Artist Interviews

Q&A: Kelley Stoltz

By | Published on Thursday 25 November 2010

Kelly Stoltz

Multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriter Kelley Stoltz released his debut album, ‘The Past Was Faster’, in 1999, and has since gone on to release a steady stream of acclaimed records. He signed to Sub Pop in 2005 who released ‘The Sun Comes Through’ the same year.

His latest offering, ‘To Dreamers’, was released earlier this month, and this weekend Stoltz will be in the UK to play a handful of headline shows before supporting his childhood heroes Echo & The Bunnymen. Ahead of all that, we caught up with Kelley to ask the Same Six Questions.

Q1 How did you start out making music?
I had a band in eighth grade called Distorted Reality. We got together so that we could play my school’s talent show. We played two songs by Echo & The Bunnymen – ‘Silver’ and ‘Do It Clean’. I sang and sort of played bass lines on an ugly little guitar that had no headstock – not cool. But we played OK and all the girls thought I was cool after that, at least for a few days anyway. In my 20s I got a four-track and started recording my own songs. They were pretty crummy tunes, but at least I was on my way.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?
Love, loss and weird things happening on the street outside. When making the album I got a mellotron and a Rickenbacker guitar, so they were inspirational and were used a bunch on the record.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
Wake up, make a cup of PG Tips, look outside and see the beautiful people of San Francisco doing their thing… then I grab a guitar or play piano and search for a chord sequence that sounds cool. Hopefully a vocal melody will come along, and then I press record on my tape machine and start building the song track-by-track. As the evening comes along, I’ve usually got a song together.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
Echo & The Bunnymen, David Bowie, Arthur Lee & Love, Sonny & The Sunsets, George Carlin, The Kinks, The Beatles and Gordon Lightfoot.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
I hope you like the melodies and the chords; I worked hard on them.

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?
To play more shows to support it – there are some good rockers on the album and I think they sound good played with my band. And I hope to keep on making great albums and get joy from making songs until I’m an old fellow.