I certainly won’t be playing at my own wedding, no – I’ll be out there on the opposite side for a change having a drink!
I think there’s a lot of companies that say “we’re long-life” but the Nexus ones for me have been the longest-lasting strings that I have put on a guitar so far.
Chloë Chadwick is a singer/songwriter from Cheshire, England. Her Americana tinged alt/pop effortlessly blends rock and country influences into a one woman touring act that has had her on the road for 15 years, opening for and sharing stages with a host of artists ranging from Lady Antebellum to The Shires and Ward Thomas to Emmylou Harris.
We first spoke with Chloë just before the world went into lockdown when she was out playing full-time. After burning through other brands’ acoustic strings on a weekly basis, she turned to Rotosound Nexus Acoustic strings and found they would last beyond a month’s worth of nightly shows. After a year of the music scene being put on pause we gave Chloë a call to see how the world of a full-time performer has changed:
I guess it’s been very hard in the last year since the pandemic, right?
Yeah, I lost all my work, although I write my own material and do a lot of original stuff. But I’m also a performer at weddings, and private events, and things like that so obviously everything came to a grand halt. It’s been a year now and it’s been tough; I suppose like for every musician.
The Musician’s Union was great and you could apply for some funding through them. I was very fortunate to get a little bit of funding through them but I’m also a hard worker so sometimes you just have to swallow your pride and go out there and look for other work, which is what I did, and I’m still I’m doing that now until things get back to full swing and back to full time music again.
I’m very fortunate that I’ve managed to claw some bookings back now and get new bookings. Things, I can say, are looking a bit more bright now.
Brilliant – that’s good! Have there been many bookings that were technically put on pause?
Yeah, there are a few on pause; I’ve lost a few all together. I know some people phoned and then – because of the restrictions – they had to postpone again and they felt like they were just gonna cancel the whole thing and pick things back up when the world gets back on its feet. I don’t blame people for doing that and I’ve had to, as well as swallow my pride in losing money, I’ve had to think of them in their shoes – and I am due to be getting married and I’ve had to postpone mine so I know exactly how they can feel. There’s nothing you can do about it and you’ve just got to work with the customers and I suppose stay on their side.
Oh, congratulations for your engagement! Will you be playing in your wedding?
No! I’ve been roped in to playing at birthdays and stuff in the past for family but I certainly won’t be playing at my own wedding, no – I’ll be out there on the opposite side for a change having a drink!
Nexus strings: The secret to long life
Obviously I had heard about Rotosound for a number of years but I’d never really used them. I think that guitar strings are a little bit like going to the supermarket; you get very used to the same product and it’s very difficult to leave that product once you use them because, if you’re a regular musician like myself, you’re buying strings constantly. I always used [another brand’s] strings and I’d used them for years but then as I moved back to Cheshire… I took my guitars down a couple of times for a service and to do a few bits and bobs and [my luthier] used to restring both with the Nexus strings. So I had my guitars back from service and I loved them and I remember ringing him up saying, “what are those strings you put on my guitar; they’re brilliant, they’re great!“ They last forever and they’re just a really bright, warm sound and I just fell in love with them. When he told me they were Rotosound Nexus I immediately got in touch with yourself to to sign up with you and I’ve used them ever since.
I think in terms of price-range they’re spot on. I personally use the polymer coated long-life NXA11s on my acoustic guitar because they’re not too thick but they’re just a really bright, warm sound and I don’t think I’ve ever come across the strings into last as long as they do.
I find myself now buying your strings on average once a month/once every six weeks – and that was with me working and playing my guitar three or four times a week, doing a good two hours at a time. They weren’t going dull at all as opposed to different strings that I’ve used that are lovely sounding at first, but the more use that you give the strings, the colour fades, which I don’t like, and of course the sound fades. Whereas with the Nexus, they just seem to hold their own – they’re great! Really fresh and just a great sound; I really like them!
Before you switched over to the Nexus coated strings, how often did you change your strings?
I would change them every couple of weeks, easy. I would even purchase [other brands’ long-life] strings but I find myself buying the Nexus now and every time just because they are long lasting. You know, I think there’s a lot of companies that say “we’re long-life” but the Nexus ones for me have been the longest-lasting strings that I have put on a guitar so far.
So you said you’ve done a bit of writing over the last year…
I suppose what better way, when you’re not really getting out there performing and entertaining people, the next best thing then is to perhaps have some time… to sit down and write. I’ve now finally set up the music room where the creative juices can flow.
I brought a debut album out in 2017 [‘Dustbowl Jukebox’] and that was the last time, really, that I did put a lot of effort into songwriting, which I really enjoy. It’s something that I’ve done ever since I was ten or eleven … so it’s always something that I love to do and, yeah, I guess the one good thing to have come out of COVID is it gave me a reason to get back at it again and get back to songwriting and creating some new music.
So you think you might be putting some new material out there soon?
Definitely! I actually did release a song – just on a whim really – which is currently on Spotify and iTunes, a song called ‘Devil’s Game’ and it was something that was already in recording and production. I work with a recording company called Animal Farm based in London and we’d already done the recording prior to COVID and the lockdown and we just decided to throw it out there really I suppose, and why not?! I played my Martin on that with the Nexus strings.