Who are you and where are you from?
I’m Will Stratton and I live in Beacon, New York, a little town on the Hudson River north of New York City.
Who are your favourite artists from home?
I don’t know, that’s a pretty broad question when you consider the amount of music that has come out of New York, and considering that home includes many places for me. Yo La Tengo is probably my favorite band from the area I grew up. Composers like Nico Muhly and like David Moore of Bing and Ruth were pretty formative for me in the time I lived in the city. Now that I live upstate, I’m starting to have a better understanding of some of the music that came out of Woodstock, like the Karen Dalton recordings from up there, and The Band.
What’s it really like touring?
It depends on the tour. Sometimes it’s a slog, just going from one venue to another with very little in between. On tours that focus on one region, though, sometimes you get to see a lot of the countryside and really start to get to know people.
What’s your favourite city/town/venue to play?
I’m not sure. Playing Barcelona at a place called Miscelanea was quite nice several years ago. I’m very fond of a festival called Sea Change in Totnes, Devon that I played earlier this year.
What’s your ideal festival line-up?
Something with a mix of experimental classical music and jazz, ambient electronic music, and iterations of different kinds of folk music. I don’t really go to many festivals but I tend to like the ones I have gone to before they’ve gotten too huge.
What has been your biggest achievement of the year?
Probably putting out a record with Bella Union, one of my all-time favourite labels.
What has been the worst moment of the year?
I don’t know, but if I did I wouldn’t tell you.
What was the worst piece of advice you were given?
What do you do to relax?
I cook and I hike.
What are you reading?
I’m reading a few things. Will Oldham on Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, edited by Alan Licht; Landscapes, by Robert Macfarlane, about the language of Britain and Ireland as it relates to landscape and our sense of place; and La Belle Sauvage, the first book in Philip Pullman’s Book Of Dust series.
How about TV, anything good on the box?
I’ve been enjoying Toast of London.
Do you have a favourite YouTube video?
Nina Simone performing ‘Feelings’ at the 1976 Montreux Jazz Festival.
What website do you visit most?
What is your favourite:
‘I Feel Like The Mother Of The World’, by Smog.
Lost classic song?
‘Late November’, by Sandy Denny.
Overall, probably Drag City.
Who is your favourite current artist?
The Weather Station.
A new artist that you are most excited about?
Sheer Mag, a band from Philadelphia.
What was the last great gig you have seen?
Aside from people I’ve already mentioned, probably Julie Byrne playing in an English church.
I don’t go to bad shows.
What should we expect from your Irish shows?
What should you expect? I don’t know. Songs? Songs, probably.
Will Stratton plays the Workman’s Club tonight and you should most definitely go and see him.