This week I have had the pleasure of speaking with Connor Christian about what The Southern Gothic have planned for the future and their fantastic new single ‘Up On your Love’.
Connor lives in Nashville with his wife and daughters and is surrounded by some pretty cool neighbours, many of whom are in bands themselves. One in particular is singer-songwriter Ruston Kelly (Kacey Musgraves’ ex-husband). Connor has spent some time living in Europe, namely Barcelona, Brussels and Paris but can’t wait to come back and explore more especially in the UK. In January 2017 Connor and Quinn (who is now Bass player for The Southern Gothic) went to Stockholm, Sweden to work with songwriters from the local music college. It was so far north that they could see the Northern lights and it was that cold people were walking across a frozen lake.
Connor had seen my post featuring my two acoustics so we discussed learning to play. Whereas I can only do the opening bars to Dolly Parton’s 9-5, Connor learnt to play at the age of 12. His first song was ‘Stand By Me’ - which I was lucky enough to hear him play the first few bars of during our zoom call. He then learnt ‘Every Rose Has It’s Thorn’ by Poison and ‘Patience’ by Guns and Roses.
While talking about our love of music, we discussed going above and beyond to see the bands we love. While in the middle of a tour himself, Connor and his wife (then girlfriend) wanted to see the Avett Brothers live, so drove 5 hours to go and see them. By the time they got home, had food and showered it was time for him to jump on his own tour bus and travel for 9 hours to his next show.
Lockdown definitely came at the wrong time for The Southern Gothic. After performing on his own for a few years Connor decided it was time to start performing with the band again. They got back out on stage and had a tour scheduled for spring/summer 2020 as well as a new EP ready for release. However, they played their last show on February 8th 2020, pushed the tour back until October and in December they finally released ‘Burning Moonlight’. As well as writing and changing guitar players, Lockdown was pretty hectic. Connor has two young daughters which needed homeschooling and, like many of us poor parents, the draw to increase screen time was too great. They are lucky though, as they live in Nashville with cool neighbours and large gardens that they were able to go out to play and jam around a fire pit while still being 10 feet apart.
In February 2021, after a full year away, The band finally go to perform in front of a crowd again! With a new guitar player and new songs to perform Connor got in his own head for a little while wondering if they sounded any good. Even though they were quite rusty, there were moments of magic. They recorded the show and streamed to different time-zones on YouTube, including the UK. I watched this stream and they were AWESOME (thoroughly recommend)!! While preparing for the show they found out that many fans who followed them from an earlier time were attending, so made a big effort to rehearse some older songs that had been requested.
The song we are focusing on this month is ‘Up On Your Love’ which is a fantastic, upbeat song with a great electronic sound. This song was written on a writers retreat about 2 hours away from Las Vegas. Due to the time change everyone woke up 2 hours earlier than usual and the writers found themselves sat around having a coffee at 7:15am but weren’t scheduled to write until 10am. While chatting away, Andrew Rollins started playing around on the guitar and came out with the line about Hummingbirds (directly about fellow writer Terri Jo Box, who was buzzing around outside the room). The entire song took 45 minutes to write and is the fastest and earliest Connor has ever written a song! Along with Russell Sutton (Formerly Elvie Shane’s writing partner) and Kelly Walls, they created this incredible song.
Although the song is about waking up with the person you love, the feeling of nature and how beautiful the mountains were that morning is definitely apparent throughout the lyrics. The original version is vastly different from the EP track, so much so that they have cut an acoustic version to bring it back to the original, featuring The Old Crow Medicine Show!!
Coming up for the band is shows, shows and more shows! From June 25th they are back on tour until the end of the year. They have already written a brand new EP and are really looking forward to recording it. In the meantime, they are going to release an acoustic version of ‘Burning Moonlight’ - something I am very much looking forward to! They are also looking at playing Festivals over in Europe as well as dates in UK and Ireland.
Make sure you follow them on all social media to keep up-to-date with all their latest releases and gigs.
Twitter - @ConnorChristian
Instagram - @thesoutherngothic
Facebook - @thesoutherngothic