Quantcast

CHRIS STAPLETON: ROOM AT THE TOP

Interview by Simon Glickman

Every time I talk to you there’s a new milestone.
I’m the world’s luckiest man.

What does a Grammy nomination signify for you at this point?
It means the same thing to me as it’s always meant. No matter who you are, if you see a Grammy on somebody’s mantle, you know what that is and what it means. You’re a small part of that tradition; it’s kind of a holy thing—it’s always a bucket-list kind of item to be included.

Say a little bit on how From A Room came about, and how it ended up being a two-part project.
I’ll answer that in two parts, since it’s a two-part question. We had been touring pretty heavily coming off Traveller and had waited a while before getting back in the studio, but we felt it was time to get back in. We thought records only have so much shelf life, but Traveller seems to have a longer shelf life than some other records.

There hadn’t been a whole lot of writing on my end, but it didn’t really worry me, because there are still a lot of songs I’ve written that I love. I have no qualms about recording things that aren’t brand new. In the studio, we gave ourselves a lot more time; we had a better budget and a couple months squared off to make some records. We got a lot more work done than we might have expected. We camped out at RCA Studio A, and when we got to the end of our time there, we were kind of like, you know what? I don’t want to fire any of these songs. But I also felt that condensing them into one thing, 18 songs in this particular scenario, wasn’t the right thing to do. It’s kind of a gut thing, the sequencing or the making of a record in the moment; I try to listen to those emotions. The guys in the band and my wife [singer Morgane Stapleton] have pretty good barometers about what feels good and what doesn’t. They said, “Why don’t we do this as two records?” That felt right, so that’s what we did.

The recordings are very intimate.
As much as we can, we generally set up in fairly tight corners in one room. RCA is a really big room; it’s made to record orchestras. We’re always going to look for that intimacy; even in the live show you’ll see us turn inward, sometimes interacting more with each other than with the crowd. I like that interaction and musicianship. I think if we all feel as good as we can, it will be entertaining to listen to—and the visual part of it becomes the listening.

What have you been listening to for inspiration?
We’ve been so busy, I don’t know how much discovery I’ve actually gotten to do. I’m a guitar junkie—I have a strange addiction to old instruments and old things in general. I’ve been in an acoustic guitar mood a whole lot more than an electric guitar mood lately; I’ve delved back a lot into that for musical inspiration, and we’re playing a lot of Christmas music in the house. That’s kind of the holiday mood we’re in, so we play that stuff around the house.


Is there a classic Christmas record that you particularly favor?
My wife is the music discoverer of the house. She’s the one who’s constantly buying records or finding things, and I’m usually off with my guitar somewhere. Harry Connick Jr., is one of my favorite people to hear play Christmas music. People don’t even realize how good he is.


What do you have lined up next?
I’m in record-promo mode. I have really great people, management and PR and all that; they tell me what to do, and I go and do the things that need doing.

NEAR TRUTHS:
THE AGENCY SAGA
What do you want from live? (6/11a)
REVENUE CHART: OLIVIA’S ARMY
Looks like she's got staying power. (6/11a)
SIGNS OF HITS LIST
We're reading the tea leaves. (6/11a)
WATCH THE FIRST OFFICIAL VIDEO FOR "FEELING GOOD"
The Black Music Month celebration continues with a classic from a legend, (6/10a)
MUSIC’S HOTTEST FIRMS: HERTZ LICHTENSTEIN YOUNG & POLK LLP
Is there a lawyer in the house? (6/11a)
RHYTHM, BLUES AND THE FUTURE
The musical tapestry we know as R&B.
WHO'S NEXT?
Predicting the next big catalog deal.
JUST THE VAX, MA'AM
Once we all get vaccinated, how long before we can party?
WORLDWIDE GROOVE
How is globalization bringing far-flung territories into the musical mainstream?
 Email

 First Name

 Last Name

 Company

 Country
CAPTCHA code
Captcha: (type the characters above)