An interview with veteran drummer turned singer-songwriter Chris Poulson

by | Jun 17, 2022 | Interviews

Chris Poulson is a talented singer and songwriter from Burbank, California. A seasoned musician, he has been in the music industry since the mid 1990s. His career progressed quickly to being signed with Fearless Records rock band, Rock Kills Kid as drummer in 2001. Chris found himself touring and sharing the stage with headlining acts. Now focusing on singing and song writing, Chris recently released “Fall Into Pieces,” his debut Solo EP.

A unique musical portrait

1 In Music: What would you say is unique about you and your music?

Chris Poulson [CP]: I would have to say my voice is definitely one that does not blend in with the typical voices you may hear on radio or television. The music I write typically stems from my past experiences, even back to my childhood years. It consists of writing music, melodies, and lyrics that connect and resonate with people from all different ages and backgrounds.

1 In Music: What or who shaped your music and who supports you?

CP: The first band that really caught me in my feels was Nirvana. It was undeniable how much I loved listening to that band. From Kurt’s raspy singing and the genius behind his lyrics, to Dave Grohl’s hard hitting, straight-forward, and in-the-pocket style of drumming. Nirvana had me hooked! I would then learn as many Nirvana songs on drums and guitar as I possibly could. So, it’s safe to say that the Grunge era definitely shaped me as a musical artist. I then got into Punk Rock and Pop Punk which taught me different elements in music, speed, dynamics, vocal melodies and harmonies… you name it.

I’d say my biggest supporter throughout my musical journey has been my Mother. She is actually the reason why I became a lead singer to begin with. When I was a drummer I would sing backup vocals and sometimes would even sing lead for a song or two while playing the drums… and, I loved it. It wasn’t until years and years into my drumming career that I found out my Mom had developed Thyroid Cancer. My Mom was a singer in her own right, since a very young age and up until she got cancer, then that all got stripped away from her. That devastated her, and devastated me also.

So, I said to myself; “Chris, you have to carry on this voice you were given, not just for you, but for Mom.”

And, from that point on, I became a full-time singer-songwriter and haven’t looked back since.

1 In Music: Wow! So, let’s go back a little. When did you realise you were going to make music professionally?

CP: After High School, I went to a community college where I wanted to study psychology and music theory. I remember sitting in my psych class when I got a voicemail message on my cell from my buddy telling me to call him ASAP. So, I stepped out of the class for a minute to call him up. He explained there was this band that just signed a deal with Fearless Records and they lost their drummer in the middle of their deal. They were in need of a drummer that could learn their songs and finish recording their debut EP set to release on Fearless Records the following year. My friend thought I would be a perfect fit for this.

I knew exactly who Fearless was, and that alone had me so excited, I could barely contain myself. My friend gave me the number of the band’s bass player and told me to call him ASAP. So, I ended up going back inside the classroom, gathered up my belongings and took off back home so that I could get in touch with this band my friend was telling me about. Once I got home I called their bassist who gave me three songs to learn over the span of a week or so. We set-up an audition date, and I was pumped for this. I listened to those three songs day in and day out, drilling them into my head. I even slept with those songs playing over and over in my headphones.

It came down to audition day. I don’t remember being nervous, but I do remember saying to myself, “I want this, I NEED this!” I played those three songs with them like I had been playing with them for years. I even shocked myself. But, I had to prove to myself that I could do it. At the end of the audition, I remember the guitarist/lead singer and bassist stepped out to talk. They came back in minutes later and offered me the gig. That’s when I knew it was time for the big-leagues, and music would become my profession.

More on Chris Poulson – Music habit

1 In Music: What type of music do you listen to?

CP: When I was a child, my parents (especially my Mom) loved Country music. So, I was around and listened to Country for many many years up until I reached middle school. Once I hit high school I started listening to Grunge. Then, it went on to Punk Rock and Pop Punk for many years thereafter. When I got a little older, Rock music took precedence over anything else. Now, I listen to a combination of anything. Rock, Alternative and even Pop music are my main go-tos these days. However, I still throw on some Grunge and Pop Punk to take me back to when I first started. I just love music in general, to any style, language, rhythm, beat, you name it.

1 In Music: Who, to you, is the most undervalued music artist?

CP: In my personal opinion, it would be the band/artist Silverchair. Daniel Johns is a fantastic singer-songwriter, and Silverchair, as a band, is just crazy good. I’ve had the rare pleasure of seeing them live twice when they came to Los Angeles to play, and I was absolutely blown away. To this day, Silverchair is a huge influence on my song writing,

1 In Music: How do you prepare for your performances?

CP: First, I do not speak very much for an entire week, keeping my speaking to a minimum. Also, I try not to put myself in places where I need to speak over loud noises, people, etc.
I consume a lot of water and teas. I do not drink any alcohol before a performance, and I try to get plenty of rest.

Life Philosophy

1 In Music: What do you do when you don’t do music (creative or otherwise) and that you are passionate about?

CP: I am an avid long-distance runner. I have been running for over 20 years and I love it. And, I love fixing things around the house, e.g., repainting and repairing things that are broken, etc.

1 In Music: Wow! So, Success to you is…

CP: Being Happy and Enjoying what you do. Sometimes the freedom to do what you want and play what you want isn’t always an option. But,

as long as you’re able to express yourself and be the Real YOU, then happiness is bound to carry through your musical journey.

1 In Music: What do you wish you were told when you started out and that you think would help anyone who starts out

CP: I, at times wished I was told that this world isn’t exactly all sunshine and rainbows. It can be pretty tricky and have some surprises that can come out of nowhere, However,

you just have to be aware, expect the unexpected and do your job and do it well to the best of your ability.

And, no-one can deprive you from that.

About “Fall into pieces” and beyond

1 In Music: You are promoting your debut single, Fall into Pieces. Talk to us about how that came about and how it was fashioned.

CP: Right after I put the sticks down and decided that singing and song writing was going to be my main focus. My song, “Fall into Pieces” came to life then and there, following my previous band’s disbandment.

I ended up writing another song to follow called, “Break Free”. I then co-wrote “Joyride” and added that song to the mix. I hit the recording studio shortly after to start my journey as a solo artist.

Putting the sticks down was an important move for me to not only show the world what I have to offer as a singer-songwriter and front man, but to follow what it is I knew I was put on this earth to do.

1 In Music: “Fall into Pieces” is also the title track of your debut EP. Tell us more about that collection of songs.

CP: In May of 2021, I released my debut solo 3-song EP, “Fall into Pieces”. I hoped to evoke a rollercoaster of emotions to listeners. It is almost like getting lost in your own thoughts. For me, it’s like driving through a dark wooded forest and all you see is the road ahead. Oblivious to everything surrounding you.

“Fall into Pieces” represents the EP where the listener can connect from life experience. We have all felt hurt, pain, and sorrow. Yet, life goes on. The title track wraps up the 3-track EP in a way that sparks a little fire inside of you. I worked with producer and engineer, David Julson-Rieley, who also contributed to some of the arrangements, musical components and lyrics to each track.

‘Fall into Pieces’ EP emerged after a long break from the music world. I toyed with the idea for several years of getting back out into the live scene again and doing what it is I love to do.
I suppose releasing the EP gave me the motivation I needed to make that happen. Thanks to it, 2022 is looking bright, and you can definitely expect to see more of me in the coming months, along with a new single coming the Summer of 2022, music videos, press, and much much more.

1 In Music: We were just about to ask you about any upcoming projects?

CP: I am recording a brand new single June of 2022. This song has been under my belt for quite a while, and now it’s time for the world to hear it. I’m also gearing up for music videos to follow, as well as live shows later this Summer.

1 In Music: Thank you for taking this interview with us. Where can we find your music?

CP: You can find my music on basically any online streaming platform. You name it, it’s on there: Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon Music, YouTube, SoundCloud, Deezer, etc.

https://www.instagram.com/chris__poulson/