Today’s Feature, June 10-11, 2007: Stoll Vaughan

January 18, 2008 at 6:25 pm (Today's Feature)

You know the saying, “what’s in a name?” Well, I am pretty sure that
saying was meant for someone like Stoll Vaughan. With a name like
Stoll Vaughan (which has to be one of the single greatest [real] names
in rock history), you are destined to either be a musician or an
action hero. Thankfully for us, Vaughan chose the former. Plus, you
have to love a guy who refers to his first interest in music as, “kind
of weird…like a UFO”. However Vaughan found music, we are glad he
did. Vaughan’s latest release, “Love Like A Mule” is a compilation of
his deep southern blues, mixed with classic rock beats, capped by
twist and turn lyrics depicting one man’s tale of the turbulent road
to finding himself. Which despite whether or not Vaughan has done so,
everyone in America seems to be finding him…if they can get to the
show before it sells out that is. Although relatively young, Vaughan
continues to be faced with the curve balls “Love Like A Mule” depicts.
I mean, the guy’s tour bus caught on fire! True story; leaving him
with only the clothes on his back and his guitar by his side (so very
rock n’ roll). Even after a life-changing event like that, Vaughan
seems to have benefited. He’ll tell you life doesn’t stop because you
get some bad news, which shows the sign of a truly mature musician who
can realize that you have to get up every time you are knocked down.
His expressively rustic style, and stage-swagger is making Vaughan one
of the most respected singer/songwriters in music today. Find out why,
by reading his XXQs.

XXQs: Stoll Vaughan (PEV): How and when did you first get interested in music?

Stoll Vaughan (SV): It just happened. It was kind of weird Å0ä9 like
a UFO Å0ä9 unexplainable. You don’t really understand it, but it just
clicks Å0ä9 kind of like when you fall in love Å0ä9 can’t really
pinpoint when it happened. All you know is that you look up after a
while and things are just deeper.

PEV: Was there a certain event or time in your life that you realized
music was going to be your career?

SV: Studying music at a high school devoted to the arts. I was trying
to learn classical music and there was a moment when I was playing a
certain chord and the note opened up in my mind and I saw this path.
It wasn’t what I was studying that was the path Å0ä9 it was just
something different I knew I had to follow.

PEV: Describe the feeling of the first time you stepped into a studio
to record your own music.

SV: It’s transient and mystic in that when you step in, you don’t know
what’s going to happen. There’s no way to say whether or not a song
is going to want to be recorded. So I don’t really think about what
it’s going to be like to record, but rather I reflect on the
experience afterward.

PEV: What can people expect from your latest release, “Love Like A Mule”?

SV: People have expectations or ideas already ingrained in their head
Å0ä9 they are either going to like my record or judge it by their own
conditioning. I have heard great reviews and there have also been
one’s that aren’t as flattering, but for me, I am proud of the record
I made and the songs that were recorded.

PEV: How is “Love Like A Mule”, different from your earlier release,
“Hold on Through Sleep and Dreams”?

SV: Hold On had more innocence to it Å0ä9 not lyrically or musically,
but only because it was my first record and I didn’t know what would
transpire. Love Like a Mule just basically has the difference of a
year and half more in my life.

PEV: Tell us about your (now famous) RV fire that took everything from
your personal computer, songbooks with lyrics, instruments, cameras,
photos and videos from the tour were lost, leaving you with just the
clothes on your back.

SV: It sucked! I lost everything I had. Anything you can possibly
think of that you have in your apartment was gone. When you lose your
stuff that seems to be a part of a foundation, you have to rebuild.
Life doesn’t stop just because you lose everything. It’s important to
note that through an experience like this I see what kind of
compassion people have for others and good does come out of bad

PEV: How has touring with Journey and Def Leopard been so far?

SV: It was great! I don’t know if it helped my career but it was fun.
As an independent artist it’s important to have the chance to work
and also be mindful of the great contacts and relationships that can
be built. For instance, I’ve just finished producing an album with
Rick Allen (Def Leopard) and co-writing with Johnathan Cain (Journey).

PEV: How have your friends and family reacted to all your success?

SV: Smoke and mirrors. Parlor tricks.

PEV: How is life on the road for you (despite the occasional RV fire)?

SV: I really enjoy playing out a whole lot. It’s one of the reasons
Å0ä9 to get out there and see different places and meet people.
Obviously there’s a big difference between being on the road with
larger acts versus solo touring. It basically boils down to
Ritz-Carlton and catering vs. Super 8 and Waffle House.

PEV: What is something people would be surprised to hear about Stoll Vaughan?

SV: That I am a trained circus performer! I was a top tightrope
walker and an avid juggler on the side. This was in my youth when I
lived in Oklahoma.

PEV: When you get some down time, what can we find you doing?

SV: Writing songs. I’ve also recently gotten involved with the Safe
Place program. It’s a great national program where kids who are at
risk or in danger can get immediate help. My first plan is to do
music groups with the kids who are in the local runaway shelter that
sponsors Safe Place and I hope to increase my participation in other
cities when I am out on the road.

PEV: When and what was your first live appearance like?

SV: My first live appearance was at a place called Bottles Tavern in
Richmond, KY. If you’ve ever seen a bug fly into a windshield, you’ll
know what the performance was like!

PEV: What is the best part about playing live?

SV: When it goes right Å0ä9 much like a recording, it’s more of a
mystical experience when I’m performing. Also, a great thing about
performing live is when things go terribly, and you survive it!

PEV: What can people expect from a live Stoll Vaughan performance?

SV: Well with my last two answers we can’t really make that call can
we? Mysticism and squashed bugs. No seriously Å0ä9 a lot of energy
and I really like to draw the audience in.

PEV: You have been compared to artists like Bob Dylan, Cash and Tom
Waits (to name a few) but what artist (the above mentioned or other)
do you feel has influenced you the most?

SV: I think a great influence on me would be music that has been
recorded without the idea of success or gimmicks because in this day
and age, there seems to be more schtick than substance, and when I
come across something that isn’t that way, past or present, it
influences me.

PEV: If you could collaborate with one artist, alive of passed, who
would it be and why?

SV: I guess I could couple this with the last question and just say
that I would love to collaborate with anyone who influences or
inspires me.

PEV: In your opinion, which artist today, should people be looking out for?

SV: Me, of course!

PEV: What is currently in your CD player or on your iPod?

SV: Me, of course! No just kidding! Since my RV burned, my
collection is pretty limited, but right now I’ve got 1930’s gospel

PEV: What drives you to create music?

SV: It’s like that UFO Å0ä9 you just can’t explain it.

PEV: So, what is next for Stoll Vaughan?

SV: If you’ve made it to question #20, please check out and find out!


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