Welcome to another Music Monday Artist Feature! You’re in for a treat this week as I interviewed Chris Canterbury for the scoop on his latest album release. The album, named, “Quaalude Lullabies”, is a nine-track collection of mostly sad songs that offers on-the-nose lyrical phrasing, subtlety loose production, and an honest insight into razor-edge topics like addiction, depression, and loneliness.” Let’s get into this interview to learn a bit more about Chris Canterbury.
Krysta: Can you give our audience a brief introduction to yourself and how you got started in music?
Chris: I grew up in Haynesville, Louisiana – a little oil patch town on the Louisiana/Arkansas line about 50 miles northeast of Shreveport. I kinda slept in, so to speak, on music. I got my first guitar at 19 when I was in college.
Krysta: In your own words, describe what it’s like being a part the music industry? What you like, how you navigate it, etc.
Chris: Like almost every other career path, it’s a job. Sometimes it’s good, and sometimes it ain’t that grand. What I’ve come to understand over the last 15-20 years is the separation of the art from the business, and the community of peers that you lean on for so many things. I have a great group of contemporaries that happen to be my friends. Once you find your niche crowd, it becomes a hell of a lot easier to navigate the field.
Krysta: Can you tell us a little bit more about your music style?
Chris: This is that touch question that every singer-songwriter hates to answer. Ha. If you ask my grandma, she’d say it’s country and western – I think of myself as a folk singer. I draw a lot of lyrical inspiration from guys like Steve Earle, John Prine, and Guy Clark. Springsteen and Gram Parsons are up there as well.
Krysta: You recently came out with your newest album, Quaalude Lullabies, can you tell me a little more about how this album came together and what it means to you?
Chris: It originally was supposed to just be a 4-5 song EP that I was going to release digitally during the pandemic. I ended up putting together 9 songs together and really liked the vibe of the whole collection, so I decided to make it a full record. I used Nebraska as a rough sketch – I really liked the sonic layout of that album – and cut the record in like 3 days. We recorded it at Farmland Studios in Nashville and invited all of my grossly talented friends to come play on it. The album is mostly dark. There’s no way around that. But, I write sad songs. That’s my lane. It’s also the first time I’ve produced an album, and I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out.
Krysta: What does your process look like for creating new music?
Chris: I’m not a “write every day” kinda guy. I do most of my solo writing when I’m driving. I’ll sing lines or melodies in my phone, and listen back over after a few days. I co-write more these days than I used to. I think that’s the beauty of being here in Nashville – there’s always someone as good or better than you within earshot.
Krysta: Have there been any defining moments in your career?
Chris: Releasing Quaalude Lullabies was a huge step because it was the first project I produced myself, and it turned out exactly as I imagined. I was able to take the layout of the songs that lived in my head, and put them out as finished tracks. I couldn’t have done it without the team of talented folks working in the studio. Secondly, I think moving to Nashville in 2012 was probably the first defining moment I’ve had in music because – just like the Rotary Club raffle – you have to be present to win. This is where the business side of music happens.
Krysta: Do you have any closing thoughts that you’d like our audience to know?
Chris: Thanks to everyone that’s streamed, spun, downloaded, etc. Quaalude Lullabies. I have a holiday single out now – a cover of John Prine’s “Christmas In Prison” – that’s available wherever you consume your digital music. Check it out if you like Christmas songs. Or prison songs.
Thanks for tuning in for today’s Music Monday with Chris Canterbury. If you’re interested in being featured or have a story you’d like to share, please reach out to me for publishing availability.
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