Music Eyz Interview with Chad Woodrow Gerber
Interview by Natalie Combey-Yildiz
So I was given a huge and great opportunity to interview Chad ‘Woodrow’ Gerber and I have to say he is such a genuine, nice guy it was a pleasure to interview him. It was so interesting to get to know him better and as an artist as before I hadn’t heard any of his stuff, and I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did. I am so grateful he took the time to answer my questions.
When did you start learning to play the guitar and has that always been a passion of yours?
“ My family put a guitar in my hands at 8 years old and started me out with classical lessons. I didn’t grow up in a musical family, nor did we even really listen to music, but my parents felt it was important to know how to play an instrument… or at least the importance of committing to something. My sister picked the piano and beat that thing into the ground practicing every day, so I wanted nothing to do with piano at the time. I chose guitar because we had one my Grandma gave my Dad hoping he would learn to play it haha. It collected dust and sat in the corner of a room as decoration. All through lessons and learning classical pieces I hated it, till one year I was allowed to quit in order to pursue baseball. Shortly after quitting the guitar lessons something clicked in my head that I could make my own music on the thing, and from then on I couldn’t put it down. It soon took over all my priorities and I found myself getting on setup crews for local concerts and sneaking into shows just to meet touring bands in order to talk music. I think at 16 I was certain that music was what I wanted to do with my life, and at 17 I flew out for my first real gig in Miami Florida as a hired gun. “
Also, when I was listening to some of your stuff, it was really nice to hear the guitar playing and it added a whole different sound. Something that I wouldn’t usually listen to.
Before I did the review, I did a bit of research and found that as well as a guitarist you are a songwriter, composer, producer and more. So an all round artist showcasing many skills.
Having all them skills yourself, does it make the process of creating your music so much more exciting ? And do you have a large amount of input into the creation overall ?
I am actually very lucky to have complete and final say in everything I make. I found that every aspect of music and art I can learn and ingest compliments everything else I am doing. So guitar playing was complimented by my songwriting, then songwriting by producing, producing by composing, ect. I don’t ever want to stop because every artistic endeavor I take on opens more doors to things I want to learn and strengthens my songwriting. I was thrilled as a kid when I put guitar and songwriting together, so once all the other pieces fit together over years of hard work, it was like finally listening to the music I heard in my dreams. I’m just now (with this new record) expressing what I’ve had in my head for 10 years because new songwriting and production tricks I have learned.
Do you always write, produce and compose all your own material ? Have you ever wrote for any other artists?
Usually I do unless I’m doing guest spots on other people’s projects in which case I’ll jump on their records doing guitar or vocals. I have written for other artists in the past but moved away from it pretty quick because I found it less challenging and it was pulling me away from my true passions. I’ve written some for labels in the past and for other singers in bands and projects I’ve formed, but in the end I find writing for my own voice is the only true representation of what I’m trying to say. I may not have the best voice, but it’s the exact way the song is supposed to sound when it pops into my head. I would love to write for more female artists though… I enjoy being able to write songs that may be odd for a dude to sing, and in ranges higher than mine lol.
Your style of music is so different to what i usually listen to, but it made it so much more exciting to hear and because it was a unique style it made it stand out.
I’m glad to hear that. I get really bored with predictable songs that are just trying to copy other songs. In the end though it’s just a reflection of the styles I’ve been exposed too and seem to latch onto. I’ve tried writing copy cat stuff in the past for other artists, but I’m terrible at it. I wish I could at times lol. Everything seems to come out kind of weird.
What helped you decide that was the path and chosen style for you ? And what, if anything, inspires the music you create?
I went through 3 possible career stages as a kid. I first wanted to be an archaeologist (No idea why) until I was about 5, then I wanted to be a professional baseball player. I come from a large sports family who most went to college on sports scholarships, so baseball was a perfect fit for me. I had huge problems with concentration though lol. I got so bored during games, and during the season, that the thought of playing baseball for a large portion of my life sounded impossible. I knew something wasn’t right when I was hashing out song ideas while playing out on the field in baseball. Eventually music took over my brain every waking moment so it was choose music or go insane. I chose a little of both.
As an all round artist yourself, are there any artists that you look up to and that you listened to whilst growing up ?
When I was really young it was commercial jingles from radio and TV. That was all I really had to listen too at the time. We had this McDonalds record that sang a song about a burger. I played that thing constantly. Now I look up greatly to the composer Bedrich Smetana who has one particular piece that has affected my life more than just about anything else called The Moldau. Freddie Mercury has been in my head since I was about 6 when I heard him on some high school kids stereo singing Bicycle Race. I had no idea who or what I was listening to but I loved it. Brian May also of course. I think he is incredible. A few American inventors like George Washington Carver, Samuel Morse, and Thomas Edison impacted me for their resilience against people finding them strange. They kept moving forward because they knew they were onto something.. or were just crazy.. I’m not sure. I find a lot of my inspiration now from movies and movie scores so Danny Elfman is a big one. Visuals get me the most though. I love looking at paintings and pretty much seem to derive all my music from twisted personal experiences and visuals around me… as vague and stupid as that may sound.
From listening to your stuff, it’s clear to see you have a successful career ahead, its edgy and unique. It has definitely opened my eyes to a whole new type of music i would easily listen to.
Wow, that is very cool. I just want to show people doors into new places ya know? So I’m glad I could sort of help in some small way 🙂
Where do you see yourself in the future in the industry?
I see myself sort of as an outcast in the industry. People have always had trouble figuring out what to do with me, which is fine, so I see the industry coming and going while I keep doing what I do. I’m trying to make music for now, but more for after I’m gone really. I want to leave something behind that reflects my passion, drive, perspectives, and determination, then hopefully inspires whoever comes across it. I see myself doing all types of music and creative projects involving music. I want to blur the lines between genres and even what settings people might consume woodrowgerber music in. I’m also slowly working on a cool coffee table book that I hope to have out one day haha. It’s an idea I’ve had in my head for a while.
Are there any goals you are aiming for and would like to achieve ?
I want to re-invent live music. I think I know how, but I am still doing research on it. I need more resources to make it happen as well. My goal is to change the typical live music experience through woodrowgerber by turning people’s attention away from the circus stupidity that the majority of performers are doing today, and make it more about the people attending and their relationship with the music. The plan is ambitious, but once I get it ironed out (IF I get it ironed out), it will be really cool……and then probably knocked off by some pop princess soon after haha.
If you could collaborate with any artist, past and present, who would that be and why?
Definitely John Fogerty of Creedence Clearwater Revival! haha. I know it may sound weird, but I just have a feeling we would come up with some really amazing stuff together. When I hear his music it reminds me of my own despite it sounding nothing alike. I feel like wherever he goes to make a song in his head is where I go too.
It’s been real nice to be given this opportunity, and hopefully i have asked a few questions that others would be interested in knowing, as well as myself. I also hope this isn’t the last time i get to interview you and preview your stuff.
Thank you for your time.