Chance is a 36 year old multi-talented musician living in Las Vegas, NV. and Chance’s best friend growing up was always his cousin Sean Bolton. These two spend plenty-a-hours cutting up and making jokes. In fact, they have spent so many entertaining hours between the two, that they decided to start working on movie scripts together. Chance and Sean are working on their first feature-film that they’re currently calling ‘Hustle Hard’ and Chance had plenty to say about it, but we chose to use the following statement.
“It’s a movie about pool hustling, and a guy that gets hustled has to out-hustle the hustling pool shark. It’s going to be super awesome and you guys are really gonna love it!” -Chance Trahan
About Chance’s Music
But let’s be real, we’re all here for the music. So being fans of Chance, we asked him all about his path as a musician. With all of Chance’s projects that he’s working on, we wanted to ask him a lot, but tried to keep it specifically about the music. While it was hard work only asking him about his music (mainly because he likes to talk a lot), we were able to get really in-depth about his life as a musician, so we hope you enjoy!
When and why did you start playing music?
I started playing guitar when I was 3. My Uncle was playing Elvis, and my mom came in and found me playing Elvis after he left, she couldn’t believe it. My Grandpa gifted a Smurf mini drum set when I was 2 and I’ve been tapping rhythms on things ever since. My Grandpa, my Mom, my Uncle Mikey, my Aunt Debi and my late Aunt Angie all played the biggest roles in my musical inspirations. They inspired me to make music different, to inspire the industry to be different, to dare listeners to be different.
Which instruments do you play?
I play guitar and tribal drums the best. I love playing piano, acoustic and electric guitars, electronic drum kits, keyboards, turntables, anything… give me any instrument, I’ll play it!
3. What were some of the first songs you learned?
I learned a Star Wars theme song on piano at 6 and by 7 I was playing the keys a lot better. On guitar, the first song I had truly wanted to learn the most was Nirvana – Smells Like Teen Spirit and Come As You Are. I learned how to play those and then picked up on a lot of Metallica, the Deftones, Silverchair and Korn.
Is your family musical?
People tell me I’m related to Johnny Rebel, and also Shawn Crahan from Slipknot, but I’m not sure how true any of that is. The story of Shawn is an interesting one actually… They say that my native tribe scared off the settlers in Louisiana to Canada and changed their last name to Crahan. I met someone who said that’s his real last name, so I guess we’re kind of related by marriage. The story was in this old cookbook about my last name Trahan. They scared them away because they were cannibals. But my real last name, I don’t even really know. I don’t know who my dad’s real dad is. So I don’t know my real last name.
Describe your family member’s musical interests and abilities.
My Cajun family in Louisiana loves that Zydeco and most of my family in Texas loves Country and Metal music. My cousin Sean Bolton loves Trivium and he plays guitar and sings as well, I can’t wit til you guys can check him out. He streams on LiveStar a lot. You can find him there. Sean32. Ask him to play guitar for you!
Which famous musicians do you admire? Why?
The musician I admire the most is and always will be Corey Taylor, this dude has done everything I wanna do. Wrote his own books, made all his own albums with his fellow musicians, toured the world, made all the coolest music videos. I met him once. I’ll never forget it. It was back when I was trying to meet all of my most favorite bands like Ill Nino, Deftones, and Korn. I never did meet Korn tho. But I met almost all of Slipknot, and it was epic. Joey Jordison and Jim Root were my most favorite to meet. I met Jim first, then Joey, then Shawn, then Mick, then Sid. I don’t think I got to meet Paul tho. 🙁 It was a really good time. Paul’s spirit did end up visiting me last year. But that’s a whole other story for later on when we’re talking about my career as a Medium.
Which famous musicians have you learned from?
I think the musician I learned from the most was Kurt Cobain. His teachings were inspirational. I couldn’t get down with him wearing a dress and all the drugs, but the guy was just out there. His guitar riffs were heavy and just so different for that era in time. His riffs are timeless. Nirvana is just so cool. I love learning their guitar riffs and trying to sing them while I play it. Kurt’s voice is just so DIFFERENT! One guy I did learn a bit from was Bryan from Escape The Fate. His guitar skills while he was in the underground industrial band Genetic Defect were just so flashy. It would be cool to see him bring those old songs back. I really enjoyed singing over those when we would jam in the garage with DJ and everybody. I learned a lot from Pat Crisci too, not sure what band he’s in now, but the guy taught me everything I needed to know about producing music on a computer and how to use Photoshop. I owe that kid my life. He was a great teacher.
Who was your first teacher? Other teachers?
My first teacher when it came to music was Mr. Stone. He was really into Rush, and he liked to play Rush when it was time to read or something like that. He had a lot of music theory and explained it to us in the classroom in the 3rd grade. It was an awesome experience and I was really sad when I had o move on to the next grade and have a different teacher. He taught school in San Antonio. My other teachers in Jr. High and High School didn’t agree with me, or I just wasn’t interested in that subject. It was all about music for me.
Describe your first instrument. Other instruments.
My first guitar, lol. This guitar was a gift. It had a built in speaker, so I took that crappy speaker out, and used the wires to hook it up to a really huge speaker. This was when I was about 14 I think. I read an interview with James Hetfield, and he said he did something similar, so I hooked it up to the biggest upright box speaker I had and proceed to shred. I wrote many a thrash metal and death metal songs on that thing. I had some acoustic guitars, and I used it to build finger strength, because the strings are much harder to push down on, and they build your fingertip calluses.
What are your fondest musical memories?
I really enjoyed going to concerts the most. Slipknot, Rob Zombie, Korn, Rammstein, 311, Soulfly, Deftones, Static-X, and Unearth were all awesome to see live.
Were you influenced by old records & tapes? Which ones?
OMG >.< Yes! SNOT was one of my biggest influences growing up. I couldn’t wait to see them, but unfortunately, I never got to before Layne passed away. Fleetwood Mac was always a big influence for me, and so was CCR.
Who are your favorite musicians? Groups? CD’s?
Chino Moreno from the Deftones, and Chi Cheng too. Well Abe Cunningham, and Stephen Carpenter too. That whole collection of Deftones songs are awesome. And so is anything David Silveria ever played on drums. David and Abe are my most favorite drummers of all time!
Have you been in competitions?
Yes, I have auditioned for The Voice, and I am about to audition for America’s Got Talent on January 19th, 2016. I’ve also been in Karaoke Competitions.
Do you perform in public? Describe those occasions? Concerts, radio, TV?
I’ve obviously sang Karaoke a lot in Las Vegas, Houston and Phoenix, I’ve played at Fiddler’s Dream and also at Desert Ridge in Phoenix, Arizona. Fiddler’s Dream was to cover another singer who canceled and I was still able to get some people there even though I only had less than 2 days to promote. The show for Desert Ridge was an occasion where I just had my guitar in my car and there just happened to be a show there. I was asked to go grab my guitar, so I did. They let me close out the entire show. It was a really cool experience. People stuck around and watched me, it was cool. I’ve never been played on the radio, and I’ve never been on TV. Everybody asks e why I’m not already famous after hearing me sing and play acoustic guitar.
Do you play for dances? Step-dancers? Describe the differences.
I do make electronic music you can dance to, and I do make some dub-step, but it’s very different than traditional dub, I add a bit of industrial and trap grooves into it. My Psychic Soldier album series are really trap heavy and groovy, you should check it out, plus my new songs for the next chapter are really, really good! You’re going to really enjoy them!
How do you handle mistakes during a performance?
Depends on where it’s at, like what format. If it’s live streaming, those fans are a little more understanding if you mess up, but I quickly pickup exactly where I left off if I make a big mistake. Most of it I just laugh off, and try to make it not so noticeable. Maybe I’ll stick my tongue out to be silly if I mess up. Maybe I’ll apologize, just all depends, lol.
Do you get nervous before a performance or a competition?
Always, I always get nervous before any performance. But if I come prepared, I have nothing to worry about, I just get up there and do my thing.
What advice would you give to beginners who are nervous?
Practice Prevents Poor Performances.
Do you attend sessions? What makes a good session?
No I just make all my music from home, sometimes I practice in the car.
How often and for how long do you practice?
Sometimes I’ll just stream and play my music on an MP3 player and perform my songs for my fans, like it’s a music video, but they secretly don’t know that I’m really practicing my songs on them! Ha, they love me!!!
What do you practice – exercises, new tunes, hard tunes, etc.?
Sometimes I’ll practice scales with my voice, or on guitar. Sometimes I’ll sing along to learn new songs I like, or songs I made. Sometimes I practice when recording my own songs. I’ll put on autotune and it’ll let me know when I’m off key, and then afterwards, I can turn down the autotune form the track. It helps a lot. Some songs it messes with the raw tone and you can’t always use it. But it’s fun to use to learn how to carry a tune.
Do you teach music?
I teach how to play guitar. I used to teach on YouTube, but too many people liked to argue in the comments, and this was before they let you disable comments. But I might start it up again. Who knows, but you can check me out on YouTube @ChanceTrahan and @PsychicSoldiers
How do you balance your music with other obligations?
I work all the time. I try to make music when work is slow and I have no job requests. I work for Postmates, which is an app like Uber and Lyft, but it’s for deliveries instead of transportation requests. So I’m always on call, but usually I find myself staying up late to make beats. Then come the lyrics, then come the vocals. It works out really well, but it would be nice to get paid to just make music, even though I enjoy my job as a Postmate. I also babysit a lot. Kids are awesome! Speaking of kids, I have 3 daughters. They are my world. Aurora likes to hang out with me and play music. It’s fun! My kids really enjoy music a lot.
More about Chance Trahan
Chance is a 36 year old multi-talented musician living in Las Vegas, NV. Chance went to school in Houston, TX. and graduated High School in Colorado Springs, CO. Chance moved from Portland, Oregon to Salem, Oregon shortly after that. San Antonio, Texas was also part of Chance’s life growing up and taught Chance a lot about Mexican-American heritage at an early age. Chance was raised by his mom, Viki Kibodeux. His dad, Brad Trahan, was not the best of influences, at one point he was being investigated for murder using a swab his DNA, but was cleared of the murders after DNA testing of the swab. Chance has a half-brother and 2 step-sisters… he is the oldest. Chance’s middle half-brother and sister have the same mom, and his youngest half-sister has a different mom, like Chance does.