Chris Klimecky
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Chris Klimecky

Seattle, Washington, United States | SELF

Seattle, Washington, United States | SELF
Band Rock Alternative

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"Interview with Producer and Musician Chris Klimecky"

1. What do you enjoy the most about your career in music? Playing live, producing, something else? and why?
CK: There is a magic for me in songwriting, developing the vision for that song, and then recording it. Very much like caring for a seed through to seeing it bare fruit as a mature tree. Creativity and then the realization of that creativity as something tangible and permanent in the world brings me real, lasting joy.

2. For your upcoming CD This Journey, released on March 27, you said that it’s the realization of a rock sound you’ve had in your head for 20 years. Why the wait to record it, and can you describe the process from taking it from a sound in your head to producing it?

CK: Great question, and one I’ve reflected on quite a bit since solidifying the vision for this record about halfway through recording it. “Why didn’t I do this sooner?” is a more complex question than it may seem. I think I’ve touched on this vision in many ways throughout my 4 previous albums (two with a band, and then two solo), but the influences of other band members and collaborators along with distractions of life and lack of time and creative discipline to really make it happen on this level, prevented that vision from having the impact that it does on This Journey. When you’re in the thick of just doing the best you can with what you’ve got in front of you, it’s easy to lose your perspective. In some ways I think I needed the maturity that came from refining and improving for 20 years, along with the time to see it through, in order for it to become real in this focused a manner. It took a re-examination of everything I had done previously, and then a determined, conscious effort to get it done. It was both a painful and wonderful decision to say, “I can do it. I will do it. This is the time.” It was hundreds of hours of hard work to get from the sound in my head to producing it.


3. Can you tell us more about Songwriters in Seattle? From my understanding it’s now a charity organization, what is its mission?

CK: Our stated non-profit mission is that Songwriters in Seattle is “…dedicated to the education of musicians and cultural enrichment of the Pacific Northwest region.” What that means is that we take the incredible talent of the Pacific NW and help move each other forward (whatever that means for each person’s goals) for everyone’s benefit. “Educate, Connect, Inspire” are the three words I try to hammer into people’s heads – let’s improve, learn from each other, support each other, build a sustainable musical community and culture that cities like Nashville and Austin have, and ultimately be able to rally the public around the talent and history that Seattle has. The pieces are all here, they just haven’t been organized in a grassroots and lasting manner before.


4. I read a quote describing your music as “Modern rock with heart like Switchfoot or Foo Fighters without the screaming”, do you think of that as a compliment and do you feel it’s accurate?


CK: Those are a couple of my current favorite bands, who are both extremely successful, so I definitely take it as a compliment! It’s a descriptor that people understand quickly, esp. with regards to Foo Fighters due to their popularity. It’s accurate in that it’s guitar driven and accessible/melodic modern rock “with heart” meaning there’s some depth and emotional honesty to the subject matter. Also accurate that I’m not a screaming singer! There’s more to it than that, of course, and there are certainly differences, but it’s a nice quick summary to give people the general idea. Everyone has their own perspective and ideas about who they think it sounds like once they hear it, which ultimately tells me that it sounds like me, but as an indie artist still being introduced to most people, it’s good to have some reasonable reference point people can identify with.


5. What’s your understanding of music theory? Chords, keys, etc. Is it part of playing or do you s - Guitarist Nation


"Interview with Producer and Musician Chris Klimecky"

1. What do you enjoy the most about your career in music? Playing live, producing, something else? and why?
CK: There is a magic for me in songwriting, developing the vision for that song, and then recording it. Very much like caring for a seed through to seeing it bare fruit as a mature tree. Creativity and then the realization of that creativity as something tangible and permanent in the world brings me real, lasting joy.

2. For your upcoming CD This Journey, released on March 27, you said that it’s the realization of a rock sound you’ve had in your head for 20 years. Why the wait to record it, and can you describe the process from taking it from a sound in your head to producing it?

CK: Great question, and one I’ve reflected on quite a bit since solidifying the vision for this record about halfway through recording it. “Why didn’t I do this sooner?” is a more complex question than it may seem. I think I’ve touched on this vision in many ways throughout my 4 previous albums (two with a band, and then two solo), but the influences of other band members and collaborators along with distractions of life and lack of time and creative discipline to really make it happen on this level, prevented that vision from having the impact that it does on This Journey. When you’re in the thick of just doing the best you can with what you’ve got in front of you, it’s easy to lose your perspective. In some ways I think I needed the maturity that came from refining and improving for 20 years, along with the time to see it through, in order for it to become real in this focused a manner. It took a re-examination of everything I had done previously, and then a determined, conscious effort to get it done. It was both a painful and wonderful decision to say, “I can do it. I will do it. This is the time.” It was hundreds of hours of hard work to get from the sound in my head to producing it.


3. Can you tell us more about Songwriters in Seattle? From my understanding it’s now a charity organization, what is its mission?

CK: Our stated non-profit mission is that Songwriters in Seattle is “…dedicated to the education of musicians and cultural enrichment of the Pacific Northwest region.” What that means is that we take the incredible talent of the Pacific NW and help move each other forward (whatever that means for each person’s goals) for everyone’s benefit. “Educate, Connect, Inspire” are the three words I try to hammer into people’s heads – let’s improve, learn from each other, support each other, build a sustainable musical community and culture that cities like Nashville and Austin have, and ultimately be able to rally the public around the talent and history that Seattle has. The pieces are all here, they just haven’t been organized in a grassroots and lasting manner before.


4. I read a quote describing your music as “Modern rock with heart like Switchfoot or Foo Fighters without the screaming”, do you think of that as a compliment and do you feel it’s accurate?


CK: Those are a couple of my current favorite bands, who are both extremely successful, so I definitely take it as a compliment! It’s a descriptor that people understand quickly, esp. with regards to Foo Fighters due to their popularity. It’s accurate in that it’s guitar driven and accessible/melodic modern rock “with heart” meaning there’s some depth and emotional honesty to the subject matter. Also accurate that I’m not a screaming singer! There’s more to it than that, of course, and there are certainly differences, but it’s a nice quick summary to give people the general idea. Everyone has their own perspective and ideas about who they think it sounds like once they hear it, which ultimately tells me that it sounds like me, but as an indie artist still being introduced to most people, it’s good to have some reasonable reference point people can identify with.


5. What’s your understanding of music theory? Chords, keys, etc. Is it part of playing or do you s - Guitarist Nation


"Chris Klimecky – This Journey (CD)"


Few performers that have been in the music industry as long as Chris Klimecky would be able to break free of their influences and create an innovative album like This Journey. However, each cut on This Journey provides listeners with something catchy, familiar, and utterly unique. The style of alternative rock that Klimecky includes here is based on the work of acts like Fuel, Incubus, and the Foo Fighters; Klimecky’s contribution to the genre comes in the technical virtuosity that he exhibits throughout. Where compositions like the Goo Goo Dolls’ Slide are tremendously infections, Klimecky’s Arrival captures that same ear-worm flavor with compositions that will make fans think.

Sunshine and Misery continues this same confident approach, but Klimecky is able to provide listeners with a sense of the dichotomy present in the titular relationship. This comes forth again during Not Your Hero, a track that possesses a double meaning. The first is straight-forward, that Klimecky is not a perfect individual, but the second – that he needs to be on his own – comes forth. Ride The Wind is a late-disc track that ratchets up the album’s momentum considerably. Fueled by the inimitable guitar work of the aforementioned track, Afterglow rocks out until its final strains.

This Journey soars not only on the arrangements of Klimecky, but also on the tight production present on each of the album’s tracks. This production, helmed by Klimecky, highlights every guitar line and drum beat. What was always going to be a solid album is ratcheted up into a collection of hits that are ready for rock radio stations. Make sure to pick up a copy of This Journey if you like solid musicianship and an always-compelling approach to the alt-rock genre.

Top Tracks: Sunshine and Misery, Not Your Hero

Rating: 8.2/10
- Neufutur


"Chris Klimecky – This Journey (CD)"


Few performers that have been in the music industry as long as Chris Klimecky would be able to break free of their influences and create an innovative album like This Journey. However, each cut on This Journey provides listeners with something catchy, familiar, and utterly unique. The style of alternative rock that Klimecky includes here is based on the work of acts like Fuel, Incubus, and the Foo Fighters; Klimecky’s contribution to the genre comes in the technical virtuosity that he exhibits throughout. Where compositions like the Goo Goo Dolls’ Slide are tremendously infections, Klimecky’s Arrival captures that same ear-worm flavor with compositions that will make fans think.

Sunshine and Misery continues this same confident approach, but Klimecky is able to provide listeners with a sense of the dichotomy present in the titular relationship. This comes forth again during Not Your Hero, a track that possesses a double meaning. The first is straight-forward, that Klimecky is not a perfect individual, but the second – that he needs to be on his own – comes forth. Ride The Wind is a late-disc track that ratchets up the album’s momentum considerably. Fueled by the inimitable guitar work of the aforementioned track, Afterglow rocks out until its final strains.

This Journey soars not only on the arrangements of Klimecky, but also on the tight production present on each of the album’s tracks. This production, helmed by Klimecky, highlights every guitar line and drum beat. What was always going to be a solid album is ratcheted up into a collection of hits that are ready for rock radio stations. Make sure to pick up a copy of This Journey if you like solid musicianship and an always-compelling approach to the alt-rock genre.

Top Tracks: Sunshine and Misery, Not Your Hero

Rating: 8.2/10
- Neufutur


"Chris Klimecky: “This Journey” (Review)"

Chris avoids falling into the morass of sameness plaguing many of his faceless post-grunge brethren and instead quietly establishes himself as one of the more intellectually stimulating progressive indie rock acts around. On “This Journey” Chris Klimecky consistently displays a deceptively simple approach that avoids bandwagon-jumping and instead focuses on hook-laden, guitar-driven manna with the occasional philosophical observation.

Avoiding any hint of didactic pretensions, Chris’s songwriting often touches on simple truths, be it his persevering experiences and the quest for guidance in the title track “This Journey”, the anguish and torment of delusion on the moving “Sunshine and Misery”, or the glory of inner-awareness addressed in “Age Old Story”.

Many of the songs included on this collection continue down the path of introspection, with rhythmically hard-hitting approaches and galactic vocal harmony arrangements very reminiscent of supergroup “YES”. In fact it is Klimecky’s elaborate musical arrangements which ultimately makes this album stand out amongst the competition.

“Not Your Hero” seeks out a sense of security in an unsure future, while the quieter “Ride The Wind” displays an insistent acoustic guitar groove over a declaration of goodbye’s and new tomorrows.

I particularly like the melodious verses and boisterous, bouncy bridges and chorus lines of “Afterglow”.

Throughout the album Chris, whose vocal timbre is somewhere between platinum selling AOR bands Styx and REO Speedwagon, always keeps his musical arrangements raunchy and abundant. And whenever he has the occasion, he throws in some mighty slick guitar solos to spruce things up even further.

On “This Journey”, Chris Klimecky proves that melodies, guitar hooks and brainy concepts needn’t be mutually exclusive of each other. - Jamsphere


"Chris Klimecky: “This Journey” (Review)"

Chris avoids falling into the morass of sameness plaguing many of his faceless post-grunge brethren and instead quietly establishes himself as one of the more intellectually stimulating progressive indie rock acts around. On “This Journey” Chris Klimecky consistently displays a deceptively simple approach that avoids bandwagon-jumping and instead focuses on hook-laden, guitar-driven manna with the occasional philosophical observation.

Avoiding any hint of didactic pretensions, Chris’s songwriting often touches on simple truths, be it his persevering experiences and the quest for guidance in the title track “This Journey”, the anguish and torment of delusion on the moving “Sunshine and Misery”, or the glory of inner-awareness addressed in “Age Old Story”.

Many of the songs included on this collection continue down the path of introspection, with rhythmically hard-hitting approaches and galactic vocal harmony arrangements very reminiscent of supergroup “YES”. In fact it is Klimecky’s elaborate musical arrangements which ultimately makes this album stand out amongst the competition.

“Not Your Hero” seeks out a sense of security in an unsure future, while the quieter “Ride The Wind” displays an insistent acoustic guitar groove over a declaration of goodbye’s and new tomorrows.

I particularly like the melodious verses and boisterous, bouncy bridges and chorus lines of “Afterglow”.

Throughout the album Chris, whose vocal timbre is somewhere between platinum selling AOR bands Styx and REO Speedwagon, always keeps his musical arrangements raunchy and abundant. And whenever he has the occasion, he throws in some mighty slick guitar solos to spruce things up even further.

On “This Journey”, Chris Klimecky proves that melodies, guitar hooks and brainy concepts needn’t be mutually exclusive of each other. - Jamsphere


Discography

This Journey (2012)
Bankrupt Generation (2010)
Marooned (2001)
Jester's Crown - Away (1998)
Jester's Crown - Where Daydreams Play (EP) (1996)
Jester's Crown - Above the Storm (1995)

Photos

Bio

2012-Present Chris Klimecky Band
The completion of This Journey motivated the desire to put a band together that would represent those songs properly in a live setting. After kicking off at The Hard Rock Cafe for the CD release party, the band has settled into a regular routine of shows and working on new material as a foursome. This high energy show (electric or acoustic) by skilled and experienced musicians is filled with fun and musical passion! The Chris Klimecky Band is:

Chris Klimecky - guitar, vocals
Art Bromage - guitar
Kevin Jahne - bass
Rob Pearsall - drums
Nicole Page - vocals

2011 A Return to Musical Focus
Taking a break from the videogame industry in late 2010 to focus on musical pursuits, Chris officially took over Songwriters in Seattle (now a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization with over 900 members and 10 events each month) and at home accomplished a major studio upgrade. These two actions set the trajectory for an explosion of music in 2011-2012, most notably the release of the album This Journey (2012). "This Journey is the realization of a rock sound Ive had in my head the last 20 years!" Chris says, "It is focused, consistent, dynamic, produced and performed to the best of my ability, and represents a vision I am truly proud of." With a professional graphic designer re-inventing Chriss visual presentation as well, This Journey is a package that Chris hopes will compete and be recognized on a whole new level.

2007 Bankrupt Generation
Looking for new inspiration and other musicians to collaborate with, in 2007 Chris joined a small local group of musicians called Songwriters in Seattle, whose seemingly random few monthly meeting participants would discuss the current state of the music biz and play a few songs for one another. Sticking with it, bonding with like-minded musicians, and finding motivation in the monthly meeting deadline, Chris began his return to writing, recording, and performing, albeit at a slow pace. This eventually led to the release of twelve songs recorded between 2007-2009 with a variety of songwriting collaborations entitled Bankrupt Generation (2010). An eclectic collection of songs, the album often reflected on the wider issues of the economic collapse at the time and personal stories of heartbreak and hope resulting from it.

2000 Westward Ho!
Moving to Seattle at the turn of the millennium, Chris continued forward on his own, playing and recording all instruments himself in his home studio for the CD Marooned (2001). This album would be the last of collaborations with his brother Pete as lyric writer, and the last recordings of songs written during the Jester's Crown era. His first son was born in October of that year, so it was at this point that he focused on raising a young family and on his career as a producer in the videogames business, including leading the team which created the classic horror game The Suffering.

1994 Jester's Crown
Chris sums up the story of his Michigan band: "In the mid-90's my brother, my cousin, and I decided to formalize, professionally record and promote our melodic prog rock band, Jesters Crown, with the addition of a keyboardist. Our first release was Above the Storm (1995). Based in Ann Arbor, we toured from Madison, WI to Toronto, Canada, with most time spent performing between Detroit and Chicago. An acoustic EP release, Where Daydreams Play (1996) reflected the many in-store acoustic appearances we were doing at the time and led into our final large scale album, Away (1998). The band broke up roughly a year later after Away failed to gain significant traction."

1984 The Early Years
As the son of a professional symphonic violinist, Chris began classical music training early. But it was a chance encounter with Van Halen's 1984 at the age of 11 which triggered the start down a rock guitar path. It was quickly obvious that rock was where Chris belonged as middle school performances of songs like Ratt's Round and Round and Ozzy's Crazy Train made him well known in his hometown in northern Michigan. While continuing his formal music studies throughout the late 80's and early 90's, Chris was playing in rock bands as well as writing and recording music, most often with his brother on bass and cousin on drums, all accomplished musicians and all studying music in college at the time.


Influences
Chris has a variety of guitar-oriented rock inspirations and influences with a mix of prog rock, classic rock, hard rock, and modern pop rock. Among his favorite bands are Foo Fighters, Switchfoot, Green Day, Collective Soul, Staind, Tonic, Fuel, Alter Bridge, Alkaline Trio, Breaking Benjamin, Rush, Yes, Genesis, Van Halen, Ozzy Osbourne, Steve Vai, and Joe Satriani.

Band Members