Interview with SirSchub
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
I’ve always been into music in some way! I grew up in a music-filled household; both of my parents were musicians and my dad in particular loved listening to and sharing music. I spent a lot of time as a kid singing and making up songs for fun, and as I got older that habit turned into a hobby and love for songwriting. It’s hard to imagine my life without that constant, but I think if I hadn’t gone into music professionally I might be an author. Writing and publishing a book is one of my life goals! I also love math and puzzles, though - I might have turned my computer science minor into a major and gone that route.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
I love experimenting with other art forms - drawing and crochet are my two mediums of choice. Making art that isn’t music can be difficult, but it’s important for me to have other creative outlets it helps me remember that creating and expressing myself is why I love making music. I also play a lot of video games; the act of playing makes me feel like an important part of the stories, which is the kind of feeling I like to bring to my songwriting, too. I exercise a lot as well - my yoga practice in particular helps me get out of my head and create more efficiently.
Where are you based and how did that influence your music?
I grew up in northwest Missouri and currently live in Chicago. There’s a lot of messy, nostalgic themes in midwestern music - both loving and hating your hometown, desperately wanting to leave while feeling rooted in where you’re from - and those themes are especially relevant to me as a queer person who grew up in a rural, conservative area. I’m also partial to folk instruments and styles, though I’m sure the midwest is not the only influencing aspect there.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
It would be incredible to open for Dodie and/or Sammie Rae and the Friends. I often cite Dodie as one of my biggest musical inspirations - I love the kind of textures she’s able to create and her use of vocals as a background instrument. And truthfully I think that performing in and then attending a Sammie Rae show would be a blast! Their music is the kind that I love to hear live - lots of energy and a big variety of instruments.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
“You’re going to get better the more you try.” Picking up new skills is tough, and I wish I had been more patient with myself a few years ago. I’ve had to learn recording and audio mixing on my own, and I was comparing myself to professionals when I was still very much an amateur! I’d also tell myself to prioritize performing more in college. I performed a lot my first two years, but the last two years I took on a lot of music-related leadership positions and didn’t have time for it anymore. I wish I could go back to those open mics and DIY shows in my college town!
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
All of my songs mean a lot to me, especially the ones on “Someone Else’s Stories.” If I had to pick one, though, it would be “Behind the Front Line” for a multitude of reasons. It’s the most personal song on the EP, despite not being about me. It’s the first of the set that I wrote, and it’s one of only two that made me cry while writing. It was also the last song that my dad had a big influence on before he passed - it was his idea to add the harmony line, which really makes the theme of “possibly unrequited love” stand out.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
Living and embracing your feelings authentically and unapologetically are the main messages I hope to convey. Making music started as a way to describe and process my feelings and experiences, and now I focus more generally on writing heavily emotional, mood-based stories. My goal is to create something that others can recognize themselves in and that they can use to relate to each other. That idea is part of the inspiration for “Someone Else’s Stories” - the stories and specific feelings are made up, but there’s a part of me in each of them, too. Authenticity and community is especially important to me as a queer person; it’s important to me to encourage others to be as authentic as possible safely, and creating community is a huge part of that.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
I don’t have anything major coming up as of late! My current plans are to perform live more and work more with other musicians; I’m looking for performance opportunities in the Chicago area and collaboration opportunities in Chicago and beyond. And I’m always writing new music, so I know I’ll have more to share soon.