Scot Stoddard is an independent artist from Syracuse, NY, who relocated to Kentucky. Scot is a veteran guitarist and drummer on the local Syracuse music scene. Scot Stoddard recorded his first full-length album in 2012, a total solo effort, titled "Stories" which was his first release on Spotify and featured a song which reached success titled "Desire". Scot's album "Stories" contains music ranging from metal, to jazz influence, to rock ballads. Scot began to hone in on his craft and self-proclaimed his artistry as “Art rock”. A unique and new style of rock music which makes the release of his single “Transcend” feel more refreshing and idiosyncratic. The record "Transcend” felt more like an instrumental more than your average single due to the limitation of lyrics and vocals. You can tell the main focus point of the song was to showcase Scots ability to convey a story through an instrumentalist point of a view. It was interesting and made the song more valuable for me. One of the cool aspects of “Transcend” would have to be the artistic vision Scot had for the record. He was able to really electrify us with the classic and retro feel in a chaotic mix up and mash up of different background instruments. His vocal resonance was intriguing and different from your average singer. He had a nice tone and contagious melody, exceeding our expectations. Overall, "Transcend" has this FX rock type of vibe I’m sure people will love!
Listen to Scot Stoddard's new song "Transcend". We had the pleasure of interviewing Scot about his music and what we can expect in 2019.
Hi Scot, care to introduce yourself to our readers?
Sure, I'd enjoy introducing myself to the readers! I'm Scot Stoddard, an independent artist, formerly from Syracuse, NY, but I've recently moved to the Lexington, KY area. My main instrument these days is guitar, although my first instrument was drums, which I started playing at age 10, and I also play bass guitar, keyboards, synthesizers, MIDI instruments, and sing. I was a veteran on the Syracuse music scene, playing in many bands over the years as either a drummer or guitarist, and often as guitarist I doubled on keyboards. I've played many styles of music in these bands, both cover bands and bands that wrote and recorded original music, ranging from blues to classic rock to grunge to metal to prog rock to pop and/or Top 40. I've always had in interest in recording, and around about 2012 I was getting a little tired of the Syracuse gigging scene and made the choice to put more efforts into writing and recording my own music; thus, becoming a solo indie artist. I wrote and recorded my first album, "Stories", around that time, and I played all the instruments myself: Guitars, bass guitar, drums, synthesizers, and sang the vocals. Stories was finished by 2015, but not released until January 2017, shortly followed by my second album, "Transcend", again, a solo album, in July 2017, which I had been working on since "Stories" was completed. In September 2017 I released a single in collaboration with my friend Catherine Corelli called "Cassini Drive", which was a house/trance/techno song, but also featured Catherine on saxophone and myself on lead guitar; something a bit different, a kind of genre mashup that turned out to be very interesting! In 2018 I formed a project called Conspiracy Theories Project with some friends from Long Island, NY, which again was an online collaboration project, and we released a couple classic rock cover songs. So that's a quick summation of my history as a musical artist.
How was it growing up in Syracuse, New York?
I actually didn't grow up in Syracuse, NY, but about a hundred miles east of there in a small town. There wasn't much to do there, so I spent a lot of time learning how to play drums, and played in all the junior high and high school music organizations: Band, orchestra, jazz ensemble. I was heavy into music then, and still am! I moved to Syracuse when I was 17 to attend the music program at a local community college and earned an associate's degree in music performance, majoring in percussion, but this is also where I learned music theory and had two years of piano instruction. This is also where I started learning guitar, as I had a couple good friends that were guitar majors and they helped me get started.
When did you first knew that music was the lane for you?
Well, as I've said here, I've always been into music. My dad was a music teacher, and my mother was also very talented on piano and singing, so I was always around music from an early age on. When I really decided that I liked the musician life, however, was at age 14 when I started gigging with my dad, playing commercial music for private parties, weddings, bars...all over the place. So I caught the gig bug early on, and just really enjoyed playing music for people and entertaining. Then after music college, I starting joining bands in Syracuse, one of which went into a local recording studio and cut a few tracks; so that's where the recording end became a passion.
How challenging it is to learn an instrument rather than vocals?
Well, vocals IS an instrument, and it's one of the most difficult, really, so this is a difficult question to answer. I'm not a trained vocalist, I've never taken voice lessons or concentrated a lot on singing, it's just something I always did and, in retrospect, I wish I had taken lessons, because it's a tough thing to get a grip on to get the most out of your own voice. So I guess for those blessed with an awesome natural singing voice, there's less of a challenge there, but that's not me! The thing with me, in learning any instrument, is that I challenge myself to get better. I started playing drums at 10, was gigging at 14, and had already gone beyond what my school instructors could teach me, so I started playing prog rock like Rush, for example. To push my skills, I enjoyed the challenges of prog rock in the varying tempos and time signatures utilized therein. Same thing with guitar; if I got comfortable playing a certain style, I then went for something more difficult. Bass guitar was an offshoot of playing guitar, and I didn't really get into that until I started recording my solo albums and, well, I needed bass tracks; so I studied my favorite bass players and tried to learn their techniques and licks. Keyboards I was trained on heavily in college. But I also played trumpet in the marching band and pep band in high school, because there was a lack of trumpet players and we had a lot of drummers! So I mean, sometimes the challenge comes out of necessity, sometimes it comes from your own inner drive to be better. To me, that's where the challenges lie in any instrument; how far can you push it? And it's the same with vocals, I've just not gotten that far into singing and honestly prefer instrumental work.
In your artist perspective, how would you interpret “Transcend” for our readers?
Ahh, Transcend, yes. Well, Transcend IS the title track from my album of, obviously, to be redundant, the same name. Transcend the album is actually somewhat of a concept album, with the actual dictionary definition of the word transcend being the theme. So let's look at that definition, which is 1: Be or go beyond the limits of (something abstract, typically a conceptual field or division); or 2: Surpass (a person or achievement). Now Transcend, the song, narrows that concept down to a simple principle: Being better. And again, going beyond the limits, and surpassing achievements. It's about trying to find ways to BE better: A better person, a better man, a better artist. It's about taking the good things in your life and building upon those. It's about self-reflection, searching your soul for the good and ignoring the bad. It's about analyzing your past, correcting your mistakes and living in the present to its fullest. And even in a more personal sense, I'd had some tough times at and around the time of recording my "Stories" album, and I wanted to get the hell over it, I wanted to be a better person, and truthfully, I wanted to make a better album. So it's really about self-improvement, as well as improvement of the human race; it's meant to show that we can all do this, be the best we can possibly be, with a bit of thought, education, desire, motivation and introspection.
What major plans do you have for 2019?
My main goal for 2019 is to finish and release my third solo album, currently already in the works, with the first song, entitled "A Day To Remember", already up on my website as an example of things to come. This yet-untitled album will be comprised entirely of instrumental music, as I'm looking into the area of marketing this for licensing for TV/movies/commercials, etc. Ancillary goals are to improve my mixing and production skills on this album, as well as further develop my skills in video editing, social media and marketing. So basically, I'm going to be working, learning, and again, trying to improve in all areas. I'm also recording again with Catherine Corelli, and we're on the second track of her album called "Heaven Syndrome", with the title track already completed; and it's amazing. And I'll again be recording with the Conspiracy Theories Project. So I've got my work cut out for me, and I'm on it!
Connect with Scot Stoddard on social media:
Instagram (Music): https://www.instagram.com/scot.stoddard.music/
Instagram (Personal): https://www.instagram.com/scotstoddard/