Laura Meyer is one of the busiest independent artists out there. With a sweet sounding Folk-Rock style, she has played both the Telluride Bluegrass and Rocky Mountain Folks Festivals, and just recently settled down in Venice, California after four years of touring. Yes. I said four years. Learn more about Laura Meyer, who recently got a chance to chat with Yotam Rosenbaum of Earbits. Enjoy!

An Exclusive Interview with Laura Meyer (click here for the audio)

Yotam Rosenbaum: Hello, this is Yotam Rosenbaum with Earbits. And today with me is Laura Meyer, singer/songwriter, who has just settled down in Venice, California, after, I believe, four years on the road, which is pretty amazing. How are you doing?

 

Laura Meyer: Very, very well; nice to be here.

 

Yotam Rosenbaum: Good, good. So, tell us a little bit about yourself. I’m mostly curious about the four years on the road part.

 

Laura Meyer: Most people are.

 

Yotam Rosenbaum: But let’s start even earlier. Where did you grow up and how did you end up here?

 

Laura Meyer: I grew up all over the North-East. Kind of in and around New York City, which is where I went to college,  but I always knew that I wanted to be in Los Angeles, which is because of the whole myth of coming out West to be a rock star like Tom Petty. So, it was always, kind of, on the horizon, but I wanted to travel first, which led to all my touring.

 

Yotam Rosenbaum: So, you also studied at NYU and graduated with a degree in Circles, right?

 

Laura Meyer: I did.

 

Yotam Rosenbaum: Yeah, so, tell us a little bit about the program and… yeah, degree in circles.

 

Laura Meyer: Circles are a round shape… no, I hopped around quite a bit in college. I started at NYU and I transferred several times and ended up back at NYU and there… Gallatin School, which is for individualized study. And you don’t have a major; you kind of choose your own concentration and present it in front of the faculty to graduate. And I really value education, I loved being in class and learning. But I was just really resistant to it; I just wanted to make music.

 

Yotam Rosenbaum: Yeah.

 

Laura Meyer: And come out. My parents were insistent. And it was kind of my little “Alright, well, I’ll get a degree, but I’ll never get a job with it”.

 

Yotam Rosenbaum: Yeah, it sounds like a hippie degree.

 

Laura Meyer: It kind of is. I’ve been accused of being a hippie more than once in my life.

 

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Yotam Rosenbaum: So, if it wasn’t you being music, what do you think a degree like this would… like, what kind of jobs would you apply for with a degree in Circles?

 

Laura Meyer: Well, I’ve worked several jobs in, like, holistic healing kind of atmospheres, yoga and… because part of my concentration along with expressive arts is philosophy and consciousness, so the hippies like it.

 

Yotam Rosenbaum: Cool, well, now you life in the capital of hippies, Venice.

 

Laura Meyer: It’s great.

 

Yotam Rosenbaum: Cool, so fast forward to… you graduated NYU and then you pretty much went on the tour.

 

Laura Meyer: Mhm.

 

Yotam Rosenbaum: On your own or…?

 

Laura Meyer: I did, I started in Europe because I thought ‘Well, I’d like to go to Europe” but also I played in New York a lot as a teenager in college. So, I figured I could sell myself saying, like, “Oh, I’m from New York City, I’m coming from so far.” And then I went to Europe and while I was in Europe I booked my first US tour thinking, like, “Oh, I can tell them I just toured in Europe” even though my first shows were just … like anybody’s first shows, they’re kind of a nightmare.

 

Yotam Rosenbaum: Sure.I saw on your blog that you play anywhere from, like, liquor stores up to 10,000 people with Ani DiFranco and some pretty big names.

 

Laura Meyer: Yeah.

 

Yotam Rosenbaum: That’s awesome.

 

Laura Meyer: It is really awesome. That’s what’s been nice about being a solo performer, I can kind of squeeze in and ideally, you know, there’s the nice venues everybody wants to play, and, of course, the festivals, but if I have nights off I can play a coffee shop or a house concert.

 

Yotam Rosenbaum: So, how did you manage to book those bigger venues like the festivals and the…?

 

Laura Meyer: Just e-mailing all the time.


Yotam Rosenbaum: Wow.

 

Laura Meyer: But also Telluride, which is where Ryan Adams and Any DiFranco, those people were… There’s… on Sonic Bids, I think you can apply, or you can go to the Planet Blue website, they book and organize the Rocky Mountain Folks Festival and Rocky Grass and Telluride, and they have these songwriter competitions, troubadour competitions and also band ones, so you can compete and get a spot on the main stage.

 

Yotam Rosenbaum: Nice. So that’s how you scored those gigs. Awesome.

 

Laura Meyer: Yes, they’re a great company, organization to be in.

 

Yotam Rosenbaum: Amazing. And these gigs lead to other gigs? Or was it just like a onetime event?

 

Laura Meyer: They… through the people that I met I was able to get a lot of other gigs. And that’s like with any of my booking; it’s all about who you know.

 

Yotam Rosenbaum: Right.

 

Laura Meyer: And it’s so hard just to spam people all the time, it feels awful too. Just like “Listen to my link!” But as I meet more and more songwriters, we can help each other out and that’s huge.

 

Yotam Rosenbaum: Yeah, yeah, for sure. So, how was it to be on tour for four years? I mean, that’s a long time to be on the road.

 

Laura Meyer: Yeah.

 

Yotam Rosenbaum: Well, did you take breaks or…?

 

Laura Meyer: I did. I usually record every summer, so I would take a little time off and just stay with family, like, recorded and worked a job and tried to make money that would afford the other 11 months of the year.

 

Yotam Rosenbaum: Sure.

 

Laura Meyer: But, yeah, it was… it’s amazing because when you’re on tour it’s very draining, it takes a lot of energy, but when you’re playing shows that you love, you get so much energy from that, so…

 

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Yotam Rosenbaum: Right. And you’re doing it on your own so you’re… it’s also… might be a little lonely, no?

 

Laura Meyer: People always ask that and my answer’s always kind of been, you know, I spend more time on tour with people than I do not on tour, just because, you know, I’m a songwriter, I’m very introverted, I’d rather go wonder around by myself writing.

 

Yotam Rosenbaum: Sure.

 

Laura Meyer: So, it’s actually really hard to stay grounded and also on tour I don’t really stay in motels, I stay at people houses, so that’s also…

 

Yotam Rosenbaum: You must know a lot of people…

 

Laura Meyer: I know hundreds of people at this point; it’s amazing. I have, like, a spreadsheet by state, by country.

 

Yotam Rosenbaum: Nice.

 

Laura Meyer: It is really nice. But it’s hard to find that time to just tune in and connect to yourself and find some quiet spiritual time.

 

Yotam Rosenbaum: Sure. Do you think touring helped you building an audience of, like, getting more fans, getting people on your fan-list?

 

Laura Meyer: Definitely, of yeah.

 

Yotam Rosenbaum: And also selling albums, just at shows, right?

 

Laura Meyer: Selling CDs, that’s where most of my money comes from. Especially as a solo artist, I can’t really ask for the kind of guarantees that a band would have…

 

Yotam Rosenbaum: Sure.

 

Laura Meyer: So, my CD sales support me.

 

Yotam Rosenbaum: Do you sell anything else at the shows, like…

 

Laura Meyer: I just got T-shirts.

 

Yotam Rosenbaum: Shirts, yeah…

 

Laura Meyer: Which people have been telling me to do for years because they make a lot of money, so…

 

Yotam Rosenbaum: Right.

 

Laura Meyer: Yeah.

 

Yotam Rosenbaum: Yeah… No, I think it’s important. I think that when people come up to a show and they really like the artist or the band they would buy anything they can, also, to help support the artist.

 

Laura Meyer: I wish I’d done it a long time ago.

 

Yotam Rosenbaum: What made you settle down in Venice?

 

Laura Meyer: I got back in May from Italy and called up a friend who I went to high school with and I always crashed on her couch. And I called to ask if I could crash on her couch and she was moving, she’d just gotten a job, and had to leave that weekend. So it was just one of those perfect coincidences.

 

Yotam Rosenbaum: Yeah. Aha. And what are your expectations or goals here?

 

Laura Meyer: I just wanna write and be creative. The past year, especially, but it’s been a slow kind of… there’s just… with the touring it takes so much energy to book and organize that, and promote. Creatively, I’ve been kind of starving.

 

Yotam Rosenbaum: Yeah.

 

Laura Meyer: I just wanna isolate and really refine my writing and just be an artist for a while. It feels so good.

 

Yotam Rosenbaum: Cool.

 

Laura Meyer: Yeah.

 

Yotam Rosenbaum: You last album was with a full band, right?

 

Laura Meyer: Mhm.

 

Yotam Rosenbaum: Where did you record it?

 

Laura Meyer: I recorded that in New York, with Steve Rossiter, at Access Sound. And he’s actually recorded all of my solo stuff in the past and he called in, Pete Negroponte – who’s an amazing jazz drummer – who did the drumming and then Steve did all the keys and I did the guitar.

 

Yotam Rosenbaum: Nice, nice. And you think the next album will be a full band or…?

 

Laura Meyer: Yeah, it’s definitely. I’m played with this drummer in town Charlie Woodburn, who plays with the Bell Gardens also, and we’ve been gig-ing around.

 

Yotam Rosenbaum: Just the two of you?

 

Laura Meyer: Just the two of us.

 

Yotam Rosenbaum: How does that work?

 

Laura Meyer: It actually… it works pretty well. We’re looking to add a keyboard player, like we have on the record. But you know it’s kind of like a black keys sort of vibe. Of course, I can’t play, like, down, but… you know.

 

Yotam Rosenbaum: Nice.

 

Laura Meyer: It’s got the spirit.

 

Yotam Rosenbaum: Yeah, very good. And you have some upcoming shows here in LA?

 

Laura Meyer: Do I? Actually, not right now. I’m heading up north next week and I have a bunch of shows along the coast.

 

Yotam Rosenbaum: Oh, cool. Where?

 

Laura Meyer: Where am I playing? I’m playing San Luis Obispo and Santa Cruise and San Francisco… all the San’s.

 

Yotam Rosenbaum: Nice.

 

Laura Meyer: And then the American River Music Festival, which is also in the other hippie capital…

 

Yotam Rosenbaum: So would you like to play something for us?

 

Laura Meyer: I’d love to.

 

Yotam Rosenbaum: Awesome. Which song are you gonna play?

 

Laura Meyer: This one is called “Motel Room Blue No. 3” and it kind of sums up the feeling of being on the road for…

 

Yotam Rosenbaum: Cool, when did you write it?

 

Laura Meyer: It was inspired by a place in Athens, Georgia. I guess, like, two summers ago and I scribbled bits of lyrics, kind of, on the dashboard, all the way to Seattle, is where I finished it.

 

Yotam Rosenbaum: Nice, it’s a song in transit.

 

Laura Meyer: It is; they all are.

 

Yotam Rosenbaum: Let’s hear it.

 

*SONG*

 

Yotam Rosenbaum: Nice, that was awesome.

 

Laura Meyer: Thank you.

 

Yotam Rosenbaum: Thank you so much. Thank you for joining us.

 

Laura Meyer: My pleasure.

 

Yotam Rosenbaum: And I wish you luck in the new life in Venice.

 

Laura Meyer: Thank you.

 

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