Lee Coulter

19 Mar

“I believe I have benefited from being a producer first and a performer second.”

If you have yet to hear Lee Coulter’s music, than you are missing out on something great. An extraordinary talent all the way from Australia, Lee has made it his life’s work to create music that will give your ears endless enjoyment. Not only does he write and produce his own work, he’s also a loyal husband and father. With all of the juggling he does in life, he continues releasing heartfelt music and making hearts swoon. Guest writer, Mike Vial, submitted some questions to Lee, so if you’re interested in getting to know more about this talented Aussie, read on.

Q. Congrats on the being the Sirius XM Coffee House Discovery of 2011! What goals are you hoping to achieve in 2012?

A. Thank you. It was a great start to what I hope will be a great year. What I’ve learned in this business is that I never know what is around the corner, so I’m just excited to see what comes. Goals seem to be good ways to keep proactive but for me, the small successes that I have usually have nothing to do with the goals I set. If I had to say, one major goal would be to reach more ears and hearts by getting a placement in a pivotal scene in a big movie or TV show.

Q. I enjoyed previewing the album, Mr. Positivity, on Bandcamp. What other tools (web and non-web) are you using to help get your music out to the masses?

A. I’m glad you liked it. I’m honestly not a marketing wiz and don’t utilize the web as well as I could. I’ll continue to use iTunes, Facebook, my mailing list, WordPress and the blogosphere, thanks to folks like STM. This year, I want to focus on videos/Youtube. I haven’t had a video go viral yet and as a frustrated film maker, I’d like to put out a bunch of well-thought-out music videos that people appreciate and, hopefully, the masses will do the sharing for me. I am believing more and more that content is king, and creating it is the most satisfying part of what I do so I’ll at least enjoy the process, if nothing else.

Q. You’ve got a great new album! What was the reasoning behind delaying the release?

A. Well, since I finished recording it I’ve had a few people approach me about management and marketing and such, so I figured I’d hear them out before I self released it. Either way, it will be out before the summer.

Q. I love the theme of “Cameo,” especially the line, “Go write, go on and write your story/ in all your glory everyone is boring when they are next to you.” How has pursuing music, as a writer and studio producer, helped you write your own life story?

A. Music is definitely at the heart of my story. I’ve come to realize that all I have been trying to do is create something that connects me to other people and others to each other. Music is a part of being human, a type of mathematics built into all of us, and I often try to tap into that to help us realize that we all relate on some level. Music has definitely led me to places, things and experiences that I would not have otherwise had.

Q. What was your favorite song on the new record to put together in the studio? Why?

A. “Gray or Blue” because it was the most collaborative effort, not only because it is a duet with the charming Kate Vincent, but because it is one of the few songs that I’ve ever co-written. One night, I sat down with my wife and our friend Kate to write a tune and 24 hours later it was recorded. It was just one of those magical musical moments that seemed to burst into existence and there was no holding it back.

Q. A studio owner (who will remain anonymous) once told me, “Musicians should stay musicians and studio engineers should be studio engineers. If a songwriter tries to become a music producer, he or she will lose too much time trying to keep up with the technical side and lose time writing music.” Your multiple talents seem to dispute this, since you perform, write, and record. Do you disagree with his statement, or is there truth to it?

A. There is absolutely truth to the statement. I definitely find myself frustrated a lot by the recording process and spend a lot of time trying to perfect a recording when I’d rather be writing. However, I believe I have benefited from being a producer first and a performer second. I think it is much more difficult to stay objective if you are a performer first. Plus, I admit that I’m a control freak so I’d have a hard time giving up the reigns on my sound. The other thing is that I probably would never have recorded anything if I had waited until I could afford to pay someone else to do it. If someone wants to master my stuff for free, let me know.

Q. I’ve got a question for Walter Legaux (in response to your Rockstar 101 video): Do you think the over-usage of Autotune will date our current decade of music, the way gated-reverb and other effects have dated the 80s? Will Autotune-robot sounds ever lose flavor in pop music, or is it here to stay?

A. Walter’s response: “That’s not even a question… that’s like asking who came first the Chicken or the Egg, which is obvious because no one ever says the Egg or the Chicken?” I, on the other hand, think Autotune as an effect will only date itself as far as post 2000s, but I think it will continue to be used now that we have it. Hopefully a little more sparingly than it is currently, but I think what people are responding to is the hooks in the songs and the marketing around it, not the Autotune itself. I think Usher’s “O.M.G.” would have been as big without Auto-tune. And likewise, using Autotune in years to come will not take away from a good hook. I would compare it to choosing a guitar tone. Writing rules.

Q. You mentioned on your website how love songs are about “trying to encourage men and women to let [their] walls down and love with [their] whole heart.” What type of walls need to come down for you as an artist, as a songwriter, to compose a song that moves you?

A. The main wall I have to let down is the one that protects me from worrying about being judged. Part of what I’m trying to do with music is to give an alternative to a superficial culture. I’m an idealist who likes to smile and not come across as moody and I want to be proud of that and not scared that someone is going to think I’m a fraud because I don’t look the stereotypical part.

Q. If you were stranded on an island and could only bring one of your songs to listen to, which would it be and why?

A. If that were my only option, I would honestly prefer silence because I would drive myself crazy analyzing every aspect of it and I would start drinking sea water. If I had to choose, I have a song on the new album about my son called “Safe and Sound”, only because it is one of the few songs where upon hearing it I think more about the subject matter than the production value.

Here’s a special performance from Lee, singing his uber-cute song, “After You.” Download the tune for free, here.

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2 Responses to “Lee Coulter”

  1. John Lynch March 19, 2012 at 1:46 am #

    I’ve been a Lee Coulter fan for more than a year now, since his SiriusXM hit – “I Would Love”.

    I have had the good fortune to see him perform live several times and even got to hear some of the background stories to these wonderful songs.

    If there is a more talented and more thoughtful song writer and lyricist in pop music today, I haven’t found them.

    Both Mr. Positivity & his self titled debut CD continue to impress after a several dozen listens. Lee is an artist that will stand the test of time.

    I am continually amazed that most of the music industry has yet to discover this artist!!!

    In a year or two I am going to pleasantly look back and say I listened to Lee Coulter before he was a superstar!

  2. Rocio Luna March 25, 2012 at 12:03 am #

    Love it! Can’t wait for your album to come out!!

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