there and back again

Posted on July 31 2016

allen stone in umano

we’re back home at hq after our sick road trip. we brought back some awesome memories, but our team in athens (yeah, a few of us had to stay home and “work”) had some fun of their own. from giving trips, to athfest and working with high school students attending camps at uga and emory, we’ve got to admit that summer 2016 in athens was p dope.
looking back, one of the coolest things we did by far though was meet singer/songwriter allen stone. he played at the georgia theater, and we were lucky enough to score some exclusive one-on-one time with him to learn more about his creative process and check out his killer hat collection. our takeaway from the concert? his vocals will captivate you and his stage presence will reel you in. he definitely puts on a show like no other, and, as if he couldn’t get any cooler, he looked like a total boss rockin’ THE DOUNOTS x Maritza up on stage.
read on for our exclusive interview.

allen stone in THE DONUTS umano
what stops a person from unleashing their creativity?
as: fear! fear of landing, fear of acceptance, fear of putting so much time and effort into something then watching it flop and being like, ‘man I could have been doing something else’. it’s a constant fear that we manipulate in our mind that really doesn’t mean anything. fear is what I think holds us back the most from unleashing creativity.
what would you be doing if you weren’t creating music?
as: I would either be making furniture, like woodworking, or I wish I was working with kids or animals- their purity is just amazing.
allen stone in umano

when you’re touring, how do you cultivate an organic space to create and energize?
as: it’s really hard for me to write on the road. the road to me is more of self maintenance- making sure you get a lot of love, joy, happiness, good vibes, and energy to sing and give it all away at night. I meditate, exercise, do yoga sometimes, walk around the city I’m in, but it’s tough for me to write on the road.
you were recently at bonnaroo, so what’s it like performing at a festival versus performing at a venue?
as: festivals are fun because you get to see a lot of artists that you don’t normally see, but you don’t get a lot of time to set up or sound check because there are so many artists rotating through stages, so it’s kind of stressful, but it’s also fun with the festival-goers. playing at a festival, playing at a venue, both are fun just different.

allen stone in THE DONUTS umano
in your creative process, where do you go to seek inspiration?
as: inspiration is tough because sometimes I’m very inspired, and sometimes I have to go find inspiration, but I think there is something to be said about work ethic when it comes to artistic merit. my favorite idea of artistic musical merit is disney songwriters- they were given this extremely precise needlepoint, and they were like told what to write about, but some of the greatest songs of american musical history came out of it. those guys pounded the pavement; they woke up every day from 9 to 5 going into the studio and getting it done.
inspiration is a weird thing I don’t know how I feel about it because there are times where I’ve been super inspired and wrote terrible songs, and there are songs I’ve written that I wasn’t inspired at all to write that people like. nobody can put their finger on it.
allen stone x umano
speaking of inspiration, how does feel to know that people are inspired by your music?
as: super flattering! it’s crazy if you think about it because the music is not mine, ya know? I recycled all these chords that somebody else figured out, on this instrument that somebody else made, singing notes from songs that I’ve heard, that somebody else heard, that somebody else heard… I have such a small involvement in my music and my songs when you break it down, so when anyone tells me that they’re inspired by my music, it’s a pretty crazy thing.
last question: any weird pre-show rituals?
as: vocal warm ups are pretty weird. just using your voice to do weird scales and stuff, but I don’t like drink rattlesnake poison or anything.
so there you have it, rattlesnake poison is not allen stone’s secret.
(kids, don’t try that at home)