Back in the day, one couldn’t just sit around and find practically any song they wanted to hear on Youtube or the myriad of various streaming platforms out there. Nope, the olden times of the ‘90s meant waiting around the radio for whatever station you loved to play the song you loved even more. That was my reality, as well as the reality of Pauly Chance. We started our talk with those FM memories and from there explored his collegiate studies, blossoming into a Third Eye Blind fan, and more like his latest singles and plans in the back and forth exchange that follows…
Kendra: What kickstarted your interest in writing back when you were 11-years-old, and what kind of themes were you writing as a preteen?
Pauly Chance: Well I always loved music, so back in the ‘90s before video games and the internet really exploded, music was one of the best things to do. You would grab your CD or cassette player and headphones and just jam out. When a new song was out, you had to wait for it to play on the radio, or go buy the CD, and it was fun collecting those things.
I always hummed and sang even without the headphones and my mind would passively write music as the day went on. It was just programmed into me for whatever reason. And as a preteen, I was writing very simple pop song structures. Very simple ABABCB. The first song I ever wrote was called “Air Force,” and I wrote that before I even knew how to sing or play any instrument, which blows my mind to this day!
Kendra: You’d worked on music and writing for some time and then sort of put it on the back burner for a few years while you went to college. What did you switch gears to for those four years, and are you happy to be focusing on music once again?
Pauly Chance: For those four years in school I focused on my studies, which were media, journalism, photography and videography, and video storytelling. I had a blast doing it. I love challenges and learning new things so it was great fun. But, when I graduated, it was so strange. Music came back to me, like a light that started as a small candle in the distance then slowly grew and grew until it was a sun again right in front of my face.
I just started humming again, I had this growing desire to write and for the first time ever, to perform in front of others. It was almost like my soul had allowed my body to finish college then forced it right back on track afterward. It was just a growing itch. It was the strangest thing ever really. I will say music is very difficult because the market is just so different from what it once was, but it is still something I need to do. So, it feels great!
Kendra: Listening to your latest, “She Loves Me Not,” I got major alt-radio vibes like Third Eye Blind and Wheatus. Were those bands you listened to growing up?
Pauly Chance: What’s funny about this is I didn’t even like Third Eye Blind until about three years ago. But I love them now, but I used to hate them. One of my favorite songs ever is “I’ll Never Let You Go.” Love it. So, I don’t have any doubt whatsoever that it influenced me in some way. And you are not the first person to say I sound like them either!
I don’t write music with an objective. It’s completely compulsive for me, like freewriting. There is no object. Whatever just comes out, comes out. My other songs sound very different from this one. My style is pretty eclectic, and that may benefit me or hurt me. Who knows. I am not a fan of Wheatus, but I can see the similarities. Someone the other day said I sound like Cake and the Pixies. I totally see the Cake similarities! They are fine. I don’t love or hate them. I don’t see the Pixie similarities though but they are one of the best bands ever, so I will take that compliment and run with it!
Kendra: You’ve dropped a handful of singles in the past year or so. Are there plans to release an album in the near future?
Pauly Chance: Yes for sure. I don’t really see the point in albums anymore. Like what is stopping someone from just releasing singles? What is compelling people to write albums? I suppose it’s just for organization? But yes, once I have enough songs to complete a full album, I will release them all on an album.
Kendra: Time to play a quick game of Cover, Duet, Tour With. It’s simple when it comes to John Mayer, Elvis, and The Ramones (let’s pretend everyone is alive and well), which of these three would you cover, want to duet with, and then basically hit the road with?
Pauly Chance: What an amazing question. I would cover the Ramones. As much as I love them, I don’t want to tour with them because they did some crazy drugs and I am completely sober, so I would be the one sober guy on the bus and that doesn’t sound fun. I would duet with Elvis. Singing on stage with Elvis at the same time just seems like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I simply couldn’t pass up. I would tour with John. He seems like he would be a blast to hang out with and seems great for conversation.
Kendra: It’s getting a little easier with the vaccine rollouts, but it’s still kind of hard to have a definite answer when it comes to future plans given the current state of everything, but as far as what you can control when it comes to your career and creativity – what do you have planned in the coming months for yourself?
Pauly Chance: This may upset people, but if you ask me, I believe COVID has and will have changed live music permanently. I believe big music concerts will be reserved only for the bands that have already been around and have established themselves. I don’t really see touring ever returning to how it was. I would believe that contemporary pop groups would find far more success in events rather than touring. Like something similar to the Edge Fest.
It breaks my heart to say this, but live music was already on the decline well before COVID. With the convenience that technology affords people, people just would rather stay at home now and watch a stream rather than drive 40 minutes away to stand in a crowd for five hours. As for small and growing artists like myself. It’s effectively dead. I mean, there were open mics, but they were already so small and now no one is willing to go to them during covid and it will probably remain like that.
I think the best avenue for artists like myself is the internet, such as YouTube, Twitch, and TikTok. Promote yourself as best you can online and keep releasing songs and hope that people start to listen. Those are my plans as of now!