Reverend Doctor! Thank you for your time today. We loved your single Dance Warrior, so we have to ask – do you have plans to release new music soon?
Anytime! And thank you for the kind words! I’m glad you’re enjoying.
I have lots of new music coming down the pipe. My next single, “Better Together”, I’m hoping to drop just before hitting the road the 2nd week of February. I’m excited about this song. All of my songs for Reverend Doctor are very anthemic, but this song came out of me begging to be shouted by large groups of people! If I’m lucky I might squeak out a second song before my departure, but I don’t want to promise anything.
What does it feel like for you when you released new music? Do you get nervous or is it more of an excitement to share your passion? Or maybe a combo of both?
This is a great question! I typically play songs for months before recording them and I’ve seen what people connect with live. Any recording artist knows that there are songs that work live and there are song recordings that just connect. So, for me, it’s a mix of relief and fascination. Relieved to have it out in the world so it can live its life, but fascination as people start to put their own ownership on the music.
One of the first teachers that made me think about art this way was my English teacher, the late Lori Steinbach. She told me this story:
Robert Frost had his famous poem (and one of my favorites) Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening which ends with his famous couplet: “…And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep”. Well, the meaning of these lines is so hotly debated and the greatest thinkers pondered it for the entire last half of the 20th century. While he was still alive some students were talking about it in a bar that Frost himself was actually sitting in. One of them drew the short straw and was forced to ask him why he repeated the line on behalf of the group. Frost’s reply is so brilliantly simple and obvious and entirely un-sexy: “I couldn’t think of anything else to say so I said it twice”.
Now, is any part of that story true? I have no idea. But it’s true in the sense that the moment other people consume your art that it is no longer yours as the artist. This was a truth I struggled with a lot as a young artist. But eventually, I arrived at the beauty of it: you can learn new things about your own art and see the unexpected mystical ways in which it connects with others.
Music is the closest thing we have to magic.
We see you have some performances coming up, tell us what we can expect if we catch you live?
The most obvious answer is to not sit still or be quiet. My whole act is designed to provoke and lead a dialogue with the crowd. And there are lots of different ways of participating: singing, dancing, and yes, speaking. I’m known for asking questions that aren’t rhetorical in my set. The point to this is to be completely unafraid if the answer is exactly the thing you fear the most.
People love it when a performer is present. Any artist can mumble into a microphone their social media links in-between songs. To me, that is underestimating your audience and yourself as a performer. Engage and do not be afraid of the answer.
On a practical level, I do a lot of live-looping and use a few different wireless systems. So for one person creating sound, I am louder than just my own person and I’m more places than I probably should be.
Do you ever get stage fright or anxiety before performing? If so, how do you combat it?
I used to when I first started playing solo shows after about a 6-year hiatus. It’s very rare that I get stage fright or anxiety for any reason. I’ve been dabbling in modeling and acting and that actually makes me rather anxious! Particularly because I know next to nothing about that industry but I’m in the hands of an exceptionally gracious and patient agency.
When I get nervous or anxious about playing music I ask myself what I’d rather be doing (knowing full well that the answer is nothing). When I look at it that way I’m filled with gratitude to be on stage and the anxiousness is pushed right out.
I do pray and meditate before getting on stage. I like things to be quiet and alone and do a lot of visualizations of my performance.
I also like to prepare myself with being rested and eaten healthy so that my body feels great. That way I can work it to death on behalf of the audience.
Anything else going on in your world you would like to share?
I love anime and cannot wait for season 4 of Haikyuu. DM me if you want to nerd out together! I don’t have enough anime geeks in my life. Other musicians are too cool for me.
Where can we find you online to follow and support you?
End of Interview