When I first met the man that I am sitting with today, I knew right away he was something special. Working a full time job and trying to raise a family, he still managed to get up on stage every night and put on a truly talented rock show. Matching incredible vocals with a true understanding of the guitar, he brings a near tear to your eye just watching him perform. I am hanging out today with an Indianapolis based singer songwriter that has experience in his jeans and talent in his lyrics. Having played shows at nearly every venue that I can think of and every time I see him he just impresses the hell out of me. Having vocals that need to be placed right at the top of the charts I am pleased to introduce to you the hardest working man in show business, Chad Mills.
What is your first memory of playing the guitar?
That would be in 8th grade music class when we had to choose an instrument to learn. Unfortunately, that was the last time I’d touch a guitar for a number of years.
When did you first know you wanted to take a run at this wonderful thing we all call music?
When I found out the music I played could have an impact on people.
What is your favorite venue to play?
That’s a tough one. Really any place where people will listen. I played my first show at Big Car Gallery recently. People were seated in chairs amidst tall columns strewn from floor to ceiling with white Christmas lights. There were thirty or forty people there and all 100% attentive. It was perfect.
What is the largest crowd you have ever played for?
Largest? 30,000 people but none of them stuck around to listen. I guess they were more interested in finishing the Mini-Marathon.
A couple bartenders.
Have you written with anyone beside yourself?
To some degree, yes. I laid down some lyrics for others in the past. But to actually sit in a room with someone and collaborate on a song or project, no. It’s something I’d love to do someday, though.
Where do you look for motivation in new songs?
I think motivation finds me. I’m never very successful when it’s the other way around. When I’m moved by something. When I hear a story that should be told. When I have something to get off my chest. That’s when new songs are created.
PC or Mac?
I grew up in the PC generation. I bitch and moan almost every time I have to use a Mac. “Where’s Cntrl-Alt-Delete on this damn thing!?!”
If you could meet anyone alive or dead who would it be and why?
I’d like to sit down and write a song with Eddie Vedder, play a round of golf with Tiger Woods, and have a beer with Jesus. I know I’d learn a lot from each of them.
When you play full band whom is behind you?
I’ve had a rotating cast over the years but Bob Stewart has always kept the beats for me, Chris Welch is typically on the bass, and my sister Megan provides killer harmonies.
Do you have a job outside of music?
Aggh…you hit a sore spot with that one. Unfortunately, yes. I’m a civil engineer by day.
What are you drinking on stage?
Generally Bud Light or anything people buy me!
What did you have for breakfast this morning?
Hostess cupcakes and a Mt. Dew.
You been in Indiana your whole life?
Almost. My first job out of school was in Cincinnati. Loved the city, but couldn’t stand the work. Wrote a song called “Goin Back in My Mind” cause I missed Indiana. Then I returned a year later.
If you could only play one more song for the rest of your career what would it be?
Seriously? For someone who prides himself on the variety of music he plays that question sucks. Dude, I think I’d quit.
What is your most embarrassing experience being on stage?
Any time I miss a note…forget the words…or pass out.
Ever get nervous?
Yeah, whenever I do interviews. Or when I come home from a gig at 3 in the morning! Oh, and when I get pulled over for speeding. Or when I climb something really tall. Oh, did you mean on stage? I get nervous when I have to talk. Like between songs. I hate public speaking.
Let’s say you are offered a $250,000 record deal but you have to sing someone else’s lyrics and it’s a rap album. Do you do it?
Hell yeah! You should hear me spit rhymes. It’s sick yo. Seriously though, there’s not a lot I wouldn’t do for that kinda’ money. Hmmm…maybe you shouldn’t print that.
Who are some of your biggest influences?
Bob Dylan, David Gray & Eddie Vedder are the big three.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
I’m having a hard time deciding between:
a.) strung out on heroin, doing interviews for VH-1’s “Behind the Music”
b.) living off the land in Alaska
c.) married, three kids, day job, and playing music at kids birthday parties.
What do you want to be remembered for when this is all said and done?
Definitely my heart. Whether it’s the way I care about family and friends, the manner in which I treat people, the words in my songs, the delivery of my voice. It all comes from the same place. I’d love to be remembered for having a good heart.
Let’s say you are about to headline at Verizon Wireless. Who is opening for you?
The Avett Brothers.
What are three things you cannot live without?
Family & friends (let’s count that as one), music, and beer. Can you make it ‘four’ so I can add pizza? Please?