Thom Chacon is featured on the January 2018 cover of Buscadero Magazine along with a full length interview.
English translation of Thom Chacon’s interview with Buscadero Magazine below (click here to read the original interview in Italian):
Thom Chacon is a young singer-songwriter. He has only released a couple of records in his name: Thom Chacon in 2012 and Blood in The Usa in 2018 (he comes out on the market in recent days). But, despite being young, little known to the general public, Thom Chacon has a strong personality. He has his own style, is self-taught, has the right roots, with Bob Dylan heart and a handful of big in his pentagram. But if you think it’s derivative, you’re wrong. Thom Chacon is personal, does not resemble anyone: the songs are deep, intense, full of strength. Especially in this second album, which frees itself from certain derivative trappings that had characterized its debut, Chacon shows a great personality and an expressive power outside the common. It matters little that it is almost unknown. It is the music that makes the difference. Feel to believe.
I’m glad to hear your voice.
How are you?
Well and you?
Me too. Thom I have some questions to ask you.
Go right ahead.
First of all I would like to know what your roots are, the musicians who have most influenced you.
The first, certainly one of the most important, is Kris Kristofferson. Another is Jim Croce, I greatly appreciated his songs. Lucinda Williams, a songwriter I love and respect and, as a pure author, Smokey Robinson. These musicians have been fundamental to my development as a songwriter. I have to mention John Prine, another singer songwriter that has had a great influence on me..
When did you start making music professionally?
I started playing when I was ten years old and a few years later I started writing songs. At least, I tried to write. I think that, whatever you want to start doing, it takes time.
It’s true, it takes some time.
The first record you’ve recorded is titled Live at Folsom Prison.
Yes, I recorded it in 2004 and published a few years later.
Guess you’re a Johnny Cash fan?
But your first real album is Thom Chacon, published in 2012?
Yes, I consider that my first official record with national distribution.
And it’s a very nice record. I did one
very positive review on Buscadero, when it was published.
I know, I read your review. I always carry it with me: I really appreciated that review.
I know you come to Italy in January.
Yes, I already have some dates, the first in Turin, at the Folk Club.
Why did you wait five years to make the new album, Blood in The USA?
The record was recorded in January 2016, then I waited a long time before publishing it because my son was born. My wife and I wanted to stay close to our son and to raise him the best way we knew how, and this took me away from the music for a while.
Now the time has come when I can go back to work again.
Why did you name it Blood in The USA?
It’s the title of a song. A song that I wrote a while ago. A song that tells of current events and the idea that America is no longer the promised land it once was. There is a line, “people getting’ shot down for the color of their skin”. This is a brief description of some of the things that are going on in the US. America does not deserve these things, but unfortunately, in this period, there is a lot of trouble in the United States. I try to report what I see.
Blood In The USA, fully confirm your style: rather dry, very singular.
Mine is folk music, with an acoustic guitar, with storyteller style (storytelling style ….)
In this record he plays Tony Garnier. In the previous one there was still Tony Garnier, but also George Recile. Both are part of the Bob Dylan band. This shows a solid connection with Bob Dylan.
Do you know Bob Dylan personally?
No, I’ve never met him. But I tell you, since I respect him a lot, since Bob Dylan has a strong influence on me, I prefer not to meet him. I prefer not to meet him.
It’s a strange person, maybe you’re right. Better to live in myth, to meet him could perhaps change what you think of him. Did you hear Trouble No More, the box that just came out? It is beautiful, simply amazing.
No not yet. It’s my Christmas present, I want to taste it from the first to the last note. However, I have read wonders of this box, I’m sure it will be a wonder. You heard Triplicate, the co-editor dedicated to Frank Sinatra’s songs, what do you think?
If I have to tell you what I think, I do not like it. It is too long, long-winded. And then Dylan does not have the right voice.
I asked you because I want to know what people think about it. It’s a complete detachment from everything he’s done before. In some ways it is no longer Bob Dylan. Tempest was very beautiful.
I agree, very nice.
Great album. Returning to what you asked me before, I have a great friendship with George (Recile) and Tony (Garnier). I know a little about the whole band, great musicians.
Dylan’s band is a great band.
Amazing. I saw them in Albuquerque eight months ago, a wonderful concert.
Let’s go back to you. How long did it take to record Blood in The USA?
One day. We recorded everything in one day and we mixed the record the following day. We recorded the songs within 12 hours.
As in the previous album, the producer is Perry Margouleff. Have you known him for a long time?
I’ve known Perry for more than fifteen years. We can say that we grew up together. He knows everything about me.
Did Perry help you with the arrangements of the songs? Or are they all your ideas?
Perry is not only the producer but he also helped me with the arrangements. He recommended certain sounds, he made me redo a couple of songs. He had very clear ideas and everything went smoothly. Perry Margouleff has a profound knowledge of the recording studio.
I would say that you see, because you have a particular sound, acoustic, but not too much. Intense, profound, personal. Margouleff gave you the extra touch.
It’s true you’re right.
An American magazine called you: Duango’s Dylan. What do you think about it?
(… laughs …)
Well, it’s a nice compliment, I’m very pleased. Even if between me and Dylan … there is an abyss.
My favorite songs of Blood in The USA are: Empty Pockets, Big As The Moon, I Am An Immigrant, Union Town and, indeed, Blood in The USA.
These songs have in common a deep intensity, a great inner strength and a definite descriptive poetry.
That’s a wonderful compliment.
Among all these songs, what is your favorite?
Union Town, my wife really likes it too. It’s fun to play live.
What do you expect with a record like this?
I hope this record will be heard by many people, even by other artists. Music is also sharing and I want to share my songs with others. With the public, of course, but also with my colleagues.
Blood In The USA is published in Italy by the Appaloosa. Does it even come out in America?
No, for now only in Italy. We are looking for a good contract in the US and for now we have not found it yet. We would like to publish the record on an indie label, with good distribution. Like the Thirty Tiers, for example.
Tell me the name of a contemporary artist that you really like.
Mmmh, they are many. Mary Gauthier, Max Gomez, Jason Isbell. These are some, but I could mention many others.
Your favorite record of all time. What you would take to a desert island.
Rubber Soul of the Beatles. But also Nebraska by Bruce Springsteen. But Rubber Soul is more important.
See you in Italy in January.
Sure, you can count on it.