Jeremy Garrett from The Infamous Stringdusters Interview by Christian Lamitschka for Country Music News International Magazine & Radio Show

Jeremy Garrett from The Infamous Stringdusters  Interview by Christian Lamitschka for Country Music News International Magazine & Radio Show

Lamitschka:  Music has many new fans throughout
Europe who may be hearing about you for the first time. How would you describe
yourself and the music you play to someone who has never seen or heard you?

Answer:  If
you’ve never heard my music before, I believe you can enjoy it for what it is
at face value. I’ve always strived to be as unique and original and creative as
I can be. If you want to delve a little further into my history you might
understand where my style comes from. I was steeped in traditional bluegrass
music and traditional gospel music from an early age. The integrity of that
music made a profound impression on me and has stuck with me all these years,
but playing as long as I have, you can’t help but be influenced and merge with
new styles that you come in contact with. When I was learning to play, I was literally picking up the needle of a
record player to replay portions of a song that I wanted to learn, but like
everyone, the internet has made a profound impact on the world, in the sense
that any style can be heard instantly anywhere. My original music is primarily
centered around progressive bluegrass, but additional deep influences like
Indian, Blues, Hard Rock, and even hip-hop are part of the overall sound. Add in the loop machine and all of these
styles fuze together to create what is my sound.

Lamitschka:  How was the last year for you? What were
your highlights?

Answer:  I have
had an extremely busy year. My GRAMMY award-winning band, The Infamous
Stringdusters, released a new album this year, and I recorded a solo record
which has had a couple of singles released to date. The road keeps me really
busy with the Dusters doing 120 shows a year with an additional 40 solo shows.
Overall, I’ve had tons of excitement and energy for playing live shows and
making really fun music.

Lamitschka:  Do you write the songs yourself? If not,
how do you go about finding the songs for your CD?

Answer:  On my
latest record, Circles, I wrote or co-wrote all the songs. I’ve always loved
making original music and I have a variety of styles of songs that I write:
some that are good for the Stringdusters and some if they don’t have a home
there, I’ll see if they fit well in my solo project.

Lamitschka:  What is the difference between your last
CD and your current one?

Answer:  Each
record that I make, I always delve further into what might be possible with my
art. Each project is one that I am presenting into the world as my current sound,
and yet I learn a lot from each recording. The idea of the solo project came
about from a time I lived traveling the United States in my RV. I brought along recording equipment and began
recording demos of songs that I had written, and since I am a multi-instrumentalist,
and the only guy around, I was the one recording all the parts. I really began
to get into the process and had so much fun that I wanted to see if there was a
viable way I could take it to a live setting. Enter the loop machine, and voila!
My current record, Cirlces, is the farthest dive into looping parts of
songs. I try to use the loop machine
like it is an instrument, riding what I consider to be a fine line with the
mahcine, and letting it enhance what I do.

Lamitschka:  Your current single is being played by
radio. What do you feel is special about this song that makes people want to
hear it?

Answer:  My
current single is a song that I wrote with Oliver Wood, of The Wood Brothers,
called “I Am Who I Am. I had a guest on the track, Josh Shilling, who
played clav and sang harmony. I love the vibe of this tune and the idea that
Oliver and I captured that day. It’s basically about the pursuit of being good
with oneself and where you are at in life.

Lamitschka:  You did a duet with Prisca. How did that happen to come about?

Answer:  I had
an incredible guest vocalist on two tracks of Circles that had a duet
feel. The artist’s name is Prisca. She
added so much passion and energy to the title track, Circles, and nailed
harmonies on a song I wrote with Darrel Scott, What Would We Find. The
connection with Prisca was made through the sonic wizard engineer and
co-producer, Billy Hume. He had been producing a project with Prisca, and while
I was in the studio I was just feeling that I needed female energy on the
project. Prisca’s name came up, I had
heard a couple of tracks, and I was blown away. The studio is where real magic
can happen and this felt like one of those unplanned, very natural, and
spontaneous moments.

Lamitschka:  How much creative control do you have
over your music?

Answer:  Most
of my life and all of my professional career I’ve strived to be an original and
maintain creative control over my art. Sometimes in the music business there
are parameters that can influence that part of the business, but I’ve mostly
been able to avoid that and have always taken a lot of pride in fully creating
my own sound and art.

Lamitschka:  Do you have any interesting stories
about how fans have been affected by your music?

Answer:  The Stringdusters
have had part in growing an incredible fan base and community. Many of those
fans follow all of us in our solo project endeavors. I’ve co-written a lot of
songs with one writer in particular by the name of Jon Weisberger. Many times
when we get together and write, we try to find a message that resonates with
something we are feeling, but also resonates with what others are feeling. A
couple of those songs are Let It Go, off a Stringduster record, and Lean On
Love, off my solo record, RV Sessions. We’ve had several fans tattoo these
titles on themselves because the message has meant so much to them. As a
songwriter, it‘s a huge honor, but it also shows how important our job can be
to spread a good message.

Lamitschka:  What do you think about today’s music scene
versus its post and where do you see it going in the future?

Answer:  Today’s
music scene is more vibrant and colorful than ever with styles fuzing together
from all over the globe. The music business has been complicated and interesting
and has played a role in how the art is carried forward. The days of plastic
discs are obviously gone and new technology like Spotify and Apple Music are
here to stay. I would like to see those platforms reach a little deeper to pay
for the artist’s content that they provide. I believe over time that will
happen.

Lamitschka:  As an artist, you so many tasks such as
recording, touring, interviews. What do you like best, what’s your favorite
activity?

Answer:  I like
most aspects of the music industry. I love playing live shows, but recording is
a fascinating process where a lot of creativity is almost delegated out for the
next year, by that I mean, most of the songs you’ll be performing in live shows
will be from your latest record. You have to wear many hats to be an artist.
Not only do you have to play the music, make the music, play the shows, but
you’re in charge of the business aspect as well. You’re a videographer, a
photographer, a manager, a booking agent. The music industry is deep and there are
a lot of moving parts that bring music to the listener. Some are extremely fun and
others more mundane. I’ve grown to appreciate all of it, and continue to learn
and adapt to what comes next. Bottom line, there is a fire inside of me to make
music and take it to the people.

Christian Lamitschka ( Ch.Lamitschka@t-online.de ) for
Country Music News International Magazine & Radio Show

Photo (c)  Organic Records

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