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An Interview with Straight No Chaser

By Lisa DiCarlucci, Entertainment Editor

Next Wednesday, the all male A' Capella group, Straight No Chaser will perform at the Tilles Center. This 10 member You Tube sensation have sent shock waves through the A' Capella world, with a fan base that grows everyday. The Chronicle spoke with one of the group's members, Walter Chase.

The Chronicle: What does it feel like to be a you tube sensation and become successful overnight? Do you feel like this is becoming more of a trend?

Walter Chase: Our initial start came from being in college together and doing some shows and DVDs. After we graduated we went our separate ways. It was because of the ‘12 days' video that we got contacted. It's been a fantastic experience. The power of what You Tube can do is incredible. I think it's inspiring what it can do for artists; getting attention from record labels and record labels using You Tube as an outlet. Our fans gave us the start. We owe everything we have to our fans. The way we perform, act, do our concerts is for them. Staying for two hours after a show,  staying to meet people at local high schools, we do it for the fans. Our success is a product of a grassroots movement.

TC: Did anyone in the group ever think this would turn into a professional career

WC: No I think that everyone in the group thought Straight No Chaser was just in college. There is still a Straight No Chaser at Indiana. There were several guys that were on Broadway but as for doing a professional group, no. We were really just trying to sing for college students, girls especiall

TC: After having so much success with Christmas music, what made you decide to make a pop album?

WC: When we started out at Indiana the only Christmas song we sang was ‘12 days.' 99 percent of our stuff was not Christmas music. We worked backwards and became known as a holiday group, while still the majority of our set was non-holiday music. We were very excited to put out the third album which is what we were known for; music that we're more comfortable performing. For people coming to see us in Long Island it will be really fun because 95 percent of the set is not holiday.

TC: How do you choose which songs to cover?

WC: Its a collaboration between all 10 of us, the record label, fan suggestions. The hardest part is finding songs that work A' Capella. There's only so much the human voice can do. It's difficult. It's a cumulative process. We do everything from doo wop to a Lady Gaga medley.

TC: A' Capella is definitely popular on college campuses, but not usually in mainstream music. What do you think has allowed your group to break into that world?

WC: Part of it is that there's really nothing out there like us. Its not a coincidence that the success of a show choir concept show like ‘Glee' and a 10 person A' Capella group grew at the same time. It's just us, just our voices and I think there is a longing for real music. The majority of the top 100 is overproduced music, which I listen to but sometimes I'd like to here something real. We're not going to take over the charts but I think there is a desire for real, pure music.

TC: I read your bio on the website and it says your nickname is "fatty." What did you do to earn that?

WC: Well first it's a misnomer. It's not a physical reason. We all have nicknames. I've created this fat persona, looking at things to the fullest, everything in excess. It's a fat mindset, looking to go out partying. Plus it's a fun thing to yell at the bar.

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