photo by Ron Henry
By Rachel L
Levi Fuller. Perhaps you’ve heard of the name, or he’s a complete stranger. But in some way or another, if you’re part of the Seattle music scene, you’ve probably been touched by Levi’s presence. DJ at Hollow Earth Radio, intern for KEXP (and regular KEXP Blog contributor), booker, creator of Ball of Wax Quarterly, band member for several groups, and a solo artist — there is almost no aspect of the local music industry he hasn’t touched.
Rachel LeBlanc (KEXP): You do many things in the music scene — when you were a little kid deciding what you wanted to do in life, did you see yourself where you are?
Levi Fuller: I didn’t start playing in bands until after high school. It wasn’t until I came [to Seattle] and started to make sense of the scene that I got into it. It sort of organically happened.
Rachel: What happened that got you so deeply involved?
Levi: As far as the Ball of Wax compilations, I noticed I had a lot of friends making a lot of really great music. Some of it was getting out there, some they might not have ever released it, some if they did they may not have a huge audience. I really like the idea of building a music community, it’s always been important to me. I used to have shows at my house, I’d have songwriters come over and make songs. Somehow or another I met several musicians and I wanted to get them together.
Rachel: What would you say is your favorite thing to do, out of all your tasks?
Levi: My favorite thing to do is still to play music, preferably with friends. Playing, recording, shows and looking out, seeing happy people. I love doing the Ball of Wax as well.
Ball of Wax, Vol. 10 release @ Sunset Tavern
photo by Joseph P. Traina
Rachel: What is your least favorite thing to do? What difficulties do you come across?
Levi: Booking shows is one of my least favorite things to do. It’s just grueling, a pain in the butt. Sometimes trying to get other people on the same page, especially with larger groups. I enjoy working with other people, but the more people you have involved, the more exponentially difficult it becomes.
Rachel: You are a DJ at Hollow Earth Radio — what are your shows like?
Levi: My shows are pretty eclectic. I play a lot of local music, but also older songs. Let’s see, my last show the first song was Iron and Wine, the second song was Talk Talk. (Check out his MySpace blog for posted playlists.)
Rachel: Previously your Ball of Wax Quarterly consisted of local artists submissions, you had an instrumental issue. Now you have the one where you got local bands to collaborate.
Levi: It was a joint effort between the Beep Repaired folks and me. It’s based on their game Harry Candy, where you get together and make a song in a day. I thought, what if we got a bunch of people together, broke into groups and made songs, which would be my next Ball of Wax.
Rachel: Ah, so the idea was born…
Levi: We had 11 different locations and 35 musicians, everybody put their name in a hat, the only rule was that you couldn’t have two people who are already in a band together to work together. We came back after one day, and everyone had a song and a band name. The show on February 28th, at the Sunset Tavern, is the band’s playing their actual music. The show on March 2nd is the all-ages version at Healthy Times Fun Club will be the “fake” bands, we’ll play the songs we created for the Ball of Wax, and maybe a few covers.
Catch the Ball of Wax showcases this coming week. The 21+ show will be this Thursday, February 28th at the Sunset Tavern, doors at 8:00 and $6. The all-ages showcase of the created songs for the compilation will be at Healthy Times Fun Club March
4th 2nd. Levi is also planning on wrapping up his latest album for his solo act, with hopes to release it later this year.