BWW Interviews: Christian Burghardt on Touring with Phillip Phillips, Gavin DeGraw and More
Tell us how you got interested in singing.
I've always been naturally drawn to singing even when I was a kid I would sing with the radio and basically sing everywhere I went and I started playing guitar in 8th grade on my own. I taught myself and I wasn't really serious about it. Through high school and the beginning of college, sports took me away from music and I ended up playing football in college at Oregon State University. I got injured and I got cut from the team. I was on crutches because I hurt my leg and that's when I got really serious about music and my guitar. I purchased Pro Tools and a microphone and started writing and recording songs. Five, six years down the road I ended up signing a record deal with Sony Music and Kemosabe Records and putting out my first EP now.
You worked with some great people on your EP. Tell us a little bit about that experience.
I got the gig with Phillip because I recorded my record with the same guys that recorded his. My single, "Safe Place to Land" I actually co-wrote with the same producer that produced Phillip's "Gone, Gone, Gone" and a few of his newer ones like "Raging Fire" and "Unpack Your Heart." Gregg Wattenberg and Derek Fuhrmann, we wrote "A Safe Place to Land" together and it ended up becoming the single. And the other songs I co-wrote with some talented writers in New York and in California and a few of them I wrote myself as well. It's a collaboration of talents and writers. All of them are leading the charts in the writing process for all the songs but being able to input other people's abilities has been wonderful for my project. I couldn't be happier.
Who are some of the musicians that have inspired you the most?
There's a lot and it's hard to cypher them down to just a few but some of the most meaningful phases that I went through in my life; it would have to be the band Switchfoot. The lead singer John Forman is a terrific songwriter, just his style and the way his choruses lift up to such a high register and explodes in your face, that's something I try to adapt to my music. I went through a two or three year stretch where I was obsessed with that stuff and I also listened to a lot of John Mayer and guys like the Goo Goo Dolls and The Script and One Republic. People in that genre really inspire me and my music and I'm trying to learn from them but also be my own thing and so far it's going pretty well.
They were an incredible learning experiences for me because the last six, seven years of my career, I've been grinding it out here in Portland and playing smaller venues like bars and some of the smaller venues in town and going on the first tour with Gavin DeGraw and Matt Nathanson was a huge eye-opener for me because I've never stood in front of crowds larger than about a thousand people. It was amazing to be on stages of that caliber working with people like that. It's an experience I learned so much from. Then I got tossed into the Phillip Phillips tour with the full band and that was even more so. We did 22 dates across the country and I feel like I had my eyes opened and I'm not afraid of the stage or presenting my stuff anymore and it's super good for me. I enjoyed every minute of it. My next tours are going to be sometime in early 2015. Once we know, we'll post it up.
Check out Christian's website and hear his music. And keep a look out for Christian touring schedule as well.