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Barett Cune (Longmont, Co)

Artist Name: Barett Cune

Age: 26

Date: 5/1/13

Are you an
instrumentalist only?

-Nope, I’m also a singer/songwriter and I’d
guess you could laugh and say I’m a producer, arranger, PR, and gigging agent.

What instrument
do you play?

-Mainly guitar, harmonica, and piano. But I
was a Music Major for about 4 years, so I can play over a dozen instruments in
a very barbaric way.

Where do you
reside?

-Longmont,
Co

 

 

What inspired you to start singing and
Playing?

-I got a very nice
drum set for my 3rd birthday from a neighbor who played and had taught me a
bit, my dad knew piano and taught me that as a kid, so I’ve always been pretty
musical. It wasn’t until high school that I started singing and playing guitar,
both of which were the ideas of friends who insisted I had a good voice and was
deep enough to write decent poetry. I suspect he was just playing ‘catch-up’ to
another basement band a handful of our mutual buddies had started. I ended up
doing a year in lock-up rather than finishing high school, so I got a lot of
time to work on rhymes and meter and such. It was all poetry for me, I didn’t
even write my first song with chords until I was about 19.

 

How long have you been performing publicly?

-For about 6 years.
I started writing songs by myself and spent a good bit of time perfecting them
in my own apartment, and it wasn’t until I was 20 that I thought myself good
enough to enter an open mic night. But soon after I started doing that, I was
being asked to play at places or events for people and found myself in and out
of the local bar scene.

 

How long did you play before you stated
gigging?

-Only a year. I
don’t care to be too technical on guitar, for me it’s all about the lyrics and
message of the song. So once I had the balls to put those messages out there, I
started finding myself gigs.

 

How long have you been playing guitar?

-It’ll be 8 years
this summer.

 

How did you learn to play guitar?

-A wide mix. I had
friends who initially taught me how to hold the thing, and would show me small
licks. But my mother had promised me as a teenager that she’d buy me lessons if
I bought the guitar. Shortly out of jail, I bougth my first guitar and hit her
up for the lessons. They only lasted a few months because the town I lived in
flooded and I lost my car. I began finding chord and scale charts online, but I
took the most leaps while I was in college for music. Anything they taught me
on piano, I’d run home and learn it on guitar.

 

Have you taken lessons if so do you take
lessons now?

-No lessons anymore,
and I think I only took 3 real lessons when I did. Just enough to learn the
basic Open Major chords.

 

Where was your first gig?

-An open mic night
at a place in Wichita called The Blank Page.

How did you get it?

-A buddy of mine was
reading poetry there and he invited me. It actually took about 3 months of him
proposing the weekly idea before I went.

 

How scared were you?

-I don’t really get
scared or nervous for gigs. It’s like “I’m here. It’s now or never. Either
it’s gonna be great, or I’m gonna fuck up. But either way, this is what I want
to be doing.” I really just like the rush of being on stage.

 

How do you get gigs?

-Craigslist or
fliers or friends.

 

Do you use an agent, if so how did you get
that rolling?

-I guess you’d say
I’m my own agent. Getting over my own self-doubts was probably what got me more
involved in actually trying to sell myself.

 

What do you use for equipment?

-I usually just show
up with an acoustic guitar. I don’t have much equipment, so I have to rely on
the venue for PA

.

Do you have any tips you can share as far as
setting up your equipment for a gig?

-If you’re like me,
all you need is a stool and a guitar.

 

How long was you longest gig?

-I’ve been known to
overstretch my allowed time, turning an hour set into two hours is actually a
bit of fun for me. I tell raunchy jokes and play silly theme songs most people
know, tell stories or even tease the crowd members.

 

How long was your shortest gig?

-I think my shortest
gig was supposed to be 30 mins.. which I, of course, turned into 45.

 

How do you choose what songs to learn?

-First off, I have
to be able to sing the song well. Secondly, the message in the song has to
relate to me personally. I don’t play covers that often, and when I do, I
prefer to only have one or two per set.

 

How do you learn new songs, by ear, YouTube,
books?

-By ear usually.
Being a Music Major really helped my ear, but I still get lazy and get online
for solos and licks. Ultimate-Guitar.com is my bible.

 

Who are a few of your favorite artist?

-The Beatles, Bob
Dylan, Nirvana, Blind Melon, Sublime, Elliott Smith, Julian Cope, Frank Zappa,
Camper Van Beethoven, Television. I could go on for hours.

 

How often do you play out?

-Not very often
these days, I just moved to Colorado from Kansas and am still looking to
getting my name out there and finding exactly which venues are of my style. Not
having a car or any local knowledge doesn’t help.

 

Do you have any CD’s out?

-Nothing
professionally recorded. What I do have is all stuff I’ve recorded on my own in
an apartment in Kansas. But I do like to hand out my self-produced demo, which
I call “Free Music for Free People” Everything I record goes on
soundcloud.com/bcune but for the demo I’m a bit more choosey.

Do you have any aspirations to take you music
further than your current success?

-O yeah, I’d be
happiest in life if I didn’t have to have a real job and could spend my days
playing and writing.

 

How far will you travel?

-For the moment I
have to restrict myself to central Colorado, but I’d play Japan if someone else
bought me the ticket.

 

How far have you traveled to do a gig?

-A few hours across
Kansas once. I lived near Wichita and went a ways north to play at some
college. I’m pretty bad about caring about where I play or who’s there.

 

Can you recall you best show?

-I’d say it was the
college I just mentioned. I got a standing ovation after my second song and had
to tell the crowd “Sit down and shut up, I haven’t even gotten
started.” The best gigs are when the crowds are in it with me: clapping
rhythm, hooting or cheering. That makes you feel the best, when you know
everyone there is feeling it too. What makes me nervous is when they’re silent,
I always ask myself “Do I suck, or am I so good that they’re in awe?”
People tell me it’s the latter, but self-doubt is my greatest hurdle.

 

How about your worst show?

-A friend of mine
hosted a benefit concert for a local hospital. I broke a string in the first song,
had to borrow a guitar from another band, and broke a string on that after 2
songs.

 

Do you have any advice for a person just
getting in to gigging that you would like to share?

-If you’ve got the
gig, you’re past the hardest part. Just tell yourself “This is it, my time
to shine” because every single gig is just that: It’s your time to blow
minds away.

 

When you practice do you go through a P. A. or
just you and your guitar?

-Just me and an
acoustic. What I do need is pirivate room though. Even when I write and
practice, I’m nervous about the content of my song. It’s more nerve-wracking to
play for 2 of my best friends than it is to play for 200 randoms.

 

Anything else that you would like to share?

-If you’re thinking
about gigging, you’re probably already good enough to be doing it. Don’t be
nervous and don’t overthink it. You’ve played these songs hundreds of times,
right? What’s once more on a stage? Don’t let the setting take away from your
passion.

 

Thanks for your time.

-Thanks for the opportunity!!

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