The WiMN’s Front and Center is a weekly column that showcases accomplished women who work in the music and audio industries. We spotlight successful female performers, manufacturers, retailers, educators, managers, publicists, and everyone else in between. Want to be featured? Learn how here.

Front and Center: Chaser Eight Lead Vocalist, *AUDRA*

Photo by Phil Hovey
Photo by Phil Hovey

By Gabriella Steffenberg

*AUDRA* is the lead vocalist and guitarist of Connecticut-based rock group, Chaser Eight. Her powerhouse, rock vocals are unforgettable. She is a fearless songwriter, penning songs about heartbreak that are often autobiographical. Chaser Eight’s eponymous album was released on February 17, 2015- check out Chaser Eight’s official site here.

WiMN: When did you first start singing and playing guitar?

A: I first started playing around 8 or 9 and then put it down for a while. It wasn’t fun when I didn’t know how to play! Then I picked it back up around 12, learn chords, and wrote my first song when I was 13.

WiMN: Who are your major influences and what do you love about them?

A: My major songwriting influences are the great bands with whom I grew up: The Beatles, The Allman Brothers Band, Pink Floyd. I loved that everything they said was so real and always told a story; their lives, their loves, all there for us to hear and relate to.

WiMN: What’s the biggest learning curve you have had to overcome thus far in your music career?

A: Realizing that talent does not equal success. There is a lot of hard work that needs to go on behind the scenes in order to achieve your dreams. It’s been a challenge to work so hard at the music and then have to equally work as hard on the business.

WiMN: Do you have any solo projects that you’re working on right now?

A: Nope, nothing solo. Chaser Eight has taken over my whole life, haha.

WiMN: How has Chaser Eight evolved since forming in 2012?

A: When we started we were merely a duo releasing digital tracks for free and we engineered ourselves for zero dollars and never playing live. Four years later we have money, a producer, and are releasing studio albums. Not to mention, we are a full-touring band as well that gigs out constantly. We’ve really come a long way from seemingly humble beginnings. I never thought we would be here today when we started with those first two tracks.

WiMN: Is there any advice you have for fellow singer/songwriters?

A: Yes, always show up and never give up. Always show up to everything you commit to doing. First of all, it looks horrible when you back out at the last second. And second, you never know who you’ll meet. And of course, never give up. How do you know when you were going to make it if you gave up before getting there? Sometimes this business is awful and it rips the life out of you, but there is a reason you started down this path in the first place. Remember that.

WiMN: What are you looking forward to this most this year musically?

A: I am looking forward to playing some really big gigs on really big stages with really great bands. We have some awesome stuff lined up for the rest of the year and it’s all very exciting. Also I am anxious to release two new singles at the end of the year. I can’t wait for the people that can’t catch the live show to hear what we’ve been working on and how we’ve grown even from our most recent release. We also just released a new music video for “I Wanna Die” off our new album and y’all should check it out! If you like what you hear and want more, go to iTunes and buy our album, Chaser Eight!

Watch the video for Chaser Eight’s “I Wanna Die” below: