Sound Observations with Stephen Kellogg

Monday, May 16, 2011 9:21
Posted in category Interviews, Upcoming Shows

By David Moye

Stephen Kellogg is best known for his work with his band, The Sixers, but as anyone in a partnership — personal or professional — knows, it is sometimes good to break away for some alone time.

That’s why he’s been spending the last few weeks doing a solo show with fellow songwriter Tift Merritt.

The two come to Anthology May 17 and Kellogg is enjoying a chance to share a different side of his muse than he can in a band setting.

“This is rare for me,” Kellogg said. “Most of my work is playing with the Sixers, but we have a new album coming out in September so this is a chance to play some of my more introspective material. I play some songs that I do with the band, but differently than how we play them on stage.”

It’s more of a change in mood, than a change in sound he says.

“Not to take anything away from the Sixers, but our music is my world vision,” Kellogg said.

Kellogg, who released four CDs as a solo artist in his early days, prides himself on being relentlessly honest in his music, especially lyrics. Lately, however, he has decided that he can take different approaches to reach that state.

“In the beginning, my songs came from personal experience,” he said. “I would take the filter off in hopes people would connect. Now, I am trying to new hats on in the interest of growth. For instance, now I might try and write from a character rather than myself.”

Another approach he’s tried is trying to come up with a title first.

“Many times, the title comes afterwards, but I decided to create a list of titles for songs I haven’t written,” he said. “I also use a rhyming dictionary. Now, you shouldn’t force the rhymes but they can lead you down roads that aren’t on the top of your consciousness.

“Also, while lyrics have always been my thing, I now want to pay more attention to melody.”

All the work he has done songwriting has turned Kellogg into a very focused songwriting machine.

“Really, I can sit down and write a song in any context,” he said. “But, it’s like basketball, to win the big game, you really have to get up and prepared. When you have a great idea, it’s great to be able to run with it.”
Of course, there are some places where he sits that may be more conducive to songwriting than others.

“Do you want an answer that’s honest or cool?” he asked.

Honesty is cool, Steve.

“Well, I get a lot of ideas when I’m in the toilet,” he admitted. “But I don’t keep a guitar there.”

WHAT: Stephen Kellogg
WHEN: Tuesday, May 17th, 2011, 6:00pm
TICKETS: $10-$32 Buy Tickets
MORE INFO: Artist Profile