Exclusive Interview with Chris Wallace for the Crazy Good Summer 2013 Concert Series at River Stage

Chris Wallace, formerly of the rock band White Tie Affair, is achieving continued success as a solo artist. His debut album, “Push Rewind,”was voted “Best Breakthrough Album of the Year” by iTunes and the video for his single “Push Rewind” has hit over 1 million views on YouTube. On July 17, he’ll be performing alongside Demi Lovato for the Philly edition of Crazy Good Summer 2013 by Pop Tarts. We chatted about the upcoming show, Cheesesteaks, Boys II Men, motorcycles, and lots more in this Rock On Philly Interview Exclusive.

J: So Chris, will this be your first time performing in Philly?
C: Nope! Won’t be my first time in Philly. I’ve been there maybe 15 times. I used to be in another band, White Tie Affair. We toured the country and the world a bunch. Last time I was in Philly was maybe 3 months ago. I had a Cheesesteak. (laughs) I forget which place. Somewhere near Q102.

J: Awesome! Now, Cheesesteaks aside, what else do you love about Philly? Have any favorite venues?
C:  You know, a lot of times when I’m in a city on tour, there’s not a lot of time to do anything. On this particular trip I get into Philly the day of the show and then go straight to Harrisburg for another performance. As far as venues go, I love the Trocadero Theatre. The day I played there, I had time to walk around, see Elfreths Alley. The city and culture are really cool.

J: Now having such a crazy touring schedule, what could you never leave home without?
I always write music so when I’m playing shows and experiencing new cities, I’m always inspired to write so I bring stuff to make music with. I have a little midi keyboard with my computer that I bring along.

J: Who are your big inspirations as far as songwriting goes?
C: Well, about two years ago I discovered the Beatles. Not sure if you’ve heard of them? (laughs)

J: Ha! I think I’ve heard of them. They’re from England, right? (laughs)
C: (laughs) Yeah, I love all music. I grew up on 90s pop music. Honestly, a lot of the inspiration probably came from there.

J: I definitely hear that influence on “Push Rewind.” It put me in a very good mood today despite the heat wave here in Philly.
C: Yeah, that’s kind of my whole vibe. My songs are like me. I’m very upbeat and brush things off as they come to me. Whether it’s bad or good.

J: Well speaking of brushing things off and being quick to the punches, it’s time for my favorite part of the interview, a quick little Q&A of 8 random questions called “Eighth Notes.” You ready?
C: Ready!
J: Favorite Movie?
C: Shawshank Redemption and Dumb & Dumber
J: Midnight Snack?
C: Popcorn!
J: Song of the Moment?
C: Can I say my own? “Keep Me Crazy.” Been rehearsing it all day. (laughs)
J: TV Show?
C: Dexter!
J: Vacation Destination? When you actually have time to be a tourist…
C: Alaska!
J: Next instrument you want to learn?
C: Violin!
J: Now, you know this was coming. Favorite Pop Tart?
C: Cherry! I’m a traditional cherry guy.
J: I bet you get them for free too being on this tour, too. You probably have a suitcase filled with Cherry Pop Tarts.
C: Jennifer, I have no idea what you’re talking about. (laughs)
J: Last Question of the Eighth Notes. What’s a weird, random fact people may not know about you?
C: Ha! I actually own two motorcycles.

J: Phew! That was fun. Now it’s time to get pseudo serious again. So looking at the grand arc of your career, when did you know you wanted to make music your life? Was there a defining moment?
C: You know, recently I’ve traced it back to a moment when my parents brought me to a concert when I was really young- Boys II Men. I remember pointing to the stage and saying, “Mom, I want to go up there!” And she’s like, “Well, you can’t go up there,” and I think that challenged me for a moment. And I just fell deeper and deeper. Begged my parents for a guitar when I was 14. I started out playing guitar in a band. And then I realized I could sing and play guitar at the same time. So I just never looked back.

J: Do you have any advice for aspiring musicians?
C: I would say- I started playing music a lot of years ago. I think time weeds out the people who aren’t as passionate about it and want to keep going. So if you really want that, keep going. That’s the secret. You have to make your luck.

For more on Chris Wallace and his music, visit his official site here. You can also download his album “Push Rewind” on iTunes and Amazon. For all the latest on Kellogg’s Pop Tarts and the Crazy Good Summer 2013 Concert Series, stay tuned to their official Facebook Page.

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