Like the Flicker of a Meteor – Spurs

An interview by Julie Horner with vocalist Terry McCants and singer/songwriter David Stockhausen of local Avant Folk band, Spurs. Performing July 19 with Olde Blue and Acoustic Shadows at the Santa Cruz Mountains Makers Market, Mountain Community Resources 6134 Highway 9, Felton, CA.

How did you meet and where?

Terry: David and I met one night in a super artsy scene-y café in Burlington, VT called Radio Bean that hosts local and touring bands. We exchanged courtesies, but then he was quick to share that we’d already met several times before. I was living upstairs from the café with our mutual friend Caroline. Within months he moved in. David would tell you it was a total Three’s Company scene, which is entirely true.

Back then, the only memory of any musical collaboration between us was when I convinced him to pull out his guitar and back me up for a Lucinda Williams song in the living room. I couldn’t play the chords and sing at the same time. He made it look easy.

Are you an actual romantic couple or simply a fabulously dynamic duo?

David: No, we’re more like estranged and reunited siblings.

Terry: David and I have been friends ever since, although there were a few lost years in there. Ironically, we lost touch when he moved to San Francisco. So when I got the phone call that he was moving down to Santa Cruz with his wife, Jade, that was pretty exciting. He wrote a song about that time called “New Scene.” It’s a song that puts you right in the car with everything you own and a dream just outside the window. Some of his songs have a very cinematic quality to them.

What’s cool about living in the Santa Cruz area?

David: The privacy and tranquility of the San Lorenzo Valley helps me write. Not a bad place for a tot either. A great deal of the overdubs and songs for our record, “Til the Sea Meets the Sky,” were recorded in Felton at my place. Not to mention it is where we rehearse almost every week. So the San Lorenzo Valley is certainly a home for Spurs.

Terry: I live in Santa Cruz in the heart of Seabright, which is great. I can bike anywhere and also walk downtown. I don’t own a car. Aside from having affordable rent, a great housemate, and a house with lots of character, I kind of secretly enjoy knowing all the business owners and such in the ‘hood. They’re my neighbors.

What do you love about the Santa Cruz music scene?

Terry: Santa Cruz folk musicians seem very supportive of each other’s endeavors, and it feels like a community. The Do-It-Ourselves Festival in Boulder Creek has played a significant role in this.

How do you get your inspiration?

David: Human relationships have been my muse most consistently. I have political concerns and environmental concerns that find their way into songs too, but usually as an undercurrent or sideline. Mostly, the complexity of humans finding ways to be with or without each other is a constant wellspring of material. Sometimes good fiction begins with the best truths.

Terry: I wake up every day around 6:30 to write. I also do a form of Asian bodywork called Yin Tuina.

David: I’m an avid surfer, writer, and visual artist. And, professionally, I’m a chef so I’ve always got my hands into creating things. Down time for me is playing with my son around Fall Creek or watching the steam engines at Roaring Camp.

What do people take with them from experiencing one of your shows?

Terry: David writes these poetic, introspective lyrics, and the nuances in the music, harmonies included, can be delicate at times.

David: We love it when an audience is prepared to sit and listen and reflect. Like the flicker of a meteor, it requires some attention or it might be missed.

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(c) 2015 Julie Horner
Originally written for and published in the Santa Cruz Mountain Bulletin.

Julie Horner is an Irish folk musician and writer living in the Santa Cruz Mountains, California.
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