Lindsey Stirling on YouTube Fame and Returning to Her Hometown

Violinist Lindsey Stirling has a little something for everyone, primarily mixing classical and electronic music together. She became a YouTube sensation thanks to her innovative covers. She even wore elf ears in her Zelda suite. Her music videos are just as beautiful as her music, traveling to locales like New Zealand, Kenya, and just outside of her home in Utah.

Up on the Sun: You had a show moved from Martini Ranch to Marquee Theatre here. Have you played a headlining show in Phoenix before?

Lindsey Stirling: No, never. Pretty much everywhere I've been, this is my first time, yeah, this is my first time ever headlining. It's really exciting.

You have grown tremendously in popularity over the last few years. Would you say your videos are the primary reason for that?

I would say yes, definitely. I always joke -- seriously -- that all my success is the YouTube market. I tried so many different things to try to make it as a performer whether it was playing all over the place for free, just handing out resumes to talent agencies, and yet nothing really took until I started doing YouTube.

What was your big breakthrough song?

I would say it was one of my original songs, actually called "Crystallize."

You combine quite a few musical styles. Is that something you set out to do, or was it a natural evolution of things?

I think it's just what happened. My favorite stuff to do is the original stuff that I write and the electronic stuff. But at the same time, I only play music that I really like. It's just not worth it to me to write a bunch of stuff and go through all the work to do it if I don't enjoy it. I have always had very eclectic tastes, my iPod is filled with everything from orchestral music to rock 'n roll. It would just make sense that I like to try it all and do it all and take the violin to places that it is supposed to go and maybe places that it isn't traditionally expected to go.

Has your music introduced video game fans to classical music and vice versa?

I definitely think so. I see a lot of comments on my videos, there's just people when I meet them, they say I've never been drawn to violin music and that kind of thing because I have a very diverse audience. I think the fact that I do a lot of different styles connects the dots for different people. I love that we have at our shows everyone from teeny tiny girls who are just picking up the violin and they'll bring their violin for me to sign, that's super cute. It goes all the way up to, you've got your teenagers, your gamer crowd, obviously. We'll even have a 70 year old couple come to the show that just love violin music. They're really not looking into electronic music, but they found what I do and they love it. It crosses a lot of genres, it crosses a lot of barriers and styles.

In the videos you watch you dance and move around a lot. Do you do the same things live? Is it difficult to play violin and dance at the same time?

Yes and yes. The choreography that's in my videos, some of the videos are highly choreographed. I'll do pretty much the exact same choreography for most of the songs on stage. In every song I'm jumping around and dancing around even if there is a set choreography for it. I do move around at all the shows quite a bit and it's kind of fun at some of the smaller stages to have to dodge some of the drumsets and microphone stands, but I just can't help it.

When I first started playing, I could barely move because as a violinist you're taught to be very structured and very rigid in my playing. It's taken a lot of work and conscious effort and lots of lots of practice to first of all be comfortable with choreography but also to improv and just jump around and ab lib. It's taken a lot of time and a lot of practice to be able to do that.

I see that your first band, Stomp on Melvin is on tour with you. Are you going to be collaborating with them?

I am going to jump on stage and play one song with them just for old time's sake and for fun just because I haven't played with them since high school, so it's been quite a long time. This is really fun for me, I was really excited that they were up for the challenge. They sent me text updates and they'll be like, "Linz, we just practiced again and it sounds really good" they've ben practicing super hard because they say, "we don't want to embarrass you" but I know they're not going to embarrass me. I'm just really excited to have them as my opening band because they're a big part of what started it all for me. That was my first experience stepping away from classical music was playing with Stomp on Melvin. Even my channel name, Lindseystomp is a tribute to Stomp on Melvin.

One of the other bands playing that night, The Vibrant Sound is actually the band that I was in in college, so it's just going to be a really fun show for me because I've got my high school band and the band I joined in college and I'll get to play at the end.

Lindsey Stirling is scheduled to perform at Marquee Theatre on Saturday, October 13.

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Melissa Fossum
Contact: Melissa Fossum