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If you took John Lennon, Lynsey Buckingham, and Sheryl Crow and morphed them into one, it might sound a bit like Los Angeles native Erica Chase. She’s a little bit of old school rock and roll meshed with pop hooks, and wholeheartedly authentically unique.
On original tracks like “We Can Fly,” and “Never Let You Go,” there is a raw grittiness that comes echoing off of the speakers that sounds like a seasoned vet. From bass lines that shamelessly honor Paul McCartney and John Paul Jones, to lyrics spanning from political change to undying hope for love, Chase bleeds honesty in her music and leaves it all out on the stage and on the record.
Growing up in Los Angeles, Erica was more surrounded and inundated with sports and athleticism, then music. The middle child and only girl between two brothers, Chase spent her early years as a jock. However, after a life-changing trip to Poland at age 7, everything changed. Her destiny was sealed when Erica heard the opening riff of the Red Hot Chili Peppers’, “Under the Bridge.” This song was number one around the world at the time and Erica could not wait to hear it on the radio constantly. Rock stardom was calling. She decided then and there, when the family returned to LA, she would become the next big thing (even though she was a tiny little 7 year old!)
After a few months of trying to learn the guitar on a cousin’s $50 toy store acoustic, she had to give up due to small and unequipped fingers. It would not be long until she would pick it up again, and begin a prolific song catalog.
Erica Chase was a star athlete in high school, but was secretly spending hours in her bedroom writing songs and studying The Beatles, The Doors, Hendrix, and whatever was current at the time as well.
“I have always been heavily influenced by the 60’s and 70’s rock before technology; when everything was just raw and not over analyzed. At the same time, I have always dreamt about a top 40 kind of singer-songwriter career. All of my music starts on an acoustic guitar and a piece of paper and yes you can build a track around it but the essence is in the purity and honesty.”
Chase formed a rock band in college which got local buzz, but it was not until her senior year that a partnership would begin that would make her next move extremely clear. The day after a phone call introduction that would lead to an interesting partnership with Dana Strum, Erica nearly lost her life as she was riding a bicycle and was hit by a truck, which landed her in the emergency room. Though she fortunately walked away with minor injuries, this would make Erica absolutely certain that her next move was to keep that 7-year-old kid alive inside of her and go full throttle with her music.
“The highest highs and lowest lows have always been simultaneous moments that have happened right after each other and I think that has heavily influenced my music and how I make sense of it.”
Strum, Slaughter bassist and multiplatinum producer, and Chase spent the next two years after Erica completed school, working on demos in Las Vegas. During this time, Chase’s music was exposed to many multiplatinum artists, including Motley Crue, Steven Tyler and even Paul McCartney, interested in working with the young rocker from the valley. Chase also became the only American semi finalist in an exclusive annual new artist radio expo in the United Kingdom.
“Dana encouraged me to just write all of the time. Living in Las Vegas, I was never short of inspired, so I literally spent 2 years writing songs…lots of songs. It helped me develop a signature thing that I do and even though there were many wine filled frustrating nights, I knew the journey was just beginning.”
Armed with a couple guitars, always a composition book, and her signature capo, Erica Chase is at the start of her epic journey. Her style of guitar playing is often compared to the rough untrained styles of early Beatles recordings, while her voice is likened from anyone to Bob Dylan, Sheryl Crow, and even Linda Perry. However, she is undoubtedly unique in her style, drive, and unwillingness to give up until her dreams come true.