Chris Kudela is in love with rock and roll, and it all started with a fish-tank scraper and a KISS album...
Chris grew up in a small blue-collar town in central New Jersey, the youngest of 3 children. So naturally, he did whatever his older brother and sister did, and musically, that meant listening to bands like KISS, Zeppelin, ACDC, the Doors, the Dead, and the Clash. He and his brother used to put on lip-sync concerts in their house with kids from around the corner: "We used to geek out to Destroyer and Zeppelin II—we stuck one of those old neon green fish-tank algae scrapers in the crack of our closet door, and that was our mic stand. Since I was the youngest though, I always had to be Peter Chris, and the only thing they’d let me sing lead on was “Beth”—I'd pout about it all the time. They got so fed up with me whining that they let me sing Love Gun once, and I remember thinking how cool I was! I was like 6 at the time, and I didn’t even know what the lyrics meant—I just knew it was pretty dirty. And of course, any time a curse popped up in any of the songs, we’d shout it at the top of our lungs…what a bunch of little sh*ts! But we had so much fun doing that stuff—we were true fanatics, and it really jump-started my love of rock and music in general."
Chris had the opportunity when he was older to go to school in Greenwich Village, which couldn’t have been any more different than where he grew up, culturally, and had a huge impact. "I'm really a blend of these two different environments," Chris relates. While studying dramatic writing in NYC, he discovered the Replacements, which he describes as "a game changer—they were my gateway to all kinds of stuff that was new to me then: Big Star, the Pernice Brothers, Elliott Smith, Superdrag, the Jayhawks, Bob Mould, Elvis Costello, Neil Finn, the Tragically Hip, Michael Penn—I could go on and on. I fell head over heels for melodic powerpop, and I really dug singer-songwriters who weren't the typical acoustic/granola type...my love for that stuff has only continued to grow." Artists like these inspired Chris to pick up the guitar and begin writing songs of his own, and he's been honing his craft ever since. He also likes jazz, folk, ambient, classic & alt country, and rockabilly—"Outside of powerpop," Chris says, "it’s hard to define any style or genre as being more important to me than another."
Chris recently released his 6-song debut EP, Write It Over, on February 12, and it's already garnering high praise from critics, bloggers, and fans alike: "Write It Over is a great project from this pop-rocker, and my former city of residence – Philly – ought to be proud of their native son," writes Shaine Freeman of I Am Entertainment online magazine. The Indie Rock Cafe compares the experience of listening to Write It Over to "...driving down the boulevard with the top down on a beautiful summer day." The EP was recorded at Portrait Studios in northern NJ with producer Chris Badami, and it includes performances by some incredible musicians and great friends. Write It Over is a blend of the powerpop and alt-country/roots rock that Kudela loves so much, with an emphasis on some clever and engaging lyrics. Running themes include the seductiveness of pop culture, the consequences of blindly following your own desires, and the struggle to redefine the meaning of romantic love after you've outgrown the grandiose teenage ideal, with plenty of baggage in tow. The songs run the gamut from all-out anthems like Greenroom and TKO Chicago, a duet with singer-songwriter Jodelle, to raw, stripped-down offerings like the reimagined Ring of Fire and the bluesy, barroom romp Wine & Whiskey. Chris is currently planning a tour in support of the project in 2016. For more information on new music, shows, and merchandise, please join the mailing list. For booking or other direct inquiries, please use this form.