We have Richie Scholl here with us to chat about music and life, touring and more. Richie is Australian/Nashville/singer songwriter that is making big things happen in the music city. He’s paid his dues and is shaping Nashville the way country is supposed to be. A country artist with a splash of southern rock and a slayer of the guitar would be one way to describe Scholl. Richie Thanks for being here and answering some of our questions for us.
Ryan: First cutting your teeth in music when you were 13 playing bars and clubs, can you tell us how that was, and what did you learn from that?
Richie: My Parents were always very supportive. Because I was under 18, the legal drinking age in Australia, they had to accompany me to the bars. Although I had other jobs later, playing music was my first real job. I learnt a lot in my teens about playing, singing and the the entertainment business in general.
Ryan: Was it a fun experience?
Richie: I enjoyed it of course, otherwise I would not have done it.
Ryan: You made the transition quickly from meeting with labels in 2006 to moving to Nashville in 2007, how was the adjustment?
Richie: I met with producer Michael Flanders in Tamworth, January 2006. I sang him some tunes I’d written, he decided we would cut a record. I wanted to move to Nashville before meeting Mike, but he had some connections over here, and also wanted to move here. We did a trip to Nashville and met with a few management and label people, all very positive. When we got back to Australia we started looking into visas. Its not easy to just move to America legally to work, and quite rightly so. There’s a lot of hoops to jump through. The most pressure was not knowing if the visas would be approved. Very stressful stuff, when you’re packing up your whole life to move to another country, meanwhile you’re at the complete mercy of US immigration.
Ryan: Did Nashville open up to you or did it feel like starting over?
Richie: I honestly thought it would be easier. In many ways it was completely like starting over again.
Ryan: Since you were born in Australia, do you visit home often?
Richie: I get back when I can. Unfortunately, it’s a long, expensive flight. Also I have a very full live schedule, so it’s difficult to schedule time to be away from that.
Ryan: There’s certain rawness in your sound, it resonates with the listener and given your songwriting. What is your process when putting something together for example “The Fall” it has it all, a great flow of lyrics, and a killer hook at the chorus.
Richie: Thanks, I’m glad you think that. I’m not one for too much flashy production. I like things to be as “real” as I can make them. Some songs start with a title or a line, some start with a guitar riff, a chord progression or a melody. Just depends. That one started with the title I think from memory, and we built the song around that.
Ryan: Out of all the albums and tracks you’ve recorded, which one is one that you most close to home for you?
Richie: I’m quite proud of “Only The Rain” on the One Step At A Time album. I like the lyrics melody and chord progression on that one. Its a totally fictitious story, but thats what songs are – stories. Sometimes they’re about real life experiences, sometimes they’re completely made up.
WATCH RICHIE PERFORM “THE FALL” LIVE HERE
Ryan: How is the touring life?
Richie: I always say, if you don’t like traveling, you probably shouldn’t be a musician. I love being on the road, seeing new places, meeting new people.
Ryan: What’s the day in the life of Richie Scholl on the road?
Richie: I’m not on the road as much as I used to be. It depends on whether you’re on a bus, flying or in a van. It usually involves tiredness. Often waking up early after going to bed late, and lot’s of painful long soundchecks. Eating poorly because that’s all there is. But playing the show is the very small cool part, that makes it all worthwhile.
Ryan:You’ve toured with two of country’s best modern day artist Jason Michael Carroll and Chuck Wicks. Were there any writing sessions on the road together?
Richie: You know we always talked about it, but never wrote together.
Ryan: How were/are those experiences in shaping you in your solo career?
Richie: I learnt a hell of lot from being on the road with Jason and Chuck. Also learnt a lot about the “Record Business”.
Ryan: I’ve seen you perform with Jason quite a few times and you’re performance is one that is wows the crowd and the ladies, would saying your country with a rocker side be accurate?
Richie: Yes. I’ve never fit in with either the country camp, or the rock camp. Always been too “country” for the rockers, and too “rock” for the country folks. I just do what I do. I suppose I like a few different genres, so I never pledged allegiance to one or another.
Ryan: Do you have any new projects you’re working on? Solo albums follow up to Southern or with anyone else?
Richie: It’s actually been 2 years since “Southern” was released – time really flies! I need to get another album done. I’ve got some songs written already. Toying with the idea of making the next album more of a band collaboration.
Ryan: Let’s take a moment and just appreciate your guitar skills. How was the craft perfected? That’s not something that can be taught, I would know first hand.
Richie: Many hours in my bedroom as a kid learning songs, and many more hours playing live. I’m not really a technical player, but I’m always trying to make my playing as meaningful and emotional as I can. I always believed that was more important, than how fast you can play, or how many notes you can squeeze in.
Ryan:What are some of your hobbies?
Richie: Ha, Music! Honestly that’s all I do, it’s my life. I would really like to get back into the outdoors though, fishing and hunting. I did a lot of that when I was younger, but I’ve been so focussed on music I’ve kinda lost touch with it.
We want to give a HUGE thanks to Richie for taking the time to chat with us and we hope you enjoyed this interview with one of Australia’s greatest country music’s singer songwriter artist Richie Scholl. You can find out more about Richie and his touring, background, and music at his website HERE!