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Stephen Cochran


Living in this post 9/11 world, artists have strived to capture the American feelings that we all have. From Darryl Worley singing about coming back from a war to Toby Keith's 'American Soldier' anthem; the feelings are real and genuine. Continuing this theme is artist Stephen Cochran. The difference with Stephen is that he lived it. Growing up, Stephen developed a love for music from his songwriting father and was instilled core vaues of family and country. Having felt his duty to his country, he joined the United States of America Marine Corps Light Armored Reconnaissance Division and headed straight to Iraq. He returned safely, but wasn't so lucky on his next overseas tour - to Afghanistan. After losing a good friend to enemy fire, Cochran returned home with a broken back and a newfound determination to make his country music dream come true. After making a grueling recovery, Stephen has his sights straight at making music with an honesty that only he knows. Let's support this true American Hero and show our gratitude....On behalf of Detroit Music Notes, Stephen, we thank you for all you have done.


Stephen Cochran in Afganistan 2008 - 2009


DMN - Stephen, How are ya?

SC - Oh, I'm doing alright, how are you

DMN - Surviving this neverending winter!

SC - I have some funny stories about that. When I was growing up, I would come up there to Waterford, Michigan every summer. I'm a southern boy, so when I would come up there in April or May whenever school would let out and I can remember being up there and the weather was in the 40's or so and all my buddies were running around in tank tops and shorts playing basketball and talking about how it sure is warming up! Well, 40 degrees to me is... WINTER so I would be out there in a full snowmobile suit on. They would say what are you doing and I would just tell them 'It's cold out here!'

DMN - Yeah, we are a little different breed up here! Talk to me a little about your influences.

SC - I really have a lot. It's really like an ecclectic mix. I just really love music. Growing up, I don't think my dad ever set boundaries on genres. Between my Dad and my family they never really isolated each genre of music. It was just good music; listen to it and learn from it. From Elvis to Garth Brooks it has always been the entertainers for some reason that stuck out to me. I love songwriters songs that can be entertained well. I see the way I write like a Kris Kristofferson way of writing the way I like it and I entertain those songs to the best of my ability. I grew up watching Garth Brooks entertain rock concerts with country music and that is what I always wanted to do. My goal is that everyone that comes to my show will leave with thier daily quota of entertainment.

DMN - What do you look for in a song and how do you approach song writing?

SC -It is so funny that you asked that. I am in the middle of writing songs for a new CD and I wrote a song last night. We started on my second CD earlier this year and my first single called 'Wal Mart Flowers' is due out on April 13, 2009. That song really kicks off the mood I was in with that CD. I felt that I was in a greater place in my life as far as an artist. Also dealing with some of the effects that I still have from combat I also feel that I'm in a better place. I have always used songwriting as a form of therapy but there are some things that I have never been able to write about. One of them being my injuries. To this day, loud noises can shake me up pretty bad; I don't think you get injured like I was and it doesn't affect you like that. I could never write about the injuries because there are so many types of injuries. You have the physical injury plus the mental stress and the post traumatic stress that you get from watching your friends die and almost dying yourself. There are so many times over there that I would say to myself that this will probably be the last time I am alive and this is how it's really going to end. There are many times that I would say that I didn't think that this is how it really would end for me. I don't think people can realize how truely torturing that is to force your body and mind to know that it's aobut to die. I don't think anyone's psyche or being is made up to understand an end. When you have to come to grips with that, it'll twist you up real bad. Last night I got together with a friend that I have wrote with for several years and started writing. I am involved with a new coalition to raise awarness and money for our troops and it's called "The Coalition to Salute America's Heroes". They are an amazing organization that gives so much back to the military that I've decided I had to get onboard. I had to let people know what great things they do. In watching what these great veterans do for other veterans, I wanted to get in there and do something also and the thing that I do is music and songwriting. My gift is writing, singing and entertaining so I thought, Stephen, it's time to stop being a coward. It's time to sit down and open up some of these emotions. Last night was the first time I ever sat down and wrote about my injuries and I couldn't be more proud of how it turned out. Willie Nelson said it best when he said "Even when you lose, you are still a winner because you have the makings of a song". The name of the song is called "Pieces". I'll leave it at that and let people do with it what they may. I'll leave you with this... My back was broke in 6 pieces and life is like a puzzle with all the pieces making up parts of your life. When you get back from combat, you have to remember that you have been gone for over a year; two years for me. While you were gone, life completely moved on. Just because you go to combat doesn't mean that time stops. I remember when I came back. I didn't know what the number one songs on the radio were. The people who were famous when I left had been replaced by new entertainers. It was like I was chronologically frozen and everything else just kept on going. When you get home you have all these people who want to pick up right where you left but it doesn't work that way because people change. You have to come back and put these pieces of the puzzle back together. Sometimes that is all you are left with is the pieces and you have to find out where they go.

DMN - I would like to say to you what I say to every young man and woman I come across who wears The United States of America's Armed Forces uniform... Thank you for what you do and thank you for what you have done. It is greatly appreciated whether you realize it or not.

SC - Thank you so much. That is all I ask of anyone out there. If you see someone in the airport or if you see someone just out there in uniform, just thank them. The one thing these men and women don't hear enough is thank you. I am so proud of our people and our population as a whole because it shows that we have learned something from Vietnam. If you don't support the Government it doesn't mean that you don't have to support the military. These men and women are doing their best that they are being told to do by state.

DMN - What do you do to unwind? What kind of hobbies do you have?

SC - Well, right now... not many! I had one guy interview me and he wouldn't accept my anwer that music is my hobby. He kept asking me what do I do when I am not making music and I kept telling him... music! What he failed to realize is that this is my dream! When I did have a day job in the Marine Corps, I would spend my time trying to improve myself as an entertainer. When I got injured and was in the hospital, they told me that I would NEVER walk again. My dream was completely ripped... it was gone. I can't imagine a life with out dreaming. Dreams keep you going ever day. When I got the opportunity to walk again, I made myself a promise that I was going to do what I love... and that was music. It is what I eat, sleep and breathe. To me, it's a lifestyle. I do love to read and I watch a lot of the History Channel. I think that you can learn more from watching The History Channel and Discovery channel than 4 years of high school.

DMN - Your video for 'Friday Night Fireside' has some cameo appearances in it. Is that Big Vinny, Butter and Crystal from The Trailer Choir?

SC - That is definitely the Trailer Choir! The funny thing is that nobody knows how intertwined the Trailer Choir and my carrer really are. Big Vinny and myself are roomates. We have been roommates for 8 years now. We both came to Nashville around the same time and I started playing different places with Music Mafia, John Rich and his brother Isaac Rich. I became good friends with John and Isaac and they introduced me to Big Vinny. Vinny was just this big lovable guy who would come out and dance at all the shows we played. Someone told me that Vinny wrote songs and that I should try writing with him so I called him up. He couldn't believe that I wanted to write with him. Vinny lived about an hour from Nashville and I lived about 2 hours away. We would drive to Nashville every weekend to find shows and when we found them, we didn't want to leave so we would find a hotel room for the night and yes... I did have to share a futon with Big Vinny. Can you picture that? Well, I got a record deal and my first single 'Friday Night Fireside' was written by Butter and Big Vinny of the Trailer Choir and John Rich's little brother, Isaac Rich. When I got back, Kenny Chesney had the lockdown on beach music. The problem was that not everyone has a beach in their backyard. I love Jimmy Buffet and beach music like everyone does and I'm not knocking Kenny Chesney or beach music when I say that. I am just saying that it is very form fitting for those who live that Caribbean lifestyle. What about the other 90% of us who live where it is 32 degrees outside.... or 2 degrees for you in Michigan! I was looking for a song for the rest of us... the common people. I remember geting some firewood and dragging it out back, throw it in a pile, grab a Bud Light... or up there in Michigan a Boones Farm, calling up your friends and having a Friday night fireside! That's just what we did growing up. People tell me that they don't do that in the north... I say Bullshit! I've spent every summer in Michigan and we did that in my grandfathers back field right there in Waterford, Michigan! It is a part of my life and I think it is a part of everyones life who likes country music or southern rock music. So, we did the video no different than the song was written. We wanted to keep it real. Keeping it real is the most important. The reason George Strait is still here after 80 or so hit songs is because he can wake up in the morning and still be George Strait.

DMN - What is your favorite song to perform?

SC - It's a toss up between 'Friday Night Fireside' and 'Thinking I'm Drinking'. One of my big dreams was that I wanted to know what Garth Brooks felt like when the crowd was singing louder than him. The first time I had that experience I was in Detroit. I played the Art's, Beat's and Eat's festival with Billy Currington. There was this after party at The Crowsfoot where Billy was supposed to come out and make a guest appearance but he got sick or something like that and they asked me if we didn't mind coming out and just play. We said 'Sure, we love to play music'. The funny thing was that after I got off the main stage all my buddy's that I grew up with in Waterford were there and I ended up partying with them. By now, it was 11pm or so and they told me that I had to perform again... I told them "do you see that empty bottle of Crown Royal over there?" I did my best to guzzle water and sober up a little bit and when I got on stage it was greatest show I have ever played. It was not filled with standing room only; it was filled with breathing room only and when we started playing 'Friday Night Fireside', nobody on stage could hear our monitors! I don't think that the audience knew that I stepped back and didn't sing one of the verses. It was at that moment that I knew a fraction of what it felt like to be Garth Brooks.

DMN - Have you ever gone on Youtube.com and seen what people are saying about you?

SC - um...yeah. I have to admit... I do. I'm wierd. I try to go and find negative things people say about me. I want to know what they think I should fix. I think that is a big misconception with artists. When they get that fame they think that they should just keep doing what their doing because it's working and I shouldn't fix it. Well, bullshit. Everybody can improve and get better. I look at Elvis Presley as 'the goal'. He is what everyone wants to be. But, Elvis' favorite motto was 'I can always get better'. When you stop thinking you can get better, you are in a bad place to be. Some of my google searches have been 'Stephen Cochran, bad', 'Stephen Cochran, horrible' and I haven't come up with too much! One comment that I did see was where someone was questioning my right to sing 'If You're Reading This'. People don't know that even though you are a signed artist you have to sing covers to get noticed. And I'm not taking anything away from Tim McGraw with that song. It is an amazing song. I sing that song as a testament to me. Tim McGraw has never been known as a songwriter. Of all his CD's I only know of a couple songs that he actually wrote. What amazes me is how a man who has never gone to combat just got it so right. When I first heard that song, I thought 'man, he really knows this stuff'. Come to find out he pretty much wrote that song after watching a MSNBC show. I made myself a promise that each time I had a guitar in my hand and a microphone to sing into, I would sing that song.

DMN - You are playing the Detroit Downtown Hoedown on May 15, 2009. Pretty excited?

SC - I am! It's like taking a list of dreams and checking them off one at a time. Two years ago I got to play a thing called Jamboree in the Hills in West Virginia which is pretty close to my hometown of Pikeville, Kentucky and I'm going back again this year! I have two halves of my family. One half lives in Pikeville and the other half lives in Waterford, Michigan. To my family in Kentucky, if you played Jamboree in the HIlls then you have made it as a star. Now for my family in the Detroit area, you haven't made it as a star til you play the Hoedown! My grandmother, who is my biggest fan, still thinks of me as a bar band because I haven't played the Hoedown. This year, I said to granny that I was playing the Hoedown and she changed right before my eyes! She's out signing autographs to her friends and all! So if you are in Waterford, MI. you too can get an autograph from my grandmother!

DMN - For anyone who hasn't seen you in concert yet, what could they expect?

SC - Somebody told me one time that my vocals were a cross between Garth Brooks and Gary Allan. I thought, wow, that is like the greatest compliment I have ever been given because they are both my favorite artist. Right now I think Gary Allan is the most underestimated artist in country music. I love his voice and I love the way he writes. Garth Brooks is like the ultimate entertainer. I jokingly said back to that person that if you think my voice is a mix of Gary Allan and Garth, then my live show is a cross between Gary Allan and Garth on cocaine! Now you must know that I DO NOT DO DRUGS! I don't even know what Cocaine does but I know it is an energy producing drug. We go out there and we give it our all. We play southern rock. When it gets down to it, I am a southern rocker. Country music is the home for southern rock! My band is an ecclectic mix from all over; my bassist is from a New Hampshire punk band! He's got a blue mohawk! My drummer I got out of a Chicago Blues band. My guitarist is also from a punk band and my fiddle player played on the Opry for 10 years. And me as a southern rocker really makes for a great mix of styles.


http://www.stephencochran.com - Ofiicial Website

http://www.myspace.com/stephencochran - Myspace Page

http://www.shockink.com - Publicist


Tour Dates


WFFN - Tuscaloosa Al - St. Jude Guitar Pool April 11, 2009 6:30 PM
with Jeff Bates and James LeBlanc
Wal-Mart Flowers Video Shoot - Part 1, Private April 16, 2009 8:00 AM
Hammond, La. - Chevy's April 17, 2009 10:00 PM Following the Video Shoot of Wal-Mart Flowers, Stephen Cochran and The New Country Outlaws will take the stage for a full night performance.
Wal-Mart Flowers Video Shoot - Chevy's Hammond, Louisiana April 17, 2009 8:00 AM
TBD - Corpus Cristi, TX April 24, 2009 7:00 PM
Fleet Feet Chicago - Chicago, IL May 01, 2009 8:00 PM
Phoenix, AZ Cinco de Mayo KMLE Style May 05, 2009 TBA
with Rio Grande and Whiskey Falls
Cory's Irish Pub May 09, 2009 5:00 PM
Dinner/Performance - Benefit Fundraiser to support www.saluteheroes.org.  
WYCD Hoedown, Detroit, Michigan May 15, 2009 5:00 PM
Fox 2 - Detroit, MI May 15, 2009 8:00 AM
Pensacola Florida May 16, 2009 TBD
Independence Fund Event.  More to come
CSAH Event - Pasadena, TX May 23, 2009 8:00 PM
Gulf Shores, AL June 04, 2009 TBA
Baton Rouge, LA June 05, 2009 8:00 PM
Chevy's - Hammond, LA June 06, 2009 10:00 PM
CMA Fest - Nashville, TN June 11, 2009 All Day
CMA Fest - Nashville, TN June 12, 2009 All Day
Ute Lake Stars On The Water 09 - Logan, NM June 13, 2009 8:00 PM
Brooklyn, NY - Benefit for McKenna Glover Foundation June 15, 2009 TBA
Seymour Johnson Air Force Base - Charlotte, NC July 02, 2009 TBA
Military Appreciation Night
Independence Day Festival, Corolla, NC July 04, 2009 TBD
Jamboree In The Hills - Morristown, OH July 18, 2009 11:40 AM
Lulu's - Gulf Shores Alabama August 21, 2009 TBA
Lulu's - Gulf Shores Alabama August 22, 2009 TBA
Neon Armadillo - Ft. Wayne Indiana - Army Night September 11, 2009 9:00 PM
Neon Armadillo - Ft. Wayne Indiana - Marine Night September 12, 2009 9:00 PM
Lost Creek Festival, Lost Creek, WV September 26, 2009 7:30 PM
Pensacola Fair - Pensacola, Florida October 29, 2009 7:00 PM
Pensacola Fair - Second Show October 29, 2009 9:00 PM
Camellia City Iron Horse Festival, McComb MS November 07, 2009 TBA