Wednesday, July 6, 2016

PREMIERE: Douglas ★ Warren's 'Ready To Go' EP

>> It's not every day that we highlight music with a country feel, but it's always exciting to discover an artist in a new genre that knocks it out of the park.  With that said, meet Douglas ★ Warren. Originating as the solo project of artist Chris Keller, Douglas ★ Warren embraces country, soul, and rock n' roll in order to create something equally delightful and addictive. (Seriously, try to listen to "Ready To Go" only once.) After months of hard work and rowdy performances, it's time for the big reveal. 

>> Team TMO is proud to share Douglas ★ Warren's Ready To Go EP a full two days before its official release. The project blends thoughtful lyrics with rockin' summer vibes to create the perfect atmosphere: Sometimes in life, everything goes right; where you live, your friends, your career, significant other and of course family. These songs are about reminiscing about both the light and dark times," notes Keller. "Life happens, and things might not go according to plan; people grow apart, and loved ones are lost. And reminiscing about such a time with someone that brought joy can bring a smile to your face when smiling is tough to do." Take time to reflect while you have these tunes on repeat:

Want more? Read my Q&A with Douglas ★ Warren below!

How and when did you decide to make music under the name of Douglas ★ Warren? How does that reflect what you do musically? 
It came to me in 2012 shortly after I lost my brother. I felt lost myself at that time. I had already been singing under my normal name, but I never had a band or any solo project stick.

I was looking for a name that represented a sound. That represented me. Facebook and Google will tell you there are a lot of Chris Keller's out there. There's Chris Keller in the show, One Tree Hill, that I was told also sings. I've never watched that show. But I've always had a desire to be unique. My middle name is Douglas, which is also my fathers middle name. The name Warren is my brothers middle name that came from my great grandfather on my mothers side. I felt putting the two together would be representative of me, my parents, and a way to make my brother a part of all of this. He's in my heart and mind every day. But every time I see that "Warren" name or the "W" on the logo, it's something continuous in the moment that I know is my brother. It's more than a memory at this point. 

Have you always been interested in music with a country flair? Where do you typically draw inspiration from both sonically and lyrically? 
I grew up in central Illinois detassling (if you're not from corn country, Google it), and my fathers side are farmers in northeast Indiana. My grandmother on my mom's side was a southern east Tennessee woman that played hymns on the organ and piano every time we visited. So, it's been in my blood my whole life. There was a time in the early 90's, as a young kid, the coolest musicians on the planet to us were Vanilla Ice, Michael Jackson, Billy Ray Cyrus, and Garth Brooks. We would line dance in gym class and I honestly was never into it. I think it being a requirement with a PE teacher walking around blowing a whistle to change songs kind of ruined it for me. Haha. But I would always come home from school and my mom would be blasting Alabama on the turntable, and I always that that was cool. My parents were never into heavier classic bands like Zeppelin and Floyd, so as I got older, I had a desire to rebel towards hard rock and rap. As I got older, I realized how important a story is to tell. It's fun singing and screaming high notes, but damn, sometimes you need to sit back and sing a song and relax. And country was always there for that.I also got into a lot of R&B, so my influences are all over the place. But as I stated earlier about the desire to be unique, it all works out. 

Where did the EP title come from? 
It has multiple meanings. The first song off the EP is called Ready To Go. I was inspired to write it after a friend of mine told me about an ex boyfriend that had cheated on her in a really stupid way. The song is about packing up and moving on with no regret. I titled that EP off that song from a slightly different perspective...basically... Douglas ★ Warren is ready to go. Ready to get this moving. Ready to get out and play. Ready to share my music with the world. Tell my stories. Tell stories from others. Ready to sing and play my ass off. 

What inspired the song “Missin’ On You”?
The song is about missing someone you loved at the perfect time in life. Where everything was in place. Job, place to live, people around you, positive emotions, everything is just right. The song is about reminiscing about the good times and someone meaningful during a tough time. 

Would you say that the EP has an overarching theme, or does each track stand on its own? 
I would say so. It covers love and loss. It's not a drinkin' song EP. But it is fun and I believe there's something in each track that's relatable to everyone. 

Do you have a favorite track, or one that stands out to you? What makes that one extra special for you? 
Say My Name hits me the hardest. It's the song you write that you don't remember writing. It just happened. I wanted to write a song about my feeling of loss and leaving a simple worry free life behind. Things change, times change, life isn't always positive. This song is about dealing with that. The longing to be remember the good times as well as being remembered yourself. 

How does it feel to finally have your first EP out there in the world? 
I can't believe it. But... I'm ready for it. I thought I was ready before. But now... I KNOW I'm ready. 

What do you hope listeners get from this EP and from your music in general? 
That Douglas Warren writes fun tunes, sings his ass off, but also understands, life isn't always fun. I believe a good artist is there for you during the good times and the bad times. That's where I want to be. 

Now that this EP is out, what’s next? Tell us about your upcoming shows! 
As I'm typing this, my friends are working on booking shows right now for this fall. And I couldn't be more EXCITED!!! And Ready To Go is just the first of many albums to come. Just about finished with the next EP I recored with a good friend of mine that plays with Tyler Farr. It's unbelievable and an honor to be working in the same room with guys who go out and play with someone badass as Tyler Farr. Feels surreal. 

Douglas Warren and the boys are playing several times around Nashville and the midwest this summer. It's all on my website But this fall.... that's my first "tour". WOW!!!! 

Anything else you'd like to say?
Enjoy. Sit back and enjoy. Turn it up with the windows down. Put on some good headphones and go for a walk late at night. It's an EP that covers several emotions. There's a song for any moment in life. And the last song does something a bit special, Jovon, is for the psychedelic music lovers. My friend Nicholas Bullock who produced the EP, he and I wanted something that was a bit like a Zeppelin jam-out meets a modern day trance-out. It's fun. Crazy guitar parts, soaring vocals, cool delays, and my buddy Clark on the bass just lays down a nasty groove. Just chill and enjoy. And it will leave the listener wanting more. 

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