Spotlight Interview With chris d'agostino
Updated: Dec 29, 2020
The powerful single released from Chris D'Agostino has a ton of cinematic overtone and an emotional drive as the artist gets personal and honest.
"Grey Horizon" is a radio pop rock song with a contemporary backbone and it's absolutely filled with inspiration.
D'Agostino belts out passionately throughout the songs course and the whole track grows into it's own atmosphere.
Some excellent guitar work and songwriting shows strength in the artists songwriting style and seasoned musicianship.
D'Agostino isn't afraid to let it all out and "Grey Horizon" is clear proof of this.
With this and some other great singles like "Social Tremors", there is a path this songwriter has been paving for himself and has been doing so by creating addicting melodies, passionate performances, and theatrical undertone.
We had to sit down with Chris to find out where most of this came from. Here's what happened.
RAG: Okay let's start with "Grey Horizon". This track is inspirational and sounds very personal. Where did this song come from?
Chris: I thought it’d be an interesting challenge to write an entire song around a metaphor. I came up with the idea of the "grey horizon” to symbolize false hope. While I kept the song open-ended, the inspiration came from a time in my life, more than ten years ago now, when I questioned my religious faith. It explores the difficulty I had reconciling my religious beliefs with science (I was a science major in college), and asks the question -- should I believe in something that gives me comfort even when, in my view, there's not much evidence to support it?
RAG: The track feels a little different from "Social Tremors" musically although this also sounds very personal. You use music to let out your emotions. Do you ever feel like it's helped you get through chapters in your life?
Chris: Sure. I love the idea of capturing a particular state of mind during a specific moment in life, turning it into a song, and sharing it with the world. It gives me comfort to know that whatever fleeting feeling that inspired the song, particularly if it’s a negative one, wasn’t in vain. RAG: Between the three singles we've heard on Spotify, there has been a staple sound that works very well for you but also variations in songwriting style. Who are some artists or bands that really influenced you? Who changed you?
Chris: I’ll be honest, I got hooked onto early 90’s rock as a teenager and it never really left me. I love Grunge, particularly Soundgarden and Chris Cornell, and singer-songwriters from that era like Jeff Buckley. They sang about personal things and sounded really badass doing it, which I always thought was the coolest thing. It’s still difficult for me to write about vulnerable things, so I often go back to them for inspiration when I want to challenge myself as a writer. RAG: What do you feel like is next for you as an artist especially in these times?
Chris: The next step for me is putting out new music and promoting my existing songs. I hope to have at least a few out in the next few months! RAG: With all you've accomplished as an artist so far, what sort of advice would you give to other up and coming artists trying to get heard out there?
Chris: I'd say to always ask yourself if you’re inspired or challenged by whatever you’re doing. It can be easy to go into “auto-pilot” as a musician, either as a writer or performer, and from my experience, it’s always more rewarding when you feel constantly engaged and you're trying to improve. RAG: Will you be focusing on performing live when the time comes?
Chris: Oh yes! I’m looking forward to playing out again. My favorite places are in the Fenway area (shout-out to Loretta's Last Call and Lansdowne Pub!), so I'm excited to get back into that scene and reconnect with other Boston-based musicians.
RAG: How did this all start for you?
Chris: I’ve been singing my whole life, starting in musical theater. It was only around five years ago, when I felt comfortable playing guitar, that I started performing at open mics. I mentioned earlier that I’m a huge Chris Cornell and Jeff Buckley fan, so I would cover their songs almost exclusively. Then I began expanding to new artists and writing my own songs, which I've been doing since. RAG: I think people want to know how you write your songs. Do you start off with a melody? Do piano or guitar come first? How does it work for you?
Chris: Admittedly, I'm very stubborn and methodical when it comes to the songwriting process. I always start with lyrics, write a melody that loosely fits the words, edit the lyrics to fit that melody, and then it's a constant back-and-forth. RAG: Do you work with a home recording set up?
Chris: I did for the first time on Feels Like Summer, my most recent song. It was a unique experience -- both rewarding and exhausting to perform and edit my performance. Overall, I’m happy with how it turned out. RAG: Before we go, what would you like to say to fans of the music?
Chris: Thanks for being so awesome and loyal. I hope you all have a great holiday, and new music will be coming soon!