My music has evolved out of a genuine attempt to discover or create, something to hold in my hands that captured what I felt. Really, initially I played music because I felt like I had to, its cathartic in nature and pushes me to constantly see things anew, and lately as much because I love to. I have always loved music and it grew into passionate love within the last few years, though in many ways it leads to everything I fear, I take that as telling me what is most evolving.
I take influence from everything in my life, and I am a futurist, and nerd, so I talk about atoms and stuff, but with regard specifically to music I am inspired by just about every aspect of life, and most styles of music, and I think the more I play the more that will show in my music as I learn how to translate that into notes. I hope you feel it too.
My New album Paper Bird out March 30th.
Justin Lantrip - Guitar, and Vocals
Paper Bird (2013)
Head Full of Fire
A Better Pace
Who Was I
A Perfect Afternoon
A Beginning to Infinity
Of My Hands
A Breath Into
Bleed then Bloom (2012)
1. I am what I am not
2. Free Ride
3. Happy Song
4. May I
5. Between Your Records and your Sheets
6. Streets of Ideal Proportions
7. Crown of Thorns
9. Bleed then Bloom
10. Meet me on the Other Side
I am my will (2010)
Hold a Candle to the Sun
You are my Diving Bell
I am my will
Lantrip debuts new CD at Panida Theater
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SANDPOINT --- For local musician Justin Lantrip, the Saturday performance of his new album at the Pa...SANDPOINT --- For local musician Justin Lantrip, the Saturday performance of his new album at the Panida Theater marks both an end and a beginning.
On the one hand, the show marked the end of "Paper Bird's" labor-intensive production. In another respect however, it's just another step in his journey as a musician.
"With every album I release, I get a little closer to communicating what I feel inside," he told the more than 150 attendees of Saturday's show.
The process of capturing that inner vision started in January, when Lantrip kicked off the recording and production process. Having never taken on the role of an album producer before, much of the leg-work involved late nights studying and experimenting to see what exactly worked. Once he felt he had enough of a foundation under his feet, he started the exacting process of recording and re-recording song after song.
"When you spend all this time practicing and writing and playing a few different songs, it starts to affect your perspective," Lantrip said, "You start to hear things differently."
Fortunately, he had help from plenty of talented individuals in putting the songs together. Cody Mills provided the drums, Kyle Volkman handled the bass and Anna Tivel contributed fiddle, mandolin and backup vocals for Lantrip's singing and guitar. All four took the stage Saturday to debut the album in its full instrumental glory. Lantrip and company were supported in their show by several talented acts. Anna and the Underbelly, a Portland, Ore., act head up by Tivel, opened the show with thoughtful lyrics and gentle melodies. Spokane based singer-songwriter Marshall Mclean then tore through a series of engertic numbers supported by Justing Landis of Cedar & Boyer and Jamie Frost of the well known Spokane band The Makers.
By the time Lantrip and his fellow performers took the stage, the audience responded even more enthusiastically. By the end of the show, a few left their seats to dance up front including one very enthusiastic baby. Attendees will be able to relive the experince as many times as they desire, too, since Lantrip included a copy of "Paper Bird" for all ticket purchasers.
"I thought for the most part, the evening went very well," Lantrip said, "You could tell that everyone who was there wanted to be there."
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"The musician's armaments are light - an instrument or two, a sense of showmanship and a set of pipe..."The musician's armaments are light - an instrument or two, a sense of showmanship and a set of pipes. With only these weapons, Sandpoint's Justin Lantrip is more a Navy SEAL than a trench-bound G.I., with a quiet, sinister plucking style that buoys the natural quality of his voice, a versatile thing that seethes and croons with a whiskey-and-smoke sheen. Shuffling with unhurried precision, Lantrip's bluegrass-tinged folk is too calm for a cannonade, but when you need some clandestine musical maneuvers, when you need results, he's your guy. -Jeff Echert"
Inside the Head and Music of Justin Lantrip
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Words: Justin Lantrip CD Release By Ben Olson For SPR There’s a lot of crap out there. ...Words:
Justin Lantrip CD Release
By Ben Olson
There’s a lot of crap out there. Floating around, mucking up our airspace. We’ve somehow become a culture that worships crap, bows down to it and empties our pockets for it. We love our crap.
How wonderful then, when something comes out that isn’t crap. Sometimes you have to hunt to find it. Sometimes it comes from the most unsuspecting place; a small mountain town called Sandpoint.
Sandpoint native Justin Lantrip has evolved faster than any musician I’ve seen in this area. Starting from scratch, essentially, he has packed more work and creation in the last few years than most musicians do in a decade. What’s evident with his new CD, “I Am My Will,” is that Lantrip has put in his time.
The CD is an independent venture for Lantrip, recorded in his studio basement, marketed and sold himself. It’s part of a new revolution of music distribution that doesn’t rely on leviathan record labels and pop charts. It relies solely on the talent of the artist. And Lantrip has talent. He’s ripe with it.
“I Am My Will” has eleven original tracks by Lantrip, all showcasing his astounding vocal range, his prowess on the guitar, his ability to write songs with meaning. Haunting lyrics from “Libby, MT” highlight the struggles of that mining town’s past. “Baby Boy” is a heartbreaking homage paid to a beautiful child departed. The chord progression of “Hold a Candle to the Sun” stays with you long after the song is done.
Not many musicians have the ability Lantrip has, to play to both rowdy bars and quiet coffee shops, and somehow manage to fill the space perfectly each time. Put him behind a microphone and a guitar and people will listen. They won’t be able to help it.
I sat down with Lantrip to talk about his new CD, and the release party he’s throwing at the Panida Theater on April 17th.
BO: So, the new album…
JL: The new album is called “I Am My Will.”
Tell me about the evolution of it, the recording process, where it came from… why are you releasing an album?
Why I’m releasing an album… it’s a natural part of the process, I think. Being an artist is combining everything you’ve worked toward into one package and making something for yourself to show. The process was fun, really. I ended up taking this little space down below my house and put some blankets up on the walls and a mic in the corner and seeing what I could do. I had a little bit of recording experience before but not much, so it was kinda learn-as-I-go.
Did you mix everything yourself?
Yeah, I mixed everything myself, I recorded everything myself. Everything that’s on the album is me, with the exception of two songs where I had Jeff Crosby [of Boise band Equaleyes] playing acoustic guitar. All the sounds come from acoustic guitar and my vocals. And that’s it. I tried to give it as full of a sound as I could, you know, not having drums and bass.
Do you think that this is a new standard for artists, recording themselves? Artists who are basically recording in their garage, as opposed to have a record label take them on. Is this a step toward something more?
I think so, I think it actually represents the transition towards individualism on a whole basis. The power of technology now leads people to be able to do this and to do it pretty well. You know, I had no real experience and I don’t want to say that it turned out even close to studio quality, but it’s not bad. For what I had, for the money I was able to put into it, I think it turned out pretty good. People can do it relatively easy now in their homes. It just makes sense. People can’t afford to spend $20,000 on an album, and why should you anyway? There was a lot to gain from doing it myself, too. Maybe now I’m ready to go into a real studio, but I wasn’t before this album. It was a stepping stone.
Was it comfortable, the whole process, or did you butt your head?
Both, you know. I had a lot of fun. Sometimes.(laughs) Sometimes I’d go down there and just enjoy it. Sometimes I’d fail miserably, and I sat there and did take after take after take. When I went down there, I didn’t necessarily have an idea of what I even wanted the whole recording to sound like, I just knew what the song was, but I didn’t know what the extra parts were going to be and how my voice was gonna lay over and so it was as much experimental as it was going in with the knowledge before hand of what I was going to do, and every once in a while from that experimenting and struggle, you can reach into the void and pull a flower out for people to see.
Let’s talk about touring. Where have you been lately? Who have you toured with?
Well, I just got done with a tour with Josh Hedlund. We went to Portland and Seattle. It was a real short tour. It was a sort of, I finished the album, it’s out there getting pressed at CD Baby, and I’m gonna go play a few shows and get out of town. And that was the most recent thing I’d done. Before that I went down to Boise and did a tour, stopping along the way and the way back. That’s it for the winter. I was more focused on creating the album. As the summer comes along, summer is the time to play. Summer is the time to tour. And so, hopefully, I’ll be doing a lot. I know I’m going to Boise in June, and besides that I’m going to be playing a lot locally.
Where are some of your favorite places to play? And you better say the Crossing or this interview is over.
(laughs) I actually do like playing at the Crossing. I think it suits me well, on those nights I can yell and scream and I don’t feel like I’m overwhelming anybody. Sometimes when I play at wineries and coffee shops, I don’t know, I just like to scream and get my demons out sometimes. And I feel like I overwhelm the space a little bit. It depends on the crowd, but it definitely can feel that way. I think my ideal venue is just a little bit bigger. I really enjoyed playing this place in Seattle called Q Café. Any place where there is good sound and people listen and there’s attention paid and the space is right. It can really vary from gig to gig.
Let’s talk about the songwriting process. Do you follow one? What influences your originals?
If I can get past my laziness (laughs) that’s probably my biggest fault. I’ve never really had a song that just poured out of me and was really easy to write. There have been some that have been kinda close, but most of them I had to work my ass off for. A lot of times the initial piece will come quickly, maybe the initial two pieces, and some lyrics, I think I struggle most with lyrics.
Do you usually piece lyrics into chords and progressions, or vice versa?
I usually come up with a musical progression first, then write some lyrics over the top. I have no idea what the song’s going to be, necessarily, I just try to listen to whatever it’s trying to tell me, whatever it wants to be. The best songwriting advice I got was from Josh Hedlund, and that is, “Don’t get in the way.” That’s easier said than done a lot of times because you judge every little piece, you know, is this good? Do these words go well together? If you can get to that point where you just don’t judge it and let it be, you’ll accelerate your development a lot better by just writing and doing it. It’s still a learning process. I’m learning how to write songs still. I hope it becomes easier too, I feel like it’s still a little bit of a struggle sometimes.
Speaking of struggle, what’s it like being a musician in Sandpoint?
I don’t think you can expect too much. It’s a small town. I think that my best gig that’s ever going to happen is coming up soon. I’m playing at the Panida for the CD release show. It’s the best venue, it’s hopefully going to be the best experience. Overall, I think Sandpoint’s a pretty good place to play. We’ve got a good artist’s community, there’s a good underground scene that most people probably don’t know about. And there’s some good places to play that will actually pay you some money. For a small town, I think it’s great. For progression of music, you can’t do anything. It’s a good place to begin. But any place is a good place to begin (laughs). All you need is a room and yourself and some inspiration.
Do you think musicians are treated well in this town?
Yeah, not bad. If you have something to offer I think people respond to it. And people support you. It’s cliquey. If you’re in a group that supports you, then you’re in a group that supports you. If you’re not, then you’re not. It only seems to accept certain genres of music. There’s only so much you can do in a small town, but overall, it’s a good town. It could always be more. Overall, as a society we should appreciate art more, but from just the perspective of the town, it’s probably higher than a lot of other towns.
Tell me about the CD release party, who’s playing with you?
Marshall McLean from Spokane is playing with us. He’s a great folk americana style singer songwriter. Writes a lot about his life and his experience. He’s got a really cool style and voice. And of course, local legend Josh Hedlund is playing. He’s phenomenal. I had a really hard time touring with him. I would always have to play after him, because, as he said, my stage presence is more powerful, which might be true, but damn, he’s a better songwriter, (laughs) so you know, I always have that struggle… anytime you go up after someone you idolize or feel strongly about their creativity, it makes it difficult, but it’s also cool to challenge yourself with those feelings. That’s just part of it. Hopefully you can be around the best musicians all the time. That’s part of the joy and the struggle, I guess.
Tickets for Justin Lantrip’s CD release party, featuring Marshall McLean and Josh Hedlund, are on sale for $10 at the Downtown Crossing and Main Street Music, or available at the door. Show starts at 7pm, with an after-party at the Downtown Crossing later.
I have enough original material to cover an entire set but do covers as well of a wide variety of folk and rock from the Beattles to Iron and Wine, Fionn Reagon, Ray Lamontange and Dave Matthews. I usually play a large majority of original music and include 4 or 5 covers in a set.