Chris Olson is an artist who is quickly making a name for himself in the UK music scene.
Known as the lead singer and songwriter for The Codes, a Wiltshire-based band, Chris is also carving out his own path as a solo artist. With a successful run of live performances with Hobo and the Hippies, Chris has recently turned to online platforms like Spotify and YouTube to showcase his talent and reach new audiences.
One thing that sets Chris apart is his ability to craft songs that stick with you long after they’ve ended. His catchy musical hooks, introspective lyrics, and inventive song structures all come together to create a sound that is uniquely his own. His latest release, “Dirty Summer,” is no exception.
“Dirty Summer” is a reflection on the challenges of growing up in a world where no one seems to understand you. With a sound that is reminiscent of a long road trip, Chris invites listeners to take a journey with him as he navigates the complexities of adolescence.
From the opening notes of the song, it’s clear that Chris has poured his heart and soul into every aspect of the production. The vocals are raw and emotional, the guitar work is impressive, and the lyrics hit close to home for anyone who has ever struggled to find their place in the world.
Overall, “Dirty Summer” is a fantastic addition to Chris Olson’s growing discography. With his impressive talent and dedication to his craft, there’s no doubt that he will continue to make waves in the music industry for years to come.
How long have you been making music and what attracted you to it?
I started playing the guitar when I was 13 (about 20 years ago) and have been making music ever since. At first, it was just a really cool thing to do with my mates and later it become something more serious.
What were your first project and the people you worked with and which year?
My first band was a 4-piece called The Codes which we formed around 2004. We would play covers of our favourite bands like Blink 182 and Green Day – all pretty poorly to begin with but we got better. Jed Stickler was our drummer, Joe Cattaneo on bass and Jack Burston on rhythm guitar. We also had a guest vocalist, Robbie Morrison, who would help us do covers of Rage Against The Machine and some other heavier bands.
Who or what inspires you or motivates you? And why?
My dad (RIP) was my absolute mentor when it came to music. He had this encyclopedic knowledge about all kinds of bands and artists from the sixties up to the present day. His passion for music still motivates me now, I still discover bands I know he liked from way back when. In my house, we grew up with music all around us.
It was always on. I can still remember waking up on weekends and the floor of my bedroom vibrating because my parents were blasting music in the living room underneath! There’s something “bigger than us” to music and to write songs and be part of this is as close to religion as I get to be honest.
What are your friends and parents’ thoughts on your career in singing?
Haha, they humour me. Over the years I think I have worn everyone out with all my projects and passions. Music has always been my strongest one for me and I play whether anyone is listening.
That being said, my bandmates from The Codes still banter with me about my music and I like to share it now with my wife and two daughters. My mum is probably my biggest fan – whether she likes the songs or not.
What are some of the challenges you face in your career path?
I used to think money was my biggest issue. Not having funds for gear, recording, touring etc. But as I got older, I realized my biggest challenge was not being good at connecting (or networking if you want to get technical). I was always proactive in getting things done but always by myself or with very close friends. There is a lot of power in your community when you are a band and I wish I had seen that a long time ago. You can get so much more achieved when more people are involved.
How do you feel the Internet has impacted the music business?
Back in 2005, when we were recording and promoting our first album “Eleven”, the internet was nothing like it is now! You can network your ass off without leaving your house or even having to call anyone or play a live show.
This is how a lot of things get done in the music industry and it’s so much easier now. Artists can essentially do what they want on their own terms now and it’s amazing. There are fewer and fewer gatekeepers, with labels and music companies struggling to keep up pace with an ever-changing musical landscape.
The downside to all of that is the incredible amount of noise it creates. Trying to be heard is very difficult and you have to get creative in order to get your music in front of people.
Do you have any advice for aspiring songwriters?
Put the phone away sometimes. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to be promoting yourself on social media and building your community but when it comes to songwriting and the art side – there’s no place for your phone or the internet there. Allow yourself time to play with no other distractions or external influences. So many of my songs (pretty much all of them) came when I was just messing around on my guitar and stumbled on a riff or some chords I really liked.
What is your current project about?
I just released “Dirty Summer” which is my first single on an upcoming record called Building Stampedes. The album is a collection of songs about my journey from adolescence into adulthood, through events such as my dad dying and me becoming a father myself in the same year. Dirty Summer tells the story of me before a lot of the bigger things happened and I wanted it to have a free, “road trip” kinda vibe.
What does this song mean to you?
This song is really fun and it’s more about my teenage years – which I look back on fondly. The track has been with me for many years so it was great to release it last year (Oct 2022) and finally get it out there. The reaction from fans has been great and that means a lot to me.
What are your hobbies?
I like playing basketball and football but mainly spending time with my kids and whatever they want to do. They’re young at the moment so I get to do a lot of silly stuff which I love.
What do you do aside from this profession?
I work in marketing and make websites. It’s a lot of fun and I get to be visually creative with a computer – which is great for me because I have always been terrible at stuff like painting and drawing by hand.
What is one message you would give to your fans?
Thank you for the support, especially the stuff I don’t even see. I know I have people listening to my music, sharing it, adding it to playlists etc., without me even asking and I am truly thankful. Hopefully, the new record will be something worthwhile and I can wait to share it with everyone.