Eli Young Band is coming to the Grizzly Rose first thing next year on January 6th. Click here to purchase tickets.
We had the chance to chat with Chris Thompson the drummer from Eli Young Band to ask some questions about the band and his life in music. Here’s what we discovered!
What moment in your life did you feel the most country?
We’ve got a lot of late night honky tonk stories, but I will spare you the details! As a band the times we felt the most country was when we used to visit the ranch of our guitar player James Young. He had a great ranch just outside Waco, Texas and we used to go there quite a bit. Whenever we were on the ranch we would have campfires, go fishing, ride horses, basically just go full country for awhile. It would also be a great place for us to practice our music.
When did you decide to become a musician?
All of us have pretty much been playing music our entire lives. Even when I was just a little kid I remember always having a keen interest in music. From school bands to rock bands I was playing music in almost every level of school. The funny part is that I actually quit music and tried to pursue an ‘adult career’ for awhile in college. I was studying law and thought that’s what I was going to end up doing with my life. However, my bandmates and I all met in college and formed a band so that didn’t last too long.
Where was the most memorable show you every played?
We went on tour with Kenny Chesney and played in all theNFL stadiums throughout the country. The huge size and capacity of those venues made that tour one of our favorite memories. We also played on the Tonight Show and some other famous TV spots. Growing up watching these shows then playing on them later in life was truly like having our dreams come true. Even with all those big gigs though we still love to play at little honky tonk venues. We find them to often be more intimate and often much more boozy! We’ve been playing for a long time now so we have great memories in venues big and small and love the diversity of it all.
Which song is currently the most fun for you to perform live?
Right now there’s probably two that stick out the most. Saltwater Gospel is our new single and it’s very fun and energetic. We also always love to play Even if it Breaks your Heart. The song has a very positive message, and people love to sing along which always makes for a very happy moment.
If you could no longer work as a musician what profession would you pursue?
I would definitely stay in the music industry. Maybe do something in management and working with creative people. If I couldn’t work in the music industry I suppose I would have to say work as a lawyer. That was my goal in College so I suppose it’s fitting.
How has your music evolved since you started as a band?
Our music has evolved very consciously. We don’t want to stay the same, we want to adapt and change as time goes on. Now we focus more on the things we do best, which works well for everyone!
If you had to live in one state for the rest of your life other than Texas, where would you chose to live?
This is a seriously tough question as we are all die-hard Texans. However, I spent some time in Oregon and really liked it out there. As long as I could tough out the winters I think I could live out there with all their beautiful nature.
Who were your biggest influences?
While there were the obvious classic bands like Alabama, Zeppelin, and Aerosmith in general it wasn’t a specific artist, but the idea of being an actual band. Sort of like the way Guns and Roses portrayed themselves, we always like the idea of the same four guys you always see in the photos, videos, and on stage.
If you have to change genres of music as an artist, what would you choose to play?
For us it’s a no brainer, it would be alternative rock. Some of our songs combine elements of that genre anyways. Maybe a little rock funk too could be fun.