Chris Poulson is an American Singer-Songwriter from Burbank, California. A seasoned musician, who has been in the music industry since the mid 1990s. Chris Poulson’s career started from early beginnings in his high school marching band drumline and progressed to being signed with Fearless Records rock band, Rock Kills Kid as drummer in 2001. He found himself touring and sharing the stage with headlining and national acts. In the mid 2000s, Chris left drumming to focus on singing and songwriting. The music world noticed and featured him in industry magazines and TV. In 2021, Chris released his debut Solo EP digitally worldwide, “Fall Into Pieces.”
His newest single, “Can’t Let Go”, dropped on all streaming platforms Friday, July 29th, 2022, along with the, “Can’t Let Go” (Official Music Video) which was released on August 1st, 2022!
Interview by Tim Brown
When and why did you start playing?
I come from a musical family on my mother’s side. My mom was a singer, and so were two of my uncles who also sang and played guitar. They were all in a band together when I was a kid.
I discovered my love for music at a very young age. I believe I was about 13 or 14 years old when I knew music was something I wanted to do. I remember telling my parents’ next-door neighbor that I started playing the snare drum in my middle school band class. Which he replied, “I used to be a drummer myself and I have an old drum kit that I don’t play anymore, would you like to borrow it for a little while and practice on it?” And which my reply was, “Yes, absolutely!”
From what initially turned into only borrowing the drum kit for a month or two, turned into several years! I tried giving it back to him many times and he told me to just hang on to it, “At least it’s being put to use”, he said. I had the drum kit set up in my parents living room, Oh, how they LOVED that. Haha. I practiced every chance I could get, especially when they weren’t home. From there, it was on to high school where I ended up joining my high school’s marching band drumline. I did that for about three years. In-between that time, I ended up in a few rock bands with some classmates. One of which consisted of grunge music and covering Nirvana songs, and the other was mainly pop-punk music also doing covers of Blink-182, Green Day and MxPx.
That particular band wrote and recorded a 3-song EP where I was the drummer and also sharing the lead and back-up vocal roles. We released that EP via cassette tape and CD in our high school to our friends and classmates, and was distributed through a local record store in Burbank, California called, Backside Records.
Which famous musicians do you admire? Why?
I would have to owe my admiration to the one and only, Dave Grohl. He made the drums look so badass, and the way he played just floored me as a young aspiring musician. The band Nirvana shaped my style of playing and writing. Taking notes from Kurt Cobain with his infectious lyrics, melodies, and guitar riffs.
Were you influenced by old records & tapes? Which ones?
I grew up in the era of cassette tapes and vinyl records. I never owned many vinyl records growing up, but I believe the very first cassette tape I ever owned was Metallica’s (Black Album) in 1991. And, just six short weeks later Nirvana’s (Nevermind) came out and I bought that cassette tape as well. Both of those albums are and were pivotal in my life, my music style, and music taste.
Who are your favorite musicians? Groups? CD’s?
Well, I previously mentioned that Dave Grohl was a favorite musician of mine as well as Kurt Cobain. I don’t have many musicians that I idolize or would say are my favorites. But, if I would name a few who currently tap the favorites department would have the be Post Malone and The Weeknd. Some favorite groups of mine would include; Nirvana, Green Day, Blink-182, Goldfinger, Metallica, Duran Duran, Foo Fighters, George Strait, Breaking Benjamin, Nickelback, Normandie, Panic! At the Disco, Seether, Simple Plan, Stick Figure, 30 Seconds to Mars, and many more.
Have you been in competitions? Fleadh’s? Any prizes?
I would say I’m not much of a competition type of person. I’ve been asked why I haven’t tried out for popular talent shows such as; American Idol, The Voice or even America’s Got Talent. I just never saw myself entertaining any of those avenues as a musician.
I did receive an award back in 2010 for “Best Video”, for my song, “For You.” Which you can find on YouTube.
Do you perform in public? Describe those occasions? Concerts, radio, TV
I absolutely perform in public, and love to do so! As of now no live performances or radio/tv gigs are booked. However, that will change come closer to Summer of 2023.
I have performed all over the U.S., having done several tours with a few rock bands I was either drumming in or singing in at the time. While also touring and sharing the stage alongside national acts such as; Veruca Salt, Plain White T’s, and Anberlin.
I have been on MTV (Music Television) back in the mid 2000’s drumming in a music video for Warner Bros. recording artist (Tyler Hilton) for his debut single, “When It Comes.” I have also been featured on local radio stations such as KROQ in Los Angeles, CA. and even on a rock radio station in San Diego, CA.
Expect to see me on stage live in 2023, and it’ll be one exciting event!
What makes this kind of music “good” to you?
I have always loved rock music, the way it sounds, the beats, the guitar riffs, and that shot of adrenaline it gives you when listening to it. It even gives me somewhat of a different persona while on stage while performing.
Why did you choose to play this kind of music?
Mainly from the bands and/or groups I grew up listening to. I just love it. The feeling that rock music gives me is unmatched.
Let’s Talk about your music and your last work…
My latest single, “Can’t Let Go” which was released back in late July of 2022, and is one that I am extremely proud of. I had been sitting on that song for close to 10 years and decided that it was time to bring it to life and share it with the world.
After the release of the single came constant press with interviews and a music video launch party, which released a few days later on August 1st, 2022. From here, it’s time to catapult from “Can’t Let Go’s” success to reach a new sound, vision, and solo project that appeals to the masses. I plan to release new singles at least a few times a year and follow that up with live performances in and around the Los Angeles area.
How do you feel about the internet in the music business?
I believe the internet is an extremely useful tool in the music business. I do think it took it a little bit of the excitement and mystery away when it came to finding new music from a band you liked or upcoming shows or tour dates they had, and especially finding out that they would be coming to your home town to perform. But, on the flip side you have everything right there at your fingertips 24/7, and you can find out just about anything you wanted from a particular artist or band that you follow.
What are the plans for the future?
Well, obviously it would be to keep releasing new music, no matter what. I plan on changing my style/s to adapt to modern music, as well as keeping true to myself and what I know and love. As far as live performances go. I have always loved playing The Viper Room in Hollywood, California. I have had some amazing nights there. However, if there was a dream venue to play, or at least on my bucket list, would be the Ventura Theater in Ventura, CA. It was at this venue where I saw early Blink-182 for the very first time, while standing on stage in the wings.
How has your music evolved since you first began playing music?
My music like any other artist has gone through many changes. I’ve tested my abilities not only as a drummer in my earlier days of playing music. But also, as a songwriter and vocalist. My vocal range back when I first began many years ago has definitely heightened and my voice has become a lot more powerful. I love singing along to different artists. Even female vocalists. This is to test and hone my strengths and weaknesses as a vocalist.
Could you briefly describe the music-making process?
My music-making process is pretty straight-forward. Also, depending on what usually rings in my head initially. Whether it be a vocal melody or line, or even a guitar riff. Being that I was formerly a drummer for many years, I would create or map-out a drumbeat, and then lay down that guitar riff over the beat and then hum the vocal melody line idea over that. Once I have that solidified, I’ll the start on the lyric writing process, singing “mumble lyrics” if you will, in place of the melody lines. From there, I write and tell a story like how you would write a poem, then I chop the wording down to fit the melody lines. I love the process of it all, and it’s so gratifying to see how it all comes together in the end.
Soundcloud – https://www.soundcloud.com/chrispoulsonmusic