Music for the Soul An interview with Chris Knight
Welcome, Chris, to Body Mind Spirit.
It's a real pleasure for us to have the opportunity to talk to you.
Our office is often filled with your music.
A great deal of your songs seem to be about average -- sometimes desperate people -- in extraordinary circumstances. Why do you choose these types of people over more standard, mainstream characters?
I write what I Know about and what interests me, or what interested me at the time I wrote those songs. Also there is a fair amount of emotion in my songs and I don't get too emotional about standard and mainstream.
Many of your songs, such as "William," portray characters that are trying to do the right thing, but because of circumstances, are forced to make desperate choices. You seem to be profoundly influenced by the down-trodden in life. Since much of our society ignores these marginalized people, how is it that you have been so connected to them in your own life and music?
I know some of them, I'm kin to some of them, and I am some of them.
As a listener, our staff is very struck by the fact that your songs have the power to transform the human condition. Listeners can either resonate with the characters and feel that their own story is being told in your words, or they can see themselves as being above the characters that you portray and therefore they find themselves grateful for their own lot in life. As a performer, do you have a strong sense of your own power to influence how people perceive their lives and those of other people?
I'm beginning to sense that. I never really thought about it until fairly recently. It sounds like a big responsibility, now that you've brought it to my attention. I've just been writing what I know and feel. I hope that's worth something good to people.
We feel that your music reflects a strong spiritual component – a sense that you are highly attuned to the human condition around you and that by presenting it to the public, you can touch other people's lives in a spiritual way. Do you feel that this is an accurate assessment of your work?
I hope that's the case. If I've got something that good to pass along to people, then that's what I want to do. Now that we're knee deep in this topic of how my music influences people, I just want to say that I hope when people hear my music, they get something good out of it and feel alright with themselves. Maybe help them deal with some tough situation.
In reading about you, we discovered that despite your success, you still live a rather simple life – living in a small town without a lot of the trappings of success. How have you managed to stay grounded in an industry that normally promotes excess and self-indulgence?
I'm married and have three kids. You can't hang yourself if you ain't got enough rope. Also, I've never thought that being in the music business gives me the right to be immature and irresponsible.
If you haven't had an opportunity to visit Body Mind Spirit yet, you probably aren't aware that our publication is geared to people who are either working in the healing and spirituality field or those who are seeking spirituality wellness. For the most part, our readers are seeking a better existence in this world. If you could offer our readers any advice about life and achieving their dreams, what would you say to them?
There is a lot to be said for just taking care of business. If you let too many little things pile up on you they will turn on you. I guess I just try to be responsible and do what needs doing. Clear the slate, then try to move farther ahead towards what's important to you. Also, you might want to read Proverbs.
In closing, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you on behalf of all of our staff. Your music has had a profound effect on each of us and is a standard part of our office play list each day. Please know that you have influenced each of us to more carefully consider the condition of the lives of all those we deal with on a daily basis and hopefully this inspires us to treat each one with more compassion and care. In your own words, "While we all try to stay afloat, If you would, Lord, sail the boat."