Dedicated to making your wedding rock, the Emerald Empire Band is a group that knows how to bring the fun and the talent wherever they go! We got to ask Chris West, saxophone player for the Emerald Empire Band, a few questions about what he and his group love to do. Keep reading to hear all about how this wedding band might be your wedding’s perfect fit!
What was your dream job growing up?
It depends on what period of my childhood you’re talking about! Early on, I was very much into the visual arts, especially drawing and painting. Later on, this passion spilled over into video and other visual arts. As I grew, I got more interested in the math and computers, so I wanted to be a computer programmer. In high school, I was into martial arts and wanted to have my own dojo. My dreams of being a musician came about later in high school.
What does a typical wedding day look like for you?
Usually, after my morning shower/coffee/etc, I’ll go through my warm-up routine on my saxophone. I like to then review any songs/material that I learned for the wedding that evening, making sure I am good to go. Then I load up all of my gear that I need for the evening and head to the venue. Once I arrive and get everything unloaded, if it’s a new venue for me or one that I haven’t worked at in a while, I’ll walk around to familiarize myself with the venue/area. I also try to make contact with the on site coordinator and anyone else that I need to. By then, it’s time to set up the gear and soundcheck.
After soundcheck is usually when I have a chance to sit down and take a break. This is also when I like to catch up with all of my bandmates. After that, we usually eat, get dressed in our performance attire, and hit the stage! Once the reception has ended and the bride and groom have left, we break everything down, load it up, and head home. Once I’m home, I’ll unload the car, and if it’s not too late, I’ll usually kick back on the sofa with my wife and dogs, and unwind until it’s time for bed.
How did you get into the music business?
I got into music as a kid. Growing up, I was involved in my school’s music programs, and had many friends that were into music as well. I decided to pursue music as a career when I was a junior in high school, and started focusing on the saxophone as my primary instrument. While studying music in college, I started working as a sideman around town, developing relationships with many people in the business, which helped me get into the business side.
How long have you been in business and why did you decide to start your own company?
I’ve been doing this for about 10 years. Working as a sideman around Nashville in college, I always enjoyed wedding gigs. It was always very rewarding to get to be a part of a major event in someone’s life…an event that represents the beginning of a new chapter. And, after meeting and playing with many musicians in Nashville, I had access to a community of top notch musicians that had the same passion, sounded great, and was a blast to play with! So, I figured that was the way to go!
What is your favorite part of a wedding day/event day?
I like playing the cocktail hour. Being a sax player, that’s when I really get to play (plus I’m a bit of a jazz fan)! I also like when the dance floor first opens up in the reception because people are usually ready to start dancing and having a good time, and the band definitely feeds off of that! I also like the food.
What is the most requested wedding song?
It’s hard to say the most requested, but the most common “do NOT play” is any song that’s about or based on a dance (The Wobble, Cupid Shuffle, Electric Slide, etc).
Who would be your dream celebrity to play for?
If you could go anywhere tomorrow, where would you go?
Realistically, biking in the Rockies. If we’re talking ANYWHERE, either Jupiter or through a wormhole into an alternate reality.
A special thank you to Chris for taking the time to chat with us about what you all at the Emerald Empire Band do best! So, when the time comes to pick a band for your wedding, be sure to check them out!