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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Christian Lopez

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Congrats on your “Sick Of Me” music video, how did the concept come about?
I put my head together with director, Nicholas Jandora, an old friend from Martinsburg,
WV. I love his eye and together we honed in on the “don’t want to be alone” feeling,
which led us to that desert location in El Mirage, CA. The plane crash site was used to
shed light on the ‘trapped in your tragedy’ line in the song, but all together the band’s
performance throughout represents how the music is what holds me together no matter
what the circumstances.

Where were you when you were inspired to create the song?
I was home alone in Martinsburg, WV sitting by the pool with my guitar. I had the whole
weekend to myself which was very unusual. It was dusk and I had a beer. I was in no
mood to feel sentimental, and somehow I stumbled upon those 3 chords which took me
for a ride.

Taking it back, was there a specific moment that made you realize that you wanted to
make music your full-time career?
It was seeing a family western band in South Dakota when I was 8 that inspired my
parents to get me my first guitar. When I decided I wanted to be a full time musician, I
think I was 12 or 13. I was a kid obsessed with everything guitar, raised on classic rock
at that point. I didn’t actually have any desire to sing or write. I just wanted to be the lead
guitarist in whatever outfit would take me. But of course, as I got older and established a
connection with music beyond the riffs, it solidified me on the path to becoming a singer
songwriter.

Listening to your music, you seem to have different influences from a few genres, what
did you grow up listening to and how has your taste in music evolved over the years?
I was raised on classic rock. As I got into my teen years I started listening to classic
country & folk. Acts specifically like ‘The Band’ were heavy hitters on the inspiration
scale for me. They represented a sound that don’t need a box to fit into. I see myself
following a similar path. Also, The Avett Brothers have been a massive inspiration and
what makes them so special to me is how they can weave through so many different
sounds & styles while the heart in the lyrics/attitude remain the common thread
throughout it all.

You first signed a record deal at eighteen and are now independent, what advice would
you have for other independent artists out there?
Never sacrifice integrity.

While in quarantine you’ve been performing a number of live streams for fans during this
tough time. What goes into creating a setlist for a live stream compared to a show of
yours?
I wing it every time! My streams are super conversational, so it’s a totally different
experience than a live show. I roll with the punches and I enjoy it. That would never fly at
a live show, set lists are a must!

Do you find it harder or easier to be creative at this time?
Since quarantine began, I’ve still been recording, shooting videos, and working on
songs. I won’t lie however when I say it hasn’t been all that easy. Not having the
distractions (dinner out, a yard sale, a drink with a friend, a game, or an outing of any
kind with anyone else really) takes away a lot of the counterbalance to sitting down and
writing out those fresh feelings needed to ‘escape’. Right now, nature and staying
outside is what I’m using to keep the creativity fueled.

What have you been doing to pass the time? 
When not working on new art projects, I’m pretty much joyriding in my 1966 Dodge
Polara up and down the So Cal coast. We’re also catching up on all the great movies
we’ve never seen. Last was “Shawshank Redemption”. Oh, and eating a lot. I’m the
cook.

Have you been discovering or rediscovering any music recently?
I’ve been hooked on that new Jason Isbell recently. “Reunions”. Can’t turn it off.

Are you working on any new music?
Always

Jacklyn is the Editor In Chief of Stage Right Secrets. Jacklyn's photography and articles can also be found on The Recording Academy's GRAMMY.com GRAMMYPro, GRAMMYU, PopCrush, Taste of Country, among other outlets. Besides press Jacklyn is a "Jack of All Trades" working various jobs at local concerts and touring.