If you listen to SiriusXM’s The Highway, chances are you’ve heard Chris Lane’s catchy first single, “Broken Windshield View.” Earlier this year, we here at #CMchat named Chris a one to watch and we don’t want to pat ourselves on the back, but his star is certainly on the rise. He’s spent the summer on tour with Florida Georgia Line, has a hot new single and is working on his Big Loud Mountain debut EP with producer Joey Moi. We recently chatted with the North Carolina native about his unique path to country music, experiences on the road and his forthcoming release.
Growing up, the North Carolina native admits that sports were his true passion, but it was only when his college baseball career was derailed by knee surgeries that he picked up a guitar. While working with his dad as a landscaper, Lane took up the guitar and started playing shows, eventually garnering quite the devoted following that would eventually lead him to where he is today. “I never really had the desire to sing and play in front of people, but it’s one of those things that’s crazy how it kinda worked out,” he says. “It’s pretty wild that I went from playing baseball in baseball stadiums to being on tour with Florida Georgia Line and Nelly in baseball stadiums.”
Speaking of Florida Georgia Line, the record-breaking duo called Lane directly to invite him to join them tour. “I kinda dropped the phone, went screaming through my house saying, ‘There’s no way this is real life right now,'” Lane laughs. “They’ve been like brothers and it’s great to learn from them every night.” Chris admits that the tour has combined two of his greatest loves: music and baseball. “A perk of a baseball stadium tour is batting practice before the shows!”
Although he loves touring with the FLAGALine guys, he says his other two tour choices would be Keith Urban or Taylor Swift. He lists Keith as his biggest influence and the reason he got into music, while he says he thinks he’d be a good fit for Taylor’s tour. “She’s amazing and puts on an incredible show.”
As for Keith Urban, there may not have been Chris Lane the musician if it wasn’t for Urban. “It wasn’t until I went to one of his concerts that I discovered that I wanted to learn how to play the guitar. I went home that night after the concert…and just the way he entertained the crowd, I was fascinated by that. I asked my parents for a guitar for Christmas and the rest is kind of history.”
In addition to touring the country with one of the biggest acts in country music, Lane recently released his first single, written by hit-makers Rodney Clawson, Shane Minor and David Lee Murphy. For Lane, he was immediately drawn in by the song title, but admits that it was love at first listen. “After I listened to the song, I knew I had to have it,” he says. “It’s one of those things…before I moved to Nashville, my work truck actually had a huge crack across the windshield and I heard the song…it was fun, it was upbeat, it was rocking, it was my style. So I jumped all over it.”
If you follow Chris on Instagram, chances are you caught him hearing his single on the radio for the first time. That was a moment where he says he felt like he made it, “Hearing my song on the radio for the first time was probably the point where I thought ‘This is actually happening right now!'” However, he admits that he had to contain his excitement a bit. “Being out on the road, I don’t always get to listen to the radio…I was driving home from the grocery store and my song popped on the radio and it was the first time I got to hear it while driving around in my own vehicle.” He laughs, “I kinda contained my excitement because I was driving and trying to shoot the video..I had to contain myself a little.”
Although Lane didn’t write his first single, he’s been hard at work writing for his forthcoming EP. He says that when it comes to writing, he just goes with whatever he or his co-writers are feeling that day…and hopes for the best. He also admits that picking songs that others have written is a “very fun process.” “You get the song and get to ride around in your truck. A lot of the songs that are going on my record that I didn’t write were ones that I heard I knew right away that I had to have them.” Lane admits he’s prone to love at first listen, “90% of them, I didn’t have to listen a second time to know I wanted them.”
There was one specific song that didn’t even require a full listen. “One of those songs that I had a moment with the first time I heard it – I made it halfway through the chorus and paused it. I was like ‘Oh my gosh, I have to have this song.’ I texted my manager right away and was was like “What can we do to make this happen?'”
Although he didn’t share any other details of that song, we’re hoping it shows up on his forthcoming EP, which he’s currently working on with producer Joey Moi. “It’s an exciting time,” admits Lane. “I’m so grateful I get to work with so many amazing people. Joey does Florida Georgia Line and Jake Owen so I hope I can follow in their footsteps a little bit.”
As Lane prepares for the second half of 2014, he’s got big things planned. He’ll be hitting the open seas with Florida Georgia Line in November for their cruise which also coincides with his birthday, as well as planning a fall tour and releasing his EP. When it comes to music and what he’d like fans to know about him, Chris puts it simply, “I hope they think that I put on a great show, like to have fun and am just a fun person to be around!”
CMChat was right on point naming Chris Lane a one to watch artist, and after chatting with him, we’re certain he’s in the fast lane to stardom.
Watch the lyric video for Chris Lane’s “Broken Windshield View” here!