Sunday, November 27, 2011

Interview with SCOTT HOLSTEIN


Interview with SCOTT HOLSTEIN

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?



HOLSTEIN:  I strive to make every show a little different than the last. I carry a high caliber band who are stars in their own right and it makes for a diverse high-energy performance.People can expect my original songs to be played along with my choice of the classics   It’s a Bluegrass,Country,Americana.Blues experience....



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

HOLSTEIN:  The last year has been wonderful with my debut release -Cold Coal Town.- It’s a project of my original material and it has recieved rave reviews from music critics alike. The band consisted of  Randy Kohrs,Clay Hess,Aaron Ramsey,Tim Crouch,Scott Vestal,Jay Weaver and Don Rigsby coming in for some vocals on two of my own Black Water and a tribute to the Stanley Brothers -Clinch Mountain Hills.The positive feedback has been the highlight.

Lamitschka:  What is your latest CD and how's it doing?

HOLSTEIN: My debut Bluegrass Cd is  Cold Coal Town. It is a project that reflects my life while growing up in a coal mining community. It has been making its way to radio and has gained us alot of attention in the charts lately.Washington Post has covered it,The 9513,My Kind of Country,Bluegrass Today and it was the highlight review in Bluegrass Unlimited’s Sept. Issue.Larry Cordle and Dave Evans added the liner notes. It all has been more than I ever expected and I am very grateful.

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

HOLSTEIN:  All songs on the album were written by me over the years. I decided to start my recording career with my original songs. I have always had these songs in the back of my mind and never had to labor in writing them they were just there.

Lamitschka:  Please tell us about the songs on your album (influences, etc).

HOLSTEIN: All the songs on the album have a  personal theme to them. I wanted the Cd to have a common feel throughout. It is an album dedicated to life in a Cold Coal Town.

Lamitschka:  You did a duet with Don Rigsby How did that happen to come about?

HOLSTEIN:  Don is a great talent with that -mountain sound- that I love. He was gracious enough to call me up and ask if I still wanted him on the album that he would be in Nashville.I knew I wanted his harmony on Clinch Mountain Hills and Black Water was just a plus.It worked out perfect!

Lamitschka:  What is your favorite song among all the songs you have recorded and what's the story behind it?

HOLSTEIN:  I would identify that  Montani Semper Liberi would rank among my favorites simply for the fact that my home State is West Virginia. That song came about as I traveled from the North to South I would hear stories of the Civil War and the stand people took.I took the approach as a son of the mountains and told it  my way.

Lamitschka:  There's a lot of work that goes into a number one hit. What did it take to make it in your case?

HOLSTEIN:  Well a number one hit is hard to come by these days unless you have the money and clout to get it there. We will just  wait and see.....I could have recorded more popular tunes that would have made it a little easier to get airplay but I am happy to have done it my way.

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

HOLSTEIN:  It’s a great feeling to hear fans respond to your music.I am most proud to have folks from the hometown really enjoying the compositions. I felt it was a time to tell the stories of coal mining life and they are happy that I stuck to my roots.

Lamitschka:  Who inspires you musically and how deep do your musical roots run?

HOLSTEIN:  I enjoy seeing other shows live.. that seems to inspire me. I come from a musical family my Mother and Father both played Bluegrass Gospel music.

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

HOLSTEIN:  I see the music scene of today as a new venture for an indie artist compared to the past model. I see more and more artists creating their own labels and keeping publishing rights. I feel you will see more and more of this in the future.

Lamitschka:  What do you think about today's music industry?

HOLSTEIN:  The industry itself still operates on the old business model of exclusion.
If you are not with them you  stand a big chance of being overlooked or ignored.

Lamitschka:  If you had the chance to change something about the music industry, what would it be?

HOLSTEIN: The whole world is showing its dissatifaction with the current corporate business model with the protests in the streets..I see this in the music industry. Corporate money over- rides the independent artist.It used to be an artist had to be somewhat of an entertainer, musician or songwriter and made it on their own merits.  Now it’s possible to win a million bucks and a recording contract as a karaoke singer or get to be a member of the Grand Ole Opry while some industry legends are excluded and struggling to get by. I would change how we take care of the aging artists. 

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

HOLSTEIN:  It will always be performing for the fans. It’s a great feeling to know people enjoy what you are doing.All of the other is just a plus. I enjoy watching the legendary performers you can always learn something new.

Lamitschka:  What inspired you to become an artist?

HOLSTEIN:  I use to watch all the legends and how they were respected among the fans. I was inspired by their professionalism.

Lamitschka:  What inspired you to become a songwriter?

HOLSTEIN:  I was always amazed by  lyrics and how they painted a visual image in the mind. Someone has to create the song .

Lamitschka:  What's unique about you that will differentiate you from other artists?

HOLSTEIN:  I have always believed without the fans you have nothing. I make it a point to spend time with them and they have always been like part of the family. I think most artists have a tendency to overlook the importance of spending time with their fans.

Lamitschka:  Many music fans today get their information about artists online. Do you have your own website and what will fans find there?

HOLSTEIN:  My personal website is (www.scottholsteinmusic.com). You will find all information on there.

Lamitschka:  Fans are always hungry for good road stories. Do you have one you can share with us (come on don’t be shy)?

HOLSTEIN:  Road Stories“ will probably be the name of the book. I wouldnt know where to start which actually could be told.....One comes to mind that taught me a great lesson. I was playing a show years back with a popular brother act at the time and the King of Bluegrass Jimmy Martin was booked. Our record table was set up next to him and  apparently during his set he had spit some gum out of his mouth and a little ol’ lady came up to tell him about how close the gum had came from landing on her. He tried to ignore the situation when the lady said , Hey we put food on your table you don’t put none on ours“. It was something I have never forgotten. The fans are the bread and buterr of the music business.

Christian Lamitschka ( Ch.Lamitschka@t-online.de )

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