White Tie Affair frontman talks solo debut, Lady Gaga, more

Good Monday morning, everyone.  I hope your week is off to a great start.  I’ve got another brand new review on the way.  But before I get into it, I’ve got another special treat of those of you that follow my daily ramblings.  While you wait for this morning’s brand new review, I’ve got an interview with White Tie Affair frontman Chris Wallace.  I had the honor of interviewing Chris recently.  I asked him about his dreams of being a musician, touring with Lady Gaga, and his brand new upcoming solo release, among other topics.  That album is due out this Summer, by the way.  So while you wait for this morning’s new review, why not sit back, grab that cup of coffee, and check out my interview with Chris Wallace.

PP:  Your bio mentions that you didn’t want to follow in your family’s footsteps.  And when you told people about your decision to try your hand in the music business, people talked down to you and tried to discourage you.  What was the reaction of your parents?  

CW:  My parents were always supportive in everything i wanted to do, but they had no idea how much of a dreamer I really was. They just thought it was a hobby I would grow out of. As soon as I got my first guitar there hasn’t really been a plan b to playing and writing music. Ha there still isn’t, and will prolly never be. I’m definitely a lifer. It’s just way to much fun.
PP:  You mention in your bio about pumping Queen in your car when you were growing up.  I’m curious, Queen aside, what were some of your favorite bands to listen to when you were growing up?

CW: I was really obsessed with the killers. for a while. I love how they blended dance, rock, pop and great songwriting to make amazing albums. I also love third eye blind, taking back sunday, and U2 . I’ve always been obsessed with great melodies in music. So also pretty much every pop song I’ve ever heard ha. 

  
PP:  I want to get in to the White Tie Affair for a little bit.  For the fans that might not know, how did the White Tie Affair originally come together? 

CW:  The white tie affair originally was just me. I grew up playing in local rock bands. One day in fall of 06, a  good friend convinced me to finish this pop song I was jokingly working on called ‘Mr Right.’ I produced and wrote it myself. A few weeks after the song was finished, I made up a band name (white tie affair) and put the song on MySpace. Seriously no more that 3 weeks later, I had several major label deal offers. My life had literally changed overnight. All because of one song…I put the band together and wrote our first album. We got to travel the world, play over 1000 shows, and I had such a great time!  

 
PP:  The feeling from White Tie Affair’s Facebook page is that you all are on pretty good terms, despite you striking out on your own.  So for fans of White Tie Affair, what are the band’s plans on recording another album?  Do you just consider doing this a side project, or do you see it taking prominence over White Tie Affair?

CW:  I don’t see myself doing another  white tie album. It was such a different time in my life. In workin on my solo project I’ve finally figured out how to add my personality and raw energy into the songs. The white tie affair was not nearly as personal as my upcoming album ‘Push Rewind.’ We are definitely on great terms tho. 

 
PP:  Getting back to the your bio, it mentions your tour with Lady Gaga.  Can you expand on how taht tour came to be?  Did her people come to you, or was it the other way around?  What was your initial reaction to being included on her tour?

CW:  I was actually turned on to lady gaga’s ‘the fame’ record way before she became a household name. I met her randomly after her set at lalapalooza 07 and had been following her career. So when my manager told me she was looking for acts for her tour. I immediately agreed we should submit for it. And when the tour started 9 months later, Lady Gaga was on her third #1 single and had become the biggest thing in music. It was more luck and timing and relationships that got me on that tour.  My initial reaction was… Wow this could be fun, but as her fame grew and grew and grew, It became more and more surreal. Gaga is such a great person and I learned so much from hangin out with her on that tour.  

PP:  Your bio mentions how you watched Axl Rose warm up for his show.  Are there any other favorite or least favorite moments that you can share with readers about your tour?  Are there any artists/bands that are on your “MUST” list in terms of who you’d love to tour with?

CW:  My favorite moment on tour had to be singing onstage with cindi lauper. A few years ago I was the opening act for 2 dates on her true colors tour. During our set, I glanced over and saw cindi lauper and Rosie o’donnel watching me play. If that wasn’t surreal enough… Right after my set they cornered me and told me how great I did. Cindi asked if I would come out and sing the second verse  of true colors with her. I went in my dressing room and listened to that song at least 30 times to prepare. Sharing the stage with such a music icon was something I could only dream of.   

PP:  You were really shy when you were growing up.  So are you still shy today, as an adult when you’re not performing?  Or do you find yourself a lot more open as a result of being such a huge star?

CW: I’m not shy at all anymore. I think it was just a part of growing up and finding myself. Music really helped me figure out how to express myself and the be person I wanted to be. Once I go in touch with who I was, it was hard to get me to stop talking haha.  
PP:  One more question before I go.  Your debut solo release comes out soon. For fans who have never heard The White Tie Affair or your music, what can they expect from your new album?

CW: At the core ‘push rewind’ has very hard hitting pop rock songs like ‘remember when’ and ‘keep me crazy.’ ..but there are also a few slower songs  like ‘ready to fall’ that i wrote on piano with a string quartet. Overall you can expect a high energy pop rock dance album that is very honest and personal.

Fans can keep up with all the latest from Chris Wallace online at http://www.chriswallacemusic.com, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/chriswallacemusic, and on Twitter at @chriswallace101.

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