Jessica Chase is a self confessed music-a-holic. She loves Fairytales, Volcanoes, Trees and Nature, Love, Animals, Danger, Beauty, Art, Music, Dreams,The inner workings of the mind, Fitness, Family, Curiosity, Karma and Life (and breathe...)
We met up with her at 'The House of Fairy Tales' in London for a chat about complicated relationships with social media, Hansel and Gretel and walking over the Abbey Road zebra crossing, here's how it went....
Please introduce yourself and your music in one sentence....
I’m Jessica Chase and I write and sing songs about what I notice and find interesting around me in the world.
Where did your record your debut album ‘Coming Down’ and what made you choose that studio?
I recorded Coming Down in various home studios around Toronto. To me, a studio is entirely about vibe. Some of the most inspiring spaces are the ones with a laptop, a mic, and no time constraints. I love to experiment and take my time finding the right sound for a synth or a vocal.
‘God Made Lana Del Ray’ is the name of one of your tracks; can you explain the inspiration for this really beautiful melodic track?
I had been putting a lot of thought into the meaning people place on the idea of “God” versus the lens I perceive the world through… I started writing… and the song came together from there.
How has social media aided your music? And you are signed with Wax Records, how did this happen?
Social media and I have a complicated relationship. It’s so useful, and also so annoying. But I can’t deny that it’s helped my career in a big way... so… you win this round, social media. Wax discovered me when I was just out of high school, writing songs and playing them around Toronto.
What is the best advice you ever received and who was it from?
1. Be impeccable with your word 2. Don’t take anything personally 3. Don’t make assumptions 4. Always do your best. (Don Miguel Ruiz- The Four Agreements) These reminders never fail to help me through everything in my life. The book is a must read for anyone.
What does music mean to you?
I feel that music walks the line between what is magic and what is reality. It is what fills the space between the two and connects them. That is why I feel music is one of the most powerful forces on earth.
You have been writing songs since you were a child, do you remember what the first song you wrote was about?
It was speaking to a boy that I once felt I loved and didn’t any longer, encouraging him to move on and that he doesn’t need me.
Which act/band made you want to get it together to become a performer?
My mother has the most beautiful voice I’ve ever heard. We would sing to each other for as long as I can remember and from what I’ve been told, even before that. I always knew that’s what I needed to do. The Beatles also inspired me, because they made me see that your own music can be whatever you want it to be and how it can empower and move people.
Give me 3 words that best describe you?
Passionate, Curious, Resilient
‘Long Haul’ is a well written song with some great lyrics within the tune, what is the story behind this?
I had been noticing friends and people around me that were in relationships I could tell were only temporary fixes “for now.” I could see how hard it was for them to admit (even to themselves) that they weren’t feeling what they tried to project. I found it interesting and the song happened.
Would you rather live with a dog that sings lullabies or a gorilla that can do sign language? Explain your answer
Dog, I love them and often have insomnia so lullabies sound great. Plus, gorillas are cool but that would be like having a child and I’m not going to be down for that kind of responsibility any time soon… igotstadomymusic.
If push came to shove and I could ONLY accept one answer, what is the BEST album/record ever released and why?
HAHA, I’ll tell you after I’ve listened to every record ever released.
Who designed the artwork for your EP cover?
Martin Macphail (Lead singer in Blitz//Berlin)
You are a fan of fairytales, what is your favourite one? (our’s is Little Red Riding Hood)
I don’t like favorites but today it’s Hansel and Gretel (yours is a great choice too by the way)
What classic song would you have liked to have recorded and why?
Imagine by John Lennon. As a kid, it used to make me cry every time it would play. I haven’t found another piece of music I feel more profoundly true, delivered in such a clear way. It’s an important song.
First gig you ever went to?
Probably performing in a concert with Toronto Children’s Chorus or a school talent show.
Have you ever been to the UK? If you have, what did you enjoy? If not what are you looking forward to?
I haven’t been, but want to. Walking across Abbey road (I know... How typical) and letting my imagination run wild in castles.
There are many good bands and musicians out there, who would you ask the readers of musicmuso to look out for?
Blitz//Berlin – they’re the good shit. They produced several songs on Coming Down.
If you could describe your music in the form of a fictional character, who would it be?
She’s the kind of girl that would date a Dexter Morgan-like man (do you know the show?) She is a dark person that is a little twisted but works to “do good” in the world... from the shadows. She believes she loves working solo and having no one know the work she does, but secretly craves love (don’t we all.) She’s a risk-taker and determined to make her mark. She thinks what you see, is not what you get and is always searching for what isn’t being said.
Do you think we can ever live in a world where a chicken can cross the road without having its motives questioned?
No. As humans, we can’t… asking questions is essential for progress and expanding our minds. Questions inevitably lead to judgment though. Because we live in a contrary world, I believe we CAN and should aim to use judgment only to help us choose how to live our own lives, not to judge how others choose to live theirs.
What are your plans for the remainder of 2014?
Playing live shows and writing more music.
We went in hunt of the house made of gingerbread but when we found it, we were disappointed as it was made of fibre-glass and tasted awful. We made haste to the 'Fairytale Tea Rooms' where we indulged in lashings and lashings of English tea and cakes, prior to the second lot of cakes arriving, I thought I'd slip in some quickfire questions....
Coffee or Tea? Coffee
Coke or Pepsi? Coke
Horror or Comedy? Comedy
Drum machine or the real deal? Combined (mybandzgonbeDOPE)
Mac or PC? Mac
Taco or Burger? Veggie taco with HOT sauce
Lemmy (Motorhead) or Ozzy (Black Sabbath)? Ozzy
CD or Vinyl? Vinyl is a feeling
Car or Motorbike? Motorbike
Acoustic or electric? Well, I play acoustic
Bovine Sex Club or Massey Hall? MASSEY HALL is BIGGER
Shower or Bath? shower = summer, bath = winter
Tattoos or Piercings? I do love those boys with tattoos
Robert De Niro or Al Pacino? Robert De Niro
God or Google? Aren’t they the same? …(Genesis 1:26 Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.")…… even the creepers who leaked Jennifer Lawrence’s photo stream.
We'd like to thank Jessica for taking time out of her hectic schedule to answer our questions and we wish her every success in the future.
Interview by Steve Muscutt
You can purchase Jessica's new EP 'Coming Down' from iTunes