It's always a difficult task for a singer, once part of a duo or group, to branch off into their own solo venture. But for Halfway To Hazard's Chad Warrix, who loves to rock out in white from head to toe, he's found new freedom and creative energy, as evidenced by his new single "Hitch."
"It’s really rewarding getting in and working on my solo stuff. We’re not getting any younger," he shares with NashvilleGab. Teaming up with musician David Tolliver, the two instantly connected and began an admirable career. After both performers relocated to Nashville, they struck up performances all across town, ultimately leading to a slot on Tim McGraw and Faith Hill's Soul2Soul tour and a deal with Mercury Records in 2006. Their self-titled debut followed the next year. They returned in 2012 with H2H: Come On Time.
Admittedly, Warrix discloses that going solo has been "a lot easier, in some ways." But let him explain:"I get to make more decisions, less collaboration. But I love David's stuff, too. We’ve been together so many years."
"We took a break for a little while, but we are starting to write again," he says. "We are hoping to put out a new project end of this year, too. I like being busy. When we took a break the first time, I played guitar for Randy Houser for six to nine months. Then, I was playing guitar for Keith Anderson."
Not only does Warrix have ambitious plans to release another EP, but he's also cooking up something with Tolliver. "We always feel comfortable being on the edge of country," he says. "We grew up on country, being from eastern rural Kentucky. We kind of have a southern rock edge to us. It comes natural; it’s just the feel. We grew up listening to Lynyrd Skynyrd and all the rock greats. We also have a lot of Hank Williams influence. We have some arena rock in there, too, like the Eagles, maybe some hairbands. We were influenced by whatever was on the radio, whatever was popular as kids."
On Warrix's latest self-titled project, a six-song EP, he includes a remix of his hit "Rain On The Roof." "I’m kind of a studio rat. I love being in there a lot," he notes of why he chose to re-do the song in a fresh new way. "I’m a tech head geek. I like twisting knobs and being a part of the production process. Any time I can get in and be creative on the other side of the glass. I’m excited to be a creator."
Quite recently, the singer took part in the annual Key West Songwriters Festival, his eight appearance to-date. "I guess I’m a veteran at this point," he laughs.
"I love being down there for that. I always call it ‘Nashville Songwriters On Spring Break,’" he quips about the long-weekend event. "We were just having a crazy time. This year, I actually wrote some songs. You get so wrapped up in having fun and playing shows and running around and hanging out with your buddies, sometimes you don’t get time to actually write. This year, we actually sat down and carved out time to write some songs. Hopefully, those’ll be on the next EP," he teases.
As he's demonstrated in his still-young career, songwriting is an entirely differently beast than just being a vocalist. He details, "[Songwriting] helps me put together my thoughts and my emotions. Sometimes, I don’t do well expressing myself emotionally in just conversation. It’s a way to communicate that. Music has always been that for me. If you’re trying to relate to a girlfriend or your wife or someone else you really care about, it lets that emotion out."
As he continues building on a solid musical foundation, his fan base is growing quite rapidly. The biggest thing he's learned about his fans? "How loyal they are. It just blows me away how they will show up in the most remote places and come baring gifts and literally concerned about our well-being. They really never cease to amaze me at how loyal and how far they drive to see us and what they will do to come out to support us."
"They get really involved in music. They know about it. They keep up with it. We respect that. That’s what keeps us motivated," he says, noting some of the truly bizarre gifts he's received (and some that are special to him). "Fans buy things for my kids now. There have been stuffed animals through the years," he recounts.
Of course, they've also "gotten some underwear and bras in the mail," he laughs with a big ole grin. "We get a lot of customized T-shirts, jewelry, knives. They follow you for so long, they end up knowing you well and what you’re into. They make a point to buy things that mean something. I’ve gotten pocket knives that I really like and still carry today."
Warrix is currently out on Craig Morgan's The Journey Tour.
Grab a copy of "Hitch" on iTunes now!
Photo courtesy of Chad Warrix
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