Chris Redburn: Spontaneity & Discipline

Looking for the Perfect Sound

Posted In: Arts & Entertainment, Local Music, Artist Feature,   From Issue 805   By: Robert 'Bo' White

19th February, 2015     0

Chris Redburn is a local wunderkind who had a gift for beats and music at an early age. He was able to maintain a no position, no judgment and no pre-thought agenda, so what he said or did came natural. At times his paralinguistic prosody had odd intonation, volume, rhythm and rate.

As a rapper he would use pitch and stress that alters the flow. He was on top of his game with a genuine gift for words and he touched upon something very profound. He’s experienced incredible heights of love with equal parts of pain. He found that part of himself that was always hidden, that sense of being frail and small.

The abyss was beckoning, but he fought back and became a champion for those who aren’t loved or valued. He wrote the theme song for Girls Gone Wild and hit the big time. He felt the pleasure of tasting the apple. His passion was an emotional apparatus that drove everything. He felt the deliciousness of that big energy and he filled his space with anything that seemed worthwhile.  He would reframe bad things as a possibility. His default position is to push it back up.

Chris creates an Auntie Mame world that has nothing boring or lackluster when he is onstage. He has left hip-hop for rock & roll and he has a Yang energy that is active and creative. He is ready to explode!


The Interview

When did you discover your love for music?

I discovered my love for music when I was young, maybe around 7-8 years old. I fell in love with the beats. It was something I could focus on at an early age.  I was an audio type learner.  Music never left my ears from that point. It got real serious in high school and became a DJ. I became a DJ/promoter and my ambition from sports took over in me, prevailing into the music scene.

Did your family influence your gift for music and lyrics?

My family actually supported me as a DJ because it brought in great money so I could focus on college. But when I became a solo rapper it became an issue, not focusing on “life”. Over all they believe in me as a person, so they respect my decisions musically.  One thing I remember is my older brother predicting me to be a rapper when I was like 13. I was in a gang and lived the lifestyle so I can see why he spoke on that. I wasn’t a writer at that time, so for him seeing it actually happen – it was shocking he could predict such a conclusion.

Did you have a mentor?

I had many mentors in life and music. My biggest mentors in life were all my teachers and sports coaches. I grasped the concept of wisdom being a primary drive for success. In music, the biggest impact on me was MADONNA. I always respected her drive, her creativeness, her attitude, and her ability to stay in her own lane and be herself. I think that is the most important quality in an artist. Originality is what people see and believe in within an artist/band. I was always a realist so anybody who I felt was being true to themselves became somewhat mentors in my life.

Did you have any formal training in voice or instrumentation?

I have never been trained in any way in music, everything has been hands on. My ambition always got the best of me. I started writing as an outlet. Music became my balance and form of therapy. It literally saved my life and made me a stronger human being.

What music did you listen to when you were a teenager?

When I was a teenager it was mainly hip/hop but I became a rock fan in my later teens. I respected local artists: Dayton Family, ICP, Dangerous D, ESHAM, SIMKEN HEIGHTS, and TOP AUTHORITY. Nationally I liked Beastie Boys, Scarface, Spice 1, Bone Thugs N Harmony, 2Pac, Notorious BIG. I also loved rock in my later teenage days because I was a hockey player. Couldn’t warm up to rap music. Rock became a new level of motivation. PANTERA, Rage Against The Machine, Metallica, Megadeath, Alice n Chains. Music surfaced depending on my mood, it was a mood setter. I always took a great love for R&B music in my dating days. Keith Sweat, Jodeci, Jon B, Boyz II Men, Shai, LSG, Silk, R Kelly. They don’t make R&B music like they used to, but I’m still a fan of the current scene.

Did any artist inspire you in particular?

 I have been inspired by many artists because I was a DJ, so coming up as a teenager I became inspired by any artist who kept the music real, no gimmicks. As I got older I could only listen to artists I could relate to. Two of the biggest artists I could relate to were EMINEM and STAIND. I experienced a lot of pain in the hay days in the music industry, so I could really relate to these artists material/music. It was therapy to hear them go through the same things. My situation with my ex-wife made Marshall Mathers situation seem like a fairy tale. But his word helped my get through my situation. Sometimes pain can be healed through knowing others have made it though to a better tomorrow. That is my purpose in music, to let people know you can make it through all pain. My inspiration is having writing and music save me from my own struggles in life.

Tell me about your experiences with other genres – rock, rap, soul, hip-hop, and jazz

Rap has always touched me as a person because I grew up in urban areas of Saginaw. I was in gangs, always was around it. I was surrounded by hip-hop culture and street mentality. I found a love for Rock music in my ice hockey days starting at age 13. Music could only run “through” me, if I didn’t feel it, I couldn’t enjoy it. R & B was my favorite listening as I got into dating. I was a sucker for love so it became a part of me. Again if I wasn’t going through something, I couldn’t enjoy music, it ultimately was always a theory.

You brought Girls Gone Wild to Saginaw a few years back. Tell me about that experience.

The experience was great! The shows sold out before 11pm, left people wanting more, and it became a great success for my personally being the man behind the monopoly.  I didn’t care about all the girls and lifestyle because I was so focused on the overall goal of money and music. But I’m here to tell you, working for the company is just as good as being a rock star.

How did you get involved?  How long did it last? Did it open doors?

Well, I had written a song called Go Wild. It became a popular dance song, as I was Dejayed in clubs in Saginaw, Flint areas. It became a hit in a Genesee nightclub. I never told anybody it was me; I just kept playing the song as if I was a radio station. I made them like it. Then I needed a way to blow it up bigger. I felt, I needed to define WILD. It was either shoot a video with the famous “Steve O” or Get Girls Gone Wild behind it.

I ended up booking the bus to come to Saginaw and they ended up falling in love with not only the song, but all my music. We were meant for one another. I was a party DJ for ten years and I had a love for making party music as a solo artist. The song became the Girls Gone Wild anthem, hitting info commercials, reality shows and nightclubs across the country. It opened up a great financial door for me to move to a national level. From royalty money to fame, it opened many doors. Since I was a booking agent and promoter, I also filled those roles within the company. I was soon buried with work in the brand.

I was the only employee not from Los Angeles, which was cool because I had to fly out the Golden State and brainstorm on my roles. I have never seen that kind of money in my life. It was a wake-up call. It most defiantly worked out for me, although the touring part of the company filed bankruptcy in 2012, I had a 4 year run, it put me on a national level. It took me around the country to different places, markets, cultures. It opened my thoughts to a wider and expanded state of mind.

You gained a certain notoriety. Can you speak to that?

Well I gained a higher status, having money, being around beautiful girls, being a performer/DJ. But again I was focused on business I didn’t really enjoy what most would. I had already gone through local fame as a DJ so girls were nothing new to me. But the money most defiantly gave me power and presence when I walked into a room as it does everybody. I like the money because it gave me the ability to do what I wanted to do without waiting on others. It gave me my own platform/bureaucracy.

Lately you have shifted your interests to rock music. Why?

Well, I have always had a love for rock music and actually wrote a few more rock felt songs in my day. When I was introduced to instruments playing along side of my beats, it fell head over heals in love and it felt like a home base. The rock scene is very different. It doesn’t carry the stigma Hip Hop does. Hip Hop carries the face of violence, problems. The context is more street driven.

So rock gave me a chance to be able to finally speak about the real issues I’ve had in my life. It opened doors for me to be able to RAP to a rock sound. It has finally defined who I am as an artist and musician. I would never leave this lane; it is where I was meant to be. I have finally found who I am as a musician and artist. I have nothing but respect for anyone who picks up an instrument. I think the lane we sit in is more ROCK HOP vs HIP HOP ROCK. We are more Hip Hop then rock, more lyrical, more street vs metal or rock. People are really feeling our music and relating to it. We have had people come to us crying at shows, people online saying our music have saved their lives. It’s amazing what testimonies we have experienced.

It seems to provide you with another voice. When did you form your rock band?

I just happen to get a call from a promoter wanting me to do a show with a band called REHAB. So I not only brought my drummer, I organized a rehearsal with guitar and keys. The band loved us and asked us to come on tour with then, we were that good. Our music came ALIVE. We did three rehearsals and our 1st show was on a 60-date tour in April 2014. We have been together for almost a year now.

Who are the members?

Chris Redburn – Lead Vocals/rapper; Stevie Lee Kinzer – Vocals; Don Ready Mason – Keys; Will Hysted – Guitar; Josh Jekel – Bass; Todd Vesey – Drummer. Stevie and I sing both sing vocals and I rap all verses. We have been together almost a yearWe have recorded a cd but are currently working on brand new material; we have live footage and performances on YouTube. We plan to release a new album in Spring/Summer of 2015. We have toured with the band Rehab, done shows with Powerman 5000, Lacs, Moonshine Bandits, Uncle Kracker, Saving Abel, all in 2014.

Tell me about the experience. The experience was fun; nice to see functioning national bands operate and conduct business. It has been a template for us to use and learn from. The objective is to be on that level so it’s always good to learn how the operation works. But in all, I’ve always believed I had a gift so fitting in with any celebrity is easy in my book.

Did you make some national or regional connections, bands, agents etc?

We have connected with many agents, promoters, but as I already know from experience, this operation takes time and patience is the keys in building a brand. Nothing is more convincing then witnessing a live performance from this band so me talking about myself can do no justice to an agent. I’ve always stayed well connected in networks from booking agents to promoters.

How did the Rehab tour go?

The tour was amazing for us, nothing but great feedback, even from the them, they always told us “yall got something here” we made good money and of coarse gained many new fans. It was most definitely a “finding our identity” phase. We learned how each other were REAL FAST.

How was it to work with Uncle Cracker? Unkle Kracker was really humble, Stevie in our band went to high-school with his guitarist so we hung with those guys a lot. Kracker is very humble, glad to be making music and proud to be a Michigander, living the dream, happy.

What’s next?

Next we plan to grow regionally, work on being better musicians, keep doing national tours, but most importantly build our online presence, shoot videos, try and get on bigger shows, “its all about the grind”, the fight for discovery is always on my mind as a leader.

Any last thoughts?

My only last thoughts are to just let people know this band is very hard working, very critical with everything we do, we are extremely serious and the music will speak for itself, please do take a listen or catch a show. I can promise soon you won’t be able to escape from the name.





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