I had the honor of interviewing lead singer and songwriter, Chance Daniel, of the band genuine draft-
Me: So for those that aren’t familiar with genuine draft, how would you describe the music?
CD: We’re a mix of a few different sounds. haha We’re classified as Texas Country or Red Dirt music, but we have a pretty wide variety in our songs. Some of our songs are Country, some are a little rockier, and then some are a little on the funky side. We are Texas Country, but we like to say that we are “Texas Soul”. haha I think that better describes our sound as well as us as a band!
Me: Texas music has a soul all it’s own?
CD: Oh yes sir, absolutely!! I suppose it always has. In the Texas music scene, and even into Oklahoma, there’s something that you don’t always find in the more mainstream genres. Now don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of phenomenal songwriters, singers, and musicians in those bigger lights, but here it’s just different. To me, personally anyway, one of the biggest differences is in the songs themselves. Songwriters like Guy Clark, Walt Wilkins, Jason Boland, Cody Canada, John Fullbright…I could name names all day. haha Their lyrics aren’t just about muddin’ on a backroad, drinkin’ beer with a girl in his jacked up pickup truck. They write from a very personal place that connects with a lot of people, myself included. There’s just so much more depth and substance in the songs in this scene, in my opinion. It’s something that I can relate to on a really personal level and when you can connect with other people through music in that way….yes sir, I’d say it has a soul all its own. haha
Me: You say “They write from a very personal place” “There’s just so much more depth”, do you go deep and personal in your songwriting?, what are your deepest and most personal songs?
CD: I write from my own experiences in life. From things I’ve seen or things I’ve gone through in my life. For me, songwriting has always been a “release”, if you will. When people get angry or sad or hurt or even when they’re happy, they talk to someone or they vent. I write mine down. haha
I would say one of my deeper songs I’ve written is one called “Just Can’t Let You Go”. It’s a song that came from heartache. It’s about losing that someone that you thought you would spend your life with.
I’ve actually had a lot of people come and talk to me after shows and say “it’s like you wrote that about MY life” or something similar to that. haha To tie in with what I said earlier about making that connection with people, and that means the world to me.
Even in our single we have out right now, Anything But Mine. It’s about finding this “perfect” girl and then finding out she’s a married woman who has been lying. It’s a funkier, more upbeat tune, but if you listen to the words, it tells the story. haha Yes it was a break-up, yes he loses her, but he’s not bitter about it.
There’s a lot of different perspectives that I draw my inspiration from as a songwriter, but I found the best way to write good songs is to be completely open an honest. And that’s not always easy to do! But when someone can relate to, or see themselves in a song…that’s when it’s so rewarding as the songwriter.
Me: So connecting with the audience is very important to you?
CD: Yes sir. It’s probably the most important thing to me. I love people. At the end of the day, they’re the reason we’re able to do what we do. We go through so many adversities in this business, but when we’re on that stage, it’s the people that pick us back up. I love making those connections with people. We only get one time around in this world. To me, those relationships that we get to create are what makes it all worth it.
Me: I see!:) so you love performing, you recently got to open for Cody Johnson, what was that like?, and anyone else?
CD: Haha Yes sir, we did!! It was incredible! It’s the biggest show we’ve played to date! And it didn’t hurt that Cody Johnson is hands down, one of my favorites of all time. haha It was pretty surreal, to be honest. He has such a big following, it’s not hard for him to pack any venue he plays, so that place was stuffed to the rafters with people. haha And we feed off the crowd!! They were diggin’ it, so it made it a whole lot of fun for us!! In my opinion, Cody’s one of those “once in a generation” guys. And he’s a great person, to top it off!!
We’ve played with a few other bigger names like Max Stalling and Clayton Gardner. Heck, one night we were playing a show with our buddies Flatland Cavalry at The Blue Light in Lubbock and Rich O’Toole showed up and hopped on stage with us and sang “The Weight” (originally by The Band) with us. This scene’s just full of so many good people!
Me: That must have been awesome to have a famous local come to your show!:) so you mentioned your single, it’s on the radio in Texas and the UK, how’d that happen?
CD: From relationships! haha A good friend of mine, Cody Angel (who now plays steel guitar for Jason Boland) set me up with KWBY in Stephenville, TX and the next day, I believe, we did a radio interview with them and they debuted it on their station!! It was so fast. haha And then a couple of days later, I received a message from a guy that has a country radio show in the UK asking if THEY could play our music. It’s a little funny, to me, when we were just starting to try and really push our career in Texas…and then out of nowhere somehow a guy in the UK hears us and wants to play us there. It tickled me! haha It was a cool feeling.
Me: That must have been awesome!:) so we can expect a CD from you all this year?
CD: Well initially, we planned on releasing an EP this year, but we had a little bad luck a few weeks ago. We were recently in a pretty nasty wreck on our way home from a gig in San Angelo and lost a lot of our gear. The trailer was completely totaled and almost all of our gear was damaged. So now our money has to go to repairing/replacing our gear instead of going towards a record. It’ll be sometime in 2016 when we release it, but we are going to try and get one out as soon as possible!!
Me: Everyone’s OK though?, any singles in the midtime?
CD: Yes everyone is just fine!! It was nothing short of the grace of God that we didn’t get hurt in that wreck. We were very lucky. Very blessed!
And we’re actually trying to settle on which song we want to release next! haha We’ll bounce it around for about another month and then try and get it out at the end of this year or the beginning of next year, for sure.
Me: I usually save this question for the end, but you brought it up, from reading my blog, you can tell I’m a Christian, what are your spiritual views and how do they affect your music?
CD: We’re all Christians as well! Absolutely we give all the credit to God. I’ll speak for all of us and say that He’s allowed us to do what we love to do and we give all the glory to Him. Now we’re not perfect, but you won’t find a better group of guys than the ones with me in this band!! We’re all a bunch of goofballs, but I love them to death. haha In fact, 4 of our band members play in their church bands!!
We always huddle up and pray together before we play and this one night there was no green room for us to gather in, so we huddled up on stage and prayed RIGHT before we played. When that show was done, we came off stage and started moving our gear so the headliner could get set up and this guy, who obviously drank more than his fair share, walked up and said to me, “Hey. You boys are GREAT!” I thanked him and then he said, “Before y’all played, were y’all prayin’ up there?” I said, “Yessir, we sure were.” He just winked at me and said, “That’s cool man. You’re a good guy.” I thought it was a little funny, but at the same time, I’m glad that we’re that comfortable with our religion and that people can see that. It may not be the most typical way to share a little bit about God, but it is a way!! And like I always say, The good Lord’s everywhere. People tend to think sometimes that He waits outside the door at the bars and Honky Tonks, I guess, but He’s doesn’t!! haha I’ve almost talked about God in there as much as I’ve talked about music!!
We absolutely know that we do what we love to do because God gave us the talent and the ability to do so.
Me: Amen brother!:) you mentioned being imperfect, and earlier mentioned venting everything through lyrics, do you vent your struggles through your lyrics?, for some reason, the song “My Cinderella” by STC came to mind, not a song to or about God, but a song written by a Christian that vents his sorrow and loss
CD: That’s probably a pretty fair comparison, actually! I wouldn’t put myself in that genre or that category as far as the style of songwriting, necessarily, but yes I absolutely put those same emotions into my songs. Like I said earlier about my way of “venting”, I write my story down. Most of the time my song ideas come up, there, in the moment. Occasionally, it takes a while for the emotions to work their way out into a song, but for the most part, I write during whatever it is I’m going through. Loss, heartache, happiness, love…whatever hits me! haha
Me: I see, so one last question, where can your fellow Texans find draft playing?, and do you ever play outside of TX?
CD: For the most part, we play in west Texas right now. In the Lubbock area and down around San Angelo, but we will soon begin branching out to places like Dallas, Fort Worth, Stephenville, and many more. We DO plan on extending out into New Mexico and Oklahoma as well!! We’ll go play anywhere people will hire us!! 🙂 haha
If people would like to keep up with us, or just connect with and chat with us, they can find us on
Me: Well I hope you can make it here to Oklahoma!:) thank you so much for the interview!:)
CD: Oh we’ll get there!! haha Looking forward to it! Thank you so much, Bryan! I enjoyed it man! We appreciate it brother!