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Chris Lane interview

Chris Lane has emerged as one of the breakout stars in Country music over the last 18 months.

Storming into the charts with his single Fix, Lane rose to the top spot and achieved his first Gold certified hit. The single was followed up with For Her, which also has achieved Gold certification, and Lane’s critically acclaimed debut album Girl Problems.

Currently on the road with Florida Georgia Line for their epic Smooth Tour, Lane is laying down the foundations for the next stage of his career by playing to sold-out audiences night after night.

I caught up with Chris to talk about his huge success over the past 18 months, find out more about his recently released acoustic album, and to discuss the new music he’s working on.

We last spoke 18 months ago. In a nutshell tell me how crazy the time since then has been for you?

It’s just been a whirlwind. I’m having the time of my life on the road with the Florida Georgia Line guys and I’m thankful to be part of that tour. I’m super pumped about the success of Fix, my album Girl Problems and my current single For Her. I’ve been working in the studio over the last few months just trying to get the new music ready to put out and I can’t wait for people to hear that.

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Fix was slowly climbing up the charts when we spoke last April. Since then it’s blown up, hit number one and been certified Gold. How surprised were you with just how successful that song has been for you?

We felt like we had a great song but you never know what people are going to react to. I’m certainly glad that was one that people loved and they showed up to all the shows singing it every night. For me as an artist it’s definitely one of the coolest things about all of it for sure.

Congratulations on the recent certification of For Her, which is your second Gold single. The track is the polar opposite of Fix. Was your aim to showcase the different sides of your music with your single choices?

For sure. With some of the new music that I’m going to be coming out with I kept some of it in the same vein but I’m also trying to show a little bit of a different side of my vocal as well.

The video for ‘For Her’ had an actual proposal in it. How did all that come about?

There were a lot of ideas thrown out for the video and that was kind of one that stuck. We were at the point where we were like ‘how do we make that happen?’ Thankfully TK the producer/director put it all together and it made for a really cool video. I even got an invitation in the mail to their wedding, which is pretty cool.

Now that you’ve got two Gold certified singles under your belt are you feeling the pressure when it comes your new music?

Yes and no. One of the next songs I’m putting out I’m really excited about it. I feel like it’s my best song to date that I’ll have out there so. I’m really, really excited. It’s hard to hold on to it knowing I want to play it for people so bad right now. When the time’s right we’ll put it out. That’s one I definitely can’t wait for people to listen to and hopefully they’ll react in the same way they did for Fix and For Her.

You recently released an acoustic version of Girl Problems. What was the decision behind doing that?

We just we wanted to get some more material out there and I’ve always been a big fan of acoustic songs. People wanted them acoustically and we just decided to try to make acoustic versions to all the songs so people could hear them in a different way. Just gaging by tweets and reactions on social media it looks like people are into it.

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I always think it’s the sign of a really good song if you can do it acoustically. Was there any that you found difficult to make into acoustic songs or was it all quite natural and organic?

They all seemed to take on their own thing acoustically. People hear different things when it’s broken down with a guitar. We really tried to strip it back and just be organic with it. The way the songs turned out, I may even try to do some of them some of them like that in my show at some point.

You’re on the road with Florida Georgia Line. I’ve been seeing all kinds of footage of you and I saw a really great video that went viral of you falling over but styled it out like a real pro. How has the whole experience been for you?

Oh man it’s amazing! Those guys are taking such great care of me. It’s amazing to be a part of a tour this large with Florida Georgia Line. Nelly’s been a part of it and we played some baseball stadiums – Wrigley’s Field, Fenway Park and Target Field – where Backstreet Boys jumped. Man, just playing shows with some of my musical heroes has been definitely one of the coolest years of my career, no doubt about that. I’m getting to play in front of the most people I’ve ever played in front of thanks to the FGL guys. This whole year has been amazing.

The stadium shows were a real step up in terms of what you’ve been used to for your own live shows. How did you prepare for crowds of that size?

I’ve never had to work a stage that size. It helps watching Nelly and Florida Georgia Line every single night do their thing. Doing the stadium dates has been an even bigger step up. I had to learn real quick that I had to pace myself because I went running out there and was out of breath immediately (laughs).

Do you think playing these stadium shows has given you the hunger to maybe one day perform your own headline shows in such huge venues?

Oh definitely. I mean that’s always the end goal. I’m going to work as hard as I can to try to make that happen for sure.

What’s it like engaging with such a humongous crowd?

They’re different that’s for sure. It’s maybe a little easier when you’re in a smaller room but that’s how they are made. Watching the guys do their thing every night has really helped me learn how to work a stage and a crowd that size. I’m feeling pretty comfortable with it now so I’ll just keep working at it. I’m feeling good about it right now but it’s definitely a little bit different, that’s for sure. You’ve got to try to reach that person that’s all the way in the back that you can’t really see.

You opened for Tim McGraw and Faith Hill earlier this year. What was the like?

That was a dream come true for me. I’ve been a huge fan of theirs and the fact that they let somebody like me come up there and open up some shows for them on their Soul2Soul tour… that was a dream come true.

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They are such legends. What were they like when you met them?

I got to go and work with Tim and that was fun. They are definitely legends in country music. It was an easy hang. They’re just really down to earth and it’s no wonder that they have the careers they’ve had.

Now that things have really taken off for you in the US, are you making plans to finally tour over here in the UK?

Yeah definitely. I mean we’re trying to work something out so we’ll see what happens. Hopefully sooner than later. That would be something really cool that I would be looking forward to doing.

What would you say is the biggest lesson that you’ve learned over the last 18 months with all the success and experiences that you’ve had?

That it just takes time and you need to have patience. It’s all about the right timing, the right song and hard work. Garth Brooks said something that I found really true which is you can get anywhere you want in this industry or even in life with how well you treat people and how hard you work. I find that to be true and I try to try to do that every day.

Do you have a specific goal that you really want to achieve in the next 12 months?

Yeah! I hope we get some new music out there and keep having successful singles that do well. I want to get out and headline my own little tour. I’ve just got to keep building this thing see what happens.

You’ve mentioned a few times that you have new music coming. Do you know when we can expect that?

Yeah it is definitely going to be this year but I don’t know how much music it’ll be. I know it’ll be at least a couple of songs. That’s the plan right now and then I’ll just go from there. I can’t wait for people to hear it!

Chris Lane’s latest release, Girl Problems Acoustic, is available now.

Pip Ellwood-Hughes
Pip Ellwood-Hughes
Pip is the Editor of Entertainment Focus and the Managing Director of agency Piñata Media.

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