KRISTIN CHAMBERS

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Kristin Chambers is a Seattle-based singer/songwriter who has been singing since the age of nine. Chambers began writing music in 2010, releasing her self-titled debut album that same year (a sophomore album, “Endless Road”, followed in 2012); Chambers is now nearing the release of her new full-length album “Everything Woman”. The record was produced by Eric Eagle and features performances by Keith Lowe (Fiona Apple) and Steve Moore (Sufjan Stevens) and orchestral arrangements by Hans Teuber. The record will be available October 4th (more information can be found on Kristin’s website); enjoy our interview with Chambers below.

Could you give us some insight into your musical background? You started your own publishing company (Nubble Road Music & Publishing) and teach voice lessons, correct?

“I have always been singing. It began with a Mickey Mouse microphone, reviewing music with my older sister for anyone who would watch and listen (usually my poor parents and their friends). My first real performance on stage was in 4th grade; (I performed) a German song that I knew from living there. (I began taking) classical voice lessons at age 13 and (began a career in) musical theatre in Seattle and then spent some time in New York getting an intense street degree in voice, acting, and trying to pay rent. I have always trained as a singer, but it wasn’t until my return to Seattle that I married my writing and my singing and got into the songwriting side of things. Nubble Road Music & Publishing is my company that houses my creations and the Sing Now Voice Lessons series I use to guide the students I mentor to practice.” 

What can you tell us about the music scene of Seattle? Are there any venues or locations that you regularly frequent to hear live music?

“The Seattle music scene is really rich. I feel like any night I could find a spot to listen to any of my favorite genres. I am really loving The Royal Room right now, which is where my album release will be (held). Wayne Horvitz, the owner, has cultivated such a comfortable listening room, where the focus on the music is clear. But man the food is good too! I live near a neighborhood called Ballard (where there are 4 or 5 venues within a stones throw from one another); you could spend the evening there hopping around (hearing different music). I like it here. There’s definitely creativity in the air.”

How did you meet all the musicians who recorded on your new album? How did you meet the members of your live band? Are there any musicians that are filling both roles?

“I have known my producer Eric Eagle (who is also the drummer on the record) for years. Eric and I played together at The Triple Door and other spots when I was doing a lot of Jazz. Fast-forward some years and our paths crossed again on this original project, as Eric is getting more into producing and engineering and I started writing my own material. Jeff Fielder (who plays guitar on the record) and I have played together in the past and it has been really exciting to have him on board for this project. I am so fortunate that the core players that are on the record are also playing with me live for the release. The live band thing is pretty fluid right now; these guys are definitely the dream team.”

How does your most recent release (‘Chameleon’) differ from your new single ‘Everything Woman’? How does your new album (“Everything Woman”) differ from and expand on your previous release (“Endless Road”)? 

“‘Chameleon’! I’m so glad you asked. That song was a bit of an outlier in the crop of songs I pitched to Eric (in the early stages of demoing for “Everything Woman”) but I loved it so much that I really wanted to finish it. Michael Stegner, who is the pianist on my album, is also brilliant in that electronic/dance genre (which really suited ‘Chameleon’), so we worked on it outside the “Everything Woman” project. “Endless Road” was produced completely by myself. It was quite a learning experience. I still love some of the songs on “Endless Road”, but I definitely see “Everything Woman” as a completely different chapter, one with some pretty special collaborations.” 

What life experiences and events led to the writing and recording of “Everything Woman”? What was it like working with Eric Eagle of Skoor Sound? Could you tell us a bit about the album’s recording process? 

“I think that “Everything Woman” is my most confident writing to date. I am in a really good place in my life and that grounded feeling has freed me to write about many things. Some of the songs are from darker times I was too close to to write about in the past, and some of it is pure fiction. Working with Eric Eagle is easy because we are friends. In some ways, we come from different camps musically, so our collaborating ultimately makes for some really interesting music and maybe a few healthy debates! “Everything Woman” started at Seattle’s Litho Studio, where we worked three intense days tracking drums, bass, guitar, and piano. The guys really locked in, and most of what you will hear on the record is from that first session. I think that’s why the album has such a cool vibe. From there we recorded vocals at Crackle and Pop and then finally finished recording at Eric’s new studio (Skoor Sound). Eric built the whole studio from the ground up during (the recording of this) album, if  you can believe that! The orchestrations were done by Hans Teuber, a layer that got me even more excited and elicited a few tears (as well). Strings, horns, keys, percussion, and backup vocals, plus Eric’s mixing perfectionism, and voila! We have an album.”

You will soon perform at both a radio station and a venue to promote the release of your new album “Everything Woman”; how else do you plan to market and promote your new record once it is officially released on October 4th?

“I am so excited to get back out there (live). I have been really focused on recording this past year, and now that it’s cooked I want to share it! I will also be on the hunt for opportunities for this music in other areas. I work with some companies (including TAXI) on music licensing opportunities, and have also consulted with Bobby Borg (who is a master at marketing). I am in the middle of his new book “Music Marketing for the DIY Musician” and there is plenty of work to be done. But it’s good work when you love what you do.” 

Who are your biggest musical influences? Why do these particular artists or acts inspire you?

“I grew up (listening to) Carole King, Billy Joel, and James Taylor, so I suppose their aesthetic slips in. My New York days were about Joni Mitchell and Alanis Morissette. I love songwriters that tell stories. Some people say I have a bit of a twang in my singing and I can honestly say I don’t know where it comes from. I haven’t spent one day near a farm! I also love John Legend. I cannot believe what spills from his mouth when he sings.”

Can you tell us about the time you spent in New York City after graduating from college?

“I wouldn’t trade those days for anything now looking back, but they were hard for me. The energy there, that so many find invigorating, really stripped me down, but I spent time with incredibly talented singers, actors, and mentors, and that ultimately led me to write. I documented a lot of the painful times and the writing kept me sane. Now the writing is my joy.” 

What went into the filming of the music video for ‘Everything Woman’?

“The making of the video for ‘Everything Woman (directed and filmed by Tony Tibbetts) happened in a couple of waves. When I wrote the song, I was thinking of many strong women I know. They are in good, solid relationships where they can be strong, vulnerable, real and yet perfect in their partner’s eyes. The ladies in the video are people that I or the artistic director of the video know, so we know they embody the qualities in the song. We wanted to film them in a place they love so visually it becomes a tour of some really cool spots in Seattle. The video comes out October 4th with the album!”

What do the remaining months of 2014 hold in store for Kristin Chambers?

“I am excited to share this album with as many people as I can, and then it’s back to the writing slate. It rains a lot in the winter here, which makes for some cozy writing sessions. I thank you so much for all these great questions and for having me on your blog!”

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