Friday, May 21, 2010

I Need Friends Friday: Chas Hathaway

It's that time of the week:

(Every Friday I interview a different person and share that interview with you. Perhaps they will be a fellow-author. Perhaps one of my neighbors. Maybe the bagger at the grocery store. A member of my family. A follower of this blog. Maybe it will be you! Hey, it could happen.)

Today's guest is Chas Hathaway, a talented pianist with a knack for musical arrangement and composition. He is also plays piano concerts--in public (something I would never have the guts to do). His work can be seen (& heard!) at his website and his music blog. He also runs a blog in which he chronicles his experiences as and offers insights into life in Africa, as well as a blog on dating that he has undertaken with his wife. For more info on Chas, himself, you can check out his personal blog.

On a personal note, Chas sent me complementary copies of two pieces of his sheet music and I have enjoyed playing them both. They are beautifully written. So, thanks Chas! (And the rest of you should go peruse the selection over at his site!)

SME: Welcome to INFF!

Chas: Thanks! Glad to be here!
I just noticed I've used an exclamation point in everything I've said so far!!

SME: Exclamation points are great! See! I use them too!
*ahem* Because I always begin with very important questions: What is your favorite baked good?

Chas: Food... of varying types. I guess I don't have a favorite, but I do like my Mom in law's dutch oven cooking

SME: Yum. Anything in particular from her dutch oven?

Chas: My wife just said baked goods is referring to bread stuff, so I'll say her carrot cake. To DIE for!

SME: Your wife is a very wise woman.
pssst, I love carot cake. L.O.V.E.

Chas: Amen

SME: When was the last time you had some of you this to-die-for carrot cake? And what would it take for a person unrelated to either of you to get a slice of that little bit of heaven?

Chas: It's my mom in law's carrot cake. Jenni (my wife) says she doesn't do carrot cake, but she does a great bread. But as for the dutch oven carrot cake, she's the president of IDOS (International Dutch Oven Society), so if you planned a ward activity and invited IDOS, bet they'd do it!

SME: I didn't even know such a thing existed. A dutch oven expert. Who knew?! And your wife bakes bread. You, my friend, are a man with connections!

Chas: Got that right!

SME: I understand you have played the piano for a number of years now. What first got you interested in playing?

Chas: When I was a teenager, I was really taken up with some of the music of musicians like David Lanz, Ray Lynch, and George Winston. I remember listening to music late one night in bed, and a thought came to me that I could do the same. It was quite a shock, since I didn't play anything...
But the next day I got out the old piano lesson books I had from when I was a kid (I had a year of lessons in elementary, but got bored of practicing, and stopped), and started trying to re-teach myself. I soon discovered that it was much funner to play by ear than by sheet music.
It took about a year to get sounding decent, but once I got into the playing by ear thing, I couldn't stop. It was addicting.

SME: Play by ear. I am *this* close to hating you right now. I took 10 years of formal piano lessons and have continued to play for many years since then, and that is something I can't even remotely do. I need sheet music every time! I can't even memorize music.

Chas: You wouldn't believe how often I hear that.

SME: Here's a little insight into me: I bought an antique upright grand piano a few years back and it has moved with me four times. I said each time that everything else we owned could get destroyed as long as that piano survived. I play the piano almost as often as I write!

Chas: Awesome! You got a better deal than I did, then. I found an awesome antique piano at a thrift store, and it moved with us twice, throwing out multiple backs in the process. Trouble was, the sound board was cracked and we finally had to chuck it. It was the heaviest furniture I ever owned.

SME: So... another really, really vital question: What's your favorite continent?

Chas: Africa. I served a mission for the LDS Church in South Africa, and would love to visit the rest someday.

SME: That is vote #2 for Africa!! Hooray for Africa!

Chas: Right on!

SME: I always think of dry, barren deserts when I think of Africa. Was the part you served in that way?

Chas: Actually, it was the coolest mix of climates I've ever seen. Palm trees and cactus side-by-side. Of course, there were rainforests and savannah, too.

SME: Man, no wonder it's your favorite continent. I just might vote for it next time!

Chas: Do!

SME: So, you wanna play a game? (It's kind of a tradition, you realize.)

Chas: You bet!

SME: You are a musician. Thus, I have crafted a game for you that highlights that particular area of expertise.
In fact, this little game focuses on the pinnacle of musical achievement--Popular music of the early 90s!

Chas: Ha, ha, ha! This should be interesting

SME: I will give you three lines from a song that was popular in the last few years of my elementary school experience and you job will be to choose the missing 4th line from amongst the choices I provide you.
Pssst. If you can name the song and/or the artist--Bonus Points!

Chas: Got it. Can I Google?

SME: No google!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Chas: Just kidding

SME: Song lyric #1: I've been fooled before
Wouldn't like to get my love caught in the slammin' door
Are you more than hot for me?

a. Or is this song too lame for even me?
b. Or am I a page in your history?

c. Someday American Idol is gonna hire me.

Chas: B. Paula Abdule... Abbdool... Ab... uh

SME: B is correct. Ooooh. And bonus points!!! Paula Abdul - "Straight Up" the first song I ever listened to obsessively!

Chas: Yes!

SME: #2: And a hi hat with a souped-up tempo.
I'm on a roll-time to go solo.
Rollin' in my 5.0

a. Shredded carrots in my lime Jell-o.
b. Why say hi when you can just say "Yo."
c. Ragtop down so my hair can blow.

Chas: B

SME: Oooooh. Apparently you did not memorize "Ice, Ice Baby" like I did when I was young and impressionable. The answer was, in fact, C!

Chas: Ah, shoot. I remember the "Ice Cream Baby" version better than the real thing
"Cruizin' in the minivan, Mom and Dad are thinkin', of a plan, somethin' to cure a crazy urge, somethin' cold to eat, like an ice burg. The solution I will solve it, scoop up some ice cream and I will disolve it."

SME: "Word to you mother." heehee
Okay, it's make it or break it time!

#3: Fresh new kicks and pants
You got it like that. Now you know you wanna dance.
So move outta your seat

a. Time for a quiz by S.M.E.
b. And get a fly girl and catch this beat.
c. The phone book lists me as "Hammer, MC"

Chas: C

SME: Can you name the artist and/or song?

Chas: MC Hammer... uh... Can't touch this? (The only one I know the title of)

SME: It was, in fact, MC Hammer's "Can't Touch This." Unfortunately, the answer was B. BUT... That's 1 correct answer but with enough bonus points for you to still be the winner!!!!!!

Chas: YEAH! Actually, I know the Weird Al version better than MC's

SME: I am getting a very interesting insight into your musical tastes.

Chas: Yeah, if you'd have asked me about any of George Winston's lyrics, or weird Al's, I probably would have aced it!

SME: Since we're on a roll, let's stroll on over to the Portrait Gallery.

Chas: Cool

*the awesomeness that is Chas's portrait begins to take shape*

Chas: Awesome! Love the shoes!

SME: I figured a pianist who performs in public needed some spiffy tuxedo shoes!
That brings us around to the final question of I Need Friends Friday. Top 5 reasons this is the best blog interview you've ever done. Ready. Go.

Chas: 5. I got tux shoes out of it.
4. I learned something about MC Hammer.
3. I didn't have to help get the kids ready for bed.
2. Free publicity :)
1. It's the only blog interview I've ever done.

SME: #3 makes me think you owe your wife something--perhaps baked goods.

Chas: I'll have her show me how to make her some bread

SME: Perfect.
Thanks so much for stopping by.

Chas: Thanks for having me!

*cue exit music* Well, this has been "I Need Friends" Friday. Come back next week when I will make another friend!!

If you'd like to be interviewed for "I Need Friends" Friday, shoot me off an email: friends at sarahmeden dot com!
I am looking for anyone and everyone, whether or not you think you are interesting. You'll get a fantastic stick figure portrait of yourself, a little promotion (if you're looking for that sort of thing) and the opportunity to tell your friends and family that you've been interviewed by SME, er... by ME!

Don't forget to enter May's Giveaway. Plus, Chas receives 2 extra entries if his interview gets 5 or more comments. So, comment away, folks!

(ignore "


Chas Hathaway said...

Awesome! Do my own comments count? I could comment 5 times.



Angie said...

Love the interview! I will have to check out his music. We are piano lovers at our house. My husband and boys love to play.

Kate said...

Chas--I had no idea you were self-taught. And in one year! Amazing.

Sarah M Eden said...

You should, Angie. Some lovely pieces over there--both sheet music and recordings.

mormonhermitmom said...

90's music. Ah, those college days.

Doug Hathaway said...

That was fun. Good interview and I love the music. Of course I am prejudiced :-)

brendajean said...

I'm so tortured about commenting. I really liked the interview, (okay it had me laughing out loud about those horrid songs from the 90s)(and yes, I got them all right too) but do I really want Chas having more chances to win a book I really really really want??!?!?!
I'm just going to count down from ten and hit the Publish Your Comment button before I change my mind!

Starting now.

Seriously this time.

Now for sure.

Jenni said...

Bread!?! That's too easy! How 'bout you try putting them to bed tonight all by yourself! Yeah, that should do it.

Hey! The word verification for this comment is suppr, that gives me another idea! :)

Chas Hathaway said...

Hmmm... what about cookies? I can bake cookies!


Krista said...

Very fun! Chas, you sound like a great guy and I'm going to go check out your music.
Thanks, Sarah! As usual, you've brightened the weekend.

Krista said...

Wait a minute! Chas, I know you! I used your sister's painting for my story on my blog! What a talented family! :D

Annette Lyon said...

So fun! But now I want carrot cake, and I have "Ice, Ice Baby" stuck in my head.


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