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Three Questions for Stephen Limbaugh

Stephen Limbaugh
Limbaugh traveling in comfort

Pianist Stephen Limbaugh is set to release his first full-length studio album, Pants.  It’s already bouncing up and down in the Top 50 Classical Hot New Releases on Amazon and it’s not due for release until Jan. 20th.

About two years ago, Stephen Limbaugh’s indie rock band Kingsley, decided to put the band on hiatus so that the members could devote some time exploring other projects.  Kingsley guitarist and front man Brandon Sweeney, and drummer Nadir Maraschin are now playing in The Eeries, a previously unsigned rock band that became an overnight success, and thus signed, when Los Angeles based radio station KROQ played their first single on the air last summer.  

Stephen Limbaugh has gone back to his roots of classical music. An accomplished pianist who just recently performed at the HBO Golden Globes after-party last Sunday, Stephen has played all over the world and, when yours truly first met him, had just arrived back in the United States from Russia where he had performed in a symphony he had also written.  So in anticipation of his debut release, the one with the stars & stripes pants on the cover, I asked Stephen to answer 3 questions about his new album and it’s relation to liberty.  Never one to shy away from answering a question, I present to you Stephen Limbaugh’s answers… unfiltered. You’re welcome.

SCC: What inspired you to write the material for Pants?

SL: There are two pieces on Pants, one is the “Millennial Suite,” the other the “Millennial Variations.”  I wanted to write something that was accessible to millennial youth, yet within the classical music framework.  Strictly melodically and thematically, that meant drawing on my experiences playing in rock bands.  The forms, development, harmonic structure, are all based in the late-romantic era tradition.  Each movement in the Millennial Suite has a very specific place it came from – the Prelude was written for a family member’s wedding, the Nocturne was written when I was a homeless couch surfer in 2013, and struggling with a feeling of really really wanting something, but realizing that no matter what, it was never gonna happen.  Another movement was written for an assignment when I was 18 years old.  The Millennial Variations came from wanting to do what great 20th century pianists like [Vladimir] Horowitz had done by writing/performing incredibly difficult theme and variation pieces from popular marches or classical works.  I opted to do this, but drew from material that I heard on the radio.

SCC: What influence do you hope Pants has on the culture?

Limbaugh at Golden Globes
Stephen Limbaugh performing at the HBO Golden Globes After-Party 2015

SL:  I’ve got a philosophy that I stick by when I’m creating music: I arrange aural aesthetic universals (I’ll call them musical archetypes) utilizing the most recent technology in the context of the current culture.

What has happened is that post-modernism has destroyed the arts, because in the 20th century, the path to pursue art went through the university system, which has fucked more things up in this country than could possibly be covered here.  Every aspect of academia has been perverted with this disaster of a philosophy, so it should come as no surprise that the music reflects it’s inhuman anti-reason anti-reality dog-shittery.  If we want a fairer world, one rooted in REAL human truth, that results in a polity that promotes and values individualism and liberty, then we MUST create art that reflects those values.  Because if you’re not doing that when making art, then essentially you’re just making anti-reality or political statements.  Unfortunately for the post-moderns, as hard as they’ve tried, they are not God.

Great artists don’t try to play God.  They are really good and revealing His creation.  Just like politicians, Obama, et al aren’t God (even though they obviously wish they were), but GREAT politicians promote innate human realities: truth, liberty, inalienable rights.

Culture influences law and vice versa.  While the proponents of liberty have made some inroads in the political and new media realm, they have lagged in the culture.  My aim is to make Pants commercially successful so as to subvert the current plastic homogenized direction music has gone for the past 50 years.

SCC: Will liberty be stronger and humankind more free because of Pants?

SL:  I imagine a world where we all put on Pants every day, children, men, women, boys, & girls.  I think people should put Pants on in their car, in their rooms, in their bathrooms while they shower, in the kitchen while cooking – everywhere!  I bet people will even put on Pants while having sex… I must say, that is romantic!  I think that liberty can absolutely be strengthened if the proponents of liberty simply buy Pants.

And you can all buy Pants on Jan. 20th or at least pre-order it now on Amazon.  For more on Stephen Limbaugh go to his website at stephenlimbaugh.com and check out this Incredible Piano Solo below and take in another pair of his pants.

Matt Edwards

Matt Edwards is a filmmaker in his native Los Angeles. He is an alumnus of the 2011 Taliesin Nexus Filmmakers Workshop, a 2014 Liberty Lab Fellow and the current editor of SCC. Matt is also host of the The Rear View film podcast. Follow @TRVpodcast and @mattchrised on Twitter.