Best known for his role as Will Lexington on ABC’s Nashville, Chris Carmack will step out with his own music next month. His first EP Pieces of You, out Dec. 11, will feature the 34-year-old actor’s guitar chops paired with a mix of musical styles.
“It has a very eclectic grouping of songs,” Carmack told Rolling Stone Country of Pieces. “I draw from many different influences — blues, jazz, funk, country, and folk. There’s some hard-hitting blues electric guitar and I’ve got some mellow acoustic guitar.”
Carmack says the jazz influences come from a lifetime of experience with the genre. “I grew up playing jazz saxophone,” he tells EW. “And I just started taking jazz guitar lessons. The harmonies and melodies have always really inspired me. I find that those are the changes I prefer to write melodies over top of.”
The 34-year-old actor plays guitar on each track from the forthcoming set, save for “Can’t Do It Again,” where he asked producers to edit out his playing in order to perfect the song. “When we cut my acoustic guitar it suddenly had a nice, open rawness to it and open space,” Carmack says. “It kind of had this Stones-y thing going on.”
Despite working on a show that takes place at the heart of the country music industry, the Maryland native wrote most of Pieces while living in Los Angeles, including the title track. “It’s a song about somebody who was very dear to me, their relationship,” Carmack explains. “He was going through some very tough times, and I would say he was haunted. He couldn’t get her out of his head.”
Following his EP’s release, Carmack intends to put out an album.
“I do find myself short on time, but I’m still writing and working on other musical projects,” he says. “I don’t know if my next project will be a solo album or a collaboration. I don’t know what’s next, except that I intend to do more.”