You may know the name, having appeared on Glee in it’s final season, Noah Guthrie is a talented singer-songwriter hailing from South Carolina. We had pleasure of sitting down to chat with the lovely Noah Guthrie before his gig at Ruby Lounge, Manchester. He seems one of strong family values and after talking to him about everything from his appearance on Glee to what colour he would be, we’ve concluded without a doubt that Noah is a truly kind-hearted guy and the type who would bring you a cup of tea to lift your spirits. You can read our interview with him below.
Noah Guthrie, quite a unique surname – any relation to the famous folk singer Woody Guthrie?
No I wish, I always get Woody or Arlo, I guess maybe somewhere, but it’s never been connected to my family and we would know by now.
Is this your first time in the UK?
This is our first time touring the UK, except the Isle of Wight Festival, a year or two ago but that didn’t really count. This is definitely the first time as far as experience goes.
What’s been the best part of your UK tour so far?
Definitely, the types of fans that are here. We’ve noticed over the last two/three shows the fans that are here are not only there from my stuff on YouTube or Glee, they actually know my music. And that’s great! So it’s really nice to see people singing my lyrics in the crowd and that doesn’t always happen in the US, so that’s really nice.
Is there another UK or European city you would like to play that you didn’t get the chance to this time around?
We did have a show scheduled in Brighton, but that got cancelled, but ya know it happens. And everyone’s told me it’s a great town so would have liked to have seen that. Pretty much just go with the flow and go where I’m told to go.
Being from America, do you find there is a different vibe between American and UK audiences?
Absolutely, the audiences here are way more attentive. As far as playing they are usually pretty quiet, unless there’s a bar ya know there is always going to be someone talking. They really seem to be listening, and actually interpreting what you say in your songs. But also boisterous when finishing the songs. It’s really cool especially when you’re doing an acoustic tour it’s harder to get people to listen with a quieter set. I’ve noticed that, not just in the UK – I’ve done stuff in Germany and the Netherlands, and they all seem to have more focus on art still. Not that there isn’t in the US, we have plenty of that in the US, but everywhere I go everyone here appreciates music and appreciates art and that’s very nice here.
Many know you from the final season of Glee. Going from that to solo artist, how has that transition been?
Easy for me, because I was doing this way before Glee, it was kind of coming home for me. Glee was such a departure from what I was used to doing. But y’know it’s kind of like it was before Glee, but it’s better y’know because there are a few more fans who come to shows and has opened up another market. It’s been really good, it’s really nice to focus on music though because that is my passion.”
What do you find has been the biggest difference between being an actor on a hit TV show to following your solo music career, like you said that part has always been your dream and passion?
As far as experience, the difference in the two. I would say, I mean when you’re on a TV show like that you have tons of people around you all the time that are helping you throughout your day. And not that I don’t have that now here, I do, I couldn’t function without them. Y’know I don’t have a wardrobe person with me, there are just so many different moving pieces to a TV show. With this it’s me, my dad and my brother, and Megan and Kelsey, we all help each other out. But you’re pretty much on your own to some extent when you’re doing music, especially at this level. Go to each club, having to advance everything and figure out where to be at what time. And when you’re on TV there is pretty much no way you can forget what you’re doing or where you’re going or when you need to be there. Because you have like ten people telling you. There’s a person who’s job it is to tell your direct assistant what time you have to be there so there’s a whole chain of command. So that’s definitely a huge difference. Y’know less staff.
You do some great covers, most recently being Heathens by Twenty One Pilots, how do you choose particular songs to cover?
A lot of it is based off of, wanting to get as many views as you can. So Heathens is a popular song and I’d heard it a couple of weeks ago and it wasn’t really a song I was super into. But listened it to again and there’s a difference between hearing a song and what song you want to cover next. And when you’re sitting at a computer and going through songs, and came to that song again and it was like yeah I can do this one, it’s more in my realm than anything else right now. So It’s based on views, most hits this week, but also I have plenty of covers that are just top 40, I’ve got to do something else. Now here is something I actually like listening to everyone, here you go. And you do those knowing you may not get the same reaction, but you can’t just keep doing stuff that’s just for numbers. It’s not as satisfying.
What are your musical influences?
A lot, I kind of draw from everywhere. My personal inspiration for my music, I would say Ray LaMontagne is a big influencer, Jason Isbell, The Civil Wars back when they were a group, Adele. Everyone really, there’s so many people. My brother and I would listen to hip hop one day and we’re listening to acoustic the next. So I kind of draw from everything, but I guess the vibe is more Ray LaMontagne type thing.
What are you working on right now?
We actually just finished recording a new album. Really happy about that. Should hopefully be out end of this year or early next year. Trying to figure out the best time to release it. But all the music is done, just touring a bunch and taking meetings and songs.
What are your plans for the future?
On a short term, definitely getting the album out and setting a tour alongside it. Really promoting it well. And then on the longer term basis, always trying to figure out what the path is for me in life – as cheesey as that sounds. I don’t know what the next couple of years have in store for me. The other day somebody asked me what my five year plan was, oh I’m supposed to have one of those aren’t I (lots of laughter). In the music business, or any entertainment business, really everything is so day to day. Ok so Glee is a perfect example, I was not at all looking to do acting at all, and I got a phone call and everything changed and dropped music for a minute. That can happen in a days time, that literally happened in two days. It was crazy, I don’t know when that’s going to happen again, in any circumstance. Maybe it will be music, maybe a record deal, maybe I won’t, I don’t know.
One final unrelated music q, if you were a colour what would you be and why?
That’s a good question! Everyone always tells me that a more reddish is my colour. But I feel like if I WAS a colour – getting real trippy here – if I was a colour, I would be more like a almost a greenish grey, as I really like rain a lot, I like drowsy days, I love green things around me. I like being in the woods and things like that. So I would probably be like a cloudy day.