How folk-songwriter Ian Fischer found his audience in Europe – Spotify for Artists

Ian Fisher He has lived and worked in Europe for more than a decade, but he is not European – at least not in the literal sense. Born in the state. Fisher grew up on a farm in Geneva, Missouri and was inspired to learn the guitar Garth Brooks, The Beatles, And Wilco. As a teenager, he began making hourly drives north from St. Louis and playing gigs; While in college, he admired his style-a unique, indie-tinged combination of country, folk, and American-but he was unable to attract his captivating audience. One week after turning 21, Fisher had the opportunity to study abroad in Vienna, Austria, where he found a community of like-minded musicians and music fans, and he began to think that the road ahead could more than cross the sea more permanently. He returned to the United States to get his belongings, boarded a plane, and never looked back.

To date, Fischer has lived in Vienna, Berlin, Dachau and Munich. Since emigrating, he has had tremendous success in both recording and traveling: his publications have been acclaimed by such publications. Rolling stone, Stop, And Popmatters, And he has done rolling shows with solo and full bands all over Western Europe. During his decades of living as an honest musician outside the United States, he has gained some invaluable knowledge about what it takes to find and thrill an audience.

Each listener listens differently

Throughout his travels, Fischer has been inspired not only by his musical experience in various ways, but also by cultural backgrounds that impress every listener. He finds that each city and town has its own unique way of receiving live music, and as an outsider he has gathered a unique idea of ​​how to expect and please different types of listeners when planning a gig.

One of the main issues Fisher focuses on is language. Most of his songs are in English, but he always tries to fill in the gaps. “Geographically, when I’m in a German-speaking place, I’ll play a song in German and I’ll talk to the audience in German. When I’m playing in Italy, I’ll play a few songs in Italian, and I’ll talk to the audience in my broken Italy, ”he said. “In Italy, there will be some people in the audience who can understand the words, but most of the listeners are going to react purely to the musical environment.” Which means, to Fisher, it’s also crucial how he manages himself and directs a crowd.

Fisher’s consciousness of the language barrier includes trying to understand the work of live music and performing I mean In a certain place. First, an important consideration is how Fisher interacts with a crowd – whether the place is in the city or in the country, whether he is sitting or standing, whether there is a bar in the same room at the venue. “All of these things are a factor in the set,” he explains. Sometimes, he finds that the audience is calm and attentive, other times, they may be angry and inattentive. Part of it, according to him, is the different regional attitude towards watching live music, which brings with it different expectations of how a performer will behave.

“Some places prefer an artist to be steadfast and confident, and some places prefer the artist to be more self-respecting and readily available. I usually go on stage and I’m on my own, no matter what time I’m at it,” Fisher said. “Sometimes it works. And sometimes it doesn’t. I often think, on a cultural level, I’m somewhere between these two identities. ” It refers to his stage satire, his humor and how he usually holds himself back.

Playing their tunes

As far as setlist planning is concerned, Fisher says it is possible to lock in specific tracks that viewers will like, and even predict what people are going to respond to regionally. Watching digital streams is one of the best ways to pre-read listeners, Fisher explained. “You can go in and watch the overall top plays and create a setlist around the song where there are plenty of streams [in a certain geographical area], Which could theoretically be a good way to use technology to give viewers what they want, ”he says.

Fisher notes that his songwriting has changed since he moved to Europe. “The different places I’ve lived have profoundly influenced my writing,” he said. “Although many of my songs are personal experiences and relationships and the like, the way I look at those relationships and experiences has fundamentally influenced where I am and where I have been.”

At the end of the day, Fisher comes to write with his fans about the ingredients he knows, believing that many of us want the same thing in the end. Going to each show, he hopes to instruct his viewers to stay in touch with that aspiration. “I want them to feel connected to them and I want them to see themselves in their songs,” he said. “I want them to be less alone. I want them to feel like they have a real experience and personally fix their flaws, because everyone has them. I write a lot about myself. “

– Adam Rothbert

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