Process Puts Strength In Songs

Process Puts Strength In Songs

Staples builds backyard studio to expand creativity


When you’ve released a few records as a musician, it can be easy to fall back on tried and true production methods for each new project. That’s why for his latest album, “Holy Moly,” released June 28, multi-instrumentalist Chris Staples wanted to challenge himself to expand his creativity.

“I’ve spent a year in different phases — writing and recording for like three months and walking away from it and then coming back for three months, working on it again,” the singer/songwriter explains. Building a studio in his Seattle backyard facilitated the arrangement, making it easy for Staples to work on songs whenever inspiration struck.

“I did that three or four times, and I think I wrote 55 or 60 songs,” he says, comparing that to his usual batch of 12 or 13 songs per album. “I was able to pick the stuff that I felt was strong, so it was more of a selective kind of record.”

With such a well of material to choose from for “Holy Moly,” Staples reveals he does feel the songs are somewhat less cohesive as a narrative unit than previous albums he’s released. The process and the songs that ultimately ended up on the record did incite some interesting discussions, though.

“Some of these songs are autobiographical, but a lot of them are just things that I’ve thought about or movies or books that inspired the song,” Staples shares.

He adds, meditatively, “If an author writes a book, they can indulge any kind of fantasy or follow any kind of story that interests them. But people don’t assume that those are the experiences that person literally had. But for a songwriter, holding a guitar and singing, there’s just kind of an assumption that it’s always autobiographical.”

The intimate nature of Staples’ shows may also lead to presumptions about his music. Something about being close to the music, in a small group packed into a brewery, a motorcycle repair shop or the living room of an historic Fay Jones home, can infuse the performance with an aura of vulnerability.



Chris Staples:

Living Room Show

WHEN — 8 p.m. Oct. 30

WHERE — A historic home in Fayetteville; ticket buyers will be provided the the address upon purchase

COST — $20; limited tickets remain


Categories: Maker Space