Chris Gheran
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Chris Gheran


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Chris Gheran and I were sitting down to dinner at Lido Café, where the jukebox lined walls and past-era décor easily set the mood for an interview with someone who should have been born in the '60s, but missed out by a decade or so. Mixing elements of early bands like The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Nirvana, Bright Eyes, sprinkles of Johnny Cash and hints of modern indie like The Shins, Chris' songs sound aged, as though they were transported straight out of those same dark corners and moments his idols were playing live by a musical time machine.

Chris has always seemed like sort of an enigma to me - painfully modest but infinitely talented, hilarious at times and almost shy at others, raised on The Beatles but unafraid to sing along with Depeche Mode. Sit him behind a guitar, however, and all ambiguity disappears. Chris loves music. Period.

Chris' recordings are homegrown, recorded himself on an 8-track in his basement. While the lo-fi might make ADHD sufferers squirm, it actually adds to the music rather than detracts, providing that irresistible old charm that the sound wouldn't be the same without. It becomes impossible to imagine songs like "Woodgrain" or "Running Around" as polished, studio hits. It just wouldn't be Chris Gheran. "I'm not John Mayer," he laughs, and thank God for that. Chris should always be making music on his own terms - modern theatrics aren't made for his music, nor would they be remotely suitable.
Live, Chris commands the stage with a quiet sort of authority that you can only earn by being really damn good at your craft. His sets are electric. It's almost heartbreaking to watch - the emotion in his face is like that of a defendant confessing to a murder, every line being carefully chosen and sung with desperate sincerity.

"I think it is a bit of an effort to be honest," says Chris. "A lot of the time it's me staring at the wall, wide-eyed for (literally) hours, trying to get the words straight. One thing I really admired about The Beatles, especially John Lennon's album John & Yoko… everything they wrote about actually happened to them. I try to keep it personal - but also poetic." Not one to get bogged down in the seriousness of it all, Chris then beams, "I also really like to use the F-word." He smiles, and takes a sip of his strawberry milkshake. "A lot of what I see in people inspires me, it's a butterfly effect," he adds, "but I'm always thinking about how I can get better, how to inspire people. It's weird, because I'm feeding off people, and yet, I'm trying to inspire them. It's like a lizard that eats its own tail." Of the social commentary commonly present in his songs: "The things I talk about in my songs, the things I say we need to change - I really do believe in this crap!"

Music is deeply personal for Chris. He readily admits, "I started playing guitar in junior high. School wasn't my focus - I lacked direction. I was kicked out of my house." Though those days are long gone, Chris remarks, "Music is [still] all I have. At my last interview, the guy asked me what I wanted to do with my life. I said, 'Make albums.' That's for me. That's what it's all about." When Chris looked me in the face and said, "If I didn't have music, I'd be dead by now," it was with an alarmingly genuine sincerity. "It's something I absolutely rely on." Unsurprisingly, Chris blushingly admitted he was actually living on $9 and a half sausage this week.

The future is bright for Gheran, however. He's in talks with Lukes Records (The Pants Situation, Lions and Tigers and Bears) about an album, has a demo quickly on the way, and is regularly playing shows. His fan base is extremely dedicated. His music is the kind you get excited about, and just have to tell someone it exists. Byran Craig of Secret Broadcast said it best: "That kid, with the right push, could go places." Here's hoping.

Chris' music and show information can be found at

- Beatroute


Chris Gheran - EP



Chris Gheran is an acoustic/alternative artist from Calgary, Alberta. He got started in the spring of 2005 playing shows in cafe's around Calgary. These smaller shows lead to larger ones and by the end of the year he had developed a solid all ages following in Alberta. He's has opened for Julie Doiron, Ladyhawk, Shotgun + Jaybird, You Say Party We Say Die, Dearly Beloved, Calvin Johnson, and In Flight Safety.