Artist: Ervin Stellar
Hometown: Grand Rapids, Michigan
Latest Album: Nothing to Prove
Which artist has influenced you the most … and how?
Bob Dylan. I don’t know why I was initially drawn to his music, I was probably 14 or so. It felt like hearing the truth. Such word-crafting and an indifference to pop culture standards or expectations. He’s an artist I can continually go back to and never grow out of.
What other art forms — literature, film, dance, painting, etc. — inform your music?
Film more than anything else. P.T. Anderson, Wes Anderson, Éric Rohmer, the Coen Brothers — I aspire to write songs as cinematic as their films. They all seem to take place in a particular era, with an aesthetic that colors the experience in the same way time ages a Polaroid, it’s as we see that time period from the present.
Past rituals include getting stoned beyond recognition and trying to perform from a lucid dream state. This produced inconsistent results with varying levels of quality control. But these days I just like to be comfortable, at ease and without overthinking it. Letting the spirit of the sound move through me with as little resistance as possible.
Which elements of nature do you spend the most time with and how do those impact your work?
I like the earth and water elements. Waves and mountains. The impact is spiritual, rather than literal or lyrical. My connection to this celestial body circling the sun and the infinite universe is most clear when I’m far away from civilization’s hum.
If you had to write a mission statement for your career, what would it be?
This feels a lot like writing a five year plan (which I’ve never done). I don’t believe my “career” needs a mission statement. It should be enough to just write the songs — and their reason for being is largely irrelevant. There is no mission, but I do find joy in other people’s experience of my music. They can’t know everything a song means to me, and vice versa, but still there’s a shared conduit of energy that connects us.
Photo credit: Laura E. Partain