Chris Shiflett, widely known as the awesome guitarist from Foo Fighters, is releasing his third solo album, West Coast Town, next month before heading out on a US tour to support the album release. We were lucky enough to snag some of his time to have a quick chat with him before the madness begins.
Congratulations on the new album, Chris. I confess that it’s outside my normal rock/indie vibe but I had a lovely time listening to it on a lazy afternoon yesterday. There was also a bit of chair-dancing going on at times.
Thank you! Chair dancing sounds better than line dancing.
You’ve worked with some impressive musicians on the album – are they people that you’ve worked with previously, or did you specifically want them for this project?
Dave Cobb (producer) put together the players on this record and no, I’d never played with any of them before, which was a bit daunting at first. It took getting in the room together and working out the first tune for me to relax. They were all incredible players and my record wouldn’t sound anywhere near as good without them.
Dave Cobb has produced this for you – how much influence does a producer have on the way you approach recording? As you’ve been a fan of his for a while, was there anything about working with him that was unexpected?
Cobb had a massive influence on these songs. He tightened them up, changed the arrangements, added chords, dropped lyrics, etc… I’m a huge fan of his work and was happy to turn the songs over to him. I trusted he would make good decisions with ‘em. I was surprised at the speed that he creates and works at. He’ll listen to a tune, wrap his head around it, and then it’s off to the races.
Do you feel there is much of a crossover between the fans you have of your solo work and the other day job you have?
My solo stuff is on such a smaller level than Foo’s that I have to assume that most people that listen to my records know me from that world. Hopefully this record will reach a few new people too.
You have a US tour coming up for the album – where will that take you?
Mostly West Coast but then a few dates back East – New York, Nashville, Atlanta. Would love to do more if the opportunities pop up.
Australia has a strong country music scene, including the Tamworth Country Music Festival – any chance you’d head over our way to showcase your work?
Definitely! Sign me up!!
Lastly, you have your own weekly podcast in which you chat with other musicians – is there any musician, past or present, that you’d love the chance to sit down with for a chat?
There are so many – from the past I’d go with Buck Owens for sure. I’m so sad that I never got to meet him or see him play live. There’s still plenty of living legends though. Loretta Lynn comes to mind. Willie Nelson. Kris Kristofferson. I could go on and on…
West Coast Town is released on April 14th on SideOneDummy Records/Cooking Vinyl Australia. Pre-order the album here.
Photo by Brantley Gutierrez.