I have very little love for the typical artist bio. How boring is it to read about an artist’s musical journey like it’s an appliance manual? The music business wants a concise and packaged take on a very complicated thing - Why does someone do what they do as a musician? Thankfully for me as an indie musician I’m not worried about pleasing the music business industry - I prefer to think of you the listener. So, here instead is my take on music and me.
I have always loved music. I love that it can culminate your life in a single song. A song like a scent can spin your head around to a different time. It’s hypnotizing and as far back as I can remember I wanted in. As a kid I wrote songs on an old beat up Lowrey Organ. I bought my first guitar from a catalog. A redheaded Elvis impersonator with a big heart gave me lessons for free when the family had no money for them. He helped me get my nerve up for my first performance – “Johnny B. Goode”. As I got to my teens my grandmother gave me the best of advice... “whatever happens keep singing your songs” – thank you my Oma.
I wasn’t gifted musically (some may say that is still true!). I just loved music. I wanted to hold a guitar and make that thing sing. I wanted to sing a note and see it resonate in those listening. So I immersed. Through out my time as a musician I have performed in rockabilly trios, alternative rock bands, country acts, and even a stint as a lounge singer. I learned from everyone I played with and I am thankful for their patience with me.
My first solo debut album was entitled Okay Now. I had the great fun and honor to work with Scott Mathews on it. His production style is incredible. It has the shotgun approach that ran away in the ProTools-era. An amazing multi-instrumentalist, Scott not only filled out my songs but he also taught me how to tighten my playing and what it means to breathe life into a production. We followed up Okay Now with Summer Trees. A single for the masses and the closest thing I will ever be to pop. My home in southern Baja and a worn out photo of my parents on a Mexico beach circa 1964 inspired the next album entitled Post-Surf. This one was special to me for a new reason. My adopted hometowns of Todos Santos and Pescadero helped fund it and make it come to reality.
So what's the point of these albums, songs, and shows? I don't do this for fame. I do this for me. Music keeps me in touch with the mystery and awe of things bigger than us that I felt as a child. It keeps that alive in me and I'm so grateful for that. In turn, I want to share that with you. Plus I have this theory. Great music, great songs aren't about the artist. They are about the listener. For instance, I recorded a song called "Water" that people around the world have written to me about. They tell me what the song means to them, how it is a soundtrack to their adventures, and honestly that to me is better than what I started out with. I love that.
So, what's next? Some new ventures completely off the current charted routes and a few continuations too. Be assured that the songs I will sing are inspired by everything and anything that made me want in to this fiery, ethereal, mysterious, humbling, shining thing called music as a kid. I still want in.
t.l. - Oct 2014
Lang enjoys his volunteer work as one of Jehovah's Witnesses and supporting the worldwide efforts of his faith. Besides this endeavor, he also enjoys donating his music and performances to a variety of animal rescue and shelter programs, recycling initiatives, educational opportunities for children of low income families, and other community outreach efforts.