Robert Jennings: Thank you Chris for talking to us today. You have slowly but surely been releasing singles this year. Each seems to show a slightly different face to who Fire Follows is. First of all, do you have a favorite out of the ones released so far? If so, which and why?
Chris Watt: Thanks for having me on! It’s impossible for me to pick, but you’re absolutely right, they all showcase something a bit different. My favorite (as of now) is the new one “Let Me Go” which will be releasing in the next few weeks.
RJ: Do these singles join in unison somehow together eventually to an album or EP’s?
Chris Watt: No, they’re all pretty individualized at this point. A lot of people hate the “singles” thing, but because of how I write/produce, the single-release model has been a total blessing. It’s so much more manageable for me.
RJ: You have been able to keep the pace pretty consistent on releases. Would you say you are a prolific writer?
Chris Watt: Haha, no I wouldn’t say that, but writing is probably the most natural thing I’ve ever done, so it’s pretty easy to put everything together. It’s the production/engineering side that is so time-consuming.
RJ: Talk to us about this latest “Father O’ Father”.
Chris Watt: I love this song, and what it showcases. All of the songs start this way, with just the stripped vox/keys, and then eventually get the metal elements added. We decided just to release this one in an acoustic/unplugged way to let our fans hear something totally different.
RJ: If you were to give life, as you have observed it so far, a note what would it be?
Chris Watt: I’m not sure if I’m interpreting this correctly, but I guess I would say that life is a struggle, and people that are able to/willing to embrace the struggle are the ones that do incredible things. Music especially is a grind, and most of the time feels more like work than fun, but the end product always makes it so worth it.
RJ: Who did you work with on production for this single? Do you like to build relationships of consistency in your music and who you work with?
Chris Watt: I did all the recording/engineering/production at my studio, and sent the final mix out for mastering to Maor Appelbaum. Yes, I love the relationship-building side of things. We’re slowly building a solid team to just keep enhancing the overall production value.
RJ: Who has been some of your most influential musicians and who has struck you as close to your writing style?
Chris Watt: Most influential is Breaking Benjamin… I just think Ben Burnley is a monster. Lyrically I was heavily influenced by Chris Volz of Flaw… and believe it or not, I listen to a lot of country, so I extract a lot of what I hear there and apply it to the metal stuff.
RJ: Is there anyone you would like to write with?
Chris Watt: Ben Burnley would be amazing, but I really like the crossover stuff, so a collab with any number of rap/hip hop guys would be awesome. I’ve actually got a female country artist I’m trying to get to do a guest vocal spot on a new track, so hopefully, that will materialize.
RJ: Any particular instrument you fancy most using when writing?
Chris Watt: Piano… easiest answer ever haha.
RJ: With each song written do you sense your abilities to write becoming easier or is each time like its own starting over point?
Chris Watt: I am definitely learning the musicians I have been involved in the FF project, and am adjusting writing around their strengths and skillsets. It’s pretty easy because they‘re all crazy talented, but I feel like I have the vision pretty focused at this point.
RJ: Did the time of lockdown give you more time to write music?
Chris Watt: Yes and no, I run a logging company in addition to the music, so that never really slowed down. I’m a terrible multi-tasker, so focusing on too many things at once is crippling. Hoping someday the music can be the sole focus, but we aren’t quite there yet.
RJ: What’s coming up next Chris, what can we expect? Have tour dates and next releases been announced yet? And we would love to speak with you again soon.
Chris Watt: The next thing is the new single “Let Me Go”, which should be out in a few weeks, then the next single is almost done already as well. The band is actively rehearsing, so hopefully, big tour announcements are coming soon. Great to speak with you as well! Anytime!