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How Chad Kowal Felt Working With The Used’s Joey Bradford

Chad Kowal interview header

Chad Kowal began his life in music on the drums after receiving a drum kit from his parents. He was learning some of the trickiest songs around in the metalcore-glory days of the early 2010s, including many of my personal favorites: The Devil Wears Prada and A Day To Remember.

This led to the formation of Farewell, My Love in 2011. A band who stopped by idobi Radio for a session back in 2016 and the project I met Chad with. By that time, he was no longer drumming but the primary songwriter and vocalist. That change happened back in 2014, but following his own departure from the project in 2017, his itch for songwriting turned into what is now his first-ever solo music.

There’s something freeing about being a solo artist, and that is exactly what Chad is excited about. Being able to work with whoever he wants and experiment with new sounds & genres, he’s put out his most diverse music yet. He worked alongside names like The Summer Set’s Stephen Gomez on his track “Anti Social Media (ft. LostInVegas)” and Joey Bradford from The Used—another favorite band of his and mine—on his debut EP ALT POP.

We chatted about what it’s been like embarking on a career without bandmates at his side and geeked out about some of our favorite artists like From First To Last/Skrillex, My Chemical Romance, and more.

Watch the full video here and read below for a bit from our chat on his new era.

How is it embarking on a solo career where you don’t have other members that you’re writing with? 

It’s really positive, honestly. I am grateful for having done the band for as long as they did. I learned incredible lessons during that time. But when you have a band who is whatever genre of music it is, like blink-182 or something, people hear blink-182, and they expect something. 

Absolutely, there are expectations.

Whereas, with me, I gave myself one rule with this project: I’m gonna do whatever I want. Always. You take a band like Fall Out Boy, for instance; they’ve done so much stuff, but what makes them sound like Fall Out Boy is Patrick [Stump]’s voice. So I was like, “If I just am me, and I do whatever, I really should have the freedom to do it.” I’ve really enjoyed it, you know? It’s like, whatever producer or a songwriter that I work with, they differentiate all the time. It’s almost like being in a band that’s ever-changing. We’ll do some songs with Stephen [Gomez], and Stephen is my band for those songs. Some songs with Joey [Bradford], and then he’s in my band for those. So, it’s been really exciting and keeping things fresh. I just feel like it’s been a really positive thing for me.

This past summer, you released an EP, ALT POP. For a couple of songs off of it, you dropped some music videos. For your first EP, that’s a pretty big deal.

It was awesome. I was just kind of trying to see what producers I could work with. Obviously, I’m a huge The Used fan, and I saw there was a mutual friend of mine that had been in the studio with Joey [Bradford] from The Used. I didn’t know he produced, so I emailed him, and we locked in some dates. We went into the studio and we did “ALT POP,” “HUMAN VOLCANO,” and “PSYCHO” together. It was just so surreal for me, like being in the vocal booth, and I was literally surrounded by their road cases, and they had tour posters up and stuff. Just hearing him play—it was just so awesome.

A big full-circle moment.

Big time. I feel like we can get really caught up in trying to always go to the next height in music just for the sake of going higher, but for me, it’s more about satisfying that 16-year-old. I grew up on The Used, going to their shows and trying to meet them outside the bus and getting tattoos. Like… I’m like a fan fan, and being in the studio with Joey was so awesome because it’s like affirmed to my 16-year-old self that I could do it.


Head to the idobi Radio YouTube to watch the full interview, and be sure to subscribe to our channel and turn on notifications so you can always be up to date with the latest interviews, sessions, and content from your favorite artists!

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