Lindsey Stirling talks about her upcoming Colorado shows, comic books and… hair hanging?
Lindsey Stirling is known around the world for her unique, futuristic violin-driven electronic music and exciting live shows. The platinum-selling electronic artist, violinist, and multi-talented entertainer is bringing her 2021 Artemis U.S. Tour to Vail on Thursday, July 8 at Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater, featuring special guest electro-pop artist Kiesza.
The Vail Daily caught up with Stirling last week as she was gearing up to hit the road, to see what she’s been up to throughout the pandemic, leading up to her return to the stage.
Q: Where are you right now? What’s going on in your world today?
A: I am in Los Angeles, and we are at the very end of tour prep. This is that pinnacle peak of exhaustion of everything: preparations, practice, prayers, all of it. I think we’re all feeling super overwhelmed but it’s pretty promising, it’s looking great and all the hard work is paying off and that’s a really exciting feeling.
Q: Tell me about your experience in the past year. How did you cope with all that was going on? Did pick up any new hobbies, write any new tunes, etc.?
A: I have to say I’m very grateful that even with a year of huge ups-and-downs, especially with the mental health side of things, that mine had so many silver linings to it. I got to spend so much time with my family, the type of quality time I haven’t gotten with them in years. That was really special and I’ll always look back and be grateful for being able to quarantine with them.
I didn’t write any new music during the pandemic. I wasn’t feeling inspired at the time, so I put my energy into other things. I finished a comic book series, which the last issue is dropping in a week. This tour is like an extension of the comic book. On stage I’m going to be dressed as the characters, bringing the story to life. I had the story all mapped out in my head when releasing the album, but scripting the story and doing in-depth character development is a very time-intensive thing, and I was very grateful to have the time to work on that.
I also looked into this strange thing called “hair hanging”. I saw it at Cirque du Soleil show years ago and I thought to myself, “I want to do that!” I don’t know why that was my thought, but it’s exactly like how it sounds- you learn to do aerial acrobatics while hanging solely by your hair. It was ridiculously painful to learn, but I did an amazing music video with it and checked that off the bucket list. And that’s something I would have only done when I’m at home, wondering what the heck to do with my time.
Q: Lots of us are nature freaks out here in Colorado. We love our outdoor venues, and you will be playing two extraordinary ones back-to-back. What is your connection to this state, Red Rocks and the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater?
I have always loved performing in Colorado. You guys just really have an appreciation for music out there. Ever since I started touring, I’ve always expected double the amount of people in Colorado than I do in other places. And there’s so much love for performance art and music out there, and I think that makes Colorado really special.
This will be my third time performing at Red Rocks, and my first in Vail, and I’ve been trying to get in shape for the altitude.
Q: Speaking of altitude, on a scale of zero-to-fourteener (it’s a thing here), how stoked are you to return to live music?
A: I’m so excited…not only about the performing, either. The process of prepping has been so fun, and I am so happy that I am preparing to be on stage with people I love and making people dance and smile. I can’t explain how special that feels.
Q: A fragment of your Colorado audience really likes to jam your music on their headphones while they’re shredding powder in the mountains. Do you have anything to say to this gnarly, brave, eclectic group of fans?
A: Oh man, that’s really cool that my music inspires people to do extreme things. I’ve always felt like my music was kind of extreme. As far as a violinist goes, I do things pretty extreme. I dance, I jump, I spin and do all kinds of high kicks, and that’s about as extreme as I could possibly be while playing a violin. But the reason I do that is because I feel like the music had to be visual, so I learned to dance, and I continue to stretch the envelope so what I do on stage fits my music, and to hear that other people enjoy their own versions of extreme while listening to my music is super cool, I love that. I’ve never snowboarded, too worried to break a wrist, but I would love to learn some day because it seems so free.
(At this point in the conversation, your humble narrator plugged his part-time snowboard instructor status. Stay tuned to see if we can get her on the slopes.)