Steve Gunn, who came our way recently for the Southern Fork Americana Fest 2018 and has a new album on the horizon, shares a few of his musical secrets.

1. Describe your sound in one sentence.

Abstract storytelling over circular fingerstyle guitar lines.

2. You're well-known as a hard working musician. What's your favourite thing to do when you're not recording or touring?

I like walking around New York City with no agenda, with perhaps a visit to a Russian Sauna.

3. When writing, do you fit words/themes to music, music to words/themes, or pull it all together at once?

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I play guitar a lot first, and then look for what words fit the guitar lines. Lately I've been trying to come up with the material all at the same time, but that's a new thing for me. Usually the guitar lines come first. The words go through much more editing in the process after I come up with a theme or storyline.

4. What is your favourite song to perform live and why?

It always changes, but usually I like songs that give me freedom to improvise - especially when I play solo. Two older songs of mine, Old Strange and The Lurker, are more open ended and have parts where I can try new things, even after all this time.

5. What does success as a musician mean to you?

Being able to travel the world and play and sing for people is a big one. Success for me also means maintaining a level of inspiration and engagement in being an artist.

6. A theme of your writing has been travel and motion - what has been your favourite trip?

Coming to New Zealand last year was one of my favorite trips!

7. What message would you give any young person wanting to be a successful musician?

Practise and listen. You have to put the work in.

8. Are you performing new music in your live shows?

I'll be playing some new songs that I've been working on [New album The Unseen In Between has been announced this week].

9. You can only fit one album by another artist on your device — what is it?

John Coltrane - A Love Supreme. Bole Sete - Ocean - is a close second.

10. You're curating a music festival. Who's on the bill, alive or dead?

Django Reinhardt
Bad Brains
Misfits
John Coltrane
Albert Ayler
Taj Mahal Travelers
Velvet Underground
Prince
Nick Drake

*Steve Gunn will release his new album The Unseen In Between on January 18.