we're talking about stuff we like
Burris, who recently performed at Artmosphere, are the product of group of music majors who self-describe their sound as a "gumbo of music." We recently had a chat with lead vocalist, Chris Hochkeppel, on what plans the band has coming up in the future.
WRITTEN BY KAITLAN DARBY
Since the summer of 2014, Burris has been spreading their music at festivals like Festival International and the French Quarter Fest and shared the stage with the likes of Snarky Puppy and Grace Potter, just to name a couple.
To be 100% honest, when I saw them at Artmosphere, it was the first time I saw them or even heard of them, but once they started to perform, I knew I would be dedicated fan from then on out. Their stage presence is great and lead singer, Chris Hochkeppel gives off this dope vibe that sets the mood for the whole room. Their show was like a mix between speakeasy jazz and funk music. Burris’ current members consist of:
Chris Hochkeppel - Guitar/Vocals
Stephen Bohnstengel and Andrew Moss - Bass
Ben Herrington - Keys/Vocals
Anton Zholondz - Violin
Kevin McMann - Saxophone
Matt Murray - Aux. Percussion
Tyler Hanson – Drums
Do you all song write individually or is it collaborative?
H: I’m the songwriter, the basic lyrics are mine. I write the skeleton of the song and then for rehearsals, we manipulate it and add things. I’m open to changes.
Is there a process that you have to go through to write music?
H: Yeah I always have to have room temperature water and dried fish sticks -laughs-, no sometimes I wake up or I’ll be driving and get an idea and record it on my phone. Some of the best songs come from me just shooting shit around the house, songs over time seem forced. When things get frustrating I can just have a drink. If I like where a song is going but I get stuck then the others add on to it.
Did you always want to be a musician or did you have other plans?
H: I wanted to be a football player. My dad is the director of bands at UL so since I’ve been a functional adult, I’ve wanted to do music.
Who is your biggest influence vocally and stylistically?
H: Sound wise – Chicago, Blood, Sweat and Tears. Vocally – Jamie Cullum and Billy Holiday. But for songwriting I’d say Dave Matthews, he writes these great rifts and rhythms.
Are you happy being on a small scale or would you like to sign to a major label one day? Is that your goal?
H: Yes, I want to sign to a major label. I want to be famous, I always wanted to be, and I’m not ashamed to say it. It’s something I battle with because you look at people like Chance the Rapper who made it without having help from a label and without having a manager, but it’s hard to find people who believe in you. It’s scary to think about signing with a big label because you have to do what they want you to do to make money.
Where does your band name come from?
H: It’s my middle name. Everyone else in the family has normal middle names like Joseph and mine is Burris.
If you could collaborate with any person group who would it be?
H: Snarky Puppy. Their front man has his own label. They love to work with people.
What’s your favorite song to perform?
H: New stuff is always exciting. Come to Me is one that I like. We have this new song called Benz in the driveway. It makes me feel rich and famous.
Are you working on anything new right now?
H: You ever play Kingdom Hearts? That’s so random but between every release there’s Gameboy games and stuff that get released. I want to do a low key album. A “do whatever I want album”. Just a little album between big albums. I want to do some stuff with some of the kids I teach private lessons with and donate the proceeds. It’ll probably be called Burris and Friends and will be released digitally.
Make sure to check Burris' music and catch them live if you have the opportunity.
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