(Photo Credit Kenichi Takenouchi)
We had the opportunity to interview singer songwriter Stu Larsen. Larsen's style is a bit of a folk and alt mashup and it often features his fantastic vocals and guitar work, he could also fit into the roots genre as well. Whatever you want to label him, his music is catching on as his track "Thirteen Sad Farewells" has over 19,000,000 listens on Spotify! He is currently in the middle of a world tour with master harmonica player and collaborator Natsuki Kurai. The two collaborated on an EP dropped in May. It is definitely worth your time to check out!
1. How did you come to pursue music and how long have you been at it?
My mother was quite musical, she encouraged me to sing when I was young and also pushed me to learn guitar when I was about 14 years old. I grew to love singing and playing and really just started out playing covers in local cafes and restaurants. Eventually people started asking me to play at other events and parties and I just started staying yes to every opportunity that came along. It’s been 12 years on the road now, after releasing my first little EP back in 2006.
2. Could you walk us through your process of writing music?
I wish I had a process… I generally need to take a week or two out, turn off the phone etc and check out for a while. After a few days I start to gather all my thoughts and put them into a song or two. I usually just pick up the guitar and start playing and singing whatever comes out naturally and then shape it into a song over a few hours.
3. What artists have inspired you in your career?
I was obsessed with Elvis as a kid and then got heavily into older blues artists early on until shifting to more folky singer songwriters like Neil Young, Bob Dylan etc but more heavily inspired later by Damien Rice, Ray LaMontagne and Bon Iver.
4. Do you have any favorite music gear (guitars, amps, effects pedals, keyboards, etc.) that you love to use? If so, what’s the story on them?
I literally have no gear at all apart from my guitar/s and a tuner. I have 5 guitars around the place and generally only have 1 or 2 with me on the road, but I love them all equally.
5. Can you describe the vibe at your live shows? Also, what do you enjoy most about a venue when you do a show?
My live show is real stripped back, generally just me and a guitar, but I’m currently touring the world with Natsuki Kurai, he’s literally the best harmonica player I have ever seen in my life. We play as a duo and I spend most of the show watching the crowd watching him, it’s the best thing to see people each night having their minds blown. I always want people to feel something at my shows, I want people to be inspired to think about the way we live these lives, and to make sure we’re all living the best life we can.
The thing I enjoy most about a venue when I do a show? When it’s the right space for the crowd with a low stage so that there’s not this massive gap between stage and crowd, I think a high stage creates unnecessary distance between the listeners and the artist, especially in the smaller venues that I play.
6. What is one thing that you want the public to know about your music?
It’s real. It’s inspired by pl
aces I’ve been and people I’ve met along the way. Listeners can take away from the music what they need, that’s what I love about this life, we all interpret things differently, we can all feel different emotions from the same song or album or piece of art. 7. Do you have any upcoming projects you would like fans to know about?
Natsuki Kurai and I have just released our 2nd EP which we’re touring with all over the world this year. We’re currently on the road in North America and we’ll head to Europe next and finish the year where we started, back in Australia.
FMI on Stu Larsen, visit his bandcamp page.