Tuesday, 13 May 2014

The Medicine Cabinet #18

The Medicine Cabinet Gets All Influential
With Russell Dean Stone
by Nayt Housman 

Music is my medicine. Is it yours? I ask the public six golden questions to find out if and how they use music to feed the soul.

Tonight’s patient is 31 year old Russell Dean Stone, who joins me all the way from the UK. I recently realised we have been cyber friends for close to ten years, which feels kinda weird knowing someone for that long but never really knowing them. Russell’s driving passion in life other than cinema is, wait for it…SURPRISE; music! He is a musician himself and we actually reviewed his single ‘I Don’t Need You’ earlier this year. So being already being familiar with him I wanted to know a little more, like how music keeps him going when he’s working from within. Before anyone asks, no I was not payed to plug Russell but seeing as he’s pretty freaking awesome this can double as a plug.

'Russell Dean Stone' by Nayt Housman

Who are the musicians and/or bands that flick your switch and turn up the volume?

Russell: If I'm at a loss as to what to listen to I always go back to the classics - Patti Smith, Morrissey, REM, No Doubt, Lana Del Rey.

Why are they the pills that cure your ills?

Russell: Partly because they tick all the boxes for what I look for in artists, they are incredible songwriters, intelligent/brave people, poets and have strong aesthetic vocabularies. Specifically in terms of Lana, she soundtracks my soul.

What kind of high do they give you?

Russell: Patti's voice is just epic, it can be so tender and beautiful and the next moment it's revolution spitting and fiery. They inspire me to be a better song writer, a better singer, a more fearless person.

When do you find yourself craving music for relief?

Russell: Hmm I guess I'm the same as anyone, music can give you great confidence and it can console. I like the nostalgia of songs when they remind you of times in your life, when a song is the soundtrack to former heartbreak or good times.

I wouldn't go as far as to say I hate silence, but it's like when people have the TV on in the background, I like there to be music.

Where in life, home, and your world does music take you?

Russell: I guess that depends on the circumstances of what you’re listening to. I think those artists I mentioned has very specific geographic references and you know Morrissey makes you think of Manchester, the North, and England. Patti is the voice of New York past.

How do you share your music love?

Russell: Hopefully it comes out in my own music. I hope I can one day write a song as epic as Born To Die or anything as poetic as Michael Stipe has written.

Do you have a main motto or mantra in life?

Russell: I think life is a tough business. I do believe anything is possible and I don't think anyone should let another person tell you you're not good enough. That said I think there are a lot of delusional people out there haha.

Music can often be a way to reflect who we feel we are and we will seek out sounds, words and imagery that fit with the shapes that make us up. Like those kids toys where you have to fit the right shape through the right hole we grab onto a song and try and relate it to something that makes us who we are. If it doesn’t fit, don’t let it sit, if it fits the hole you’ve scored a goal and that artist is then on our radar. With each song from that artist we then seek to fit it in with some aspect of our lives and the more goals scored then that artist stays on the board. Some songs are an instant homerun and some might need to go around different bases before they truly stick. That to me is kind of the joy of listening to new music. Will it be a flash in the pan or will it become a classic?

I shall dub this ‘The Jigsaw Effect’. Fitting all the pieces together through music that fits our image and experiences we create an entire picture. Whether it is deliberate or by accident we all do it and that is partly why I created this concept of portrait accompanying music loves. Does the person match their music taste? It’s certainly not scientific but I love the fact that we all seek out our own individual niche yet end up falling into groups of like-minded characters.

Doctor Nayt’s prescription this week is not to use any particular musical therapy for any particular life ailment but to simply wear your loves on your sleeve. If you love Tom Jones, scream it from the rooftops, if Madonna is your cake, write a letter to the world, if Shania Twain is the match that lights your wick, you get out your cowboy boots and line dance down the street. I know I get all excited about being expressive for whom you love and what floats your boat but everyone on a regular basis should do it. Find that group of souls who share your musical desires and taste and have a sing along. Just share it and do it loudly with loads of emotion and conviction.

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