MuzicNotez: First off, it’s an honor to be doing this interview with you Keith, thanks for taking the time to sit down with us.
What motivated you to start creating music? What age did you begin?
Keith Lauher: First off thanks for the interview! But yea, I started writing as soon as I started playing. My first instrument was the saxophone in band at age 10, and only a couple months in I had written a little ditty for it. Ever since then, Writing music has never been something I decided to do, rather it has always been an aspect of my life that has just been there.
MuzicNotez: Who or what were your musical influences, idols, or bands growing up that have helped mold you into the musician you are today? Or helped mold the music that you create?
Keith: I’ve been told that while most people merely adopt the retro, I was apparently “born in the retro.” Haha. I grew up listening to my Mom’s awesome album collection, mostly stuff from the 60s and early 70s. When I became a teenager though, I really started getting in to blues and jazz of the early 50s and sixties, constantly listening to people like Freddy King, Ray Charles and Howlin wolf. But my all time biggest influence has got to be Frank Zappa. Although my playing is very disparate from Zappa, his ability to make complicated music that is enjoyable to listen to (not to mention funny) is something I’ve always strived to do and look up to.
MuzicNotez: What’s the ultimate goal you want your music to achieve, or for you to achieve in your career as a musician? Any particular message you wish to send?
Keith: Well… I’d like to get really good. As far as an ultimate goal…I’d have to say that one day I’d like to push musical boundaries and create some really cool, unique, and hard to play music. I’m nowhere near that level now, so everyday I want to work at getting better. So I guess the message would be… stick around, good things to come? Haha.
MuzicNotez: You have a very unique style of playing guitar, what motivated you to play this way? How long in to playing did you adopt this style?
Keith: Thanks! Actually, I didn’t start playing with both hands over the top of the fret board until about 4 years ago. Until then, I was always playing in blues, jazz, and rock and roll bands. I actually saw kaki king live, and was totally blown away by her musician ship and ability to wow an audience with just 6 strings. So I decided to forget everything I knew and start slapping the guitar in weird tunings, and here I am.
MuzicNotez: You’re from the US, however now you’re in Japan. What sparked this move?
Keith: I moved here about 2 years ago to pursue a lot of personal interests I have (judo and learning Japanese) and have really enjoyed my time here! It’s an opportunity that came and I figured that I could only do it once while I was young, so I took it. I’ll be back in the US soon though!
MuzicNotez: Do you have a favorite track from your debut EP?
Keith: I worked really hard on all of them, so that’s really hard to say! But if I had to choose, I’d say it’s the 5th track on the EP, “With the Band.” Although it’s an instrumental, it’s inspired by the man I learned how to play the blues, develop my own musical taste, and swear from, the great Mitch Faber.
MuzicNotez: Your music is influenced from various genres, any genres you haven’t worked in yet however would like to in the future?
Keith: oh, that’s a good question. I’d really like to combine my acoustic guitar playing with a full rock and roll band. That’s something I definitely want to do at some point. The music would be pretty weird…but that’s kind of the point, yea? Maybe like a ska band with a full horn section. THAT would be fun.
MuzicNotez: Do you play any other instruments other than the guitar? If not, what would be your first choice to learn?
Keith: I started out playing the sax when I was ten, and switched to Guitar when I was 14. I’ve dabbled with piano, basic ii-V-I jazz stuff, but it’s never really caught my interest enough to keep up with, even though I know how beneficial it would be to really gain some piano chops.
You’re working on your second EP release, how is that going? Any idea when we’ll be able to hear it?
Keith: It’s going well! I’m still practicing and finishing up writing the tunes for it. It’s going to be a lot more technically harder to play than my first EP, but this is a good thing! I’m looking forward to getting it out there for everyone to check out.
MuzicNotez: Anything else you wish to say about yourself or your music? Any message for your fans?
Keith: Just a giant thank you for everyone who has read this far, bought the EP or has shown up to show of mine! You’re awesome!