The “Live Thing”

“So when can I come see you play?”

I get asked this all the time. After all, the live show is how you introduce your music to new people and how you keep relevant in the ears of your base audience. But playing my music live has never been a priority for me. I always felt the best phrase to describe what I do is the hazardously pompous sounding “recording artist”. I liken the song production process to the visual arts: painting pictures with words and sounds. My creative process is complete with the finishing touches on the recorded song. When the song is done, I feel fulfilled. Because I play all the instruments on my recordings, I don’t need 3 or 4 other musicians to make the song come alive, as is the case with most other songwriters or bands who often have been playing the song for months or years before it’s ever recorded- if it is at all. There’s nothing wrong with either process, obviously, I just side with the former.

I’m painfully aware that this works against any commercial success I might be in line for, but sometimes the idea of performing live is as absurd as a painter being expected to sit on a stage and repaint a copy of a work that has already been completed. I’m aware of the argument that ‘variations’ of the work could be brought to life, but in many ways I feel like I’d be violating the purity of the original recording- the ‘real’ version of the song.

In 2009, I played a few shows to support my “Love and Armageddon” cd. It was a great experience, but I had to go through my catalog and choose songs that could be stripped down and executed with a more ‘alternative band lineup’. It was fun, but I don’t want to repeat that process. If I’m to play out again it would require enough resources to faithfully capture the level of production that exists on the recordings. That entails finances that I’m not currently privy to, and may not ever be. But like I said before, my job is done when the song is done anyhow, so it’s really no big shakes to me as an artist.

So, enjoy my latest single, called Scattering Platinum:

https://soundcloud.com/williamsteffey/scattering-platinum

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