We got the chance to chat with Kamtin Mohager of The Chain Gang of 1974. Don’t miss out on their show TONIGHT at The Hard Rock Hotel! RSVP here for free entry: http://sos.me/dFQuT/1

How do you think you have progressed or evolved as a musician and person from Wayward Fire to Daydream Forever?

Kamtin Mohager: I didn’t have any boundaries with Daydream Forever. Unlike my mentality with Wayward Fire, I went into the writing/recording process with nothing in mind. I knew what I was feeling inside, and just decided to write songs from that part of my soul. Whatever I was feeling, I wrote about it. Instead of being focused on replicating a specific time period, I found inspiration in life and nature. The ocean, and California as a whole, gave me most of the inspiration.

How important is accessibility versus creativity? Can those concepts work together?

Kamtin Mohager: That’s a tough question. Though I am extremely proud of the music I have created, it’s not difficult to see that I haven’t reached the masses like I would’ve liked to. I do believe in staying true to your beliefs. But you do end up doubting yourself at times when you’re playing somewhere like Columbus, OH and there’s only 5 people in the crowd. We are living in a time where the public is told what to like. I truly believe that a lot of people don’t even like what they’re listening to. They just say they do because the radio told them to. With all of that being said, progression is a reality. And the public coming along for that progressive ride is possible. I’ve seen a massive increase in my fan base, and I couldn’t be more grateful for that support. It’s a strange world. It’s a love/hate relationship. But who knows what the future holds. I’ve begin work on a new album and am feeling positive about where it’s all going.

How did your involvement with Grand Theft Auto franchises come about? Is that something you’re proud of?

Kamtin Mohager: Very proud of it. It was all “right place right time.” Literally a tap on the shoulder. They were fans of Wayward Fire and approached me while we were playing Lollapalooza in 2011. The rest is history.

What artists are you currently excited about?

Kamtin Mohager: Deafheaven, Weatherbox, Weekend (not The Weeknd), Counterparts, The Maine, Cheatahs. The new Braid record rules too.

The spirit of the beach seems to come through pretty strongly on your album art and in your music. Is that something you thought out or pay attention to?

Kamtin Mohager:  I grew up on the Big Island of Hawaii. Age 3 through 13 was spent there, so the spirit of the water has been with me since I was a little one. I picked up surfing about 3 years ago, so that was a massive influence on the record. I wanted people to drive down PCH at night time while listening to the album. I wanted people to feel that.

Besides music, where does inspiration come from?

Kamtin Mohager:  Film, love, and life. Pain is a big of part of the arts. It sounds cheesy, but I believe that you can’t write a real song until you’ve experienced real heartbreak.

Interview By: Dennis Moon