Today, I sit down with Liz Strodel, Syracuse-based singer and songwriter. Liz tells us how she got interested in music, her process of creating, and what it's like recording her first album.
Ryan Sprague (RS)
Liz Strodel (LS)
RS: Where are you originally from?
LS: Syracuse, NY
RS: Did you attend college or an institute of any kind?
LS: I got my associates degree in Electronic Media Communications. Then I went on to Utica College where I played on the lacrosse team and got my bachelors in Communications.
RS: What instrument(s) do you play?
LS: I started out playing the drums but have been working on guitar and piano.
RS: When did you start playing? Do you sing as well?
LS: I started playing the drums when I was in 5th grade. I tried out for a band in 2005 and thought my chances would be better if I could sing back ups too, it ended up working out and I have been doing it ever since.
RS: Do you write all your own music?
LS: I try to write as much as I can on my own and then I bring it to my great friend, Andrew Greacen, who helps me iron out the wrinkles.
RS: What is your process of writing?
LS: I mess around on the guitar until something catches my ear. After that I try and lay it down on the computer and work on a beat and other splashes of color. The vocals come dead last and are always the hardest part for me.
RS: Do you collaborate with any other musicians?
LS: My longtime friend, Andrew Greacen is a sound engineer at the famed More Sound Studio in Syracuse, NY owned by JOCKO. We collaborate often.
RS: What inspires you to write and/or play?
LS: I try to go out and see as much live music as I can. I also watch a good amount of music documentaries and filmed music on Palladia. For me writing has always been difficult. It takes me a long time to come up with something that I am proud enough to record.
RS: Are you partial to any specific genres?
LS: I like a wide range of music but I guess I would lean more toward to "indie" category. I have been listening to a lot of Andrew Bird's new album
RS: Have you recorded any albums?
LS: My first and only album to date is titled "Nights & Weekends"
RS: What was it like to record "Nights & Weekends" ?
LS: I loved every minute of it, from the pre production to the album artwork. I really enjoyed being able to come up with all of the pieces of a song. I wanted each song to have their own sound and feel. I wanted to be involved in every aspect of it. It took me about a year and a half from start to finish.
RS: Who are your biggest influences in the world of music?
LS: The Meters for pocket grooves, The Band for musicianship and vocals, Bon Iver for production, Death Cab For Cutie for lyricism, and Dr.Dog because I wish I could be in the studio to see how they record.
RS: Any interesting stories you have playing live?
LS: I was playing drums with The Super Delinquents at Blues, Brews,and Barbecues in Syracuse, NY. Max Weinberg was there playing with his band. A local radio show was there interviewing Max while we were playing our set. One of the questions they asked was "when you go out on tour do you ever come across a band and think to yourself "these guys are pretty good?" Max said actually the girl that's playing the drums right now is very good, she's got a great pocket.
RS: Do you dabble in any other artistic endeavors?
LS: I like to draw weird abstract pictures that are very busy and confusing. In the upcoming months, I am going to be shooting a video with a good friend and very talented photographer, Amelia Beamish.
RS: Do you enjoy playing in bands or solo? What do you think is the advantage and/or disadvantage of either?
LS: I have been playing drums in bands for about 12 years so, I feel much more comfortable sitting behind the kit then I do standing in front of a crowd with a guitar. I'm not sure that I will ever feel comfortable playing solo.
RS: What's next for Liz Strodel?
LS: I am slowly working on a second album. I'm not trying to force anything, so it could be a while. I would like to have five or six more.
To learn more about Liz, CLICK HERE
You can also view the video for Float (into thin air) below