Martin Dyrcz held this interview with Chris Bathgate on September 11, 2017. Chris Bathgate is a musician living in Ann Arbor, MI who is prevalent in the Indie & Folk musical scene.
MD: Your last album release was over five years ago. Was there any consideration on your part to stop writing music?
CB: Not really. My music is based on nature and life stories of those I meet. It was time for me to regenerate and meet new people. I spent almost four years travelling coast to coast, camping, hiking, touring, and teaching.
MD: Did Michigan no longer provide the model of nature for your songwriting, is that another reason you extensively travelled?
CB: Michigan is the baseline for my view on nature. The state offers unparalleled beauty. But not everyone outside of the Midwest can relate to Midwest values and the diversity of its nature. Plus, touring in the northwest was a chance to view the power and tranquility of the Cascade mountains. Both Michigan and NW USA share life activities centered around water and forests.
MD: I see you have tour stops in Los Angeles and Portland, was this an outcome of your trek to the west?
CB: Yes. My style of music is more accepted in the NW in areas like Seattle and Portland than LA. Yet LA represents a diverse market, more receptive to Folk/Indie than expected.
MD: What about your poetry outside of music?
CB: Most of my poetry is used in my lyrics. Or I take a passage of literature and intertwine its’ point of thought into my music.
MD: Do you ever play the guitar for music other than Folk? I hear strains of Rock and Roll in your interludes.
CB: (Laughs). After all I was on the University of Michigan music scene and grew up playing local rock bands as a teen. So yes, I can move into the rock zone.
MD: Drop in again after your return from Oregon and will continue this conversation.