Artist: Pokey LaFarge
Hometown: Normal, Illinois
Latest album: Rock Bottom Rhapsody
What was the first moment that you knew you wanted to be a musician?
When I heard Bill Monroe’s voice and mandolin. No one around me was doing it and I knew that was a way of being different and getting noticed. It was the most ballsy and exotic thing I’d heard up in [my] first fourteen years on earth.
What other art forms — literature, film, dance, painting, etc — inform your music?
I love to dance with my buddies and with ladies, I am an avid reader of fiction, such as novels, and non-fiction, too — usually, WWI, WWII, Mafia, and artist biographies.
Which elements of nature do you spend the most time with and how do those impact your work?
Well, any and all… but my preferences are water or forests over mountains and desert. I like to go to local parks and run or hike. I like long walks anywhere I can. But I actually spend a lot of time in the gym, specifically the boxing gym. I have tons of energy and need to exert that physically or my mind gets overworked. An easy mind and a fit body makes Pokey a peaceful boy.
Since food and music go so well together, what is your dream pairing of a meal and a musician?
Steak and potatoes and wine with Tom Waits, a piano, a guitar, and an orchestra.
How often do you hide behind a character in a song or use “you” when it’s actually “me”?
I almost always write in first person, or so I think.
Photo credit: Larry Niehues