You may recognize this guy from tours with Against Me or Hellogoodbye or maybe you’ve seen one of his collaborations with Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. If you haven’t had the pleasure, look for Christopher Mansfield perform with his band Fences throughout 2017.
Not only is he insanely talented, but he’s one of the most humble, truly nice human beings out there. Before he hit the stage at New York’s Bowery Electric on March 23rd I was lucky enough to snag an interview with him.
You’ve played in Europe before, but this is your first tour there. What are you most excited about?
My friend Emile is flying to meet me in Berlin from Paris. I haven’t seen her in almost ten years. Also, you can smoke in the airports.
You’ve said in the past that making music and singing live stresses you out; what pushes you to continue?
This may sound horribly cliché but writing songs feels almost like breathing for me. I can’t not do it. I do have a hard time with playing live just in the sense of it making me anxious to have people staring at me. The strange part is that I also want to be stared at.
A little birdie told me you’re writing a book, is that true? Are we talking memoir? What can you tell us?
Yeah I’m just trying to match Augusten Burroughs.
What’s the best show you’ve ever done and why?
Best show was probably a living room somewhere in the Midwest.
What about the worst?
Worst… Maybe when I played in Montana for two people. One was the bartender and the other was some drunk mom who literally jumped on stage and tried kissing me.
You have 2 or 3 Bonnie “Prince” Billy lyric tattoos and once said, you “can’t tell if it ruined my life or made it [listening to his album].” What was it about it that hit you and are you trying to do the same to your listeners now?
He wrote, “if God could make me cry, I’d run along the water.” It’s the prettiest thing I ever read. I also love his branding. He’s okay with being this very odd man. With all due respect.
As for me… I could say yes, I am just trying to make something beautiful. We all are aren’t we?
What’s next for Fences?
I need to buy a book shelf.