Who are you and where are you from?
My name is called Karl Blau, I come from a series of small islands in the NW of Washington State known as the San Juan Islands. I grew up on Samish Island and then as a twenty-something I moved to Fidalgo Island where 20 years later I still reside.
Who are your favourite artists from home?
Some of my favourite artists from my home town of Anacortes on Fidalgo are the band known as SiLM, the sound artist/songwriter Phil Elverum aka Mount Eerie, and my favorite lyricist who happens to be my mentor, Bret Lunsford formerly of the super twee pop group Beat Happening.
What’s it really like touring?
Touring is really a series of leaving things behind. It’s fun, it’s stressful, it’s mind-bending because of all of the information you are fielding per hour like the sights of new towns, countryside in between the cities, meeting wonderful people, having to deal with drunk people too as it is often bars you are performing at.
What’s your favourite city/town/venue to play?
I have many. Vienna is probably top of my list, I have only performed there maybe six times. I enjoy the feeling of diverse energy the east meets the west of Europe there. I also love to play in Melbourne, Australia, but my very favourite country to tour in is Japan for the food and the exotic nature of the island.
What’s your ideal festival line-up?
My ideal festival line-up would have to be one of great diversity. I want to see a young punk band open for an opera singer which leads into a group of women singing, culminating into someone like Baby-Dee or Your Heart Breaks.
What has been your biggest achievement of the year?
My biggest achievement of the past year has to be taking this awesome band out on tour twice to Europe and once around the United States which will be after this tour a total of 80 shows or so.
What was the worst piece of advice you were given?
I can’t recall the worst piece of advice, I would never hold on to that kind of info.
What do you do to relax?
To relax I play drums or guitar by myself or go on long walks in the woods around the lakes and ponds of Fidalgo Island.
What are you reading?
I have three books on tour with me now: Nonviolent Communication – A Language of Life by Marshall Rosenberg, Non-Violent Resistance by Ghandi and Silent Spring by Rachel Carson.
How about TV, anything good on the box?
As far as TV shows, I definitely fell in love with House of Cards this past year. We have Netflix at home.
Do you have a favourite YouTube video?
Yes, it is this one of Hermeto Pascoal:
and this one by the same guy, I just love this guy:
What website do you visit most?
Definitely Google just exploring, just being curious about whatever.
What is your favourite:
Maher Shalal Hash Baz – Blues Du Jour
Reiko Kudo – ‘Kaihatsu-san’
Who is your favourite current artist?
My fave current artist is a tie between Ashley Eriksson and Phil Elverum – he goes by Mount Eerie.
A new artist that you are most excited about?
A newer artist I am very stoked about is the band Enduro.
What was the last great gig you have seen?
I saw Enduro in Anacortes (that’s the only place they play) – they blew my mind. They may never leave Anacortes and it is sort of cruel to reference them because you may not find much of anything about them, sorry!
The ones I missed!
What should we expect from your Irish shows?
We’re gonna play some more originals, a couple from the back catalog and a couple from an upcoming release. We have gotten pretty good at these classics from Introducing and being as we have only played them once in Ireland, we’ll likely play most of that record – we still love playing these tunes!
Karl Blau plays a number of Irish dates over the next few days. Take a look below: