Cory Chisel's official bio tells how he grew up influenced by the music he learned in church, and lived a sheltered existence in Wisconsin. Funny, considering that he has a sophisticated global viewpoint on the world. Touring the country with his backup band The Wandering Sons, and recently opening for HeadCount artist Blind Pilot, Chisel has strong opinions on education, health care, and transportation. In our ongoing artist interview series where we ask questions that no one else would ask, we learned what's going on in the head of Cory Chisel.
HeadCount: What was the most interesting non-music conversation you've had in the last few months and what was it about?
Corey Chisel: I had a great conversation with my friend and musician Mark Watrous about the proof and existence of Ancient Aliens... It's a great way to get any party going.
What is your favorite non music website and why?
I like this website called 20X200: www.20x200.com ... It's a great site to look through new art that's being made... and then actually be able to afford those prints and bring them a little closer.
What issue gets you and the band most fired up? Anything you all feel strongly about? Or anything you disagree about and debate?
We often have pretty heated conversation about the public school system..... It can be interesting to look back at the hands that molded your innocent thoughts... history is another point of contention in our crew and often prompts some hilarious rants and accusations... we all fancy ourselves a few too many conspiracies theories...
What do you think about the recent election?
I'm overwhelmed by the amount of new faces on the political landscape. I am by nature very distrusting of the sorts of people who seek political power. In Wisconsin we have a newby in the office. It will be interesting to see where it leads our state. They have already cancelled work on the light rail. So it looks like Illinois will be getting all 2,000 of those new jobs and and effective transportation. I think that is a giant step in the wrong direction already.
What was the last documentary you watched? Did it reinforce or change how you felt about the subject.
I think the last documentary I watched was ["Herb and Dorothy"] about an elderly couplewho have an extremely modest income ... yet have spent their life buying and building one of the largest collections of modern art in the United States. It defiantly reinforced the idea that an obsession with beauty is a great way to spend your hard earned money.
Where do you glean most of your news and current events?
Most of my current event news comes from the New York Times. And I most often read online...
What was the first charity you ever gave money to and when did you do it?
The first charity I ever supported was the Humane Society when I was pretty young. I've always liked animals better than a majority of humans and many really need to be cared for.
If you were given $1 million dollars tomorrow, on the condition that you had to spend only on one cause what would it be?
I've been involved with Artist For A New South Africa (ANSA) for quite awhile now. It's an amazing non-profit that assists children orphaned by the HIV/AIDS epidemic in South Africa: www.ansafrica.org/ I've also recently become involved with the World Hunger Year: www.whyhunger.org These are both wonderful organizations and I'd love to turn over a million dollars to either. Let's work on that.
If you could add an amendment to the constitution would you? and what would it be?
There should be healthcare for every American.. it should be mandatory that our well being be the highest priority for our Government. I think that should be right in the Constitution.