BREAKING NEWS: WE INTERRUPT TONIGHT’S BROADCAST TO BRING YOU THIS LATEST NEWS. YOUR BIG PICTURE CAFE NOW HAS PIZZA, FRESH BACKED, HOT AND READY TO EAT WITH YOUR CHOICE OF TOPPINGS AT ALL MAJOR EVENTS, INCLUDING NICOLE AND CHANCES SHOW ON FEBRUARY 7TH (8PM-11PM, FREE ADMISSION). NOW BACK TO OUR REGULARLY SCHEDULED PROGRAM.
Good evening everyone, once again I’m Dr. Bob, and welcome back for the third episode of The Fireside Interviews with Nicole Noel and Chance Meyer where each week I’ll be bringing you thought provoking answers to insightful questions about these two talented and energetic artists, in anticipation of their upcoming Music Land concert at Your Big Picture Cafe on Friday, February 7th, 2014 (8pm to 11pm, free admission). For further information about this much anticipated and exciting event, please visit:
Also, to read the first two episodes in this series go to:
But for now, pour yourself another cup of tea, pull your chair back up close to the fire, then sit back and enjoy The Fireside Interviews with Nicole Noel and Chance Meyer – Part 3 of 4.
What equipment and instruments do you use and why?
Chance: I play a 1972 Guild D-28. It has a mahogany sound board, which is uncommon because mahogany tops usually sound like garbage. But after a few decades it starts to open up and have this interesting nosey quality that we’ve found sits nicely apart from our voices. And we play old time so some slick sounding fresh-off-the-line job just wouldn’t be right. I put an L.R. Baggs dual pickup in it that has a piezo and a mic that you can mix. I do 100% mic whenever I can get away with it and it has this nice woody tone and lets me do more with thumping the top and catching the strings and such. We’d like to be purists and mike it, but have found it’s just not practical.
For mics, we stick with the standard SM-58s whenever we can. I don’t think anything comes close to their reliability and surprising clarity. We always mix our mics dead even because that’s how we’ve learned to sing together. There’s no backup vocal on most of our songs, they’re meant to stand side-by-side.
Other than that we play with minimal processing. Maybe a slight verb to liven things up but that’s it. Again, it’s more true to the music to keep things simple and natural.
Do you perform in public, in concerts, on radio or TV?
Nicole: We’ve only been playing together for a short time, but things have been happening pretty quickly, thanks in part to Dr. Bob! We’ve guest starred at a couple of great shows recently, we’ll be featured on Michael Stock’s Folk and Acoustic Music on WLRN on Sunday, Feb. 2, and we’re playing a concert at Your Big Picture Café on Friday, Feb. 7th. We’ve also just started recording our first album at 42nd Street Studios with Marc Loren, which is really exciting.
How do you handle mistakes during a performance?
Nicole: I learned early on that if you make a mistake, you do your best to cover it up and keep going. That was a tough one for me because even as a kid, I always wanted to stop and start over if I messed up. But my mom, who’s been listening to me for all these years, taught me that most of the time nobody knows I’ve screwed up but me anyway. It’s kind of like what Julia Child said about never apologizing for your food at the table, because then people will think, yeah, I guess it isn’t very good after all. So I try to never apologize or make excuses, but just do my best and hopefully people will appreciate it, even if it’s not perfect. If I screw up, I just keep going and hope nobody notices. And sometimes, mistakes can actually lead to something unexpected and interesting.
Tell us a funny story about something that happened during a show?
Chance: Well this didn’t exactly happen to me but it’s too good not to tell. So my first band was this Stevie Ray Vaughn tribute band, because at 18 I was just completely convinced that shredding off these deafening, repetitive blues licks had to be the coolest thing ever, and definitely the only thing I could do that would even remotely persuade a girl to notice me because I was a complete nerd. I guess I still am but I’m married now so it’s a non-issue and I can play old time if I want. Anyway, I think we were at the Ohio Club, or somewhere in downtown Hot Springs, Arkansas, and maybe we had already played and the next terrible white-guy-blues band was getting up to play boring guitar solos for a couple hours. And I won’t tell you this guy’s name to protect the innocent or whatever, and this was like 15 years ago anyway, but there was this local blues guitarist that everybody knew. He always wore a black leather duster like he was a gunslinger or something and he took himself very, very seriously. And that was fine, but he was just really condescending to everyone.
And he used to do all these choreographed stage moves, like throwing his guitar and letting it swing around his back ZZ Top style, you know? So the stage backed up to a bank of floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the street. And this guy goes to do his righteous guitar throw thing. Only his strap-button pops off like right at the apex of the swing and the guitar flies back behind him and doesn’t just fall, but crashes through the damn window. And it’s plugged in the whole time and just screaming and clanking in the house speakers. But the thing is, for anyone who didn’t know his act, it really looked like he just all of a sudden decided it was a good idea to unceremoniously toss his Stratocaster out a second story window.
So, lesson learned, right—don’t become an egomaniacal caricature of a rock star. Don’t think you’re a big deal. Try to make good music and connect with people and share a cool musical moment every now and then if you get lucky. I really learned a lot from that guy. And to this day I’ve never thrown a single guitar out a window.
Once again, that concludes this evenings presentation of The Fireside Interviews with Nicole Noel and Chance Meyer, and we thank you for spending this time together. We hope you enjoyed tonight’s show and that you will join us again next week for the final Fireside Interviews with Nicole Noel and Chance Meyer – Part 4 of 4.