll be in the Windy City for another week as he wraps up the first round of tracking and then he’ll be heading out on the winter 2014 living room tour that starts on February 13th in Toronto.
Speaking of the patrons, we closed up the patron store on January 1st and can now say that 1,554 fans have come on board as patrons. The album and community around it wouldn't have been possible without each and every one of you.
Videographers Ryan Mastro and Colleen “Mags” Reilly spent two weeks in September touring with Chad, and Colleen Hennessy at Sopa Productions has been hard at work on a mini-documentary about the living room tour. We will have that in the coming months, but in the meantime we’ve got a patron-exclusive performance video of Chad performing “Dead Badger.”
We’ve also embedded a videographer in the studio with Chad so we’re hoping to have something from there very soon.
Chad took a few minutes in the studio yesterday to answer some of your questions for the 2nd edition of Ask Lefty. If you have a question for Chad, send it over to firstname.lastname@example.org and he may answer it in an upcoming edition of Ask Lefty.
Scott Schalk asks...
Chad, by far the best show I've ever been to (on any scale) was State Radio at the Student Union in Iowa City. 2004 or 2005 I think. Bright Eyes was playing in the ballroom so you guys were in a public use type room. The crowd was only about 20 people or so and you still brought so much energy! I remember you jumpin' and knocking a ceiling tile down with your head! Do you approach a show differently when you know it's gonna be especially big or small?
" I try not to -- the big crowds are a bit more nerve wracking but sometimes the small shows are the most fun."
Anna Lee asks...
What is the meaning of the song 'Keep Sake'?
"Life is going to beat you up here and there; but if you can give your soul to your lover than they can protect it."
Stephen Devine asks...
When preparing for a show or recording session (solo/sr/dispatch) is there a particular approach you like to take, as far as getting yourself and everyone else prepared, and how long does it usually take?
"I'd say it takes about 5 hours a song to get prepared."
Adam Nicolais asks...
Do you see State Radio continuing as a priority? I can tell you that many RLT's are very nervous that the best days of SR are behind us. With your solo career strengthening, gigs with Dispatch increasing, and the loss of Maddog, can you blame us for thinking this way? Please tell me we're wrong!
"There are half-written songs that in are in the wings for the next SR record, but there are other things happening at the moment. State Radio is not a priority right now, but it will be again. Doing the solo thing now and then probably Dispatch and then State Radio -- that's the pattern right now. State Radio is on a bit of hiatus at the moment, but we will return."
Kara Carpenter asks...
I was wondering if there are any plans to tour with a full band after the album is completed?
"Depends when we can get the album done, but I'd love to do a full band tour similar to Chadwick Stokes and The Pintos in the fall."
Jordan Gerow asks...
What's the story behind "Back to the Races?" I always heard a dying civil war soldier.
"Hmm... 'Back To The Races' is about a few things -- we had this Ram named George that locked my grandfather Big Poppa in the shed and then draws on the tragic story of Orpheus and my own early experiences trying to find love - coming so close and then something happening."
Peter Booth asks...
How do you (and musicians in general) pay for health care and do you save for retirement or do you just live gig-to-gig?
"For a while we lived gig to gig but now that some of us have families it's more serious so we hunt for a good plan like all the other self employed folks out there."
Ray Stacy asks...
During the show in Jamaica Plain, I had a memory triggered of a question I've been wondering for a while - are we ever getting a Story of Benjamin Darling Part II? The original has always been a favorite of mine, and I've been patiently awaiting the sequel for years. So, does it exist in any form, and is there a chance of it finding its way onto the next solo album?
"Unfortunately, not this album - I started it once years ago around the time I was writing part 1 -- sometimes songs take a long time incubating and this one hasn't made it too far."
Andrew Schoenfeld asks...
How do you keep all of the material straight between your different projects? Do you pick and choose what to practice? How do you keep from forgetting the nuances?
"I try to compartmentalize things so that whatever project I'm in at that moment, I'm totally devoted to it as if it was only thing I've ever done - that's the idea anyway - doesn't always work. For the 'patch shows we get together and practice for a day or two -- and for State Radio shows we didn't even need to practice for one-off gigs because typically (though not the case now) we had been playing so much and knew each other so well. Before a tour, there's a bunch rehashing some of the trickier tunes so that we're on top our shit. But basically i try to separate things best I can."
Jon Wilkins asks...
Whether or not you intended too, you're doing some very unique things in regards to the distribution and promotion of your music, as well as the writing, recording and performing of it. Case in point this living room tour. I can let you know that from my end it has been great. I am wondering how you are feeling about it? A lot of this has never been done before, aka risky. There is no "process" or guarantee in what you're doing, yet it seems to work, thoughts?
"I don't know, I feel like I've toured in a bunch of different ways and it's always good to do something that feels fresh -- it's hard to stay on top of where the music industry is going.. i'm just really grateful folks still come out to shows and are listening. I think is our world gets more digital and blurred it's nice to do something that feels grounded- the living room tour feels more 'real' to me than any other touring because it's so stark and intimate."