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Q&A with Saint Solitude

Saint Solitude is the stage name of Dup Crosson, an Asheville resident who manages to create full-bodied, melodic pop as a solo musician. This Saturday, he comes to Local 506 with Free Electric State and Birds and Arrows.

Crosson took a break from a bike ride to chat with Diversions staff writer Anna Norris about his creative process, local music festivals and his take on local music scenes.

Diversions: You are responsible for almost every note on this album. Did you choose to do that out of necessity, or were you looking for maximum stylistic control?

Dup Crosson: There’s some trumpet and cello and some vocals done by friends. It’s kind of the way I’ve always done it, so it’s mostly out of habit. I always joke around with people saying it serves my megalomania a lot better.
I really just like being in control of all those nuances. I do miss the closeness and creativity with other people in the studio, but I also work really strongly when I’m by myself in a creative atmosphere by myself.

Diversions: Was it hard to get used to touring with a full band?

DC: I had always traditionally played with other people, and I used to do a solo show with a loop station. I think I still like making records by myself but as to playing live shows the chemistry speaks for itself. I think the audience really connects more when you have a full band. Also for me, I’m a drummer first and foremost, and having live drums really means a lot to me.

Diversions: Was it a coincidence that you chose such a lonesome-sounding moniker with your lush, poppy sound, or was it all on purpose?

DC: That was actually a total accident. The name wasn’t meant to be what it turned out to be. I didn’t expect this project to turn into my solo thing. It just kind of stuck. And I think over the years I have made more upbeat music. I think it was a reflection of where I was personally. I did grow up listening to depressing music, but it’s hard to listen to Elliot Smith record after Radiohead record after Smashing Pumpkins record.

Dive: Your Myspace says there are only a few more shows before heading into the studio. Are you going to keep it as a solo thing, or are you going to add a few more people in the process?

DC: The basics of it will be just me. I’ve been demo-ing a lot of sounds that are just me. But I’ve got another month before I head into the studio to start recording, and I’m going to try and get a lot of people into the process.
I think I want a little more third party critique and intervention. I don’t want to limit myself to just my own ideas this time. I want to bounce some ideas off of other people. I have met a lot of other people whose talents I want to use.

Dive: Do you have any plans to check out Hopscotch or a little closer to home, Moogfest?

DC: I could potentially check out Hopscotch. Moogfest I was on the fence about. I really do want to go see bands like School of Seven Bells, but I don’t know if you know this, you’re not guaranteed an entry even with a ticket. I don’t know about dropping $75 and not being sure you’ll get to see the bands. But you know, I’m not used to the festival thing.

Dive: What are your plans for shows this weekend, and for traveling and touring after this upcoming album? Would you like to try and get into the festival circuit?

DC: Well, you know it’s a little early in the planning stages to be looking at tour destinations just yet, but yeah definitely. I’d love to play a couple festivals, it’d be a great atmosphere. You know, if the demand is there, we’ll go there. I’m really excited for the show – I’ve played Local 506 before and it immediately spoiled me as to where I want to play around Chapel Hill. I think it’s one of the best venues around there.

Dive: You reside in Asheville, but you’ve played a lot of shows in Chapel Hill and Raleigh. What would you say the about the music scene in Asheville versus the one here?

DC: Actually, I have this conversation a lot with friends in Chapel Hill who want to convince me to move to Chapel Hill. They say my project would be more accepted there, but the sense of place I have in Asheville is very strong, and to me that’s more important than being in a place where the scene might be better. It’s like moving somewhere for a new job — it’s not going to work if you don’t feel a connection with the town.

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