LiveMusicDaily Exclusive Interview
Stick Figure Talks Set in Stone, New Home Studio, Future Plans, & more!
Scott Woodruff, best known by his stage-name, Stick Figure, has made a name for himself on the reggae since ever since his first release titled Burial Ground in 2012. His latest album debuted at #1 on iTunes, Amazon and Billboard Reggae Charts, #7 on the Billboard Independent Release and #57 on Billboard new releases. It was the number #1 most added on CMJ World on its release and is currently #6 on CMJ World charts. In 12 weeks since its release, Set in Stone has sold over 10,500 copies.
Stick Figures records and writes on his own, but he has a stellar live band as well that bring these tracks to life in the live setting.
Andrew M. spoke with Stick Figure at the Norva in Virginia Beach, VA the day after his latest album, Set in Stone, was released to discuss his career, the new songs, his home studio, and much more.
You just released the first full length album since Burial Ground. Could you tell us what facets of Burial Ground you enjoy that carried over to the new album? In what ways does Set in Stone exemplify your experience on the road the past couple years of touring?
It’s been the first album since I’ve really started touring. All the other albums have been when I was just a recording artist, you know? Living at home and making a living on recording and releasing music. Just making fans through word of mouth and then we started touring in 2012 right after the release of Burial Ground. So, a part of me said, yeah, there’s more pressure we’ve been touring now I’ve got to put out something big. I don’t try to write radio hits, or anything like that. I record music I like and want to put out.
Yeah, when you try to do that it just doesn’t work.
Totally. I moved to Santa Cruz about a year ago, built a brand new studio and pretty much within one year put the whole record together and everything I’ve been working on. All the lyrics, all the material I’ve been working on came together and was put together because of the environment I was in. A good place in my mind around good people, good friends, in a very positive state.
“Fire on the Horizon” is shot near the beach and the home studio in California. How has the changing in landscape from Massachusetts to Cali influenced your approach to songwriting? I find that when I’m hiking or out in nature, song or lyric ideas come more naturally.
That is my life, the biggest inspiration for me in music is nature, the ocean, your friends. You know? It’s everything around you. So, when I moved down there to this new place and got a studio, that’s what I wanted this song to represent. I feel like it really embodied that, you know? The Santa Cruz mountains, the redwoods, the ocean, cocoa [dog], my boys.That’s what it’s all about. I had doubts about it, I thought, will this video really get across what the songs all about? Once it got finished I was like, this is spot on. This is what “Fire on the Horizon” is all about.
You’re kind of unique in that you play all the instruments and do vocals. You talked about Keller Williams being a big influence, but you also talked about a live band. I mean, let’s be real, loops are cool, but you can’t really beat a live band. For producers and gearheads out there, could you tell us a little bit of the technical aspect to your approach?
In terms of Keller I used to listen a lot when I was younger and I thought, I see a lot of myself in what he did and everything – but I never wanted to be a guy to sit up on stage. It’s too much attention. But when I’m recording or writing music, I’m in my best zone when I’m in my place by myself. I can get together with people and everything and you know, that’s a cool thing too. There’s a lot of cool things that come from collaborating with other people. It’s insane, bouncin’ ideas off people and stuff. But for my albums, I’ve learned over the years. I learned a little bass, learned a little bit of keyboards, learned the guitar just from recording and also picking up new instruments and stuff. That’s what feels most comfortable to me so when I’m recording music, when I put my headphones on and get in my own space I can really let loose when I’m sitting by myself. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.
What’s your vision pushing forward? Your writing and the live band. What are you setting your sights on for 2016?
We’re doing a Winter/Spring tour, we’ve got a new guy coming into the band, we’ve got a light-guy! It’s going to be our best tour and biggest tour yet. I feel like we really want to represent this album live the way it sounds on CD. In terms of everyone to get better at their craft, and the crew. We want to get better get tighter, become better friends. That’s what were all about. 2015 was a great year. I want to do big things and keep writing new music and always just keep writing fucking good songs. That’s my goal.
Stick Figure concludes this leg of his Set in Stone tour on February 13th at One Love Cali Reggae Fest in Santa Ana, CA.