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An Interview with... 
Emerson Drive

April 2004 

Emerson Drive is:
Brad Mates (lead vocals)
Dale Wallace (keyboards)
Danick Dupelle (guitar)
David Pichette (fiddle)
Mike Melancon (drums)
Patrick Bourque (bass guitar)

Question: Would you please introduce yourself to the readers and tell us something about your history.

The Band: The band started 8 years ago in Alberta, Canada. We traveled for 6 years playing clubs across North America. We were signed to DreamWorks in 2001 and the rest is history.

Question: Country Music has many new fans in Europe who may be learning about you for the first time. How would you describe the music you play to someone whoís never seen or heard you before?

David: We have a great mix of musical tastes. We have a little bit of traditional country like Merle Haggard, and then we swing over to some Guns ĎN Roses. So I would call it, maybe country rock of some sort.

Question: What is your current CD and how is it doing?

David: We have a brand new album coming out June 29th. We are very anxious to get it out there. Itís titled "What If?"

Question: Do you write you own songs and if not, how do you go about finding songs for your albums?

Dale: Yes several of us write songs, but we also listen to other songs submitted to the band. The songs that are the best end up on the album.

Question: Whatís your favorite song among all the songs youíve recorded and whatís the story behind it?

Dale: My favorite song is "Iíll Die Tryiní." It is one of a very few songs that gets me every time. The hair on my arms stands up when I hear the first chorus. Itís always amazing.

Question: How much creative control do you have over your music?

David: Well, we have been able to play all of our own instruments on both records. We didnít write all of the songs on either album so sometimes the creative direction we take starts with the demo.

Question: Thereís a lot of work that goes into a number one hit ... whatís it take to make it?

Dale: Youíve got to hit a nerve in people. Keep it simple. There are plenty simple number oneís I wish I had written.

Question: How much do your songs influence your audience?

David: I think our songs have a great amount of influence over our audience. Itís always great to see hundreds or even thousands of people singing the words to our music.

Question: Who do you look up to musically and where do your musical roots come from?

Mike: We listen to everything from country to rock to funk. We love it all. We just love music!

Question: What do you think about todayís Country Music versus its roots and where do you see it going in the future?

Brad: I love country music now and I also loved it when I was a kid. I think that now itís great that the listeners have a wide selection of artists to choose from. Country can only grow from here.

Question: If you had a chance to change something about the music industry, what would it be?

Patrick: I would love to be able to stop people from downloading music on the internet.

Question: As an artist you have so many different things you have to do such as recording, touring, doing interviews etc. What do you like doing the best, whatís your favorite activity?

Mike: Recording and touring is the best because we love to play. We have the best jobs!

Question: How did you get into Country Music ... is there a story behind it?

Danick: My parents had a country band when I was younger. I started playing with them at age 11. I was raised listening to Merle Haggard, Buck Owens and Lefty Frizzell.

Question: Before you became a star, where your friends and family supportive or was it a struggle?

Patrick: All of our families have been very supportive.

Question: Has your journey to success been a hard or an easy road?

Mike: Letís just say that each of us really appreciate everything we have now.

Question: What drives you? What inspired you to become an artist?

Brad: One of the things that drives us is our curiosity about how big this dream can get. My dad was a singer, so he sparked me to sing.

Question: What does it take to be a Country Star?

Brad: Dedication, support and a goal!

Question: Whatís unique about you that differentiates you from other artists?

Brad: We are a band for one thing. We have been given the freedom to play and sing every note on our albums. I think thatís unique today.

Question: Whatís the best thing about being a star and whatís the hardest thing?

The Band: Receiving free stuff through artist endorsements is nice, but being away from our families so much is hard.

Question: Whatís your greatest challenge been in the music business?

The Band: The biggest challenge would have to be leaving our families and friends back home while we are on the road.

Question: What moments in your career stand out in your memory as highlights and achievements which youíre proud of?

The Band: Playing on the Grand Ole Opry as well as winning an ACM award for Top New Group of the Year are two moments at the top of the list.

Question: Whoís your biggest critic, yourself or others?

The Band: We are all more critical of ourselves than anyone else ever could be. We love to play music, but weíll never be satisfied with the level weíre at musically.

Question: When you get time off, how do you like to relax?

Mike: I LOVE to sleep late, see a movie, check out the local mall and go to a great restaurant.

Question: Is there anything in your life that you would change if you could?

Patrick: Nothing at all. I love what Iím doing and I am really grateful for everything thatís happening to us.

Question: What private hopes and desires do you have?

Patrick: Iíd love the war to be over forever; I also want to play music for my whole life.

Question: Whatís the biggest disappointment in your life been?

Dale: To protect the innocent (and the guilty), I am unable to answer this question at this time. J

Question: Many European fans travel to Nashville for Fan Fair because of the opportunity to see so many of their favorite stars at the same time. Will you be participating and how will the fans be able to find you?

Mike: I hope that we will be involved this year but I donít know yet. Our web site,
www.emersondrive.com would be a great place to stay updated.

Question:  When youíre on tour, do you have time to play tourist?

Danick: It depends on our schedule. But we do enjoy museums and local sights whenever we get the chance.

Question: Can your European fans look forward to seeing you in concert in the future?

Mike: To go and play in Europe would be a dream come true.

Question: Many music fans today get their information about artists via the internet. Do you have your own website and what information can the fans find out about you on the internet?

Dale: Yes, itís 2 months old.
www.emersondrive.com will let you view our schedule, see pictures and communicate with us as well as other little extras you will have to see for yourselves!

Question: What are your plans for the future and how can new fans keep informed about you?

Danick: Our new CD, "What If?," comes out on June 29th and fans can also read the latest Emerson Drive news and view our journals online at
www.emersondrive.com.

Question: Whatís the best compliment a fan has ever given you?

Patrick: A fan told me that she started playing bass guitar because she loved the way I played it. That was a pretty cool compliment!

Question: Whatís your favorite song that you didnít record and why?

Brad: "Stone Angel," it is a deep, well written song.

Question:  What message would you like to send to your European fans?

The Band: We canít wait to tour Europe. Just be patientÖand weíll be there soon!

Christian Lamitschka ( Ch.Lamitschka@t-online.de )
CSO European Contributing Journalist

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