“Content, grateful and still passionate”:
Catching Up with Chris Cagle
Capitol Records Nashville country artist Chris Cagle’s new single, “What
Kinda Gone,” hits radio with a bang at the end of July; the single is
eagerly awaited by “Cagleheads” - Cagle’s hardcore, loyal fanbase - who have
made earlier Cagle hits like "Laredo," "My Love Goes On And On," "I Breathe
In, I Breathe Out," "What A Beautiful Day," "Chicks Dig It" and “Miss Me
Baby” such radio favorites.
“What Kinda Gone” was written by Candy Cameron, Chip Davis and Dave Berg;
Berg also co-wrote Rodney Atkins’ “If You’re Going Through Hell,” Keith
Urban’s “Stupid Boy” and Blake Shelton’s “Don’t Make Me.” This single – and
the upcoming album project, scheduled for release this fall – are produced
by Scott Hendricks, the man who originally signed Chris to his first major
Country Superstar Chris
Cagle's Lead Single "What Kinda Gone" In Fourth Week on Billboard's Top 100
Cagle's Fourth Album -
My Life's Been a Country Song - Released February 19th on
Passionate is a word that is
easily applied to Capitol Records Nashville artist Chris
Cagle. Whether it's his take-no-prisoners, southern rock
n' roll-style live performances or his emotionally-charged
hit singles ("Miss Me Baby," "I Breathe In, I Breathe
Out," "Laredo," "What A Beautiful Day" and many others),
Cagle has always been defined by his passion for his music
and he continues that tradition with his fourth studio
album, My Life's Been a Country Song.
"What Kinda Gone,"
in its fourth week on Billboard's Top 100, is an
up-tempo, get-up-and-dance tune featuring lyrics that roll
right off the tongue was written by Candy Cameron, Chip
Davis and Dave Berg; Berg also co-wrote Rodney Atkins' "If
You're Going Through Hell," Keith Urban's "Stupid Boy" and
Blake Shelton's "Don't Make Me." Other stand out tracks
from My Life's Been a Country Song
include the moving power ballads "I Don't Wanna Live"
and "Never Ever Gone," the playful "No Love Songs"
(one of Cagle's favorites on the album) and the title track,
"My Life's Been A Country Song," featuring lyrics
with which any country music fan will surely agree.
As Cagle puts the finishing
touches on his fourth album, he stepped out of the studio
long enough to answer a few questions . . .
Q: Describe your upcoming new album . . .
Chris Cagle: I think every time you make a record, you
create an environment for people . . . that’s important, and
something that is the responsibility of every artist. This
new record that I’m working on, I want it to be fun. I want
it to be the CD that you want to put in to clean the house,
or the record you put in when there’s a party going on.
Capitol Records Nashville and I have been working hard
together as a team; I know I’ve got the support of the
label, and, it feels really good. And working with Scott
Hendricks is amazing. One thing that I’ve learned in making
this record is that I’m not the producer I thought I was
(laughs) - Scott is brilliant at making records - just
brilliant at the details
Q: This fourth album is a bit of a departure for you in that
you used all outside writers for this project. How do you
decide what makes the record and what doesn’t?
CC: To find songs for this album we’ve gone through over
3,000 songs and, so far, we’ve cut nine, and of the nine . .
. (sigh) probably four are not gonna make the record. You
pretty much don’t know what’ll happen until you put your
voice on these songs: when it works, all of a sudden, these
songs speak. The song itself will determine the direction.
It’s one thing to write the emotions you feel. It’s another
thing to find songs that other people have written that have
the emotions you feel, because nobody feels the same emotion
the same way. It’s hard as a singer-songwriter to put
yourself in somebody else’s skin. A lot of these songs come
really close . . . I believe a song is a bag of attention,
and if there’s a hole in the bag, you lose the attention, so
there can’t be any holes.
Q: What, in your opinion, does it take an artist to make it
or break it in the music business today?
CC: One thing: desire. Period. You have to have that desire,
you have to have that tenacity. You have to let a radio
station know that if they’re going to invest their time in
you - open up their playlist for you to be played and be
heard - you better be able to back it up. You’ve gotta treat
their listeners with respect, and you’ve gotta treat their
radio station with respect, and you need to do everything
you can for them while your in their town.
It’s about living a life of gratitude, you know? Just
realize that you could be back nailin’ nails into a frame,
or flipping burgers - ‘Would you like mustard and ketchup
with that?’ or ‘Can I take your order?’ or whatever – man,
I’ve done all of that. Bottom line is: we’re very lucky, no
matter what struggles we have in this business. Yeah, it’s a
business and you’re gonna have obstacles, and you’re gonna
have hills to climb, but we’re still so very lucky to be in
Some of the things that has endeared me to the “Cagleheads”
over the years, I think, is that I wear my emotions on my
sleeve, that I’m grateful for their support - and that I’m
not afraid to fail. The risk worth taking was moving to
Nashville and trying to get a record deal. I think anything
else after that is…just…running business.
Q: Speaking of the “Cagleheads,” you’re well known as an
artist who’s pretty connected to his fanbase . . . you get a
lot of feedback from them, don’t you?
CC: There are three big compliments that I receive after a
show: The first is, ‘My girlfriend dragged me here tonight,
and I don’t even like country music - but I love you.’
(laughing) The other one is, ‘Man, in concert, you sound
just like your records.’ I strive for that; if we have to
tune it and spoon it and do this and that to it in the
studio to make it sound good, I’m not recording it. If I
can’t sing it right on my own in the studio, I can’t go out
and sing it live150 nights a year!
The other comment I get a lot is . . well, fans will see me
just hangin’ outside the bus or just hanging with Capone,
and they’re like, ‘You’re just like us.’ I am just like
everyone else. You know, I’m a red blooded college and pro
football fan. Go Texas Longhorns. Go Dallas Cowboys.
(Laughing) I’m a cross between Rooster Cogburn and a Jerry
Springer show on the inside.
Q: And for those who don’t know who Capone is . . .
CC: Capone is a 95-pound, two-year-old American Bulldog -
everybody should know Capone! You can see him on the road
with me all the time. He’s my buddy, man. All he wants me to
do is pet him and love on him…and make sure he’s got
boundaries. He loves it…he loves boundaries. You know: ‘No,
no, no! You can’t chew Daddy’s boots! Chew this instead.’
Q: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
CC: My grandfather once told me that if you’re gonna gamble,
bet on yourself and bet the ranch, and that has been
something that I live by.
So, am I successful? Yes. Am I where I want to be?
Absolutely not, not even close. But I used to measure my
success by the success of all the other artists, and I’ve
realized I can’t. I have to measure my success based on me.
And from where I’ve come from in this world, I’ve come up,
I’ve had some success, things that nobody can ever take from
me: I’ve debuted at number one, I’ve had a number one song,
I written a number one song, had gold records, da, da, da .
. . Come on, how much is enough? That’s plenty! I’m not
sayin’ I don’t want anymore, I’m just sayin’, if that were
it, it’s plenty.
Q: So give me three adjectives that describe Chris Cagle
CC: Content. Grateful. And still passionate.
The above information was
supplied by Molly Birckhead (Manager, publicity and
promotions) of Fanscape.com