Today the Venice Paparazzi spotlight shines on local musician Paul Chesne.
How many years in Venice? I first moved to Venice with my mom in 1980. Then moved back again in 2002.
Tell us about the Paul Chesne Band. We are a musical collective of some of the best session and touring players in the city. There are 15-20 of us. 4-5 players play a show. So there is a first chair at each instrument. And then I go down the rolodex to curate a band for each performance. We play 50-100 shows a year. There are 5 albums available on all the streaming services. Been playing with some of these folks since 1999. I have a PHD in dive bar.
Genre: It’s like a jukebox exploded. Dr. Dre meets Johnny Cash. Country rock & soul. The intergalactic blues.
Your job in the band: Roadie, psychotherapist, mixologist, enabler, ambassador, baby-sitter, ring leader, slum lord, driver, momager, booking agent, referee. (We all share in those responsibilities. It truly is a collective!) Proud owner of The Van. And less importantly, I write most of the songs and sing and play the acoustic guitar.
Band’s Influences: Used to be whisky and beer mostly. Mix in some James Brown & Johnny Cash. And you got yourself a PCB cocktail.
Check out Paul Chesne Band’s Highlight Reel!
How many years have you been a musician, and how did you get into it? I been playing guitar for 30 years. I’m hoping one day I might hit a right note on accident like the monkey at the typewriter that will eventually type a line of Shakespeare. My brothers are both musicians. But why did I get in to it. Really?! You have to ask that… To meet girls.
What would you say has had the largest impact upon your particular style? A big impact on the songs that we play from night to night is the venue that we are performing in. If we are playing a private party with kids running around, we’re probably not gonna whip out our Lil Jon cover of “Get Low.” We have several hundred songs to choose from, from all different genres. Not to mention the 5 albums of original material that populates our records. And the funky jams we make up right on the spot. We can play a 50 Cent song and transition to a Hank Williams tear in your beer country lament without skipping a beat. I just feel out the crowd, the band, and my current mood in order to inform my decision of what songs we are going highlight at any given moment. Of course, when I’m home writing for myself, I end up playing mostly sad love songs. But out in the bars & clubs, we try to bring the funky jams extra nasty so people can boogie down with their bad selves.
What projects are your currently working on? I’m in the midst of pre-production for a new collection of tunes. I am always writing. And I didn’t know how to attack this record, but then a month or so ago I had a vision. Within 24 hours everyone agreed on it. It was an epiphany of sorts. So move forward we shall.
Past bands/ Albums recorded: You can get all our music including some fun singles and outtakes here: music.paulchesne.com. There are also 75 live shows & counting up over at archive.org/search.php?query=paul%20chesne%20band.
Upcoming Shows: If you click on over to our website there is a handy up to date calendar. And you can join our mailing list. Just send a message to [email protected] with subscribe in the subject line. Or you can do it directly by typing your email in the box on the upper right hand side of the website.
What advice would you give someone starting out in your field? Slowly put the guitar down and then learn how to code as fast as you can.
What causes do you support? Civil Rights, empathy for our fellow humans, protecting the Earth.
What’s one thing we can do to make the world a better place? Ban the plastic straw!
Describe Venice: It’s the wild west. Bums, millionaires, artists, entrrpeneurs. It’s inspiring and exasperating. It’s home.
Describe your perfect day in Venice: Breakfast burrito from Flake, El Tarasco, or Great White. Take a nap. Walk down to the beach to watch the Sunset. Dinner at Tasting Kitchen. And then play a show at the Townhouse or Cinema Bar. After party at my house with lots of musicians and girlz. Sleep until noon. Rinse. Repeat.
List any of your favorite Venice activities? I like to go to my friends Jimmy & Eryn’s house unannounced and drink their wine.
Among the many musicians and bands here in Venice, who are your favorites? Musicians can afford to live in Venice?
Who has the best Venice nightlife? Favorite places to watch live music? Townhouse.
What is your craziest or fondest Venice experience? The Stronghold. Every single night until the cops shut it down. And like at least 1000 other things.
Check out Matt Ellis and Paul Chesne’s video “They Don’t Make ’em Like They Use To”
HOW CAN ONE FIND YOU?
- Website: paulchesne.com
- Facebook: facebook.com/paulchesneband
- Instagram: instagram.com/paulchesne
- Twitter: twitter.com/paulchesne
- Other website: facebook.com/pcbvan/