Meet Stushido

April 1, 2010

Stushido has been impacting the Baltimore music scene since 2008.  What started out as an experimental project turned into something much more, and Stushido has been playing many shows and festivals to get the word out on their band and their message and people are catching on.

Stushido plays a major role in the live electronica music scene in Baltimore.  Stushido is comprised of Stu Lemley, bass/synthesizer/loopstation, Zachary Mattix, guitar, and Al Wheeler, drums. Stushido is working on a new concept album “Find Your Future” that will be released soon and many music fans are looking forward to the next chapter of the band.

Check out my conversation with Stu Lemley on the origin of Stushido and what he thinks about the Baltimore live electronica music scene.

Q: When and how did Stushidō form and start playing shows in the local area?

A: Stushidō actually began as an outlet for me to use my bass guitar, synthesizer, and loopstation to create instrumental arrangements surrounding my interpretations of different phenomena in the world. Initially, did not believe it was a project for the live stage, nor did I believe it would appeal to a large audience. Back in May 2008, a band I was with had personnel problems, and had to bail on a show we had on the books. Not wanting to leave the venue in a bad situation, I called up Zachary Mattix, who I knew to be a very talented guitarist with a penchant for the experimental, and Al Wheeler, a motown-drummer whose heavy bass pedal and snare-crack are as incredible as his fills. We never rehearsed together due to short notice and difficult schedules – I had to jam with each of them independently. We played the gig (where Zach and Al met for the first time) and it was great. Luckily, we were recorded live by a good friend of mine. I threw it on myspace, and took a look to see who was interested. I’m glad to say that a few people are.

Q: What or who made your band want to go in the electronica genre?

A: As a bass player, my top priority is motion and drive. As a composer, I want to move people, make them feel, and I love making people dance. I have a lot of influences, but David Byrne is at the top. In addition to another thousand reasons why I think he’s great, I have always admired his ability to create music by layering many rhythms, ranging from the simple to very complex, to achieve a sound that is truly special. As I combined multiple layers of music, and applied a high-energy approach with motion and drive, Electro felt like the most appropriate genre to work with. Since we also incorporate a large amount of Rock and World music in what we do, it might be misleading for me to say we’re 100% Electro, but I think it works for Stushidō.

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