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Down-to-earth rock star
by Erinn Exline
WVU Daily Athenaeum, Charlestown, WV
Aug 22nd, 2001

08-22-01 WVU Daily Athenaeum Down-to-earth rock star By ERINN EXLINE

When enjoying a live show at FallFest, a student may not think about where the performers come from. Who would expect a Brown University graduate who enjoys graphic design and carpentry to be a rock star?

These characteristics can be associated with Tad Kinchla, bassist for Blues Traveler.

Kinchla, brother to the bands guitarist, Chan Kinchla, became bassist for the band after the death of original band member, Bobby Sheehan.

One who is fortunate enough to sit down with Tad will find him very down-to-earth and charming. Strolling into the Mountain room on the second floor of the Mountainlair, Heineken in hand, Tad greeted me with a warm grin. He seemed like the type of person that could get along with anyone. The bassist didnt show the slightest sign of fatigue, despite the fact that it was well past 1 a.m. and he and the rest of Blues Traveler had just finished a two-hour show.

Kinchla enjoyed playing FallFest. "I had a great time. It's funny ... my other band I was playing with in New York used to come down and play at frat parties up there at one of those houses (points to North High Street). It was just funny being on the big stage tonight (on the plaza) in front of all the people instead of playing inside up there. It was definitely cool."

Kinchla also seemed to enjoy visiting Morgantown. "We ate at La Casa yesterday. We went down to the gym by the river, too, Gold's, I think. We met some people. It was nice. People seem cool here."

Along with his perception of Morgantown's residents, Kinchla had pretty good insight into what they like to do, too.

It seems like kind of a party school. There's a little bit of that vibe here.

His basis for this came from touring experience and from driving around town.

"We play a lot of frats and go around touring colleges and stuff and this place definitely has that vibe. Everywhere, when you're driving around here, you see people carrying cases into their houses and stuff.

He wasnt so sure about the University's party school status.

"I was heckling the guy driving us around who was like, 'We're ranked No. 1.' I was like, 'Who makes the ranking on party schools?' I've been to five schools that were like 'We're the No. 1 party school.' It's funny. Who does the ranking? Theres like 12 or 15 of those out there."

When speaking about his own college experience, Kinchla is quite modest of his Ivy League background.

"I grew up in Princeton ... my parents are both professors at Princeton, so its kinda funny. They got me through school then I went to the city and started playing music. They were like, whatever. Chan was there. They (parents) were like, 'If they want to do it, do it.'"

Lucky for us that Tad and Chan's parents were so supportive of their sons. Rock stars do have other interests. When asked what his favorite hobby is, Kinchla will offer a heart-stopping grin. "I like building stuff. I like carpentry. I do a lot of computer design stuff, too."

Kinchla refers to his computer skills as his nerdy, dark side.

"I was doing a lot of free-lance animation programming for a while. I made animation for Web sites like Barnes and Noble and Amazon. I was working in New York free-lancing and playing music. We were starving for a while ... so me and another kid picked it up. All of a sudden, I was like I have cash. It was ridiculous. Doesnt sound too nerdy to me."

Kinchla went on to comment about carpentry. "When I get off to go home, I'll refurbish and tile. It relaxes me."

Its not too hard to imagine this guy with a tool belt on instead of his six-string bass. He seems to be a very diverse individual.