By: Robert Cavuoto
If you took John Lennon, Lindsey Buckingham, and Sheryl Crow and morphed them into one, it might sound a bit like Los Angeles native, Erica Chase. If you don’t believe me, check out the clip, below, of her track, “We Can Fly”.
She’s a little bit of old school rock meshed with pop hooks, and wholeheartedly, authentically unique. And her music is beginning to get some buzz around the country.
Erica formed a rock band in college which got local buzz, but it was not until her senior year that a partnership would begin that would make her next move extremely clear.
The day after a phone call introduction that would lead to an interesting partnership with Dana Strum (Vinnie Vincent, Slaughter & Vince Neil Band), Erica nearly lost her life as she was riding a bicycle and was hit by a truck, which landed her in the emergency room.
Though she fortunately walked away with minor injuries, this would make Erica absolutely certain that her next move to go full throttle with her music.
She spent the next two years working on demos in Las Vegas.
Erica is at the start of her epic journey, however, she is undoubtedly unique in her style, drive, and unwillingness to give up until her dreams come true.
I had a chance to speak with Erica about her music and life changing accident.
Rob: Tell me about your accident and how it affected your decision to be a full time musician?
Erica Chase: It was a day I will never forget. In 2006, one day after meeting my future mentor and manager, Dana Strum, on the phone, I was hit by a truck while riding my bicycle.
It shook my world up and I strongly believe that it was meant to be. At the time, I was so unsure of myself and scared to make the decision to pursue music full time after college.
I think it grounded and startled me at the same time. Ultimately, it made me realize that it was essential to follow a passion.
Rob : Dana is also producing your new CD, tell me how you came to work with him?
Erica Chase: We got introduced through a mutual ex-relation of his and my father. This relation told my dad that he had a friend in the music biz and agreed to set up a phone call first and then a meeting.
In Dana’s mind, he was doing this guy a favor by taking time to listen to my music. I was so unsure of myself in many ways in this initial meeting, but thankfully Dana saw something in me and was interested in taking me under his wing despite any guarantees. I’m grateful he believed.
Rob: Who are some of your formative influences?
Erica Chase: The Beatles, Fleetwood Mac, Springsteen, Jeff Buckley, and Sheryl Crow would be my main songwriting influences and career idols. They are my deserted island luggage!
Rob: Tell me about when you first started performing in college?
Erica Chase: I did not start performing until I was a freshman in college and started a band with a few of my guy friends. I initially envisioned having a male sing the songs I wrote, but we never found one, so I became the front person by default. Everything happens for a reason.
Rob: What do you consider to be your “big break”?
Erica Chase: That would be gaining confidence and belief in myself leading me on this dream path.
Rob: Tell me about the new CD and what we can expect from it?
Erica Chase: I have been writing this record since 2006! I have over 200 songs written and over 75 recorded in some form or another. We are still narrowing down the list to determine what will be the final selection.
There are some great Sheryl Crow type riffs, and some great pop/rock hooks. It is organic and honest.
Rob: What do you think has been your biggest challenge, both musically and professionally, so far in your career?
Erica Chase: I think every artist can be their own worst enemy at times, so I would say my biggest challenge would be self doubt and not being as patient. Ultimately, I try and let these weaknesses drive me and push me forward. This is a new music industry and a different time to be a new artist, but it is also really exciting and I am up for the challenge!
Rob: With all these experiences you have gone through in your career, if a young musician was to come to you for advice about working in this industry, what would you tell him or her?
Erica Chase: If passion wakes you up each day and is on your mind until you sleep, then follow it. Follow it no matter who does or doesn’t understand and let it take you on an incredible frustrating and often gut wrenching ride, where you will discover yourself and experience the highest of highs.
The music industry is only as tough as you make it and I choose to push through and play through the pain, because the reward is worth it: personal freedom.
Rob: As a new artist how important is it to have contact with the fans, for example on Twitter, Facebook and other online Medias?
Erica Chase: It is essential these days to connect through social media. It also makes it so easy to interact directly with fans and blurs the line of artist and fans.
I love it and think it is a great way to get your art out to the public and to have something spread from person to person is a cool thing to watch.
Rob: Will you be going out on tour in support of the new CD?
Erica Chase: Yes and I cannot wait to share this record and these songs so close to my heart with everyone. Performing is a feeling unlike any other and it is why I wanted in this business.
My website will have all of the dates on there and I will tweet up a storm as well!