Culture Dose: Q+A With Noah Gundersen

Photo by Charlie Shuck

A treasured Washington talents shifts gears to get back on track. 

This past September, local artist Noah Gundersen released his third studio album, a 13-track compilation called “White Noise.” Commenting on this huge departure from some of his earlier work, EARMILK noted that, “Noah Gundersen has traded in his traditional acoustic crooning for something a little louder and edgier.” Entertainment Weekly observed, “Moving away from the confessional, singer-songwriter fare that made up his first two LPs, he began treading in more ambiguous, metaphorical waters.”

Check out the new album for yourself, described by Gundersen as “a sensory overload,” during an upcoming tour that kicks off at Wild Buffalo in Bellingham on January 18. We promise you’re in for a memorable evening.

Photo by Charlie Shuck

Seattleite: Who were your musical inspirations growing up?
Noah Gundersen: Pedro The Lion, David Wilcox, Bob Dylan, Dashboard Confessional, Neil Young, my dad.

S: When did you first seriously entertain the thought of becoming a musician yourself?
NG: I started writing songs as a teenager. I was a bit of a loner with lots of time on my hands, that’s how I filled it. It was the only thing I felt any good at, so it only seemed natural that I would pursue it as some kind of career, even if it meant working odd jobs on the side.

S: You described an “emptiness” that arose onstage in early 2016; how did this consequently help shift your course?
NG: I believe art is an attempt at an honest reflection of our internal process. When that reflection begins to feel inauthentic, it’s a terrible and lonely feeling. The music I was making no longer resembled “me,” which was a sign that a change was necessary.

S: What makes you most proud about this latest creation?
NG: That we made something that is an accurate snapshot of my world in 2016/17. It feels honest both lyrically and sonically, reflecting my different tastes and sensibilities while putting words to abstract emotions.

S: What was the most memorable show on your latest tour (and why)?
NG: Music Hall of Williamsburg in Brooklyn was a standout show. The vibe was electric, the show was on the rails the whole time, like it could have fallen apart at any moment. But the audience was with us all the way. That’s a pretty powerful energy exchange.

S: What’s the vibe inside your homemade Ballard studio?
NG: It’s a 1600-square-foot loft space, full of music toys. It’s our clubhouse.