Lindsey Stirling grew up in Arizona and took up the violin at a young age before starting a band during her college days. Her successful self-titled album included single Crystallize and gained Lindsey a vast following without the backing of a major record label (all power to her). She has followed this up with her 2014 release Shatter Me.
On November 6th, Lindsey will be gracing the stage at The Forum. Continuing her tour, Lindsey will perform some dates alongside Andrea Bocelli. We spoke to Lindsey about the inspirations behind her work and her latest record.
You recorded your video for Crystallize in the ice caves in Colorado -- how was the experience of filming there?
It was breathtakingly beautiful but it was absolutely freezing. Every hour I would down a huge cup of hot chocolate.
Your music is really epic and has a filmic (Lord of the Rings style) quality to it -- who has inspired you visually and how has this translated into your own compositions?
I have just always loved film in general. Sweeping vistas have always been intriguing to me. That is why I love the work of Peter Jackson and James Cameron. I actually went to film school at BYU and the concept still helps to direct and edit my own music videos.
You've released two studios albums and several EPs since 2010 -- where were these recorded and what did you learn about your own capacities, potential and limitations during this process?
I have learned that inspiration will come. I was so terrified to start a second album because I didn't know if I would be able to do it again. But the inspiration came. Also, my first album I wrote alone, but my second album I partially co-wrote and I learned that it is really effective sometimes to work as a team to write.
You grew up in California -- were you given a lot of freedom as a child and young person, and do you feel that growing up with a sense of belonging, security but also a realistic view of life and the toughness of reality -- has helped to keep you grounded in your journey?
I grew up in an extremely loving home and my parents strongly encouraged creativity. So even as a child, I was making up dance routines with my sisters, and writing and directing plays with the neighborhood kids. This lifestyle and encouragement is what made me into the person I am.
I wondered if your compositions are more a sensory experience that catapult you from one place to another -- do they sometimes evolve through a process that you cannot quite pinpoint -- or is every piece of music the result of the culmination of painstakingly laborious work and time? Is it a mixture of the both elements?
My music comes from a combination of all the pieces of my life. I try to create emotions through my music and to create those I draw from past experiences, the highs and lows of my life, my spiritual beliefs and my musical influences.
You're due to play in London on November 6th -- The Forum is a venue situated just off Camden in London -- a place of colour, vibrancy and markets -- a festival vibe. What frees you up, when you are at a music festival -- who would be on your ideal festival line-up bill and where would it take place?
I am looking forward to play in Poland and the Czech Republic the most. I have amazingly supportive and loving fans in these countries and this will be my first opportunity to put on a show for them. As for a festival, I love people who put on a show. So I'd love to open up for Paramore and Jessie J at a festival.
How have you strived to stay true to your own voice? You're clearly someone who has fought on despite feeling like everything was up against you. One of the hardest parts of life, and adult life, is retaining that core voice inside of you that was always there. Had you not have been able to follow this path, do you think it would have had a detrimental effect on you personally?
I would have a really hard time if I wasn't able to express my creativity in my way. That's why I wouldn't sign with any talent agencies or labels. They kept trying to change me and I couldn't do it. I felt too suffocated. So I searched for a way to do it my way. I would have a really hard time doing a job that lacked creativity.
Your album artwork for Shatter Me features you as a ballerina inside a snow-globe. This is both dark and light -- in that, I mean, it is a grace -- but also captured grace. Is this dichotomy something that exists within you -- is there always going to exist a sort of control over artists, and their true voice? Do you feel as though you can recapture your grace, through your music and art -- and are you stronger as a person today?
That ballerina is a metaphor of a person I used to be. With her porcelain skin, and flawless form she represents my past need for outward perfection. She is protected by a sphere but she begins to realize that the very things that keep her perfect actually have her enslaved. She learns that in order to be free she has to break herself in order to find herself. This album is about self-discovery and breaking free.
Lindsey Stirling continues her tour at the following venues:
November 6th – The Forum, London
November 7th – Manchester Academy 2, Manchester
November 8th – Vicar Street, Dublin
November 14th – 02 Arena, Dublin
November 18th – Echo Arena, Liverpool
November 20th – The 02, London
November 21st – LG Arena, Birmingham