New Music Friday: Chance McKinney

New Music Friday: Chance McKinney

Chance, thanks so much for taking time to answer some questions for us! 

Let’s dive right in!

What motivated you to send in your music to the Music City Madness contest?

I’d actually just been through a band break-up and I was contemplating the continued pursuit of music. I’d received a call from one of the guys I’d written with in Nashville, and he urged me to send in “that one song” Be Real while I figured out my next steps. Little did I know that in 7 weeks time, I’d have a #1 song on CMT and get the offers I ended up getting for “live” shows (Dwight Yoakam, Blake Shelton, Luke Bryan, etc.) that I’d end up getting as a result. I don’t know if I really answered your question. I’m sure I was pretty motivated at the time to prove the guys who left the band wrong, but it was petty on my part and I got over it shortly thereafter. Besides, there’s something about experiencing the magnitude of opportunities the CMT win opened up for me… it seems the soul heals a little quicker when you accomplish what you set out to do.

To follow the first question, I’d love to hear what the transition has been like for you going from the life of a Trigonometry teacher in Seattle, WA to being a CMT Award Winner in Nashville, TN?? Explain the feeling.

It’s been grueling/rewarding/unique/challenge if there’s such an all-encompassing explanation out there. I absolutely loved coaching/teaching, but touring full-time was not a compatible job. I had to make a choice which path to follow and I chose singing. I realized there were thousands of artists out there who would give anything to have the opportunity I’d been handed and there must be a reason I’d been at that place, at that time. Besides, who says I can’t sneak out to a math class, track or basketball practice in whatever town/city I’m in and keep my chops up?

What are your real thoughts on Texas A&M taking away the 12th Man concept from the Seahawk’s  fan base? Do you currently hold a grudge with Richard Sherman leaving for the 49ers? Have you ever sung the national anthem at a game?

Have you been to Seattle in the last 10-15 years? You’d realize Texas A&M hasn’t made a dent in the 12th Man attitude we’ve got goin’ on up there. It’s really a unique feel. Between the Seahawks and the Mariners (having similar color schemes), you can’t go anywhere without some sort of blue and green staring you in the face. From jerseys to billboards to 100’ flags hanging off regional businesses… 12’s are everywhere. Did you know, across the board, there is such a thing as “Blue Friday?” Folks can wear their Seahawks jerseys to work… and it’s not even an argued. Casual Friday is now Blue Friday in the Pacific Northwest and nobody bats an eye.

I’m not upset at Richard Sherman signing with the 49ers at all. Loved having him on the Seahawks, but at the end of the day, the NFL is a business. The Seahawks had to do what they thought was best, and Sherman had to do the same for himself. It’ll all get chatted up this season, and the media will do what it does best. But, at the end of the day, there’s only one team holding up the Super Bowl trophy for the next 12 months… and THAT is the team that made all the right moves for that year (or the years leading up to it).

I’ve sung National Anthems for college basketball, minor league baseball, hockey and rodeos but never NFL or MLB. Someday it’ll line up, but for now, I’m good with doin’ what I’m doin’.

You have new music coming in May…what are you most excited about? Is there anything new that you’ve thrown into the mix that you have never put into your music?

I can’t answer this. Literally, the “most excited” part is throwing me for a loop. It depends on the day. Seems like the world changed in November of 2017 for me and opportunities are coming in from different directions daily. Let’s just say industrialized country is gonna be a “thing” like Blue Friday in the not-so-distant future. I’m not gonna spill one detail right now for fear of jinxing that stuff. Just hang on… it’s what I’m doin’ at this point.

Yeah… we’ve thrown A LOT of new into the music. Jet Engines, Trash Cans, Feet on Street, Hammers, Crowds, Rain, Protein, Oreos, Metal… pretty much everything we had lying around or within arms reach. Let’s just say it’s gonna be a love it or hate it experience. And isn’t that what music is? An avenue to elicit emotions from those who listen. I think we’re gonna do that. We’re gonna go to a place where we elicit emotions (good or bad) cause that’s what people deserve when they invest their time in your music.

I see you’ve gotten to go on tour with some pretty fun people – do you have a favorite artist that you’ve toured with so far? What about someone you’d love to go on tour with in the future?

“Toured with” is a pretty funny term. To be fair, I’ve been more of a musical mercenary since the CMT win. National artists have picked me up for shows that start somewhere in the Pacific Northwest and end somewhere on the fringe of the Pacific Northwest. Because I haven’t sustained National Radio Airplay across the nation to this point, I’m only useful where I’m useful. Ha. But, you said “toured with” so I’m gonna roll with it.

My favorite series of shows have been the Blake Shelton stuff, the Dierks’ run, Luke Bryan, Trace Adkins, Montgomery Gentry and for damn sure the Colt Ford series! But, then again, I’ve done stuff with Dwight Yoakam, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Kenny Rogers too and those were a different kind of awesome. As for a favorite, I doubt I could pick just one. Kenny Rogers gave me his trailer for one of the shows because he saw my band changing out behind the stage one time when production usurped our trailer. Troy Gentry used to come watch our entire opening set from side stage each time we’d perform with them. Dierks… shoot, that’s just a damn good dude right there. He’d pull me into the green room after shows just to ask “where do you want to go with this?” and “what’s on the horizon?” I mean, there’s just a lot of really cool people in country music especially.

I’ve got a list of acts I think my music would pair well with out on tour, but Jake Owen probably tops the list for me at this point. However, I’d probably end up losing my shirt on the golf course on days off with that guy. I’d have to challenge him to hoops just to get my money back.

Okay – Now for the fun questions on everyone’s favorite topic. 


Which food scene do you prefer – Nashville or Seattle?

Food… Neither Nashville nor Seattle. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some Nashville BBQ and Seattle sushi is killin’ it, but Montana puts ‘em both to shame. There’s something about the simplicity of going to dinner and MEAT being the predominant food choice on the menu. Montana doesn’t decorate their food either with all the crap you have to stack off the side of your plate just to get to the meal. And don’t get started talking “cuts” of meat, I’m talkin’ quantity. Nashville, Seattle and pretty much every other urban area must have some sort of contract that says you can’t serve more than 12 oz, maybe 18 oz if you’re lucky. Montana? It ain’t no big thing to see cuts go up to 30+ oz. on a menu. I didn’t grow up to be 6’6” on salads and white meat… ya know what I’m sayin’?

What do you find the most different about the two scenes?

I’m gonna assume you’re talking Nashville and Seattle. Weather. I remember moving to Seattle out of college and it rained for 97 straight days! 97! 97 days of water drizzling off your head, down your back and possibly the crack of your… yeah. Wet. Everywhere.

Seattle will be 53 degrees and overcast 80% of the year… Nashville will be 53 degrees and overcast in mid – March and 86 degrees by 11am the next day. Oh yeah, then snow 2 days later. Yes, I was there recording when this happened just a month or so ago, so it’s fresh in my mind.

However, Seattle and Nashville react the exact same way when there’s an inch (or the threat of an inch) of snow… they shut down. Completely. Now coming from Montana (where we never had school canceled even in 3 feet of snow or 88 below wind-chill) this seems weak to me. But then again, you asked me the difference between Seattle and Nashville, not either of them and Montana.

When you are on tour, what is one restaurant that you look forward to stopping at?

Oooooo, sensitive topic at this moment. We have this one breakfast spot that we used to religiously look forward to up in Washington called “The Brown Bag Café.” But, it burnt down about a year ago and they haven’t re-built. Everything else kinda paled in comparison to it. Portions were epic… quality was quality… and I could get the band to rally regardless of where we were heading to, or coming back from, IF there was even a possibility we could squeeze in a visit to the Brown Bag. We talk of it often, the stories growing daily but alas, we are still in mourning.

Do you have a signature dish that you love to cook? Is it a secret recipe or can you share with us your magic?

Steak. Steak and eggs. Steak and watermelon. Steak and asparagus. Steak and pretty much anything that doesn’t get in the way of the real reason we’re here… steak. Actually, I love flank steak with rye seasoning.
No secret to it, just make sure the grill is 450+. Season your meat and cook the 1st side until you see the top completely change color. Flip it for just long enough to run inside and get a massive serving tray. Take it in the house and let it sit (inside the microwave or inside the oven… not ON mind you) for at least 5 minutes. That time allows all the juices to re-disperse throughout the meat. Then I’ll cut it up into 3/8” strips and serve. Tastes like candy, but there ain’t an unnecessary carb in the vicinity. I’ll cook up 2-3 huge flanks at a time and whatever we don’t throw down at the dinner table gets packaged and goes out on the road with me in small baggies or containers so I have a go-to snack handy on the bus.

Now please tell us your favorite Nashville stops for:

a. Breakfast (Noshville, out in Green Hills)
b. Brunch (Tin Roof, just off the Row)
c. Food Truck (Smoke Et Al… anywhere I can track it down)
d. Coffee (oooo… 8th & Roast or the Edgehill)
e. Local Brew / Cocktail (The Tavern, Midtown)
f. Dessert (The Tavern, Midtown… it ain’t on the menu, but just ask)

Website: https://www.chancemckinney.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ChanceMcKinneyMusic/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/chancemckinney/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ChanceMcKinney
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/ChanceMcKinneyCMTV

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