Langhorne Slim

For our first CYTIES Sit Down we had the chance to dial up one of our favorite music artists, Langhorne Slim. Langhorne is defined by reflective songwriting and passionate delivery. His latest Album, Lost At Last Vol 1. deals with the modern hurdles of technology and false promises of manufactured perfection. CYTIES Co-Founders Travis & Ryan connected with him in the middle of his current U.S tour to catch up, reflect on his latest album, and answer questions on his personal style and background.

CYTIES: Hey, it’s Ryan and Travis, Co-founders of CYTIES.

Langhorne: What’s up guys?

CYTIES: All good. Where you at on tour right now?

Langhorne: I just walked in my hotel room … San Rafael, California. Right outside of San Francisco.

CYTIES: Right on, let’s just jump right into it. First question, what’s your favorite city to travel to on tour?

Langhorne: Oh my gosh. I don’t know that I have a favorite city. When you tour the way that I have, or I suppose, the way that anybody that does what I do, you see a lot of places and very little of those places. So, I know a lot of venues around the world and a block or two around those venues. I wouldn’t say I’m an expert on the cities that those venues are in. So, for me it’s more about, making wherever I’m at that night, my favorite place.

CYTIES: Hell yea.

Langhorne: There are places out there that I get more excited about, when I see them on my tour schedule than certain other places. But, as far as why I’m going there, I’ve got to love where I’m at, every single night. So, I shoot for that. It doesn’t always work out but that’s the goal.

I just let the peaceful beast within come out, I try not to hold back.

CYTIES: You have a song, ‘Coffee Cups’, which is one of our favorite tracks by you. And we know this song isn’t about actually drinking coffee. But, are you a coffee drinker? And if so, how do you take it?

Langhorne: Interestingly, I am now. When I wrote that song, I was more of a wine and booze connoisseur. But, I had to quit drinking wine and booze, to attempt to leave some for the rest of the human population. And when I quit alcohol, I became a coffee drinker. So, I drink my coffee black or maybe with a little bit of non-dairy creamer.

CYTIES: We take it the same way.

Langhorne: Yea, that’s the ancient way of doing it.

CYTIES: We’ve seen you play live and you’re always rocking cool hats. We imagine that’s a piece that defines your style. What’s your go-to hat, and where is it from?

Langhorne: I’ve had many go-to hats over the years. I started wearing hats when I was 12 years old or 11 or something. And I would take them out of my grandfather’s closet and they were nice enough to let me borrow/ keep them. And I’ve been a hat lover ever since. I just look for different hats on my travels; vintage stores and antique shops and whatnot.

I got to make a hat just two or three years ago with Stetson. Stetson is one of my favorite hat companies, so that was a thrill.

I mix it up. I’m very superstitious, if I have a show or a tour that I feel like went particularly well, I’ll wear that hat for a while. And then if I have a show or a tour that I didn’t think went as well, I switch up the wardrobe. Sort of like what I’ve read about pitchers in baseball, or something like that.

CYTIES: We are big Stetson fans as well.

Langhorne: Yea, they make beautiful hats. I don’t know that I need ten of them. But, they keep showing up. They’re like tattoos or something.

CYTIES: We’ve seen you play live, and you put on an incredible performance. Not only is your voice immaculate, but you also work the stage like no one we’ve really ever seen, you’re awesome at getting the audience engaged. Who are your biggest influences when it comes to stage performing?

Langhorne: Whether it be folk music or punk rock music or soul music, I’ve always loved people that were channeling something from somewhere else, as if it wasn’t even them up there doing it. And I’ve seen a number of shows like that. I’ve seen Patty Smith, where I feel like she was channeling some kind of spirit world or something and it was incredible. I love seeing Bob Dylan and watching some of his early performances. Nirvana, Otis Redding, Charles Bradley, James Brown, Jimmy Hendrix, the list could go on and on.

But, I’ve always admired people that can hold the crowd just by standing there playing their songs and that’s the true talent. My way of doing it has always been a little bit more active. And so, that’s just what comes naturally to me. I just let the peaceful beast within come out, I try not to hold back.

CYTIES: You do an awesome job at it. You definitely are engaging.

Langhorne: Well, I think what you learn from doing anything that you love, is the best that you can possibly do or the best that you could be is your own unique self. And so, you try to find your own voice, and you try to find your own moves and way of doing it. It’s sort of a life long journey to find that voice and to find those moves. But, you just try to be as pure and honest with it as you can in the moment.

CYTIES: Absolutely, very well put. For you, when hitting the road on tour, what’s the one item you always bring with you? Not necessarily musically related, but a token essential that you don’t leave the city without.

Langhorne:  Well, I wear a hat, that must definitely be one. And I’ve got a necklace that’s from my grandpa Sid who was one of my best friends in the world, when he passed away, I got it. And so, I wear that. Not just when I’m on tour, but I wear that every darn day and night of my life. But, I think I connect more to it when I’m traveling.

CYTIES: That leads perfect into our next question. When we saw you play in San Antonio, you played ‘Song for Sid’ and you said, it’s one you play every show and about your grandfather. We could really feel the passion, heartbreak and the love in that song when you were singing it. Can you touch on what that song means to you?

Langhorne: Yeah, it was after my grandfather passed away, we were extremely close. I feel like we were close on a physical level and sort of a cosmic spiritual level.

My manager sent me the list of questions {for this interview}. But, I don’t read the list of questions because I don’t want it to be rehearsed. I don’t want to know what’s coming, I’d rather be as in the moment as I can, while I do this or when I’m on stage. So, we never really have set lists… for 15 years, maybe we’ve written two or three set lists in which I did not follow. So, we continue to let that be a song I play every night. Because, it’s a song that, I think for the rest of my life, I’ll be able to feel as profoundly as I felt when I wrote it. I don’t even take credit for writing it. I feel like it was sort of sprinkled upon me after he passed. And for me, I consider it one of the greatest musical gifts that I’ve been given, just so that I can have that song and talk about him and my other grandpa Jack, every single night. They were incredible forces in my life.

I try to keep my head down and keep moving forward and challenge myself to make the next one better than the one before — Langhorne Slim 

CYTIES: You’re doing a ton of traveling right now on tour. When you’re about to hop on a plane or have some time alone on a tour bus, who are some of your favorite artists that you are listening to nowadays.

Langhorne: Well an artist named Twain, who I’m a huge fan of and was lucky enough to become friends with and played on the last record ‘Lost at Last, Volume 1’. His stuff is incredible. Skyway Man, who is absolutely amazing. Jonny Fritz, The Lost Bayou Ramblers – out of Louisiana.  And all people that I have gotten to collaborate with or perform with in one way or another. These are friends. I think I’m not biased. They are people that I listen to, not because they are my friends but because I love what they do.

CYTIES: We hope one day we get to interview some of them as well.

Langhorne: I would highly recommend it.

CYTIES: Your latest album, ‘Lost at Last, Volume 1’ came out the end of last year. That’s a very REAL album dealing with social challenges. What do you hope people will get out of that album?

Langhorne: Well, you put everything you have into each and every one of the records and you hope that it’s the best record. We all spend a ton of time making it. Many hours writing it and recording it. And then it comes out and I don’t go back and really listen to it again, and it’s out there for those that wish to listen to it.

I hear other songwriters say this kind of thing. So, I don’t mean that to sound cliché. But, I do think the beauty of music is, it is the medicine that somebody needs it to be for themselves. Songs take on different meanings for different people which is beautiful. Sometimes people ask me, “Is the song really about dot-dot-dot?” Since a line is something that it wasn’t. So, maybe it’s better. Maybe what they have heard is a better line or makes more sense to them. When the record comes out, it’s for those who listen to it. And I try to keep my head down and keep moving forward and challenge myself to make the next one better than the one before.

CYTIES: That goes right into our last question. What can we expect from you next? Is it going to be ‘Lost at Last volume 2’?

Langhorne: Yeah. Some of it I thought was done, now I don’t know what is done and what isn’t done. I’m going to re-record a bunch of the songs and then try to write some more songs, and then we’re going to get into the studio outside of New Orleans. That’s my hope in November, start recording volume two and we shall see what happens.

CYTIES: Maybe we can expect something in 2019?

Langhorne:  I don’t know at the moment. But, yea let’s hope around that.

CYTIES: It’ll come when it comes. We’re excited to hear it.

Langhorne:  It’ll come when it comes, indeed. I appreciate it.

CYTIES:  We look forward to catching you either in LA or whatever city that we find ourselves in that you happen to be playing at. Thanks for taking the time to connect with our readers.

Langhorne: Thank you my friends and back at you. I’ll look out for you, too. Safe travels—be well.