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Will surprises continue for Kasey Chambers?

By Jeffrey B. Remz, January 2002

Page 3...

When Kasey tours, Bill can be found playing lead guitar. If buying a t-shirt, then you may just be dealing with Diane. And they regroup at Kasey's shows to play one Dead Ringer song.

But what about getting a deal in the States?

"Almost all of my favorite country artists came from there," says Chambers of Nashville. "It was always where I wanted to go and check out. I honestly never thought they'd never be interested in an Australian singing country music. I never really thought I'd have much of a shot. John Lomax was a big fan and worked really really hard getting us a record deal with the Dead Ringer Band."

Lomax is based in Nashville and managed Chambers until mid-2001. They departed on good terms. He recently wrote a book about the family for an Aussie publisher.

"He was trying to get me a deal with my album and managed to get me one with Warners. I just never really thought I'd ever really consider. Knowing America, no American wants to hear an Australian come over and tell us about the music they know much better than us."

(That could be changing. Consider the recent success of Keith Urban, a friend of Chambers, along with more pop oriented folks like Jamie O'Neal.)

"People coming to my shows just like listening to music. They don't care where it comes from."

Nor looks as Chambers does not look like your prototypical country music star. Forget about hats, boots and a belt buckle. How about a nose ring?

"I look how I want to look and dress how I want to dress. Not even how I want to. I am what I am. It is what it is. You either have to like it or lump it."

She said she had not gotten any flack from Warner.

"I kind of laid down the law to start with before I signed with them. Because America wasn't my number one market when I signed because I didn't live there and that didn't pay my bills, that's kind of like a bonus to me that I don't have (in Australia)."

"I'll never live full time in America. If I don't ever get the deal that I want in America, then I won't sign one because it's not worth it. We had 'The Captain' made. 'This is the way album is. You take it like that or you leave it. You take me looking like I am.' Because we had that attitude, it took a long time getting a record deal. I'm happy with the way we do things...They kept the album ("The Captain") exactly the same. They didn't remix one song."

Whatever happens with "Barricades & Brickwalls," Chambers seems to content with the music.

"I don't want to have these preconceived ideas. It's an easy way to be disappointed. I really want it come out like this because if it doesn't sell, it's disappointing. If people like it, great. If people don't, then who cares? I've made the album exactly way it's supposed to be."

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