ARTIST SPOTLIGHT – 5 QUESTIONS W/ LODURR
The multi-faceted creative force known as LoDurr (aka Shawn Sparlin) has been contributing his musical prowess to the Midwest scene and beyond for over a decade. His work as a visual artist and engineer has landed him working shows with some of the biggest names in bass music. He has also established himself as a producer, bringing his full-bodied deep dub sound to the festival circuit. Shawn will be in the mix at Lighting of the Moon, lending his talents both on the visual spectrum as well as main stage sets on Friday and Saturday.
Anything would you like Lighting of the Moon attendees to know about you and your music?
My music is a deep reflection of my personality. I am kind of a dark and quiet person and you can hear it in the music I produce. I play a lot of heavier dubstep, some of which is energetic, but when I produce it, it comes out in a DeepDub sound that some would label as Dark; but to me, it is what makes me happy and calm. I guess this makes me a little strange, but it makes sense if you consider that I grew up listening to Rammstein!
What inspires you to create?
What inspires me, well, it’s in my blood, really. My grandmother and my mother were very avid painters but I took the digital route when it comes to art! Before I was a producer my love was digital art in C4D which I connected into stage design, creating live visual art performances. After a while, I felt I needed to create and produce music so that I could better express myself to the EDM community. I was a DJ before I was a digital artist, and NOW, I finally have the ability to completely immerse my fans into an audio-visual bass pounding experience that is very attractive to the eye.
What are some things that draw you to the world of live music and keep your passion alive?
As for passion, well, I have a lot of it. Not only do I love the feeling of being on stage and performing, seeing my fans happy, dancing, and smiling ear to ear, gives me an almost euphoric experience. Likewise, when I notice that the audience has become entranced with my visual show (which is easy to see while on stage) my happiness levels-up a notch, because then I know that they are enjoying my performance in the way that they were meant to, which is completely immersive. My fans are not just watching my show, they are actually IN the show, so to speak. Also, just being a part of the amazing community we have created in the EDM world gives me a real sense of fulfillment.
Any lessons or advice you’d like to share from your extensive touring over the last few years?
Wow. What can I say about tour! I can go on and on about the things to do, and ESPECIALLY what not to do, but I will keep it short and simple. I will say this; I have toured all over the country as an audio-visual artist, and have had many mixed experiences.
Some have been absolutely amazing, from performing in the French Quarter of New Orleans during Mardi Gras, to playing ocean sustainability festivals in Miami, Florida. My all time favorite show was one I played on a private boat while sailing the Pacific Ocean right off of the coast of the Hawaiian Islands. This stop on tour was so surreal for me, dolphins were swimming all around the boat, the sun was beginning to set, and we were snorkeling in one of the top Coral reef destinations in the world. Times like these are exactly why I do what I do, and I love it. When parts of a tour goes right, man, it goes so right. And another thing that has made this all worth it…. Is meeting and talking to some truly amazing artists; some of which I look up to and are one of the reasons I do this! like Yheti, G Jones, or SPL (champagne drip) to list a few! And I have made so many good life long friends while touring that make up a amazing network of people from all across the country!
However, there is a side of tour that most travelling acts simply will not tell you about. These experiences are literally the exact opposite of what tour is like when its going well. Believe me when I tell you, that when a tour goes bad, it goes really fucking bad.
I’m talking about, for whatever reason, when things don’t go RIGHT! For example, the bad business practices of some past promoters and planing from others has left myself and other performers literally sleeping in our cars in the venues parking lot after a show. Also, responsible spending seems to be an issue for many young or newer artists on tour, because, there are many times that I have only been able to afford Dollar Menu MCDoubles from McDonalds to ensure that we had enough gas money to get to the next show in the next city. And through some of the tours I have been on that have been set up and planned by others, instead of canceling the rest of the tour when expenses started adding up that was supposed to be paid for from the profits of said tour. My self and others have gone into debt to ensure the tour goes on, But we endured this because we loved it so much we loved the possibility to share our passions and help others share their passion even if we had to go through what we did. But now that I have experienced these bad times, I have set a knowledge of what not to do, and some advice from me would be DO NOT just simply go with the flow of someone else’s planing and just trust that everything is going to go well. Check and double check then triple check the numbers and then check them again YOURSELF. It is something you want to plan out to the T…. If it does not make sense, don’t do it. We all as artists want to go on tour and share our music and art to the world…why wouldn’t you? But if it sets you back financially it is not worth the strain it will put on your creativity from stress. I have seen so many artists go on tour expecting the world, and then receiving a lot of failed expectations which in return puts a strain or hold on their music creativity or want to do so.
Are there any upcoming releases or projects we should keep an eye out for?
YES, I was one of the original Co-Founders of ThazDope Records, we started it in 2014 and here in 2018 as half owner of the label. I have decided to leave the name ThazDope behind and start a new label, re-branded to Surrealist Records! For now I am the sole owner and plan to take all my experience and knowledge of what to do and what not to do and continue on my own path and go about it a little different.
The first release on the label will be A Rose From Concrete by Kyle Goldstein, a hip hop artist I signed to the previous label that will continue with me like so many other amazing artists I have worked with. Right after that release I will be releasing a compilation of artists I curated called Rising From The Ashes. It includes these artists: