Jon Stickley Trio 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: Our music is an original concept based on
the collective musical history of the band members. I come from a background in
bluegrass flatpicking, Lyndsay (Pruett) is classically trained on violin, but
also studied jazz and bluegrass. Hunter (Deacon) has a degree in percussion,
and has played every style under the sun. We combine all of our musical styles
and tastes into a collective sound that is based around the music that I
compose. We are all instrumental, and our music contains a lot of
improvisation. We have a lot of fun with it.
Lamitschka: Do you write the songs yourself? If
not, how do you go about finding the songs for your CD?
Answer: I write most of the material for the band.
I improvise something that inspires me, usually a chord progression, melody, or
rhythm, and then build the song around that. Now that we have played so much
music together, I really keep the band in mind when composing and try to think
of ideas for the other band members to play. Lyndsay writes tunes as well. We
also play selective covers that pay tribute to our musical roots.
Lamitschka: Who inspires you musically and how deep
do your musical roots run?
Answer: Our music is heavily inspired by the music
that we listened to growing up. One of the biggest influences for us is a
musical style called Newgrass that was developed by artists such as David
Grisman, Bela Fleck, and Tony Rice. However, our roots run very deep, all the
way back to traditional Bluegrass artists including Bill Monroe and the Stanley
Brothers. We could even trace our influences back tot he music of Bach and
Mozart, or the hard bop jazz of the 1950s.
What do you think about today’s music scene versus its post and where do you
see it going in the future?
Answer: I think today’s music scene is in a very
interesting place. Artists aren’t as confined by the old set up of depending on
major labels to get their music into record stores and on the radio. Anyone can
market their music directly to fans through the internet, and it’s easy to get
your music onto Spotify and iTunes where most people are streaming from these
days. In that sense, there is a much more level playing field and there’s more
music available than ever before. I think it’s a very exciting time to be a
musician. In our world of modern acoustic music, there are new festivals
cropping up all over the place, and the demand for live music keeps growing and
Lamitschka: As an artist, you so many tasks such as
recording, touring, interviews. What do you like best, what’s your favorite
Answer: We love the whole process. Writing and
recording music is a really fulfilling activity and keeps us in touch with our
creative spirit. Touring is exciting because there is and element of adventure
and getting out to see the world. We also get to reconnect with friends at the
many festivals we get to play.
Lamitschka: Is there any place you haven’t played
that you would like to?
Answer: We would love to travel internationally.
Europe and the UK are high on the list, but we’d also love to get to Japan and
Australia. We’re pretty sure that our music would go over very well in those
places. Our music is a really fresh new take on American roots music.
Lamitschka: What can your fans expect to see when
they see you in concert?
Answer: They can expect to see an engaging,
high-energy performance that includes a lot of interplay between the band
members. Our sets include a lot of spontaneous improvisation, and moments of
extreme excitement, and other moments of soft, sentimental, and sensitive
Lamitschka: When you’re on tour, do you have time
to play tourist?
Answer: We love to play tourist if we have time.
Unfortunately our tour schedule is usually very busy and doesn’t leave much
time for it. One of our favorite things to do out west is visit the geothermal
hot springs. It‘s always very relaxing when driving long distances. We love
learning about the local cultures we visit as well.
Many music fans today get their information about artists online. Do you have
your own website and what will fans find there?
Answer: Yes! We are very active online. Our website
is www.jonstickley.com and that is the best place to find
tour dates. We are also very active on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. There
is a Jon Stickley Trio Fan Page on Facebook that is a members-only
group. We constantly post about shows, recordings and other pertinent Stickley
Trio information. We also post funny pictures from the road, and general things
that happen in our lives.
Lamitschka: What’s the best compliment a fan has
ever given you?
Answer: Recently a fan told Hunter, our drummer,
that he sounded like 8 drummers duct taped together playing the same drum kit.
People have told us all sorts of crazy things. Another old man just came up and
said, “I don’t know what that was, but I liked it.”