Two time Grammy Award nominee Chris Ballew has branched out from his rock roots to release his second children's album. Caspar Babypants is the latest project from Chris, lead singer for the Presidents of the United States of America. Check out his new release "More Please" by Caspar Babypants here!
Caspar Babypants rocks a blue grass, folky vibe that is sure to entertain children and parents alike. What is your song writing process like and how does it differ when working on a kids album?
My process is really different for each song. Some songs fall out of the sky fully formed and just need me to catch them while others arrive as wee fragments that need stitching together. Others are born from two different songs being smashed together. I will take the music from one and the lyrics from another and combine em. I like working alone with songwriting cause I enjoy that collage aspect to it and the experimenting and pushing of ideas and then the ruthless editing that comes later. Its hard to do that sometimes with others cause feeling get hurt if I want to erase a part. The process and the variety are really he same from rock band to kids record BUT i am using old public domain American and European folk music as a palette starter for the kids stuff and that expands my range and makes me feel connected to something BIG.
Your second self produced and self released album, More Please came out November 17th. What has fronting a signed band like Presidents of the United States of America taught you that has helped with releasing and promoting material independently under Caspar Babypants? What is the marketing/promotion of a kids album versus a Presidents album?
Well its completely different and its that way on purpose! I have an allergic relation to PROMOTING records. I hate it. My theory is that IF the music is good then people will talk and SLOWLY bit by bit the project will expand and hopefully tip over into big success. In the land of grownup rock people don't have the patience to do that and there seems to be a lot of busy work and expense incurred speeding up that process. With the kids music thing I get to lay back and afford myself the luxury of waiting and just seeing how the music works in the world and letting it grow slow.
Your kids albums are recorded, produced and mixed entirely in your home studio with rave reviews. More and more indie musicians are choosing to record albums at home using ProTools rather than going to a studio. Can you share any tips on getting a pro sound when recording/producing at home?
Keep it SIMPLE. I have one really good mic and a pre amp and thats it! ONE....let me count them again...ONE. I do not chase down the latest greatest plug ins or versions of software. It will not make your my songs better! Some amazing recordings were made on way less technology than pro tools and I basically use it like a big fancy tape deck. Its the editing that i love! If I have a song with chorus that is too short I just cut and paste it longer...cool. My stuff is simple so the pro tools LE I have can handle it but if you are in a rock band definitely go get your stuff mixed at a real studio with a board with a channel for each track. It makes a big difference.
Why did you choose Bandzoogle?
I was going to take a nap one day and thought "I need to make a site for the caspar thing" and as I fell asleep I typed in "easy music website" and got you guys...AS I fell asleep I made the site! it was so easy...and your customer service has kept me happy ever since. I love love love Bandzoogle because I can FINALLY just change things on my site myself without waiting around for expensive designers to do it for me AND they respond like lightning to my tech issues AND they don't take a piece of my sales AND I feel like I am in control of my own thing which makes my D.I.Y. spirit extremely happy!!
Posted by Stacey on November 23, 2009 | 3 comments
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