Lightheartedly laughing with his band members and management team up in a high-rise corner of the renowned Dierk Bentley’s Whiskey Row, 22-year-old Chase Bryant prepares for his post-Super Bowl night show at the renowned Scottsdale hot-spot. The young and passionate artist who’s single “Take it On Back” that has swung him into the public eye takes a calm approach to his career. Allowing his passion for music that has run in his family for more than three generations to drive his career, Bryant still seems to stay humble and focuses on his true passion: the music. We had a moment to touch base with Bryant before his show and exchange a fun and sarcastic banter.
AFM: How do you feel about going on tonight?
Chase: I think it’s going to be fun. Being apart of something this big like the Super Bowl is pretty cool. I wish I could have made the game, but I didn’t so now we get to play for everyone that did. So, I’m excited to play and play at Dierks Bentley’s place. I’m excited to getting to play for this rowdy crowd. I know they’re going to be rowdy and I know they got a lot of liquid courage so it’s going to be fun.
AFM: Are you close with Dierks at all?
Chase: I’ve met Dierk’s a couple of times. I haven’t toured with him or played any dates with him, but I know he’s a really good dude and everyone loves him. People say, "Dierks? How do you not love Dierks?"
AFM: Sounds like you’ve got a busy week, what’s going on? You said you were flying in from Atlanta?
Chase: Last night was our first night of the 'Take It On Back' tour. Got done playing last night and then got on a bus at 2AM, got to the airport at 5AM, flew out at 7AM, and we've been here ever since. So, it’s been a pretty crazy little weekend.
AFM: It being your first solo tour, what are you really expecting for it?
Chase: It’s hard to know what to expect. We haven’t played a ton of dates on our own yet. So, it’s kind of hard to expect what to have every night as far as people wise, but for me, I’m just really expecting to go out and play my record. Hopefully people will become prone to that and then get excited about that record and my music.
AFM: Where did your passion for music come from?
Chase: My family played. My grandfather played with the classics - Buddy Holly, Elvis Presley, Glen Campbell, Waylon Jennings. My uncle was in a band called Ricochet and in 1996 they had a big hit on country radio. Growing up in a family of musicians definitely inspired me to play. I grew up playing Tom Petty, Fleetwood Mac, Bryan Adams everybody like that. Guys like that who I grew up with definitely inspire me.
AFM: On a serious note, tell me a little bit about 'Take It On Back'?
Chase: 'Take It On Back' it’s my first top ten single on country radio. I wrote it probably three or four years ago to my buddy Tommy Lee James and Dylan Altman. They’ve written songs like Barefoot Blue Jean Night and She’s My Kind of Rain. Bunch of hits like that. I’m excited about it - I mean this has given me a career finally. I’ve waited my whole life for this. Hard work pays off and this song is definitely going to pay off for me. I’m excited to just keep working and hopefully keep having success.
AFM: What inspired you guys to write it. Are there any special people behind it?
Chase: Everybody always talks about the first line of the song “She was a South Georgia stunner…” I have no clue what in the world a 'South Georgia stunner' is (laughs)…I don’t know a girl from Georgia.
AFM: Haha, so pretty much every girl in Georgia right now that thinks that song is about her and it’s not.
Chase: It’s about all of them. But, I was a songwriter and producer in town before I was an artist trying to figure myself out and figure out. I was getting a lot of songs cut and put on hold by artists but was never making records and I came in and said, “Man I just want to do something for me and do something I feel is the best replication of who I am and I wrote it.” Now it’s been successful. Thankfully I’ve had a little bit of success and I’m really excited about that.
AFM: What’s that hype been like? I mean, the past years been pretty insane for you in regards to just numbers and people listening and everything like that. I bet it’s been a whirlwind.
Chase: It’s been a big whirlwind. Having a top 10 single, being on the road with Tim McGraw, and headlining a tour…it’s a lot to consume in such a short amount of time so you have to kind of brace yourself for the ride. I really haven’t had the time to stop and look at everything that’s happened and I’ve just been really thankful and honored. My team, my label, my band, and my crew have just been really great at making sure I’m level headed and just enjoying the ride. We’re all having fun and that’s just all that matters to me.
AFM: You’re pretty young still, how do you feel being in this industry? You’re going to be headlining for Tim McGraw, I mean he’s a very big deal, very established.
Chase: Being this young in a business like this. When you first walk into it you kind of have to affirm a lot of people that, “Yes I’m valid at being an artist and have a statement and it’s worth something.” That can be tough. But, being this young should inspire other people that there’s not ever an age limit or a limit on what year you can go after your profession. For me, I always wanted to do it young and thankfully I had the opportunity to.
AFM: What was your first instrument and when did you start playing?
Chase: Guitar. I started playing when I was about a year and a half old. I picked it up and have never turned back since. I had long hair and wore pullover and the dorkiest clothes you could ever find rocking out on the picnic table. Overalls and boots and long hair and a mullet that’s all that mattered back in 95’.
AFM: Is your family out here with you on this tour, any special people?
Chase: My dad comes out every now and then on the road, my mom will come out and hang out. They live in Texas so it’s hard for them to get anywhere that I’m at but they’re very supportive and my bass player is actually my cousin, so he plays with me. It’s good to have someone in the family out there - someone you love - because I hate everyone else (laughts). I’m just kidding! But, it’s good to have him out there. It’s good to have him and people you care about kind of keeping your head screwed on straight.
AFM: Were you excited to come out to Arizona?
Chase: Absolutely. I was out here in the summer in Phoenix doing some radio visits so I’m excited to be out here playing. And the weather's perfect. We’ve been in snow for the last couple months so I’m excited to be here and I’m going to be here for a couple more days.
AFM: Let’s switch it up, what is your favorite TV show?
Chase: Cops is the best show but the problem is I know every episode so when it comes I’m likes well this is going to happen. So I’m a really fun person to watch it with.
AFM: Other than music what do you like to do with your time?
Chase: Hunting and fishing for sure. I would say that’s probably the biggest thing for me. I’ve got a boat back in Nashville that I take out to ski or fish or tube or whatever. Hunting season in the winter is big for me. That’s about all I do…or buy guitars in my spare time. That’s about it. My mom and dad and everybody else hate me for that. My business manager calls me about once a week saying, “stop buying so many guitars!” I’ve got about 100 of them.
AFM: What do you have to look forward to in the next year other than your tour? What can the public expect to see?
Chase: Hopefully my next record will be out and my next single after ‘Take It On Back’s tour is done. That’s going to be the biggest things for me is just going out and connecting with fans. It’s going to be a big one for me and I’m excited for that.