We’re thrilled to be pre-releasing Scott Mulvahill’s new album to our patrons this September. We hope you enjoy this Love Good Perspectives interview with him!
What inspired you to pick up the bass in the first place?
I wish I had an a great story about how I came into my bass playing destiny, but it was really just a whim. I had a friend from summer camp who played electric bass and I just thought it was the coolest thing. After that summer, my older brother started guitar lessons and my parents asked me if I wanted to try to play guitar too. So I asked if I could learn the bass guitar instead. For some reason I thought it would be easier than the guitar, which of course it isn’t. I had no reason to think I’d have any talent on it, but it just stuck. About a year later I started upright.
When was one of the first times you can remember being genuinely moved by a piece of music?
As a little kid I would literally move – my folks would put on oldies and dance with me and my siblings, always to the same mix of Elvis, Ray Charles, The Beatles, Harry Belafonte and singers like that. I think that could have been as formative as anything. I really loved Hit the Road Jack and the attitude behind it. It was only later that I would have strong emotional reactions to the content of lyrics – I remember as a young teen being moved to tears by a Newsboys song called Elle G. And that was before I ever played or understood music.
How would you describe success from a musical perspective? How would you describe it from a personal one?
Success is pretty subjective, I think. For me, musical success is about having a strong vision for what you’re creating and executing it really well. When the vision is strong, you know it in your gut and you believe the story that you’re telling. You can’t really prove that to anyone else, but when it’s right, others will resonate with it. Even if they don’t, if you really put across what you wanted to, then that’s a version of success, and a stepping stone to better art in the future. As far as personal success, it has a lot to do with integrity. Do I treat the people around me well? Do I act according to my values? Do I serve God in my life and work?
Your title track on your latest album is called Himalayas, and explores the idea of broadening ones’ experiences – be they through travel, through perseverance, or self-discovery. Where is a place on earth you’d like to travel to?
As I’m writing this, I’m about to board a plane for Iceland!
What’s something about humankind you’ve discovered, experientially, in your life?
That most people, myself included, really don’t want to be left alone, even if they think they do. To risk being vulnerable and make an effort to reach someone is usually worth it.
What’s one of your favorite stories to tell about yourself, when getting to know another person?
I fall asleep everywhere. Every band I’ve ever traveled with has a treasure trove of embarrassing pictures of me asleep in bus lounges, airports, hotel lobbies, boats…
Finally – any media recommendations? Booms, movies, music?
A collection of short stories by Ted Chiang recently blew my mind – it’s called Arrival. One of the stories was adapted into the major film of the same title. As for music, I’ve really been enjoying Michael Kiwanuka lately. It’s very soulful, with simple but powerful writing and cinematic arrangements. Lots of mood there.