Today’s Feature – July 16-17: Todd Carey

July 18, 2008 at 12:03 am (Today's Feature)

Chicago based singer/songwriter Todd Carey isn’t the type of guy to half-ass anything. He’s worked hard to get where he’s at. The guy did after all build up quite the following on the competitive southern California music scene with his band Telepathy before heading back to his hometown of Chi-town. And in no way was his return a step-back – he was just looking to fully grow as an artist the best way he knew how. He states he came back home because “I missed playing shows for audiences who really want to grow with their artists.”

See what I mean? The guy put in the effort to build up a supremely loyal base of fans – fans who can say they’ve been there since the start, watching this artist mature and develop into the talented performer he is today. That maturity has lead to some impressive lyrics behind his tunes, most of which come from an actual story in the life of Todd Carey. His latest release, “Watching Waiting” showcases these stories – “largely shaped by Carey’s recent experiences, the album’s themes of restlessness, displacement, homecoming and triumph are universally resonant.” The music stands out just as clearly on the record. Carey says “I spent a lot of time trying to give the tracks a unique flavor by adding the atmospheric and lead guitar tones that I identify with on a personal level.”

His single, “Ain’t Got Love” has been making its way through some of bigger U.S. markets and will likely be humming in your ear soon if it hasn’t already. Be the aggressor and get out to a show to hear it live. Todd prides himself on always delivering on stage – he knows fans only truly connect with artists who can bring the music to life right in front of their eyes. Check the schedule – he’s a touring machine. Get into the XXQ’s to learn more.

XXQs: Todd Carey

PensEyeView.com (PEV): Born and raised in Chicago, what kind of music where you listening to growing up?

Todd Carey: My parents played every kind of music around the house. I remember a lot of Stevie Wonder, Beatles, Miles Davis, Sinatra, and Mozart. My dad is the kind of guy who has every cut Sinatra ever recorded, and downloads the newest Rhianna track off iTunes.

PEV: Tell us about your creative process. What kind of environment do you have to be in to write music?

TC: The environment generally dictates the process itself. I’ll write differently when I’m in the Northern Woods of Wisconsin (where I did many of the songs for “Watching Waiting”) than when I’m in a studio in LA. I’m in Japan right now, and it is greatly effecting my output.

PEV: What can fans expect from a live Todd Carey performance?

TC: Energy. I will never give you a lackluster performance. Ever.

PEV: Tell us about your first performance. How have you changed since that first show to where you are now?

TC: I think the performances have become naturally more refined. It used to be all about the rush, and it still is, but now, I’m spending the time on the details that make for a lasting experience…hopefully, an experience the audience member can take home with them and remember long after the show is over.

PEV: What can fans expect from your new release, “Watching Waiting”?

TC: Cohesiveness, an overall emotion, and a statement of purpose. The record holds firm and true to me from beginning to end.

PEV: How is this album different from your past projects?

TC: I think past projects we’re more eclectic- not necessarily a bad thing- just different.

PEV: How would you describe your sound?

TC: How would you describe it? You guys are the journalists right? Haha.

PEV: What’s one thing we’d be surprised to hear about you?

TC: I’ve been to 30+ Phish shows!

PEV: Was there a certain point in your life when you knew that music was going to be a career for you?

TC: I don’t think there was a particular light bulb type moment. Music for me has always been a slow, rewarding craft that has unfolded slowly.

PEV: What one word best describes Todd Carey?

TC: Hahaha! Ummm… spaz?

PEV: How is life on the road for you? Best and worst parts?

TC: Best part: When the shows are good, it’s like showing up to a party in a different city every night!

Worst: The food. If your not careful, your eating cheese whiz straight from the can.

PEV: In all your travels, which has been your favorite city to play (US or International)?

TC: My home town CHI TOWN!

PEV: How have all your friends and family reacted to your success?

TC: You can never change in your family’s eyes. I’m still and will always be, for better or worse, the same person to them. Friends? they just wonder how I have so many fake friends on MySpace.

PEV: What can you be found doing in your spare time, aside from playing/writing music?

TC: I’m in Japan right now traveling! Its these types of things that open my eyes and seep back into my music.

PEV: Which artist would be your dream collaboration?

TC: These are good questions. Definitely a female artist, because I think something happens to an audience when they hear a male and female voice in harmony. I’d like to write and play guitar with Brandi Carlile.

PEV: Is there an up and coming band or artist you think we should all be looking out for?

TC: There are so many…Check out Brendan James out of Brooklyn, NY. Jonathan Clay out of Austin, TX. The Paper Raincoat out of Brooklyn, NY.

PEV: What is your take on today’s mainstream music scene?

TC: I’ll address the overall music scene. It’s better than it ever has been. There is music for every niche’ imaginable. With the internet spreading recorded music and helping spread buzz about live performances, the scene is absolutely limitless.

PEV: Ten years down the road, where will you be?

TC: Doing what I’m doing now. Writing songs every day, playing shows every night, and recording/producing albums.

PEV: So, what is next for Todd Carey?

TC: A new album!

For more information on Todd Carey, check out www.ToddCareyMusic.

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