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We like to keep tabs on fellow laxers. Periodically, Lacrosse Playground features profiles and interviews with what lacrosse players are doing in the business world. This week we spoke with Chase McGowan, bass guitarist for Cavalier Rose and former Penn laxer.
Can you tell us a little about your band “Cavalier Rose”?
I’ve had a band going ever since college, about 6 years ago, but Cavalier Rose, based out of Brooklyn, came together about a year ago. We’re a four-piece rock band trying to bring old-school feel back to the scene while pushing contemporary musical boundaries and being innovative. Our website is www.cavalierrose.com where you can hear and download all our recorded music their for free. We play in NYC for the most part, but will be going on a short winter tour this Dec…the dates can be found on the site. Check it out.
How did you get into music?
I started out taking piano lessons starting back in third grade or so, but was lured away to play guitar a few years after. That was right about when I first heard Hendrix while at lax camp one summer actually. So by now, I’ve been playing guitar for about 13 years and bass for about 3 now. I also mess around with drums and piano a bit as well.
What’s your lacrosse background?
I started playing very young, 2nd grade I think. I played high school ball at Choate in CT and then went on to play attack and midfield at Penn.
Was it difficult to balance both lacrosse and music?
It was very difficult, because in college my band was getting busier and busier, and the time commitment to a Division 1 lax program is a very big one. During my sophomore year I had to make a difficult choice between lax and seriously pursuing music…I chose music. I had played competitive lax for so long, I figured if I didn’t give music a full go at the time, then maybe I’d never have the chance. I still played club ball though, I just couldn’t give enough of myself to the team while balancing school with music.
How has lacrosse influenced you as a musician?
Lacrosse has influenced me greatly in music, particularly in playing live shows. The whole experience is easily equatable to playing and getting ready for a game. You can practice, and prepare yourself for it, but you never really know whats going to happen come showtime. And a lot like you do offensively in lax, you have to be creative and have the ability to improvise on the fly. I have taken a lot of the mentality that made me successful in lacrosse into the music.
Who are your biggest influences in music and which one would make the best laxer in your opinion?
My biggest influences in music are mostly musicians and bands from the sixties and seventies: Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, the Beatles, the Stones, Miles Davis, a lot of jazz…but I also am really into Nine Inch Nails, the White Stripes, and the Fleet Foxes. I think Jimi Hendrix could have really been a player. He was a little lanky, but if he hit the gym a bit, his height and great hands could have made him a legit crease attackman…I think.
Do you have any advice for laxers with musical talents?
I’d just say, stick with it. Lax helped me a lot in my musical endeavors and you don’t have to choose one over the other. I played music through just about my entire competitive lacrosse career, only when my commitment to a band got very serious while playing Division 1 did I have to make a choice. So go for it…lax and music complement each other. I always felt that the greatest players had a great rhythm and smoothness to their game. The way they ran the field, cradled, v-cutted, cranked up for a shot…while playing, I was always thinking rhythmically in my competitively days.
Your family has been very influential through World Class Lacrosse. What more can be done to make lacrosse a more prominent sport internationally?
Supporting the World Games is definitely important. I think blogs and lax websites like this one are very helpful as well. The more post-college grads who travel around internationally for a bit after school who are will to try and play or find a game while traveling wouldn’t hurt either. It’s certainly a process, but from what I’ve seen, it’s happening at a pretty good rate.
Cavalier Rose performing “Lie to Me”
Cavalier Rose Interview
Visit Cavalier Rose for info on upcoming tour dates.