Today we get to sit with the amazing Chase of Chase & Ovation (Prince Tribute Band).
Calling Minnesota home; this father, husband, and hard working frontman’s love for music began early in his life.
When just a boy Mattie Shaw(Princes Mother) Cared for Chase while his parents were away. Growing up his love for martial arts and gymnastics prepared Chase for a life in the lime light.
Later, an opportunity as a stand in on the set of Princes sequel to Purple Rain : Graffiti Bridge ; Chases drive and passion for music and performance was accelerated.
He has successfully taken his musical journey to new heights each year. Chase & Ovation is the only tribute band of princes music to have the blessing of the man him self.
Touring the country with his impressive performance, Chase has carved a name for himself in this industry as the only band to pay tribute and reverence to Princes music and performance.
Barley & Vine
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Jud Hailey: Welcome to another episode of Brews and Eats with Badass Peeps. My name is Jud Hailey. I’m a singer, songwriter, and your host. Today we’re checking out the Barley and Vine in Lakeville. I got a good friend, Chase, waiting for us inside. Join us.
Today we [00:01:00] get to sit with the amazing Chase, of Chase and Ovation. Calling Minnesota home this father, husband, and hard working front man’s love for music began early in his life. When just a boy Mattie Shaw, Prince’s mother, cared for Chase while his parents were away. Growing up his love for martial arts and gymnastics prepared Chase for a life in limelight. Later an opportunity as a stand in on the set of Prince’s sequel to Purple Rain, Graffiti Bridge, Chase’s drive [00:01:30] and passion for music and performance was accelerated.
He has successfully taken his music journey to new heights each year. Chase and Ovation is the only tribute band of Prince’s music to have the blessing of the man himself.
Welcome to Brews and Eats with Badass Peeps.
Chase: Hi. How are you?
Jud Hailey: I appreciate you being here.
Chase: I appreciate you having me here brother. Thank you very much, this is cool.
Jud Hailey: I want you to fill in the gaps. Tell us, how did you get from point A as the little boy that fell in love with music, [00:02:00] to an amazing front man covering Prince’s music?
Chase: I think much like any musicians journey it was a long one. I’ve been in the business for 30 years, and throughout that 30 years regardless of if I had played originals, or if I played cover tunes, I often say I could do a 90 minutes set of Ozzy Osbourne covers. Ultimately I would get off the stage and somebody would say, “Hey has anybody ever told you that you look like [00:02:30] Prince?,” or “That you sound like Prince?”
At one point, 11 years ago at about four o’clock in the morning the epiphany hit me. Boy, wouldn’t that be weird if I attempted to perform the music of Prince? 11 years later here I am still doing the show, and it has been an unbelievably wild ride ever since.
Jud Hailey: So was the Ovation, this project doing other covers before 11 years ago? Were you guys doing different music?
Jud Hailey: Before the epiphany [00:03:00] hits you?
Chase: No. Prior to Ovation I was in a group called Cryptic. Cryptic was fronted by Brown Mark, who’s the bass player from Prince and the Revolution. A phenomenal musician. So prior to that I was doing originals. I was signed to a two year, two record deal by Orphan Records. Toured the country just performing original music, and did fairly well, but then again with the nonstop onslaught of, “Hey has anybody ever told you that you look [00:03:30] like Prince?” Quite frankly he has been one of my favorite musicians of all time, at any rate. It just started to make sense. Let’s at least try to do a set, if we’re going to be allowed to do so. Again, that was 11 years ago.
Speaker 3: So you got your Bahouse Wagonparty a West Coast lager. You got your Full Blonde, Classic Blonde [inaudible 00:03:49]. Your 10 Whiskers is a wheat, and then you got your little something another wheat ale.
Jud Hailey: You’ve clearly had some great success in this last adventure. Tell us about the [00:04:00] moment that you had in your career, the failure. This was a failure to pay attention in universe, this was a failure to pay attention to all the signs, or I don’t know if I want to do this anymore. Tell us about that moment. Bring us there.
Chase: I’m not just saying this, that might arguably be one of the best questions I’ve ever been asked. I don’t know that I would quantify any particular point in my musical career, or anyone’s career be it in music or otherwise, as a failure. My thought as you were forming [00:04:30] that questions was, that as long as, from my perspective personally, as long as I continue to work towards what it was that my goal is or was, then it’s impossible to fail.
As long as you continue taking steps forwards to what it is that you’re reaching for, it can never be a failure. Had I have given up at any point during my particular music career, or career in business, or whatever it may have been, to give up that’s when a failure [00:05:00] would’ve occurred. In other words, to wake up one day and say what if. That to me would be heartbreak, and I knew at age 19, when I did my first paying gig I thought I had arrived.
Jud Hailey: Sure.
Chase: I had thought that I had arrived, and thought well from here on forward it’s going to be smooth sailing. In this business of course, that’s not always possible.
Jud Hailey: Right.
Chase: It’s a grind. So that isn’t to say that we haven’t had some difficult spots, or that I haven’t had some-
Jud Hailey: Tell me about that moment.
Chase: Some bumpy roads.
Jud Hailey: Tell me about that moment where you went, [00:05:30] all right somethings got to change, and this is what I learned from that situation.
Chase: I think when I took a hard look at what the business side of the business was, I looked at it with big doe eyes and said, “As long as you work at your craft you’re going to succeed.” Not necessarily true. I know guitar players that should be household names, you’ll never hear of them.
Jud Hailey: Right.
Chase: God bless them. For whatever reason you’re just never going to hear their names, or singers, or dancers, or poets, or songwriters. [00:06:00] So for me anyways, again just my perspective, I decided that until or unless I learned the business of this business I’m not going to get to where I need to be. So I had to learn the club business, I had to learn the theater business, I had to learn the casino business. Not on the floor of a gaming casino, but the backside of talent buying.
At that point I was able to put all the pieces together and said, it makes sense. It’s not always, unfortunately it’s not always about how talented you are. It’s about how much business you’re going to bring that particular venue. [00:06:30] True enough, if you’re bringing a product to the venue that people want to see, the bodies are going to come, people are going to come.
So I think I was able to avoid a lot of those “failures,” or difficulties, or hardships by looking at them as a learning experience. How can I learn from this? I just got my butt kicked, rather than have that happen again or six or seven other times, which it does.
Jud Hailey: That’s such a common theme in all of these episodes. [inaudible 00:06:57]. As we get to the next [00:07:00] episode, I hope you’re seeing it too, that when we get to this question most of us are answering it the same way. Which is it’s not failure, it’s something I’ve learned from, and its actually brought me to a new place.
Chase: I did, at a very recent show, fall through the stage. That can be considered a failure. Turn it into a positive, and just looked at some 700 people staring me in the face.
Jud Hailey: What happened?
Chase: Said, hey, [00:07:30] that’s rock and roll, this is live. The stage wasn’t as constructed as it should be perhaps. There’s a bit in the show that we do where I’m seated on a chair, and one of our dancers, Miss Jenna Rae Anderson we call her Sunshine, she put her weight down on me while I was sitting on this chair and I went through the stage.
Jud Hailey: The pressure on the chair point-
Chase: The legs of the chair went through the stage. Yeah. I had a mark on the small of my back for about a week and [00:08:00] a half. It was a whole thing.
Jud Hailey: How high was the stage?
Chase: Things like that happen. Well I didn’t fall all the way through. I didn’t disappear. Yeah. You could still see my entire body, but my butt hit the deck. So that could be considered a failure. I thought it was … At the time it wasn’t funny. Funny now, not funny then.
Jud Hailey: Well yeah. You definitely add it to your checklist of things to check before you do it again.
Chase: Yeah. I’m kind of glad that I can say that it happened, but I probably don’t want to relive that experience again.
Jud Hailey: So we talked about it briefly. [00:08:30] 11 years ago your ah-ha moment to make Chase and Ovation the Prince tribute, but I want to hear more about that ah-ha moment. I want to hear that exact moment. You know, you read that email, or you just stood up and you said this is where I’m going. How did you progress?
Chase: It was somewhere probably around 3:30 or four o’clock in the morning. I literally sprung up from a sound sleep, stood [00:09:00] at the side of the bed and said “I’ve got it. I’m going to put together a selection of songs that Prince did, and I’m going to perform them at First Avenue.” Which of course, is the building that Prince made famous, and where Purple Rain was filmed. A great portion of it any way.
Not knowing that that idea is absurd, and insane, and probably wasn’t going to work. That was my true thought, is that I was going to pull that off. Then I set out to [00:09:30] find the musicians to help me do that. At that point I had already had a relationship with a couple of members of the Revolution, Prince and the Revolution. Reached out to them. One of them, in fact Bobby Z was incredibly instrumental in helping me get this particular band off the ground.
Spoke with Matt [Think 00:09:49] about it, but ultimately ended up finding other musicians on my own, and started Chase and Ovation. Went to some local radio. I went to a local radio station here in town, in Minneapolis, called KMOJ. [00:10:00] At that time, the morning on air talent for a long time was a gentleman named Sy Huff. Sy Huff, who now all these years later is my business and tour manager. Sy did the on air interview and thought I was absolutely out of my mind.
Jud Hailey: Yeah, crazy.
Chase: Putting on the show. He’s like, “Brother, you do understand that you’re not going to be able to do this show at First Avenue. There’s no way Prince is going to let you do this.”
Jud Hailey: Had you already set a date at this point?
Chase: I hadn’t even booked the venue. Well no I take that back. By the time we went to KMOJ I had booked the venue, [00:10:30] but First Ave said “You know this show is going to get canceled right?” I said, “No, I don’t know that.” We’ve got the date set, it was August fifth or sixth I believe. “No, I don’t know that.”
So the date was set. So by the time I went to do the on air interview around the morning radio circuit, they were all telling me the exact same thing. That “Prince is going to shut this down, he’s not going to let you do it.”
Jud Hailey: The industry was building the wall for you, before you could even step foot in?
Chase: Yep. I was still in rehearsals, and they were saying “You’re never going to be allowed [00:11:00] to do this.” Long story. Longer, come the night of the show we’re in sound check, and Prince’s security came in and said, “The boss is across the street having dinner, and he’s coming to the show.” Immediately you could hear a pin drop on carpeting it got so quiet in that room. Inside First Ave’s main room.
Jud Hailey: If you’re not already nervous enough.
Chase: Yeah. It was absolutely nerve wracking. At that point I wasn’t really overcome with stage fright. I had already done a number [00:11:30] of performances for years, and years, and years in the business. So I never really got stage fright. I was so nervous I didn’t know that I was going to be able to do the show.
The show begins we’re as nervous as nervous can be. I believe it was the third song of the set … People were asking what it was like after the show when Prince came backstage and … He didn’t stay for the entire show. I think it was the third or the fourth song of the set, I’d have to go back to look at the set. I think we were in the middle of She’s Always in My Hair, or Take [00:12:00] Me With You. One of those two. Prince gave us a thumbs up from the sound and lighting board. Which is in this crows nest at First Ave, above the floor. At that point I almost fell apart and lost it.
11 years later I can only keep repeating this, 11 years later here we are with seven of those years performing the music of Prince. Being once a month stops at Bunkers in Minneapolis. The other Minneapolis bar-
Jud Hailey: That’s like Prince’s club.
Chase: That was his club. Yeah, that was his club. So once [00:12:30] a month for seven years we were performing there.
Jud Hailey: Let’s bite into it.
Chase: How bout that?
Jud Hailey: So you’re at Prince’s … Here let me.
Chase: Thank you.
Jud Hailey: You’re playing Bunkers, which is like pretty much Prince’s club. You guys are nervous because the walls have been built for you in the industry saying, [00:13:00] you know what you’re not even going to go forward on this show. The night of Prince’s management comes in and says, the man himself is going to come to the show.
Chase: Yeah. Nerve wracking.
Jud Hailey: In your head you’re thinking this is why it’s going to get shut down. He’s going to come in and it doesn’t matter how well we do, he’s going to shut it down.
Chase: At that point, I was of the opinion that the show was going to continue, and I knew that the band was well enough rehearsed that we were going [00:13:30] to perform well, but I felt the impossibility of performing well enough for him. Then at that point he would say, hey great effort, nice job, the end of that.
Jud Hailey: Don’t do it again.
Chase: Yeah, don’t do that anymore. That was 11 years ago.
Jud Hailey: Let’s dive into the lightening round. What was holding you back from becoming a musician?
Chase: Thinking about it as a kid coming up, the only thing that could’ve held me back was lack of preparation, lack of rehearsal, lack of practice, lack of understanding [00:14:00] your own limitations and boundaries. Then figuring out how to get past them. But, I have to say with all humility was able to identify those things quite young, and start working on them. If I saw-
Jud Hailey: So fairly quickly?
Chase: Oh absolutely. Yeah. If I saw a boundary, or a limitation, or a slowdown, or a stop sign I’d figure out a way to get around it as quickly as possible to get to where it was I was trying to reach next.
Jud Hailey: What’s the best piece of advice that you’ve been given?
Chase: Man, I have had so many great teachers. That’s another phenomenal question. One of the best that [00:14:30] I’ve been asked ever in my 30 years in the business. Never give up is probably the best advice, and perhaps the most profound thing that I ever heard came from Prince, not so coincidentally perhaps. Was quite simply, without change nothing changes. The conversation subsequent to that was if you’re not happy with something change it.
Jud Hailey: What’s a personal habit that contributes to your success?
Chase: One of the personal habits that I [00:15:00] hold myself to daily is to always, always work on bettering your craft. In a conversation that I had some years ago with Zakk Wylde, Ozzy Osbourne’s guitar player, he laughed at me, we later laughed together. But, he laughed at me when I asked him, “If he ever got nervous in the middle of a song when he knew a particular guitar solo was coming up that might be challenging?” He laughed, and he said “That’s absurd. Why would I get nervous? I’ve rehearsed it, I know where the notes are, I know my part. [00:15:30] That’s a silly question Chase.”
Jud Hailey: Right. He doesn’t even have to look at it.
Chase: Nope. Yeah, and that stuck with me. That was I think in 2007 that conversation took place. I never forgot that either. Talk about great advice.
Jud Hailey: What are you currently listening to? What’s in your CD player?
Chase: Nothing in the CD player, but I can tell you what’s in queue on my laptop. The Carpenter’s greatest hits.
Jud Hailey: So [00:16:00] can you recommend a book or a documentary to our viewers?
Chase: Another great question. Man you’re good.
Jud Hailey: What is it and why?
Chase: 20 Feet From Stardom. A documentary about what happens behind the person that’s behind the microphone. So I’m talking about backup singers.
Jud Hailey: Yeah, I’ve seen it.
Chase: That are 20 feet from stardom.
Speaker 4: … with Mick.
Speaker 5: She sings the lyrics right on me, and with a lot [00:16:30] of personality. Which is what was needed.
Speaker 6: What I liked was that she could sing. She was able to be merry. She didn’t have to bring it down.
Speaker 4: He said, “You want to do another one?” I said, “Sure, I’ll go another one.”
Speaker 5: I mean, she just did it like a couple of times.
Chase: You’ve seen it? Yeah.
Jud Hailey: I have.
Chase: It’s phenomenal.
Jud Hailey: [00:17:00] It’s incredible.
Chase: It explains what being in this world is like, really from all aspects. Anybody can watch it. You don’t have to be in the music business or entertainment business to appreciate it. I absolutely loved it. Another one that I enjoyed music business wise, was Bon Jovi’s documentary When We Were Beautiful.
Speaker 7: You know I flew in the air last night at 10:30 at night, I went to bed, went to the gym, I’m talking to you. Go to the show, and tomorrow morning [00:17:30] I leave. Unfortunately, I don’t see the world. What I see is hotel rooms, acclimating to the climates, the gym, the restaurant, the bar, and the airport. It’s a shame, but I’m never anywhere long enough, and you can’t. You know, you got 130 guys, and 27 trucks right now. You can’t.
I’m exhausted just walking through the hallways. Where’s the boys?
Speaker 8: [00:18:00] Boys are at the other end.
Speaker 7: There’s an intrinsic need to jump on Jovi to deliver what his audience needs, or is there simply a need to create?
I wanted to be out there, because I want to see the reaction. I want to know that it touched your life, I want to know if it touched your life.
Jud Hailey: Okay. So the final question here of the lighting round is, tell us how we can find you online, and maybe your next performance.
Chase: Chase and Ovation is on Facebook of course. Very [00:18:30] easy to find there. Our next local performance here in Minnesota I believe is Saturday November 18th, at our Minneapolis home base clubhouse Bunkers in Minneapolis.
Jud Hailey: I love it. I’m going to try to make it out to that show actually.
Jud Hailey: Chase, you are a badass. I appreciate you hanging out with us.
Chase: Thank you brother.
Jud Hailey: For you guys at home, thanks for hanging out with us on another episode of Brews and Eats with Badass Peeps. Until the next episode.
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