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We are somewhere in America, trying to define ourselves.

Chase Matkin / Chill Russell

Chill Russell
Austin, TX. 

Chill Russell puts a stomp in your step with their fast paced rock that’s inspired by the classics. Their latest single “Know What I Need” was just released earlier this month along with the b-side “Answers.”  

Somewhere in America

We were on the road, starting a great adventure across the United States. Our second night we were riding on the high of our first two shows in New Orleans and Birmingham, driving to our next destination of Atlanta. That’s when we heard the news: there was an active shooter in Las Vegas at a music festival. It was surreal. Three guys in a truck, living their dream, while not far away, someone else was enjoying a concert when tragedy struck. Confusion, disbelief; these were the thoughts in our collective consciousness. The next day, as we prepared for our show in Atlanta we heard that Tom Petty had just had a massive heart attack and his passing would come soon after. What was happening? This really must have been a dream. What were we doing, so far from home?

Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee. There seemed to still be a faint memory of racism and bigotry in the air. Although, it isn’t so much a memory, is it? How do we find ourselves so far from the civil rights movement, and yet it seems like we have barely taken a step forward. The Summer of Love was 50 years ago. It was a time of so much potential and idealism. Where do we stand today? Has anything changed?

Washington D.C. We laugh at our president, because frankly, it’s the best comedy available. We need distraction.

New York City. As we walk down the streets of Manhattan, I’m enveloped by the energy. The city has a pulse. This is a city that not long ago was marred by tragedy; yet they keep going. I feel safe. I feel like I’m a part of something bigger than myself. A line from a Beastie Boys song echoes in my mind: “We come together on the subway cars, diversity unified, whoever you are.”

Philly, Chicago, Cleveland, Kansas City. The road keeps going. Each city is new, yet familiar. People we’ve never met welcome us as one of their own. What is the common bond? Music. Passion. Love. We are somewhere in America, trying to define ourselves. Isn’t everyone?

We are headed home. We’ve made new friends. Seen new places. We feel like we have achieved something, but it’s difficult to explain tangibly. We’re a better band. We’re better friends. We lost our minds and somehow managed to find them again.

A musician’s life is like a long road from city to city. Each new place brings something unexpected. Each stop a small achievement. It’s a search for success, for acceptance, for justification. You must truly love what you do, or you will not last long. We didn’t choose this life, it chose us.

FAVORITE RECORD STORE

Waterloo, Antone’s, Breakaway, and End of an Ear

FAVORITE CONCERT VENUE

Stubb’s Austin, Mohawk, Cheer Up Charlie’s, and Empire Control Room & Garage

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