Storm Large Gets Personal with the Seattle Symphony

The sensational vocalist Storm Large opens up about being vulnerable on stage ahead of her pulse-racing tribute to Love, Lust & Rock ‘N’ Roll with the Seattle Symphony.

By James Holt

When Storm Large steps on stage with the Seattle Symphony January 4–6 she’ll be aiming to make an emotional, visceral connection with the audience. Storm is best known for being a finalist on the CBS show Rock Star: Supernova and touring and recording with Pink Martini.

After building a devoted audience in her adopted home of Portland, Oregon, Storm began recording her own music and paying homage to the artists who have most inspired her, ranging from Frank Sinatra to Tom Waits and Lou Reed.

When asked what genre she enjoys performing the most she insists that she’s “genre-fluid,” which is an apt description of what audiences can expect during her performances at Love, Lust & Rock ‘N’ Roll with the Seattle Symphony.

We were able to ask Storm a few questions about this program and the connection she strives for with the audience.

Tackling such well-known tunes as “I've Got You Under My Skin” and “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” can be intimidating for any artist, so how do you make them your own when you perform?

When these masters, who’ve turned their feelings into songs that can cause us to feel their feelings, we feel less alone. I’m also a really bad liar. So, if I can’t attach my heart to the emotional truth of a song, I won’t be able to make you feel it either.

You've said in the past that when you first started singing, your worst fear was crying onstage. How did you overcome that fear and find the confidence to sing?

I never had any fear of singing on stage — I just never wanted to be vulnerable in front of anyone. I had a misguided, self-protective idea that I had to be a beast on stage. Untouchable, unbeatable, and stronger than any ten dudes anywhere. I’ve slowly learned that to be vulnerable on stage is far braver than being a wannabe Viking stripper beast. It’s a far more inclusive and enriching experience for the audience, as well as for myself, to drop my defenses and just be naked and genuine with music.

What's your relationship with the audience like today?

Growing up I was told, over and over again, that I was a loser… until I believed it. So really, I started singing in bands because I found that most musicians can relate to that feeling. We’re lonely weirdos trying to make a family out of huge rooms full of strangers and our fellow stage mates. We fill up the dark and quiet with our amplified insides until everyone feels a part of it all. The audience feels like a part of us and we are a part of the audience.

And what song are you most looking forward to while you’re here?

My favorites change all the time, but the fact that 100 women will be starting in Congress in January, “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World” will be extra poignant.

Tickets are available now for Love, Lust & Rock ‘N’ Roll with Storm Large and the Seattle Symphony, January 4–6.

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Posted on December 20, 2018

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