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Lindsey Stirling

The saying practice makes perfect is basically how violinist/electronic artist Lindsey Stirling started her career early on and now fans can see this perfection as she takes her latest album Artemis on tour. This extraordinarily multi-talented musician will be touring the states this summer into the fall. This is her 5th studio LP (released in 2019) that also has a comic book coordinating with it. She has four previous highly successful LP’s, a Billboard Music Award for Top Dance/Electronic Album and several videos with millions of streams under her belt, she isn’t slowing down.

Catching up with Stirling just prior to her Artemis Tour, she revealed some details about the tour, her music, past experiences and what fans can look forward to.

SFL Music: Let’s talk about the tour. This is exciting. What can fans look forward to?
Lindsey Stirling: Oh. It’s just so exciting I think, for everyone to be out again. Like I can’t even express the feeling that we feel onstage of just gratitude to be there mixed with the feeling that you get from the fans. They are just excited to be out. It’s just a really special time, but I love this show. I’m really proud of this show. We had extra time to really like hover in all the extra bits of fun and details because we had so much time before this tour to prep for it. Its full of energy. Its full of fun, costumes, and lighting, and technical. I can honestly say this because I don’t know anybody that does what I do, so it’s a show unlike any other show you’ll see (she chuckled).

SFL Music: This is true. I was just listening to your Artemis album. Your music is so relaxing and its fun. What inspired you to play the violin? To become a musician?
Stirling: I loved music from the time I was really young because my parents always played classical music in their home. They loved orchestral, you know symphony music, and so they would play it on this old record player, and when I was six years old, I just begged for lessons.

SFL Music: Did you? That’s impressive.
Stirling: I was quite a weird child.

SFL Music: No, you were a wonderful child. Look what you did with that. What made you chose the violin?
Stirling: You know violins always got solos and they always had the staffed melodies, and I’m no fool. I knew who the star was. So, I wanted to play the violin.

SFL Music: So, you said you were professionally trained?
Stirling: Yeah, I was classically trained. I had private teachers all growing up. You know it’s funny. The reason that I practiced so much as a kid, and honestly one reason I ended up sticking with it is because my parents did not have a lot of money. Like, we had a very humble upbringing, and I remember growing up not having a microwave because our microwave broke when I was really little. For years we didn’t have a microwave, and so in my mind, microwaves were really expensive. Then I grew up and realized microwaves, you can get a microwave for like forty bucks and yet like, that’s the kind of home I lived in was, if we didn’t have the money, we didn’t buy it, and yet somehow they found a way to pay for private violin lessons for me all growing up. We never had new cars. Our cars were always like you know; the door didn’t open because it was broken. We didn’t have money to fix it. Like that’s our home. So, I didn’t celebrate for the sacrifice my parents made for me, and I knew that if I didn’t practice, the lessons wouldn’t continue and that’s why I practiced (she laughed), and so I’m grateful for all of that.

SFL Music: That’s a great lessoned learned. What would you advise new musicians? You just gave some very valuable advice.
Stirling: You Know, any new young, aspiring musicians, I think it’s so important to like keep it fun and also, it’s like you have to split it half and half. I think you have to treat it like dinner and dessert. You do the fun stuff after you’ve done your scales and your arpeggios or all you know, the stuff that you’re supposed to do, and you have to practice and it’s not fun. Do that first and then you get your dessert. You can play your fiddle music. You can play the radio picks that you love, but it’s important to find the fun in it always.

SFL Music: What inspires you when you write your music? I love the variations. Some of it’s a little rockish. Some of it’s a little more classical. What inspires you?
Stirling: Let’s see. I feel like I have to switch up my inspiration. I had one album that was very, very much inspired by writing from Brene’ Brown. I read her books and was so inspired by her words about shame and resilience and you know, like just all of this stuff that really resonated with me and that inspired my whole Brave Enough album. My Shatter Me album, I had this image of a ballerina stuck in a music box and that inspired the whole album because it symbolized for me my experience of breaking free from anorexia. Then the Artemis album has been really fun because I wrote the whole comic book that the album and the comic book kind of go hand in hand, and one inspired the other because I worked on them at the same time, and so that’s how my characters and a story inspired the album. So, it’s always fun to draw from different inspirations.

SFL Music: You actually wrote the comic book? Did you do the drawings? You have that artistic ability as well?
Stirling: No. I actually don’t have the artistic ability, but I did, I really did fully write it. I mean, I had a comic book writing partner and the two of us would skype day after day after day, and actually we ended up finishing the comic book through the pandemic, and we would have these like little skype sessions where we would write it, and it was really fun to do all the world building. The character building and you know, just make a story that I was super proud of, and I was definitely very involved with the artist as well like sending him inspiration for this is how the city’s supposed to look. This is how the world is supposed to feel. Use these colors, and helping them design the characters, but I’m definitely not an artist. So, I did not draw them (she chuckled).

SFL Music: One of your songs inspired your The Upside Fund to help people with COVID. What brought that about?
Stirling: Well, you know it kind of stemmed from a place that I used to do this thing only at Christmas where every year at Christmas I would open up an email that I had. It was just for receiving fan requests, and I would tell my fans like let me know what you need help with. And fans would write in their stories and mostly I liked in the beginning, to focus on families going through like medical crisis and helping them whether it was pay their bills or helping them. I don’t know. Whatever they needed, and that was a really cool experience to be able to hear peoples’ stories and be able to connect with them in that way and help. Then I decided I would make it official once COVID happened because I wanted to do a lot more than just like you know, sending a couple checks at Christmas time, and so I started The Upside Fund, and also a really cool thing about The Upside Fund is in past, fans have said, “I would like to donate. I’d like to help,” and I never had an official way that they could legally donate, and so I couldn’t accept their help. And now The Upside Fund is cool because fans if they want, they can go to that website to receive. They can ask for something if they need more, but they can also go there to give if they feel like they want to support. So anyways, it’s really cool to have that where I think it strengthened just the community in general that I have with my fans.

SFL Music: That’s a great idea. The website is lindseystirling.com/theupsidefund. Now Artemis has a song that was inspired by silent movies?
Stirling: I recently did a music video that was kind of inspired by silent movies. It starts with a silent film in the beginning of it.

SFL Music: “Masquerade”.
Stirling: Yeah, so that was just one music video that I did recently, but my dad used to watch a lot of like old films with me when I was a kid. So, that’s kind of where that came from, but the Artemis album was inspired by the Goddess of the moon, and just, I loved the concept of the moon, and then the moon goes through phases and sometimes it’s dark. Sometimes it’s full of light, and it kind of really hit me that it was a really great model for me to look at mental health that way. That sometimes we have dark days. Sometimes we have bright days, and just because you’re having a dark day, doesn’t mean that your light is gone. Just means you’re a little covered with shadow that day and you will come back. And so, it’s been kind of a helpful way for me to look at mental health, especially through the pandemic when you know, I think mental health was at a all-time fluctuation, and so that’s why I called it Artemis was, I loved that Artemis is the Goddess of the moon and I felt like she represented not only femineity, but also resilience. I love also the concept of light verses dark and just so many things I loved about Artemis, the moon, and that’s why I wrote the comic book and called the album Artemis.

SFL Music: You mentioned anorexia. What would you advise people that may be going through a similar situation? How you came out of it.
Stirling: Gosh, I would say, it’s a really scary thing to admit that you have a mental disease like anorexia. Whether its anorexia or something else, it’s really scary to finally like say, I have a huge problem, but I will say, I feel like I took a huge sigh of relief. Almost like this weight left my shoulders once I finally admitted I had a problem because now I had finally accepted that that was the problem and it was also helpful to think if it like oh wow, I’m not broken. It’s not me that’s broken. Anorexia has come into me or depression or anxiety. Like, it’s really hard to get help and improve when you feel like you are the thing that’s broken, but like, we are never broken. We just have things that happen to us or things that come into us, and for me it was really helpful to look at anorexia almost like a separate entity and I didn’t deserve that in my life and it was my job to get anorexia out of me. I wasn’t the part that was broken and I think that was really helpful for me because it’s not fun to feel broken. No one wants to feel like that and it’s hard to feel hopeful when you feel like that. So, I would say there’s one comfort in realizing that you’re not alone, but also that you’re not broken.

SFL Music: That’s great advice. Also, I like that you have a VIP Experience (Meet N Greet, lunch, helicopter ride) in San Diego in August coming up. How did that come about?
Stirling: Well, I think ever since I started The Upside Fund you know, it’s been really cool to find different charities that we can work with and different ways to raise money for The Upside Fund and there’s just so many cool things out there that I think turn into win, win situations. It’s like yeah, somebodies going to get a really cool experience out of this, but also the money’s going to go directly to helping families in need, and I’ve loved that, being able to find cool things and cool ways for people to be helped and to be a part.

SFL Music: What inspired your song “Guardian” and “Lose You now” which has nine million streams and it’s about loss and grief. What inspired that?
Stirling: Yeah, when I wrote my Brave Enough album, Brave Enough was very much inspired by you know, I said the book by Brene’ Brown, but also it was all about being brave enough to continue after loss. I’ve lost my dad and my best friend, and that album had a lot of like really heavy emotions in it because I was going through that really heavy phase of grieving. And when I wrote “Guardian”, it was almost like being the next phase because now my grief expresses itself through like memories and no longer are those memories painful. They now make me smile. Like when my dad’s birthday passes you know, or like I have a memory of my bandmate who passed away. My best friend. It’s more like, oh I miss that, than it’s like a smile. It’s a sweetness rather than this heavy sorrow that hurt, and part of what helped me get to that point is that I feel like they are my guardian angels and I feel like I’ve had so many little experiences that have made me see that they are still a part of my life, and that they are watching out for me, and I turn to them and ask them for help all the time. I ask my angels to guide me or to give me strength when I’m scared or nervous or you know, when I need help and that and I really feel like they give me strength beyond the strength that I have, and so “Guardian” was written about that. Then it was really cool when Mako took the song and he added lyrics to it. I didn’t even know he was doing it actually. He’s just a good friend and I’ve worked with him several times, and I told him the story of what it was about, and so he wrote it and I remember I cried the first time I heard it. Just literally tears streamed down my face ‘cause I felt like he was able to say and capture the words, the things I was only able to capture through music and melody. Like I never did find the perfect words to express all those emotions and he did, and so it was really cool. And it was so cool to release that song and see what it meant to other people, and to see fans post pictures of the loved ones they’ve lost and heal through that and it just was like a really cool thing to experience with other people.

SFL Music: Are there any more videos that fans can look forward to?
Stirling: Yes. I still have to. I have to, have to do one for my song “Love Goes On (And On)” with Amy Lee because heck. It’s with Amy Lee. One of my idols! I love her, so that is definitely one I have to do.

SFL Music: How did that come about that she’s on the song?
Stirling: You know, that was a long time in coming. Not only was I like a huge fan of hers, like starting back in high school, but I’ve done covers of their songs since when I became a musician. I had written songs in the past hoping that she would sing on them and she wasn’t available. It’s kind of this like story of resilience because I really wanted to work with her, and then she actually reached out and I played on their album several years back which was really like a shocking call to get. And so, I did a solo on one of their tracks and that led to touring together. So, we did a co-headline tour and then we became friends. So, it was really exciting that when I wrote “Love Goes On And On” actually with Mako as well, it was really cool and I was like, I know the perfect singer. I’m gonna call up my friend Amy Lee to sing this, and sure enough it was very seamless and she killed it. It was just cool to be able to have that kind of fruition ‘cause it started so long ago. You know, back when I was a teenager just dreaming that one day, I’d even get to meet her.

SFL Music: So, it was everything you thought it would be?
Stirling: It was and more.

SFL Music: That’s wonderful. Was there anything else you want fans to know about the upcoming tour. Anything new that they can look forward to?
Stirling: Well, it’s definitely a brand-new show. No one’s seen it in the states. Actually, no one’s seen it anywhere. We’ve changed it so much from the European tour. So, it’s a fresh show. It involves so much creativity from, not only the comic book being brought to life onstage, but also the music videos coming to life, and I just think that its, I don’t know. It’s been so exciting to just go out and do shows. So, whether they come to my show or not, I think that this is such a special time that everybody’s going to remember forever the time that the world opened up again, and I would say, go out there and be a part of it because it’s really exciting.

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