Meet the Band: Chris Hatton

MEET THE BAND: Chris Hatton (vocals, guitars)

A DIY GUY: Singer-guitarist Chris Hatton has been making records since he was 19 or 20. "I do everything myself, all the recording and playing," says Hatton, who grew up in Garfield Heights and Brecksville. Hatton, who also teaches at School of Rock, has held down a Thursday night gig at Brothers Lounge for the past four years. "I feel like I've cut my teeth a lot," he says. "[The Brothers Lounge show] is a way different gig than playing with an original band once a month or every other month. You have to keep it fresh. I practice constantly to put together new stuff each week. It's a different discipline."


HAZY DAYS: Hatton has two kids now and recorded his new album, Into the Universe, in snippets between gigging and teaching at the School of Rock and coming home to the kids. "You don't get those big chunks of time," he says. "On previous albums, I recorded as quickly as possible. On Into the Universe, I became a bit obsessive.  Night after night, I recorded countless takes until I was able to get the exact vibe I was searching for. There's not a note on this CD that I'm not behind 100 percent, and that feels nice."

WHY YOU SHOULD HEAR HIM: Recorded and mixed at sessions that took place in the past two years, all the tracks were laid down at the fictional Analog Beard Shoe Storage and Recording Facility in Seven Hills. Hatton plays most of the instruments on the album himself but recruited Joe Barone to play keyboards and Tommy Rich to play drums. "He's good at playing slow deep big fat drums," Hatton says of Rich. "I couldn't play the song slow enough for the life of me." The songs have deep funk grooves but also delve into spacey Pink Floyd territory at times. "There's a little bit of heaviness in there," he says. "I call it Yardman Music." And the lyrics are pretty out there too. "Some of the poignant subjects that I tackle on this new album include fighting with your chick, lawnmowers, praying mantises and various other insects, extraterrestrial recording techniques, bartenders, and Cosmic Wave Transcendence," says Hatton. "I used to write about breakups but I'm 35 years old now, so who cares? I just write about what I know. 'Neighborhood Man' is about living in Seven Hills and mowing the lawn." For the CD release show at Brothers Lounge, Hatton will play for an hour and then bring his backing band, Italian Sound Machine, out for another hour-long set.


WHERE YOU CAN SEE HIM: Chris Hatton performs at 8 p.m. on Thursday, March 24, at Brothers Lounge.