Compassionate and resolute are the two words that come to mind when describing Jeff Chandler. The musician and hard-working family man is a strong advocate for addiction recovery and better social engineering. His mission is to help restore freedom, hope and purpose to those who have lost it.
What inspired you or led you to your current career?
I have been a musician for over 20 years. I’ve always wanted to use my music to inspire and help people. Music is one of the most powerful mediums of influence in our world. Every artist has the potential to greatly impact the ethos of our culture for better or worse, and these days too many are choosing to impact it for the worse. I was on tour for a while and came off the road to be home with my family. I shifted my focus to production, songwriting, and serving the community through church work. A few years ago, we decided to focus on addiction recovery.
So many current cultural problems stem from addiction: domestic violence, drunk driving, and gun crime, just to name a few. My father-in-law was an addict and drug dealer early in life but he recovered and started helping others in recovery. Early in our relationship, I accompanied him to rehab and started serving those who struggle with addiction. I always pull for the underdog. I’m a die-hard Braves fan — much to my chagrin usually. I was never in the cool kids’ crowd in school and I’m still not. Record labels told me I was ugly and not talented — that I’d never make it, whatever that means.
Even though I always wanted to be cool I’ve kind of settled into the fact that I myself am an underdog. God’s very fond of us underdogs. He makes the most beautiful art out of the pieces of broken people. God took my broken dream of being a superstar and turned it into a fruitful and effective way to serve people who have a great need. I stopped worrying about trying to “make it” and just started loving and serving people. We are only really alive and happy when we forget about ourselves and start serving others. That’s what all of us were designed to do. When someone tells you that they’re alive because of your love and intervention, that their kids still have a parent in their lives, nothing is worth more than that.
Addiction recovery is messy and hard. This group is marginalized on a grand scale. No effective government programs really exist to help deal with this. I met with a local head of Medicaid and they told me there’s not really anything they can offer at present. There are 300 million addicts in the world. This pandemic effects billions of people — the addicts themselves, their parents, spouses, children, colleagues. So many have told me, “Hey, it’s not really my problem.” But the truth is that our communities are only as strong as our weakest link. There are people who need someone to be their voice, help them pick themselves up and begin to heal. This is our problem and it can’t change until we all start carrying the weight of it!
Our crew is also going after the creative community and challenging them to create more responsibly! Stop writing songs about abusing drugs and abusing women. I have had multiple people in rehabs tell me that they started doing drugs because of trap music. Our creative community has to do a better job of leading our generations. Also, we’ve found that funding for rehab is the greatest problem for those who are struggling. Most people lack the resources to go get the help they need. That’s why we are building this foundation, Emerge-Recovery, and asking everyone who is blessed enough to not be plagued with the disease of addiction to join the movement at $10/month. For just the price of a Starbucks bagel and coffee we can form an army against addiction. We go into the trenches and pull out the wounded, brush them off, pay for their treatment, take care of their families and help them relaunch after they recover. I can’t think of a better way to spend $10/month than joining this movement. You’ll never miss it and you’ll be investing into a better tomorrow for those who are hopeless to help themselves.
What is your favorite restaurant in Suwanee and what do you love there?
Sushi Nami. The food is great and the environment is wonderful.
How long have you worked or lived in Suwanee?
What has kept you here?
Suwanee just feels good. There are lots of things to do with your family, great events, parks, hiking … whatever you and your family are into, you can find a great outlet for it in Suwanee.
How big is your family?
My wife and I have 6 kids between us and a micro K9 terror named Coco.
Who is the most interesting person you’ve met in Suwanee?
Pastor Moses Anderson of Communion House Church. He’s a successful businessman and also into social engineering like myself (not the cyber hacker type of social engineering of course). He’s a world changer.
If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would it be and why?
Scotland, where a very interesting branch of my family tree has grown out of. Many generations ago, one of my grandfathers was a Viking king who was involved in leadership with the Picts and the Scots and instrumental in the founding of Scotia, which became Scotland.
What is the first movie you remember seeing in a theater?
Star Wars is hands down my all-time favorite. I hope to visit the new Star Wars theme park next summer. I imagine that I will get emotional!
What advice would you give a crowd of people?
Care about each other. Our culture designs us to be selfish. “I” Phone, “Self” magazine, “My” Space (I’m showing my age now). Me, me, meeee! Self-love is important, of course, but the way our media presents it is toxic. Love one another! Forget yourself for a moment and help someone who can’t help themselves and who couldn’t possibly ever repay you.
What is something on your bucket list?
I want to travel and see the world and experience all cultures. I would love to have chapters of our organization active with musicians all over the world.
If you could take anyone to lunch (dead or alive) who would that be and where would you go?
Bono of U2. I connect with them because they really maximize their platform for greater good. I would take him to all of the rehabs I work with and ask him for help! And I would ask him to headline one of our events. That would be a dream.
What is your favorite music? Name three bands you would like to see.
I don’t really have a favorite genre, per se. I write pop, country, rock and hip-hop. One of my favorite bands is the Red Hot Chili Peppers. I love their energy and weirdness. Also, Hopsin or Joyner Lucas. They do a great job of making people think and their music isn’t as deplorable as most hip-hop — there’s still a lot more language than is necessary, but much better content. My favorite contemporary rapper is NF. He’s proven that you don’t have to promote drug and alcohol abuse, sexual abuse, violence and hedonism to make it big in modern rap. He’s a hero in my opinion.
What local business makes you the most nostalgic about Suwanee?
Suwanee Town Center and City Hall. Something is always going on to bring the community together. It’s awesome!
What is your favorite thing about Suwanee?
Suwanee is a safe place. Very family-oriented. It’s also very creative; supports the arts. I really love Suwanee Magazine and what you’re about, connecting with people in the community to make a difference. You’re active in finding unique people who want to build a better tomorrow and mining that out of our community.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Impacting the arts community to create more responsibly. Engineering a better future by educating and serving the underdogs who’ve yet to become their best selves. That’s rock ’n’ roll!
What is something interesting that most people don’t know about you?
I have a kilt and I’m not afraid to use it!
Emerge-Recovery relies on membership donations to support its mission. Many of the staff and volunteer army are former addicts. Emerge-Recovery is the face of addiction and can change the future for the better for generations to come. Please visit www.emergeonline.net/donate-giving and join the movement today!