We hope you’re all excited about the amazing rock lineup LeakyCon has planned for this August. It’s going to be one of the best, and this week I sat down with one of the artists who has big plans for the Thursday night stage. Steph Anderson from Tonks & the Aurors refers to her band as “The Bruce Springsteen of Wizard Rock”, but her new album coming out this summer may have you headed to Motown. Presenting the latest Leaky News Musician Profile, Steph Anderson!
Leaky News: How did you get started in music?
Steph Anderson: I have always been around music. My dad used to manage bands and owned his own recording company so my family really grew up around music. My parents had a rule that my siblings and I all had to join the band in middle school. I played the trumpet and about a year later I picked up the guitar and started taking lessons. I was 11 years old when I started playing guitar.
LN: Do you play any other instruments?
SA: Yeah! Guitar leads to bass, and I play some hand percussion. I’ve also played keyboard and mandolin. I’ve had my hands on a lot of instruments. I play everything you hear on my albums but drums. I would love to learn to play drums, but I don’t have the money and space for a drum set.
LN: Is there an artist or type of music that inspires you?
SA: There is definitely a classic, Indy rock sound to my music. My favorite musician is Bruce Springsteen who I’ve gotten to see on tour twice this spring, but I listen to a lot of different kinds of music. Pop, Motown, classic soul, anything that is catchy and well written. It’s not so much the type of music but the quality of the work that I listen for.
LN: Speaking of tours, what’s your favorite part of being on one?
SA: Seeing all the people and friends you’ve made online. It’s a lot like a conference in that way, being able to spend time with the friends you don’t normally see. It also means lots of really good food. I like getting to eat in small, hometown restaurants. I always try to support local economies. Tours have all the best and worst parts of vacations. You’re stuck in car with family you love and can’t stand and you get to do really fun things.
LN: How did you get involved with the online music community?
SA: Wizard rock, which was and is successful because of the internet. MySpace really got everything started because it was so easy to upload your music. Now it’s a little more difficult because you have to juggle so many different sites like tumblr, facebook, YouTube, etc.
LN: Tell us about your upcoming album!
SA: It’s a wizard rock album! Which is overdue, it’s been I think almost two years since my last wrock album. I’ve had some muggle albums since then, but I’m really excited to be getting back to wizard rock. I really challenged myself on this album. I’ve had the songs in my head for awhile and wanted to do some Motown style wrock. The songs are all original and inspired by artists like Stevie Wonder. It was a challenge to figure out how to get what I was hearing in my head onto the album, but it’s turning out really great. I had a friend record live horns and I’ve been getting much better at piano. It’s going to be the greatest wizard dance albums ever! I have an awesome set planned for LeakyCon. It’s going to be a longer set than last year and we’re going to use every inch of the stage. Last year’s audience was great with participation; I hope everyone comes this year ready to dance!
LN: Will fans be able to see you on tour soon?
SA: Yes! I’m a part of the Riddikulus! 2012: A Rolling Wizard Rock Festival which is a two week tour with six bands. I’m also on the road at least once a month playing in various places.
LN: I am a big Percy Jackson fan and love your music about that series! Are you going to write more with the upcoming movie release?
SA: It’s a definite possibility! I love Percy Jackson too. I actually got a call from a library in Pittsburg, where I had played wrock shows before. Rick Riordan was coming to talk to fans, and they asked if I would come and sing about books. I told them I could do better, I would actually sing about his books! So in a couple weeks I had written Olympian songs and went to perform in front of this huge crowd and Rick Riordan himself! When I finished, he came to tell me it was really good and thank me for writing music about his books. If more libraries wanted Olympian songs I would keep writing them. Actually, if I had all the time in the world I would write music about everything! I would love to write more Hunger Games songs and since it’s an election year I really want to do an EP about The West Wing. I can see some West Wing songs coming out this fall.
LN: And most importantly, what is your favorite movie theater snack?
SA: I think it’s weird to watch movies without popcorn. Other than popcorn I choose Snowcaps, but I do not dump my Snowcaps into the popcorn. That’s way too messy. Nerd Ropes are actually my favorite candy ever but I haven’t been able to find them in movie theaters outside of Michigan. Nerd Ropes are the greatest candy ever.
Well, there you have it Leakies! Remember to bring your dancing shoes and lots of Nerd Ropes to LeakyCon this year! Thank you Steph for taking the time to share with us! You can pre-order Tonks & the Auror’s new album, A Familiar Beat, here, and find Steph on her YouTube, and twitter.