I have over 30 originals, a lot of them stemmed from poems that I wrote and just sort of chopped them up…picked my favorite part, called it a chorus…(on song writing).
My name is Chaunce Schell, and I was born in Rapid City, South Dakota. And I actually kind of have always been into music like I used to be able to play whole songs by ear on my little dinosaur piano by the time I like got out of diapers, you know. I never had any piano lessons or guitar lessons or anything though. My parents were always like, oh, you don’t have anything to practice on, so we’re not going to pay the money for that. But I did end up getting a guitar after I graduated high school. And I picked up on it pretty quickly. I started playing for a punk band in the La Crosse area when I moved here about 10 years ago and that was a really good time. Played lead guitar for them, wrote a lot, but did not even consider singing until probably a few years ago.
Brent Hanifl 01:51
So I mean, just what I’ve seen of yours on Instagram and YouTube, you’re pretty much far from the punk scene, but you know you’re using acoustic guitar, singer songwriter search stuff, who are some of your influences?
Chaunce Schell 02:03
I’ve have always been a big fan of Brandi Carlile? Yeah. I grew up listening to Sick Of Sarah, too, which is a local or more Minneapolis based lesbian band. They’re really cool people. And Kay Flay lately, a lot of Kay Flay and Earl St. Claire.
Brent Hanifl 02:20
Just listening to your music, there’s a handful out there right now, but we talked before about kind of the writing process, what do you have going on with that, you know, you have a whole arsenal of songs?
Chaunce Schell 02:29
Yeah, I have over 30 originals. A lot of them stemmed from poems that I wrote, and then just kind of chopped up, picked my favorite part, called it a chorus, and then structured it in the way that I noticed that most songs are structured. And bam, it’s a song, you know, add the four chords I knew at the time, we’re good. Now I actually I have a whole bunch of different ways that I can do it, it really depends on how I’m feeling. If I feel like I’ve got to write, then I’ll get the words down first. Otherwise, I just kind of go with a general idea. Put on a beat, you know, and just start playing chords to that beat. And like just saying things that come to mind until something clicks, and then I run with that. That’s going to help me write a little more upbeat stuff, more fun stuff, hopefully coming up.
Brent Hanifl 03:21
Is your recording process similar, is that some of that’s kind of quick and dirty? Or are you looking to kind of extend it out and slow down the process or?
Chaunce Schell 03:30
I’ve been teaching myself that for a couple of years now and it’s a slower process, definitely. I like to take my time or make sure I’m EQing each track and not to the point where it doesn’t sound like me though, either, you know, I get really picky about it. But I at least get to put things like drums and bass and stuff into it when I can’t quite do that live by myself. So it’s really fun to be able to bring what I hear in my head to everybody else.
Brent Hanifl 04:00
So is there any particular song that you’re working on right now that’s something you’re particularly proud of?
Chaunce Schell 04:06
I’ve got a newer one called Six Oh Eight. And it’s just I’ve been working downtown in the bars in La Crosse and it’s pretty much just about the downtown La Crosse culture and it’s a ride. So what I’m working on, my friend is getting a camera. She went to school for film, and she wants to do a video for it.
Brent Hanifl 04:49
So you know in terms of creativity, and I guess having the time maybe, how was COVID for you this past year?
Chaunce Schell 04:56
Yeah, no, it was a terrible pandemic and stuff, but it was probably one of the best things for me personally, and my personal growth and my mental health. I was working six days a week in a kitchen before that. And COVID kind of forced me to focus more on music and make it a living doing it. And now that’s where I get most of my money from.
Brent Hanifl 05:18
Yeah, it seems like you know, a lot of area artists, and I’m sure it’s probably maybe for other ones nationally, but seems like they’ve taken this time to start projects or just kind of rethink what they’ve been doing in the past. It’s kind of interesting.
Chaunce Schell 05:31
Oh, yeah, a lot of transformations and evolutions have been going on. I’ve been noticing a lot of my friends are doing the same. And so am I. We all probably spent some of our stimulus on new equipment. And so we’re going to be implementing that and it’s going to be exciting. There’s going to be a lot of awesome music coming out.
Brent Hanifl 05:48
Yeah, it’s it’s really exciting to see how authentically I guess real and just unique the music scene is in La Crosse over this past year, just exploring it, you know. It’s a lot less cover bands than you would think, you know, it’s been pretty amazing. You know, you kind of touched on it a little bit in terms of new equipment, but what’s next for you, you know, what’s coming down in the next six months to a year?
Chaunce Schell 06:11
Well, I’ve been getting picked up for more shows a lot lately. So I hope more of that. I’ve been asked if I would like to form a band a few times. I’ve been going back and forth on that, I haven’t quite decided. I guess I’m just going to try to work on getting my stuff up online. That’s my main focus for this year.
Brent Hanifl 06:35
So if people want to find out more, what’s the best avenue to check out your stuff and maybe follow along?
Chaunce Schell 06:40
Well, I have a website cshellmusic.com, so c-s-c-h-e-l-l music.com. And then I also have a Spotify, cshell. And that is where it will all end up being in the end.
Amy Gabay 07:01
La Crosse Local Podcast is a production of River Travel Media. Do you have an interview idea you’d like to share with us? Message us on Facebook at La Crosse Local. Find out more about us at lacrosselocal.com and you can subscribe to the La Crosse Local Podcast on your favorite podcast app. If you like us, rate us five stars. We appreciate it.
About La Crosse Local
La Crosse Local is an arts, food, and entertainment podcast and publication for La Crosse County and its surrounding communities.
Find us in your favorite podcast app.