"Play It Like It's Music" by Trevor Exter
Play It Like It's Music
“I live my life as a gigantic middle finger to my medical condition”

“I live my life as a gigantic middle finger to my medical condition”

022: Kevin Chown

The Carpet of Confidence

It's Wednesday, January the 13th of 2020.

*if you like the show, please tell a friend!

Before we hit you with today’s interview I'd like to hip you to the premise of this show, because you should know what we stand for around here. It came to me in a flash as I was finishing last week's episode with Mike.

Ready? Here it is:

"Music is not content. It's connection."*

*Now I've heard the wailing and I've even done a bit of it myself, people are crying about how the music biz is a sucker's game and all kinds of other hoo haa from all kinds of folks, everywhere. It's a saw we can pick up, But there's less stuff to cut with it. Because the music game may indeed be a sucker's biz, but that's only for those who call it a game and play it like one. But you and I know it's NOT a game. Music is not just about feeding the beast. We play for a multitude of reasons and in a magnitude of different ways. And we do it to open up doors and channels and pathways and hearts, and to amplify all kinds of resonances that don't fit onto a spreadsheet. The spotify top 100 is just a spreadsheet, don't let em trick you. Anyway, I just wanted to get that off my chest.

I'll get deeper into this idea and what it means in future episodes, but I'm sure you get the drift.

Meanwhile, today's episode is gonna blow your mind.

Kevin Chown is a bass player. And he is a warrior.

The style of music he is known for is of the heavy variety, he's associated with several projects over the years, from Cosmosquad to Sebastian Bach to Chad Smith to the power trio Der Elefant. When we spoke, it was on the same gig that my cello friend Max Lilja was on: the Finnish heavy metal/opera singer Tarja Turunen.

You could call him a road dog.

But you and I know that as excited as we all can get about playing music and maybe even earning a living from it, there's an ugly reality that sneaks in over time. Once the bloom is off the rose and you've been through the ringer a few times, gone around the block, played your first few hundred or few thousand gigs, it can get hard to keep showing up.

  • You might experience a bit of depression as the never-ending highway stretches out in front of you for the unforeseeable future.

  • You may question your life choices as you nurse some tender vertebra after loading your rig in and out of a club before crashing in a strange bed, waking up before dawn, choking down a black coffee and a gas station burrito and facing yet another epic drive, another gig in front of more strangers and another lonely night.

Stuff we all deal with at one point or another, yeah those are the basics.

But what if you had something else, something potentially catastrophic on top of it all that dwarfed all of the other inconveniences and concerns?

Kevin Chown is a monster. I saw him perform shortly after we spoke at the Gramercy Theater in New York City and let me tell you, this guy has a sound and a style that simply takes no prisoners. I could geek out over his signal chain and his bass chops for days, but that would be missing the point.

He shows up with a mission and a purpose, each time. And it's a huge risk for him to do so, way beyond what most of us deal with. You're gonna hear him tell us about it in the interview, but suffice it to say that if you find yourself out on the road, lonely and tired, wondering what it's all about, you can always check yourself and take an example from this man you're about to meet.

Because there's a reason we go out to play,

and when the personal cost is high and the floor falls out from under us, that reason is what saves us and keeps us coming back.

Players, I give you Kevin Chown.

If you're in LA or going to the NAMM show this week, you can check out Kevin's band Cosmosquad at the #M3Live on Sat. Jan 18th at7pm sharp.

They are also playing 2 sets at the Baked Potato on Saturday January 24th.

Go check em out!

You can find him online at KevinChown.com. He's on all the socials.

That's it for today.

Thanks for listening to Play It Like It's Music. If you liked it, PLEASE tell a friend. Let's grow this thing.

Follow me on social @trevorexter and talk to me on there if you have thoughts.

We're all contending with a mutating professional landscape, jacked revenue streams and a lot of noise out there in the culture. But you gotta keep playing.

We don't draw any lines here between scenes or styles.

As always, thank you for listening and remember to play it like its music.

Big love to your ears.


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"Play It Like It's Music" by Trevor Exter
Play It Like It's Music
Purists may whine that the best days of music are behind us, that capital “M” music has seen its peak and is no longer relevant. But here at Play It Like It's Music we believe the opposite: not only is the act of musicmaking an essential life skill with a lineage stretching back to the beginnings of human history, but the vocation of the professional musician is more vital today than it ever has been. Once a month, join musician, songwriter and producer Trevor Exter as he drops in on working musicians from every genre.