Interview | FFS 5 with Chadwick Stokes

Chadwick Stokes Urman has been defining folk spirit as a musician and human rights activist for 25 years. His first notable climb was through fronting Dispatch in the late 1990s. Since, he’s been an artistic tour de force, continuing to contribute to Dispatch and State Radio while pursuing solo work, as well. Between it all, he’s driven by a fiery compassion in the fight for all that is right, poised against the corporate greed and indecision that has been turning our world inside-out.

Following the release of his 2019 album, Chadwick Stokes & the Pintos, the artist was gracious enough to settle in and take a swing at our ongoing ‘FFS 5’ interview series. His answers offer a window to peer in through to get a glimpse of his convictions and heart.

Please tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from and how did you get started in music? Any defining moments along the path to present day?

I grew up on a farm in Massachusetts.   Every night my brothers and sister and I would go to sleep in the loft while my dad played piano.  I started playing trombone as a kid and then stole my sister’s guitar when I was 13. 
Playing open mics was a big step for me as a teenager.  

As an artist, how do you define success?

Usually by how much you like the last thing you did.   

What do you find to be your greatest struggle when it comes to the music business?

Promoting something like myself,, and being away from the family

What do you think is the most realistic goal you can achieve as an artist/band? What do you hope to achieve?

I know music for me that I love can take me out of reality, or help me understand my reality better.  I’d like be able to keep making music.  

Outside of music, what do you like to do that you feel contributes to the creativity that you tap into for your music?

Feeling angst about our childish bully reality-TV president, current events, outer space, planting trees, hallucinogens, farm animals.

Words by: Jonathan Frahm