6 albums later and One Less Reason has grown into a great rock band with no plans to part ways even though rock music is going through some tough times.
Their new album The Memories Uninvited is a must for any fan of modern rock music so we are honored to have frontman Cris Brown on board here at Palace of Rock for an interview.
Take a moment and learn about the band´s biggest selling song as well as his thoughts about Bruce Dickinson and why he has that Elvis tattoo.
Hey there, I think OLR´s 6th album The Memories Uninvited is your strongest effort so far, where the band possibly have reached the peak of your career. Is this the band´s White Album?
Cris-I'm not sure - I will have to let the fans decide on that one. But from the feedback so far that is the consensus. I love all of the records I’ve recorded because they remind me of where I was in my life at that particular point in time and it's always nice to reflect on where you are as compared to where you once were.
The album has a big production and an impressive set of songs where “Something Beautiful” and “The Lie” are my personal favorites. Especially songs like “The Lie” and “You Didn´t Know” feels a bit different and bring thoughts to Texas based Blue October. Have you broadened your way of writing songs?
Cris-We spent a lot of time dealing with sounds on this record, we recorded it in my studio and so we were allowed to have the time to really dial in the tones and just take as much time as we needed even for the smallest of parts. I feel that I'm getting older and more mature in my song writing and honestly I just don't care if it impresses critics or the "cool" people. So with that freedom I can be as honest as I want with no restrictions. I do love me some Blue October though :)
The band was originally formed as Lappdog the same year when songs like “Iris” (Goo Goo Dolls), “Malibu” (Hole) and“Shimmer” (Fuel) had a major impact on radio, after almost 2 decades, would you say your vision of how the band should sound like when you started, has turned out just the way you expected?
Cris-Oh no - we started out as a screaming, hardcore style band and I had no interest in singing anything. Rick Beato (producer) talked me into trying to sing and the rest is history – so Thank You, Rick!!!
You did a really great cover of “When Doves Cry” by Prince on your 2005 album Everyday Life. Now that Prince has left us, do you still perform the song live?
Cris-We actually just played that song in Spokane, Washington this last Friday night. That song we put together because we didn't have enough music to fill a whole set and it has followed us all of these years.
The 2010 album Faces and Four Letter Words sold 400,000 making it the band´s most successful album to date. Did you feel any pressure when writing and recording the follow-up A Blueprint For Writhing (2013)?
Cris-No, I make music for me and to keep me sane. I love big numbers on record sales but at the end of the day I HAVE to write music and what comes out, comes out - and I make no excuses for it. “Uneasy” has become one of my biggest selling songs ever from the A Blueprint For Writhing record... I feel just be honest with the lyrics and people will invest in you.
Tattooed Millionaire is your own label and it´s also the title of the solo debut from Iron Maiden´s frontman released in 1990. Have you gotten a call from Bruce Dickinson about the name yet?
Cris-That's funny, I wish we were clever enough to have named it after a Bruce song but unfortunately it wasn't. It would be totally worth it just to get a call from a singer of that magnitude. Not to mention a pilot... He’s a very impressive guy.
This fall you´re opening for Sick Puppies on the U.S tour in Sept/Oct, will you perform songs from all your albums or focus on the new record?
Cris-We will focus mainly on the new record but we will do “Favorite Color” and a few other tracks from previous records
In 2013, OLR released the first ever live album “She Said I Wonder When”. Any plans of putting together a Best Ofcompilation?
Cris-Nah, no plans on anything further than running through the cycle of this record and then re-evaluating where we are and what, if anything, we want to do next.
Do you read reviews of the band´s albums and are you affected by a good or bad review?
Cris-Not at all, a person’s opinion of my music affects me in no way negative... This is what I do and I'll stand by it and whether I live or die by it, it's mine and what I wanted to make and not some interpretation of some record label exec that thinks Justin Bieber is a great song writer.
There are a lot of great rock bands/artists coming from your hometown of Memphis such as Skillet, Saliva, Devour The Day, Egypt Central and of course Elvis. Do you have any albums by the King in your record collection?
Cris-Yes - I have a lot of Elvis in my collection. I have Elvis tattooed in my skin because he was the best of all time.
OLR is managed by Andy Gould at Spectacle Entertainment Group who also is working with Rob Zombie and up-coming artist September Mourning. Have you met these guys and do you know them personally?
Cris-No - I've yet to meet any of them, I'm kind of the socially awkward guy that just kind of hides out in the corners and doesn't speak unless spoken to ... Until it's time to sing.
Finally, what makes you feel good?
Cris-My family, I've yet to find anything on this planet that makes me happier than my little girls and how they love me for me and couldn't care less what I do for a living.