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Nashville, Tennessee, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2009 | SELF

Nashville, Tennessee, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2009
Band Rock Alternative


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos





August 14, 2013, Nashville, TN… Evansville, KY based rock duo, The Cold Stares, have signed a production deal with legendary engineer and producer, Mark Needham (M.A.N. Entertainment). Band members, Chris Tapp and Brian Mullins, are traveling to Los Angeles to record with Needham at Eastwest Studios in Hollywood, where everyone from Elvis Presley to The Who, to Bob Dylan to Elvis Costello has recorded.

Needham, whose credits include Imagine Dragons, Pink, John Paul White, Train, Neon Trees, and The Killers, discovered The Cold Stares through a submission to his Website by lead singer and guitarist Chris Tapp. "My Webmaster, brought their email to my attention. She said she normally listens to a song once, but found herself listening to The Cold Stares' music all day, and told me I had to hear it. She was right, I was hooked on first listen and contacted them right away," adds Needham.

The band is thrilled with the opportunity, "Mark has worked with everyone from Taj Mahal, to Robert Cray, to Pete Yorn and Fleetwood Mac. We are very excited about the project because of Mark's integrity in the business and his ability to translate what we do into something you hear in your speakers, without sacrificing the energy we have live," exclaims Tapp.

The Cold Stares will record a full album with Needham, who will then offer the project to labels.

About The Cold Stares:
"Think Black Sabbath meets Zeppelin meets John Lee Hooker…This is blues-rock for the 21st century," is how Vintage Guitar magazine describes The Cold Stares' music. Since 2008 the duo of Chris Tapp (vocals, guitar) and Brian Mullins (drums) have been performing together to packed clubs in the south east, and to the shock of audience members, who can't believe such a huge sound comes from just two musicians. Tapp's unique guitar rig, along with Mullins' giant bass drum provides a visual and sonic landscape for the two to travel on different paths than other acts. The result is a hard rocking, story-based brand of rock and roll that is sung from the soul.

About Mark Needham:
Mark Needham is a mix engineer, music producer, recording engineer, and music publisher with over 40 years of experience in the business. His credits include Platinum selling and Grammy nominated artists: The Killers, Shakira and Chris Isaak as well as Fleetwood Mac, Imagine Dragons, Pink, Train and Blondie. For more information go to:

Left to right: M.A.N. Productions' Will Brierre, The Cold Stares - Christopher Tapp and Brian Mullins, and producer Mark Needham. - Richlyn Marketing

"The Cold Stares release "A Cold Wet Night and a Howling Wind""


October 11, 2012, Nashville, TN... American rock, blues rock, indie rock, alternative rock, however you prefer to describe the music, the Nashville-based duo, The Cold Stares, just rock. Known for their blistering live shows, members Chris Tapp and Brian Mullins have been tearing it up since 2008, touring with acts like Bob Schneider and Big Head Todd and the Monsters.

Authenticity is a word that is frequently used in describing The Cold Stares, and frequently missing from modern music discussions. "We're not just a blues band, or just a rock band, or anything other than who we are," front man Chris Tapp says. There is a power and a realness that is arrived at by just doing what you do best. The result is a hard-rocking, story-based brand of rock and roll that is sung from the soul.

Chris' unique guitar rig, along with Mullin's giant bass drum, provides a visual and sonic landscape for the two to travel on different paths than other acts. In fact, you may find yourself looking for another member behind the curtains, but it's just these two men. "The first time I saw them," says WRLT's Dan Buckley, "I thought they had at least two other musicians secretly behind the curtain. There's no way that sound comes from just the two of them."

The Huffington Post's Radley Balko describes the experience, "Between songs, people will whisper. They're asking one another if anyone knows who the hell this is. And it's here that you, and everyone in the room, will have the same realization that just about everyone else has the first time they see and hear the Cold Stares live: These guys are better than the band you came to see."

With 'A Cold Wet Night and a Howling Wind' the duo recorded and produced the album themselves over a couple days at Nashville's House of David studio to capture and deliver that live experience. The album features thirteen original songs as well as the group's take on Hendrix's 'If6was9,' Blue Cheer's 'Parchment Farm,' and Fleetwood Mac's 'Oh Well.' Early stand-outs include 'Black Angel,' 'Cannon Ball,' and 'Jesus Brother James.'

The Cold Stares have been compared to Led Zeppelin, Spoon, The White Stripes, The Black Keys, and Queens of the Stone Age, but in the end they have found a way to mix classic rock elements in a way that sounds fresh and new while still paying homage to their heroes.

Prior to any PR push or radio promotion, stations have begun picking up the album, and fans are responding with sales levels that landed the album on Amazon's top 100 best-selling MP3 albums, including the #1 spot on their Blues sales chart when the album debuted, and CDBaby's top-sellers list. The album is also featured on Brite Revolution's site. Their first single 'Red Letter Blues' went to radio in September, and good things are on the horizon for the hard working band. The Cold Stares are currently represented by attorney John Strohm (Civil Wars, Alabama Shakes, Bon Iver), and PR firm Richlyn Marketing (Kate Richardson) and are available for interviews and reviews.

The album is available for purchase on CDbaby, Amazon, and iTunes.

For a review copy of 'A Cold Wet Night and a Howling Wind,' please contact Kate Richardson at

For more on The Cold Stares, visit:

Tags: - Richlyn Marketing

"The Cold Stares new album wholehearted hurricane"

Music Review by Adam Whipple for - You could be forgiven for thinking, on first glance at The Cold Stares’ A Cold Wet Night and a Howling Wind, that you’re about to wade into the deep, still waters of some shadowy folk act. The simplicity and intrigue of the woodsy black and white shot on the cover and the sparseness of the text lend themselves to the sort of acoustic pluck-a-thon that is popular nowadays. This impression could not be further from the truth.

Chris Tapp and Brian Mullins represent an idiom of sharp-suited rock and roll that refuses to be outmoded by skinny jeans and shoegazing, and they are committed to it wholeheartedly. Mostly, they continue to surprise audiences everywhere as their razor-strap sound, hearkening to bands like ZZ Top and The Black Keys, comes blowing out of speakers like a hurricane while only two musicians are on the stage. They sound like a full band, because for all intents and purposes, they are.

Phil Spektor famously created the “wall of sound” approach to recording by layering instruments one over the other. The Cold Stares have done a similar thing simply by being the loudest thing in the room. Tapp travels with a number of amps, strung together, and A Cold Wet Night is no different. The project favors little to no layering, letting the stage sound of the band shine. Most guitar solos stand without the undergirding of a rhythm guitar track. There’s a bit of organ and tambourine, but otherwise it’s just like you would hear it at the bar. Nothing else is needed.

The duo have released a handful of other projects—a couple of EPs and (according to a minor note on their website) a whole other eponymous 17-song record—but these are difficult to find. To many people, A Cold Wet Night might seem the band’s debut release, just from a lack of publicity about the other works. Fear not, though; these songs have been well road-tested. Some of the tracks—“Jesus Brother James,” “Black Angel,” and “Cannonball” among them—have appeared elsewhere, so this release is still a great introduction to the band.

The sound is straightforward blues rock, and it’s more about the music in its own right. The packaging is fairly light on the artwork and credits and has no liner notes to speak of. Tapp’s lyricism isn’t overly intricate anyway, favoring the duo’s blues proclivities, but it’s hard-hitting at times, sort of like the minor prophets.

Visit for more information and tour dates.

A Cold Wet Night was self-produced with the exception of a few tracks where the band worked with Tres Sasser, who some might know as a bass go-to for singer-songwriter Will Hoge. The very existence of the record is a wonder, as Tapp has been battling cancer for some months. If the knife-edge of the record is any indicator, though, The Cold Stares are alive at the helm and running hard.

--Adam Whipple. 2.19.13.

- Celebrate Knoxville

"A Cold Wet Night and a Howling Wind"

The Cold Stares: A Cold Wet Night and a Howling Wind Review

A Cold Wet Night and a Howling Wind is the new album from The Cold Stares. From Nashville, TN this duo has recently been recognized as one of Amazon’s top 100 best selling MP3 albums and Hard Rock Cafe’s Battle of the Bands. The duo consists of guitarist and bassist Chris Tapp and drums and percussionist, Brian Mullins. Tapp says the band’s name came from the Black Crowes song “Stare It Cold.”
The duo mashed up and recreated older classics including Fleetwood Mac’s “Oh Well,” Hendrix’s “IF6WA9,” and Blues Cheer’s “Parchment Farm.” “(Livin Lovin) Parchment Farm” is a mash up of Zepplin’s “Livin Loving Maid” and Blues Cheer’s “Parchment Farm.” The Cold Stares used a specific riff from “Livin Loving Maid.” The Cold Stares took Hendrix’s song, “IF6WAS9? and mashed it with a Band of Gypsy’s riff. It’s very psychedelic. The album’s single, “Red Letter Blues,” is inspired by The Scarlet Letter. The middle of this song has an eastern sound that comes through via guitar and tambourine building up to an explosive chorus.

This album has a lot of religious connotations thrown into it. It mixes older songs (even films and stories) with a new flare. Chris recently won his battle with cancer and the band is celebrating by booking new gigs. They are also set to be working towards a new album titled Sleeping with Lions.

The Review: 8/10

Can’t Miss Tracks

- (Livin Lovin) Parchment Farm
- Red Letter Blues

The Big Hit

- Red Letter Blues

Review by Dana Ainsworth

- Blues Rock Review

"The Cold Stares"

If you haven't yet seen the Cold Stares live, here's how it's likely to go down: You'll probably be headed to a Nashville venue like 3rd and Lindsley, or 12th and Porter, or The Basement, and you'll probably be going to see another band. You'll get to the show early enough to see the opening act--this is Nashville after all--and you'll grab a table or a good spot at the bar, and you'll order your drink. I like bourbon.

As you grab your seat, if you're paying attention, you'll probably notice a guy in a short-cropped beard, glasses, and a blazer fidgeting with the sound gear on-stage. That's Chris Tapp, one half of the Cold Stares, and he's putting his guitar rig together. It's a jerry-rigged contraption that incorporates several amps, I was once told involved some MacBook program and--I'm pretty sure--some duct tape and chewing gum. Hang on for just a few minutes, and you'll hear why he's so damned fussy about the thing.

You probably won't be able to pick Tapp and drummer Brian Mullins--the other half of the band--out of the crowd. They don't have band look. No skinny jeans, no hipster facial hair, no iron-ons of cartoon cereal mascots. They dress up for rock 'n' roll as they might for church. Suits, sweaters, and blazers--more Men's Wearhouse than Goodwill. There will be no irony on stage tonight. These guys crush irony like a runt piglet. You're about to hear some rock 'n' roll verisimilitude.

When Tapp and Mullins take the stage, you'll probably be chatting with friends, and like everyone else in the bar you likely won't be paying much attention. Let's say they kick off the set with "John," a burly, bluesy tune about a boatman who loses his woman to a gravedigger--and then kills them both.

Thing is, the very first lick is gonna' turn your head. It's a muscular riff, the sort you might have heard barking out of the analog Alpine speakers in a '78 Trans Am. Tapp will belt out the song's first line, and it'll go like this: Had me a job on a boat, sailed on the deep blue sea. And this is probably the point where you'll decide the conversation you were having can wait. And every time I come home, Tapp will sing on, she was waitin' on the docks for me. And then Mullins will bring in the drums.

By now other heads will have turned, too. And other conversations will have stopped. Damn, you'll think. This is authentic. This is bad-ass blues. By now, Tapp will be repeating the line, John, won't you dig that grave, John, won't you dig that grave, and each time time he'll bend it around a single, lingering strum of a guitar string that feels as if it's about to beckon a hellstorm.

And then he'll drop out the bottom. A deep, monstrous riff will send a warm gust of speaker breath swarming across the room. I've seen it move a napkin.

By now other heads will have turned, too. And other conversations will have stopped. Damn, you'll think. This is authentic. This is bad-ass blues. And now Tapp will be repeating the line, John, won't you dig that grave, John, won't you dig that grave, and each time time he'll bend it around a single, lingering strum of a guitar string that feels as if it's about to beckon a hellstorm.

And then he'll drop out the bottom. He'll conjure a deep, monstrous riff that'll send a warm gust of speaker breath racing across the room. I've seen it move a napkin.

Heads will bob, now. Mullins will have already broken a sweat. The floor will shake; you'll notice ice cubes quivering in your bourbon. At some point, Tapp will bend back at the knees and make a righteous guitar face as his fingers fly around the fretboard like a scurry of squirrels whisking around a poplar tree.

This will go on for an hour. Between songs, people will whisper. They're asking one another if anyone knows who the hell this is. And it's here that you and everyone in the room will have the same realization just about everyone else has the first time they see they hear the Cold Stares live:

These guys are better than the band you came to see.

"The first time I saw them," says Nashville radio personality Dan Buckley, "I thought they had at least two other musicians secretly behind the curtain. There's just no way that sound comes from the two of them."

Thing is, it does. It's big and brawny and ballsy. It grabs you by the shoulders, shakes you until you're converted.

If the Cold Stares' catalog of songs were an actual catalog, it'd be tattered and faded--like your grandmother's hymnal. Probably stained with some blood and whiskey, too. It includes tales of regicide ("Kings," which also includes a nifty little riff Jimmy Page could have written), a valiant attempt to rhyme John Lee Hooker with short-order cook-er ("Cannonball"), and a song that would be at home on an early '90s Lynch Mob CD ("Release You").

The band's typical show-closer ("Red Letter Blues") starts off like some song you've heard Jack White sing, then shifts into something sinister, beginning with a wicked little bridge in which Tapp and Mullins engage in a bit of synchronized noodling. Next comes a thunderous collision of drum and guitar, then the refrain, then a colossal wave of sound that could serve as the soundtrack to a supercell ripping up the Delta countryside.

Tapp and Mullins live in Hendersonville, Kentucky, but as a band, the Cold Stares call Nashville home. They've released two EPs, one self-titled, the other Hot Like Waco, with another on the way. In 2010 they took first in the Nashville region of the Hard Rock Cafe's Ambassadors of Rock competition, and finished second internationally.

Earlier this year, the guys played a four-song acoustic set in my living room. Tapp was nursing a sore throat with some sweet tea--naturally spiked with rye.

Sound engineering for the videos below by Mark Crozier. Camera work by Nashville photographer Dave Johnson. Video editing by both Crozier and Johnson. My thanks to both for their help.

So I guess the first question is for Chris. What's behind the enormous sound that comes out of your guitar?

CHRIS: I just kind of lucked into it. It actually took about six months of playing and working with it before to refine it to where it is now. It can move a lot of air. It's 560 watts live, 4 amp feeds, and very little effects. But it's not just about volume, it's about filling the room. When we first started jamming we were really digging a couple of the songs we were working on, but just thought they sounded horrible without the bottom end. I was dead against sequencing, so I just had to design a rig to do what I needed it to do live. We now have more bottom end live than most 4-5 piece bands. My formula for sound outside the drums with this band is really no different than AC/DC's "Highway to Hell", or The Cult's "Wildflower". Which means you just apply second guitar amps and bass where needed instead of saturating the whole song with it. It makes the song stronger, and more to the point. It makes you really want that bottom end, and then when I give it to you....well....

How did you come to the two-man setup?

CHRIS: We played in another band for a bit that dead ended after a big showcase, and we both just kind of said screw it. After a couple of months, we just wanted to jam. So we got together. We never actually decided we wanted a two-piece band. When this started, we didn't even want to have a band. We were just enjoying jamming without the pressures of trying to be something. "Jesus Brother James" came together one night, and we figured we had some other really good songs. People were wanting to see us play. So we thought we'd just play one gig, just to do a live show again. For that first gig I was actually sitting down in a chair. I still remember the look on people's faces when I kicked the rig in. It was pretty amazing. I had done some acoustic shows with material I poured my guts into, and you know it's the usual thing, people drinking and talking through the set.

So I told Brian after that first gig went over so well: If we were going to continue to do this, I wanted it to be so loud and powerful that no one could talk over it. Even if they're screaming, I don't want to hear them. Sound-wise, I don't think I would have ever tried this in the confines of a full band. I was experimenting with different ways the guitar could be used sonically. I'm running three octaves a lot of times through three amps, and using a unison line. It just has that Black Sabbath-type power, like in "Iron Man." We tried adding a bass player about a year ago, and it just didn't add anything to the songs. Keeping things the way they are gives us a formula and a parameter, and also keeps that ace in the sleeve when it comes to surprising folks at our live shows. A guy that has been following us for about a year told me that's still the best thing about seeing us in new venues: Watching people's reaction when it all kicks in.

I've noticed that, too. It's fun to see. As a two-man rock and blues band, you get the inevitable comparisons to the White Stripes and the Black Keys. Explain why that's wrong.

CHRIS- I don't think anyone that knows our material or has seen us live makes those comparisons. It's kind of like comparing Black Sabbath to Bad Company because they are both four piece bands with guitar players that build from the blues. They're nothing alike. And neither are we. All three bands have drummers that don't really dig the blues, and guitarists that do. I guess Dan Auerbach says the Black Keys don't play the blues. But they just did a Junior Kimbrough record minus Junior, so I don't quite get that. But whatever. Dan's a fantastic singer.

Jack White is a great ambassador for good roots music, and I have great admiration for a guy who pays homage to where it all comes from. Jacks' obviously a brilliant fellow with the marketing as well.

Both of those bands are platinum selling pop acts. We never looked at what we did and thought it would be marketed to the masses. We just wanted to do things that are real for us. Brian doesn't listen to either of those bands. I think we fall more in line with Clutch or The Black Crowes. All three bands now live around Nashville, but we've been here all our lives. I've been playing some of these riffs since I was 13-years-old.

Brian, do you have a philosophy or specific approach to drumming in a blues band?

BRIAN: I just try to play the best part for the songs. I hear different elements from what has influenced me coming out in our music--mostly jazz, rock, and soul records. I like a lot of different kinds of music so I don't really approach it like, "What would a blues player play?" I just try to be true to the song, play honest parts, and make sure that it feels genuine to me. With a new song, I generally like to jump in with something that just grooves, and then let the part evolve over the course of live shows.

Do you remember what made you first take up the drums?

BRIAN: My first drumming inspiration was my childhood neighbor. He had this huge, gold sparkle drum set at his house. I remember thinking it was the coolest thing I'd ever seen. I remember hearing his son playing along with songs by the Police. That probably planted the seed. It was years later that I actually started playing, and it's just something I've always stuck with.

You guys are both from Kentucky, but you call Nashville your musical home. Why here? This is a blog about Nashville, so what makes Nashville different?

CHRIS: I've been playing in Nashville since 1997. I had a acoustic band that had a residency at the old Gibson Cafe. We played there for a couple years. We thought we had made it. We were kids driving into the big city, you know. We were playing folks blues stuff then, but not too far off in terms of songwriting from where we are now. So we've been around. It's a different scene now in Nashville. Back then, only a lucky few bands could get a deal. Dreams. The land before Napster. I was trying to get a deal with Sire, but we really had no clue what we were doing. Americana was just catching on. The only rock success stories I knew of were Matthew Ryan and Josh Rouse. Mindy Smith played slots before and after us at the Gibson, and there were other people I knew that had things in the works, but nothing like it is now.

L.A. just kind of folded and Nashville is the place where everything landed. But even the deals now aren't that great. I still wouldn't say Nashville has a great rock scene. It's kind of like if all the NBA stars moved to one city, but the city's team could still only have 12 players. Danny Ainge isn't going to have anything great to say about Kurt Rambis if Danny Ainge doesn't make the team. Everyone in town plays music, so a lot of folks in town aren't going to polish your shoes if they think they can do the same song and dance better. Nashville has ten times as many music venues with live music seven days a week than any other town on earth. You can't escape it. For artists, I guess that's both the greatest thing and the worst thing. Nashville is like an abusive relationship.

I've heard that before. That Nashville has such a great music scene, but musicians don't necessarily love playing here, because most of your audience will be made up of other musicians.

But even with all of that, for me it's still the greatest city on earth to be a musician. Probably the smartest thing for us is living an hour or so away, and being able to come and go. In our hometown [Hendersonville, Kentucky], we have a huge blues festival and a bluegrass festival, and there's always been a strong connection to both of those traditions around here.

BRIAN: There are so many things I like about Nashville. There's so much talent here. We have our places we like to eat or hang out. It's a very competitive endeavor to draw an attentive audience in any city, but even more so in Nashville because of the number of great bands. So while I feel like we've been successful in the cities we've played in, I'm especially proud of our progress in Nashville. We know how tough it can be here for bands starting from scratch.

Your songs include quite a bit of religious and historical imagery . . . and also a lot of killing. Do you come up with a few riffs first, then write lyrics, or the other way around?

CHRIS: 50/50. We either just riff something in practice, come up with a section and then I write lyrics to it from there based on the mood it brings, or the whole song just hits me at once and I write it down start to finish. "John" and "Jesus Brother James" were finished in my head before I picked up the guitar. Scribbled them on a piece of paper early in the morning. A song like "Cannonball" is one that we just jammed out. It's nice not sticking to the same method all of the time, I think.

As far as imagery, I think that's what I take from the early Delta artists that I love more than anything. Son House sang about women, drinking, gambling, and Jesus. Blind Willie Johnson, Skip James, Bukka White--they all sang about what was real to them. I identify with that. I grew up in church, I didn't know my real parents until I turned 30. I was born in Eastern Kentucky, and Brian and I grew up in the River Valley. That area has a lot of history. I identify with Johnny Cash and Robert Johnson. I've been arrested, and I've been saved. If I grew up in Jersey as an atheist, I guess I'd write about factories and science.

At your live shows you cover the Allman Brothers, Fleetwood Mac, Jimi Hendrix. Did you listen to a lot of AOR growing up?

CHRIS: I had a God-brother that lived behind me when I was a kid who was 12 years older than me. When I was about seven I saw a Jimi Hendrix poster on his wall. I remember him showing me the inside cover of Ted Nugent's "Cat Scratch Fever" and thinking, "What the hell is this?"

I also remember being on a church retreat around that time and some kids had smuggled a Black Sabbath record into the basement of the lodge, cranked it on this giant wood box record player thing, and I can't begin to tell you what kind of effect that the first 30 seconds of "Paranoid" had on me. There's great stuff in any decade of music, but the seventies guitar rock stuff is a huge influence.

BRIAN: I listened to a lot of everything. Album-oriented rock was the most accessible when I first started getting into music. Obviously as a kid, you sometimes like what's trendy, or what your friends expose you to. I would read about these bands, then check out what influenced them. So going backwards, I first listened to Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, and Hendrix, and then moved to jazz and blues from that.

You get to assemble a band for one show. Anyone, living or dead. Who's on stage?

CHRIS: Jim Morrison on vocals, myself and Peter Green on guitar, John Paul Jones on bass, Keith Moon on drums. No way I'm putting that lineup together and not playing with them.

BRIAN: Cedric Bixler-Zavala on vocals, Ray Manzarek on keys, Jeff Beck on guitar, Tony Williams on drums, John Entwistle on bass.

Who would you want to jam with?

CHRIS: I'd love to work with the Chino from the Deftones, Jimmy Page, Josh Homme. I'd love to do ZZ Top's comeback record. Shave the beards and get lowdown in the street.

BRIAN: Ian Thornley, Clutch, Tom Petty, MGMT, Pink Floyd, The Who.

Let's talk about the music industry a bit. What's it like to be an unsigned band in a city full of musicians? Do you get frustrated?

CHRIS: I'm probably always frustrated, never satisfied. When a band plays a gig, the venue does $5,000 at the bar. The band makes $400.00 at the door, pays $150.00 production, $100.00 in gas and travel. You split the money up, and most times you're breaking even. A lot of bands play for free in Nashville because they just want the gigs. But just because a hooker will lay you for free doesn't mean you should lay her. Get paid for what you get--it helps the whole community.

There's no money in downloads, no money in touring, so what is there to not be frustrated about? But Dan Baird once said to me, "we are lifers." This is what we do. It's not like you can say, "At 30, I'll quit playing music and just teach history." Bullshit. I didn't wake up one day and say I'll be a musician. It's just who we are. We are doing it whether there's success to be had or not. It's just a shame that even in 2011, everyone else involved still has a bigger cut of the pie than the folks who are doing the baking. We don't want to get rich, we just want to be able to continue doing what we do. Why should someone that wants to have a relationship with us also be forced to have a relationship with Sony, or whoever?

We're working towards something that we are launching in early 2012 that we think will be unique to the industry. It might finally cut out the middle man, and create a better relationship between fans and artists. So stay tuned.

BRIAN: I'm very grateful for every chance I get to play. I'm also greedy in the fact that I want it to sound great, I want people to pay attention, and I don't want to have to pay $17 to do it. It's tough playing rock and roll. I concur with what Chris said, and would add that any frustration I have is just because this thing is special, and I want as many people as possible to be able to experience it.

The music business model is changing. You've had some success selling your own CDs. Is signing with a label still even necessary?

CHRIS: Everything we've done can be attributed to people who dug what we are doing, who then turned more folks on to it.We're in the process of creating something that will enable and encourage that kind of community, and make everyone feel like they are a part of the band's success. We have talked to some labels, and at this point I don't think we're interested in signing with one. I'm not saying we wouldn't sign in the right situation. But at the moment, I think some of these record labels are in the same boat as these Wall Street cronies. We're hoping that by February 1st, 2012, you can visit to see the new direction we're going, and if you dig what we do, you can join us in making some changes to how it all works.

BRIAN: I'm interested in continuing to make records. I'd like for people to hear those records. And maybe to have a budget to record without having to watch the clock. But I don't know if a label is the best way to accomplish that. When you're a kid, you think that the label comes to you and says, "Hey, would you like a golden egg? We love your songs." It's just not like that these days. It's an 85/15 split between label to artist. And that is just unacceptable.

Chris, you have a great family story involving your great grandfather that's really a blues tune waiting to be written. Want to share it?

CHRIS: I think I'll hold on to the details until the song is written. But the gist is that my great grandfather killed the sheriff and his deputy brother in the late 1920's after the cops did some ill things to my grandmother and her sisters. I was told about it in high school by their great grandson. It was a tough story to hear from my grandmother. It was a different time in America, definitely a different system of law. I've kind of held off from writing that because it's still a painful thing for my great aunt. She's still kicking it at 103.

You guys don't really project the image of the typical Nashville musician. You generally drive up from Kentucky for your shows, drive back after. You're dapper, not ironic. Is that all a conscious thing--to stay clear of the noise?

CHRIS: What does a musician look like? Sure we do. We look like the bands we like. Afghan Whigs, Muddy Waters, Clutch. We don't look like the Kings of Leon, but they didn't look like Kings of Leon on their first record, they looked like the Black Crowes. I might wear a suit because that's me. I like to wear suits. I like southern things, old things, it's who I am. If I'm holding a gun it's because I am about to shoot it, not because I want to be seen with it. These bands in their sarcastic t-shirts and their dirty skinny jeans are no different than Bon Jovi and Poison twenty years ago. That's not them. Then you couldn't get noticed from the labels unless you looked like a woman. Someone likes that stuff, and that's great. It helps draw a line between us and them. We are more concerned with being a good band live, and writing great songs than coming up with the right color theme for our band.

I don't think we are intentionally trying to stay clear of anything. We are working with the best folks in town right now. We're very close with some great bands in town and have a great relationship with the venues we play. We wouldn't be where we were if Ron Brice at 3rd and Lindsley hadn't given us a shot. We have a great relationship with Lightning100. We aren't going to go out of our way to be associated with someone that worked on so and so's record in the 90's just because they worked on so and so's record in the 90's- and there are a lot of those kinds of people in town like that. Who want to be seen with the latest thing for their image.

We just aren't like that. We're small town, and we choose our friends and relationships with people based on who they are as much as what they've done. Instead of the music social events, we're usually in the studio, or at someone's pad playing music. It's the stuff outside the stage and studio that turns us off. My friend Ryan Smith, who has a dozen or so #1 MTV videos in L.A. in the last decade, came up and crawled through the woods to an abandoned, 1940s Pentecostal church in rural KY to shoot some photos of us. [Note: See some of those photos in the video for "John" above.] Our friends get what we are. It's not about L.A., or reality shows, it's about honesty. We have the most unpretentious team of folks I could ask for.

What's coming up for you?

CHRIS: Probably spreading out a bit for 2012 and picking up some tours across country. Multiple new records and the new website in January that will launch our new music model with our community of fans. Possibly some film and TV placements. We'll just keep ours head down and continue to work. We are very thankful, and grateful, and want to do the best we can so that the people that have worked so hard to help us will see it wasn't in vain.

Check out the Cold Stares on Facebook.

- The Huffington Post

""Fire in the Sand" catches fire at radio this summer"’-“fire-in-the-sand”-catching-fire-at-radio

The Cold Stares’ “Fire In The Sand” Catching Fire At Radio

The Cold Stares’ “Fire In The Sand” Catching Fire At Radio


JULY 24, 2014 (Nashville, TN) - Evansville, KY-based rock duo The Cold Stares have released "Fire in the Sand," the lead single from their forthcoming sophomore album to mainstream radio. Produced by Mark Needham (Imagine Dragons, P!nk), the independently-released single has impacted radio thanks to a groundswell of fan requests.

"We've been overwhelmed by the reaction of fans and at radio," The Cold Stares' Chris Tapp said. "Truthfully, it took off so quickly, it caught us a bit off guard. Radio seems to really be hungry for guitar-oriented music." Tapp continues, "We're extremely proud of our new album, and this grassroots support validates our hard work. The album with Mark has been a long time coming, and we are very excited to share it soon." The Cold Stares will be on a promotional radio tour throughout August 2014.

"Think Queens of the Stone Age meets Zeppelin meets John Lee Hooker…This is blues-rock for the 21st century," said Vintage Guitar. Since 2008, duo of Chris Tapp (vocals, guitar) and Brian Mullins (drums) have been performing to packed clubs. "The first time I saw them," Nashville's Lightening 100 radio personality Dan Buckley said, "I thought they had at least two other musicians secretly behind the curtain. There's just no way that sound comes from the two of them."

The Huffington Post's Radley Balko said of their live show, "Everyone in the room will have the same realization…the first time they see The Cold Stares live: These guys are better than the band you came to see."

Upcoming shows & appearances

7/26 Mojo's BoneYard (Evansville, IN)

7/29 WGBF 103.1 performance and interview (Evansville, IN)

8/9 Mojo's BoneYard (Evansville, IN)

9/6 Head Festival (Sparta, IL)

9/20 Ferdinand Folk Festival (Ferdinand, IN)

For media requests, contact:

Kate Richardson, Richlyn Marketing, LLC

(615) 243-0619(615) 243-0619 ||

For radio promotion, contact:

Tracy Brown, CO5 Music

(817) 421-1042(817) 421-1042 || - Richlyn Marketing’-“fire-in-the-sand”-catching-fire-at-radio


The Cold Stares 2010
A Cold Wet Night and a Howling Wind. 2012



Authenticity. A word that is frequently used in describing The Cold Stares, and frequently missing from modern music discussions. There is a power and a realness that is arrived at by just doing what you do best. The Cold Stares do that.

Formed in 2009 after the duo had spent a number of years in other bands, Chris Tapp and Brian Mullins got together for the sole reason to just jam. No preconceived notions on what the project should be. Just do what comes naturally. The result is a hard rocking, story based brand of rock and roll that is sung from the soul.

Chris unique guitar rig, along with Mullins giant bass drum provides a visual and sonic landscape for the two to travel on different paths than other acts. In fact, you may find yourself looking for another member behind the curtains but its just these two men.

The first time I saw them, says Nashville radio personality Dan Buckley, "I thought they had at least two other musicians secretly behind the curtain. Theres just no way that sound comes from the two of them." 
As Huffington Post writer Radley Balko wrote in describing the first time he saw the group at 3rd and Lindsley in Nashville-

"This will go on for an hour. Between songs, people will whisper. They're asking one another if anyone knows who the hell this is. And its here that you and everyone in the room will have the same realization just about everyone else has the first time they see they hear the Cold Stares live: These guys are better than the band you came to see." 

Sold 25k copies of  debut album "Howling Wind and a Cold Wet Night" .
Album was in the top 10 on Amazon's Blues Rock category for 6-8 weeks, indie for 4
First major label release with Mark Needham (Imagine Dragons, Pink, Fleetwood Mac) at East/West studios in Los Angeles spring 2014.
Legal Representation- John Strohm, Loeb and Loeb, Nashville TN
Press- Richlyn Marketing/Kate Richardson Nashville TN
Upcoming notable summer 2014 shows include main stage at The Ride Festival Telluride CO, Copperhead Festival, Ferdinand Folk Festival, Sunset Marquis, toured full US. Dates with acts such as Rival Sons and Spoon

Band Members