Meet Chance McKinney
Chance thanks so much for joining us! Tell us about “Industrialized Country” ? That is a new term and new sub genre.
It actually comes from a derogatory remark made in the studio one day about my music. Some guy (who no longer works on my projects mind you… ha) said, “It’s just a bunch of ‘industrialized country’.” I know he meant it in a negative way, but I kinda owned it, because it is. It’s the combination of country lyrics, country vocals, metal guitars, Motown backgrounds and a pop structure. I’ve borrowed from other industries to carve out a little sub-genre for myself.
Moving from Lolo, MT to Seattle must have been a big adjustment. What was that first day in Seattle like?
It was. Other than there being less than 10,000 people in Lolo and over 2.5 million in Seattle… the most immediate thing I noticed was people measure distance in terms of time. I’d ask “how far is it from Kirkland to Seattle?” and people would respond “oh, it’s about an hour and a half if you hit it at drive time.” I’d look it up on my phone and it’d only be 11 miles (which meant 11 minutes in Montana). But, other than a few obvious differences, people are pretty much the same wherever I go. Social media might have you believe otherwise, but folks is folks. You know what I’m sayin’?
A javelin thrower, school teacher but were you ever a Smokejumper?
Nah. I’m kinda afraid of heights. I get a little wobbly up on the Space Needle or in the upper decks of stadiums, so I don’t think Smoke Jumping is anywhere in my near future.
We understand you were a victim of Bullying …that resilience played a big role in growing up. Can you tell us more ?
Yeah, I was for a good, solid 5 years of my life. But, looking back, I’m very grateful to those bullies. See, without them… I doubt I would’ve ever dedicated the time I did to becoming an All-American in sports or Summa Cum Laude in Academics or a musician for that matter. I’m not a fan of bullying, but I do think it plays an essential roll in life. You either learn to stand up or you learn to sit down. I eventually became a stand-up kinda guy. Well, that’s not true… I’m more of a get-back-up kinda guy.
Tell us us about one story that defines growing up in Montana for you?
Only people from Montana will probably get this, but Dad used to take us into the woods to get our own firewood. We would drive up Elk Meadows and spend the day cutting down dead trees and hauling ’em to the back of the truck and loading ’em in. Dad would run the chainsaw, fall the trees, then cut them into 8′ lengths and my brother and I would flip ’em end over end off the hillside and then help each other loading them into the truck bed. Then we’d haul ’em home and chop ’em up for firewood for the winters. There were TWO amazing things about my Dad’s approach. First, he’d always bring the rifles and we’d go shooting when the truck was full. Second, we could’ve bought our wood, but this way we learned to do stuff from start to finish. And, it taught my brother and I how to accomplish things individually AND as a team. Some people preach “work ethic” and some teach it. My dad was my greatest teacher.
What artist have inspired you to make music?
There have been a few, but Jake Owen might top that list today. I may have other favorites, but I always seem to come back to him. Getting to do shows with him in the fall last year was really meaningful for me.
Who would be your favorite artists to tour with?
I’d have to say a full-fledged tour with Jake or Old Dominion would be pretty frickin’ cool. But then again, while we’re just talkin’ out loud, why not Garth Brooks You know he used to throw javelin too right? We could call it the #SpearsAndBeers Tour. Not that I’ve given it any thought.
Where in your opinion is the best BBQ in America?
Joe’s in Kansas City, KS or the Ribshack in Boise, ID. Those are my top 2 right now… but finding great BBQ joints is a “life quest” and I plan to continue comparing wherever I go.
If we were going fishing, where should we go?
Let’s just say it’s in Montana — and we used to have a cabin on the lake when we were growing up. Bass. Big Bass.
What makes rural America the greatest place to grow up?
Let’s just say I was swimming in the river without parent supervision at age 6, hiking and camping in the mountains behind our house by age 8, playing every single sport in its respective season by 10, and riding my bike to and from school/ leaving our doors unlocked on our vehicles and in our home. There’s so many more “rural” benefits, but those are just a couple off the top of my head.
What do you have to say to people that are struggling with their path?
Oh, that’s a loaded question. Most of the time I’m all about “failure.” Not being afraid to fail and always being willing to get back up from failing. But today, I’d say “don’t be afraid to put TIME into something you love doing. Even if you can’t see what the final outcome will be.” I remember working out in my garage, in Montana, during the winter, doing javelin drills because I knew NONE of the people I’d be competing against the next Spring would be doing that. I’ve missed nights out, friends’ trips, parties and tons of other opportunities to stay home and write songs with blind faith it’ll lead me somewhere someday. Now, I don’t know if I’ll ever be an All-American singer/songwriter, but I’m puttin’ in the work, just in case it happens.
What is up next for Chance McKinney?
“Backyard” is taking me places I’ve never dreamed of going, so we’re gonna ride that train for a bit. I am working on more music, and would love to release a few EPs this year. Then, I’m gonna go wake boarding. Then, I’m gonna do a bucketload of shows across the U.S. and party with people in their backyards. Might even do some javelin workouts in my garage and write a few more tunes. Who knows? There are a lot of failures out there I have yet to achieve.
Next interview is Jenna Paulette