Chasing December is an upcoming band that have gone from being students to chasing their dreams. They are a band that has members from Rome and Cartersville and range in age from 20-24 years old. Dan Koutavas (guitar), Dalton Sisson (lead singer), Sebastian Ayers (drummer), and Glenn Stout (bass) have been together for 5 months as Chasing December but the band has been together for a year. I had the opportunity to speak to Dan recently about the band.
I asked Dan if he could describe the genre of music that he considers Chasing December would fall into and his answer was so refreshing. Dan said “Honest Music, a true representation of who they are, and they did not want to be pigeon holed into a genre.” Dan also added, “we want to write about what we feel and if it has a rock sound, country sound, or whatever sound, they just want to record honest music.” My first impressions on listening to some of Chasing December’s music was a 90’s rock sound, so it was no surprise to me when I asked about the band’s influences,the list that Dan gave me. Dan told me that the music the band grew up listening to is a huge influence on the band’s sound but “they want to make something that feels nostalgic but sounds new”. Some bands that influence the music would include Alice in Chains, Tool, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Stone Temple Pilots, and others. I would agree with Dan. After listening to some of the music from Chasing December, I heard a strong 90’s sound with a sprinkle of Pearl Jam and Soundgarden.
Something that always interests me about talented song writers is the writing and creative process, so it is only natural for me to find out about Chasing December’s process in song creation. The band feels writing their songs is a true collaborative effort that usually starts with the music being written first and the lyrics come later. The key to Chasing December’s song writing is a feeling or a vibe. The main ingredient to a successful song is to be honest and lyrics come from a pure place. Dan feels that if you are not being fake and writing from the heart, you are writing songs that the listener can connect to and relate with their own life. The inspiration for their songs come from life events/experiences, things that family and friends are going through, and things that people can relate to as well as make a connection. Dan also wants the music to come from authentic ideas. Dan feels that writing a great song is a lot like putting a puzzle together, “each piece must fit for the puzzle to be put together correctly”. Dan says that he has been writing songs since he was 17 years old and the last four years he feels like “the pen has never left the paper”.
Chasing December as lofty goals or the next year. These guys want to be full-time musicians and they are dreaming big. Exposure is very important to them. They want more people listening to their music and will be focusing on playing as many dates as they can this year. (Shhh…I hear that a possible tour up the East Coast starting in August is in the works.) Another goal for Chasing December is to get their new CD, “Chasing December”, into as many major studios as possible for air play. Also in the works, is the CD being available on I Tunes on February 2, 2015. (Stay tuned to Lyrical Lists, as we will be reviewing the CD.)
I asked Dan what events or writing experiences have had the most meaning to them. The first story Dan told me about when they wrote the song “New Orleans”. Dan said, “It was a moment when everything felt good and that the song literally wrote itself. The band was just synced together and it just felt right. Dan called it, “one of the best writing experiences of his life.” Playing the Downtown Rome Block Party last summer was also another highlight to the band. Dan said, “Dalton is from Rome and this was something he always wanted to do”.
Chasing December knows that they have to find Innovative ways to reach their goals. They are working on ways that will make that radio programmer and disc jockey pick their CD to play instead of playing the other 1000’s received. They will also be networking with industry professionals. They are well aware that the CD alone just doesn’t work. Dan told me that word of mouth is still one of the best tools to getting new people in the audience. Also look for more posting to the Facebook page, website, and YouTube channel. The first single off their upcoming self titled CD will be “New Orleans”. Chasing December is hoping to record a professional video to accompany the push for air play.
Chasing December loves perfecting their craft and are recording real music that is connecting with their audience each and every time they play. You can catch them playing at Sports Time in Duluth on February 6, 2015 and check iTunes on February 2, 2015 to download their first CD “Chasing December”. I am linking Chasing December’s website, Facebook page, and 2 songs. Give them a listen, I promise you will be a fan. I am still humming “New Orleans” and “18 Miles Out”.
YouTube clip of “New Orleans”: http://youtu.be/YIFFJ4FizwI
YouTube clip of “18 Miles Out” http://youtu.be/DwyWrnTzSRU