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Blu Sanders



Texas native and Nashville transplant, Blu Sanders is a fresh, honest, personal voice in the crowded world of male singer/songwriters. Taking a cue from one of his many fans of his live show, Sanders recently released a 1/2 acoustic, 1/2 spoken word album that is sure to touch your heart and mind. In between sets, Sanders sat down with Way Cool Music to discuss his songwriting process, the highs and lows of constant touring and the value of stupidity.



Way Cool: 

Tell us about your background.

Blu Sanders:

I was born and raised in Texas. I went to college in Austin, Texas.  I started singing right after high school. I ended up in Business school at UT.  Jumping around…Austin, college, music, ponytail, Birkenstocks, cutoffs…10 years later, I moved to New York.  I just had to get the fuck out of Texas.  Don’t get me wrong, I have huge Texas pride.  I love Texas and I love Austin. But, for the sake of my business and career, I had to go.  I had a great job writing code, making good money.  I gave everything away, put the rest in storage, packed a bag and a guitar and left.  I was in New York for two years, on the road for those years. I recently moved to Nashville because I got a publishing deal.  I went to a producer’s office and said, “This is me. This is a song I wrote.”  He said to stick around and we’ll help you write with people.  That’s the ultra-condensed version. I’m not home a lot, but I do have an apartment.  I don’t even know my street address. 

  Blu Sanders 


How would you describe your music to someone who has never heard it before?

I don’t have a good answer. I tell people that I’m a white guy with an acoustic guitar, but I actually hate that genre.  My songs are mellow, but when I record, my songs are poppy rock. I just say. "Pop rock."




How do you set yourself apart from other white boys with acoustic guitars?



I’m a lot slower.  I think I sound different. I don’t feel like I sound like them. Obviously, my voice sounds a little different, which is valuable.  I even think my lyrics are different.  I use a lot of open tuning and other tricks like that. I just don’t feel a particular affinity to them. I feel closer to people like Ryan Adams. I’m a little older and closer to someone like David Gray or Ray Lamontange.  I don’t sound like them, but feel closer to them.




Tell us about the new CD.


More of Something Else


It’s something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time.  I love studio records, but I never had a chance to record what my songs sound less buttered up.  A kid emailed me and said that he really liked my records, but was disappointed after seeing my show.  He described my music as really haunting and moody and really wished he heard that on the record.   He was right. All my records still sound like me if you break it down by the songs, but they are all very different.  I write a lot in my journals; I find it very therapeutic. People have really attached to it and like it a lot.  I just wanted to express those thoughts my way.  So, I thought, “Why not spend $2000 and make an acoustic record?” People don’t buy CDs anyway so why not spend $2000 instead of $10,000 on a studio record.  Literally, I only had two days between my touring in April and May.  I just sat down and ended up knocking out the whole album in one day.  I was a little nervous about the spoken word thing, but I think it sounds really cool together. The songs aren’t perfect since they are live takes. But, I really like it.  In fact, I’d like to make a follow up and do another 15 songs and journal entries.  It’s hard (to produce) because people don’t buy records…they buy one copy and burn it for each other. 



I read your journal pretty religiously and want to ask, how do you really feel about smokers?




It’s really funny because people will come up to me at shows and they are smoking, then they say, “Oh shit!”  They’ve read my stuff and they know I fucking hate smoking.  I think it’s a habit based on filth and disrespect.  If someone can tell me it’s not, I’ll listen.  I had a girlfriend who smoked. If you want to smoke, fine. But I want to taste you, not the cigarette. I think it masks all the wonderful scent and taste of someone.  I have no sympathy for smokers.  I hate smoking so much.




Tell us about the co-writing process.




In Nashville it’s what you do.  I like the idea of working with other people.  I was in L.A. for three weeks working with this actress named Skylar Fisk on some songs.  I equate it with an actor wanting to be a director.  Once you’ve done this for a while, you want to help someone else with crafting something new.  The idea of sitting in a room with a stranger is a little weird, but I’ve met some great people and written some really good songs.  Some guys are chumps and say, “Let’s write a #1 single!”  I like it, it’s cool.




How do you hook up with these people?




Some are with my publishing company. Some of them you meet in a bar.  Everyone you meet in Nashville works for a music company or works for the (Tennessee) Titans.  The odds are very much in your favor to meet someone.  It just happens. I’m kinda like the “rock” guy at my publishing house so I get offers that way.




So, you’ve been touring a lot. What are some of your favorite venues?




I’d have to say my favorite venue is the Cactus Café in Austin, Texas.  Bigger venues…The Backyard in Austin is amazing. I had great times in Grand Forks, North Dakota.  But, I’d have to say the Cactus Café is my favorite room.


Blu @ Cactus Cafe



What keeps you motivated to keep going as an independent artist?




I’m too stupid to quit.  I’m not popular and my records aren’t burning up the charts. But, I do see a future in music. I write better songs and people are beginning to give a shit. 




Where do you see yourself in five years?
BS: I feel like songwriting is gonna play a big part; making records, writing and producing. I’d love to have a record deal, but I really don’t know.  Broke, maybe.  It’s just way better than sitting in a cubicle and having to tend to other people’s whims.




We like to end interviews with a game we call "7 Questions."





7 Questions




What's the worst job you've ever had? 


I used to sit in a booth and rate the sound quality of telecommunication stuff. I sat in an assembly booth for fucking 8 hours…I really don’t even know what I did. It was odd.



What's your favorite movie quote or song lyric? 


“If you choose not to decide you’ve still made a choice.”



Who would you want to star in the movie of your life? 


Mark Ruffalo.  He’s great.



What's your favorite TV theme song? 


The only one that comes to mind is ‘Greatest American Hero.’



If you were a superhero, what would your name be? 


Ultimate Whiner.



What do you want to be when you grow up? 


No clue.



Finally, why are there so many songs about rainbows? 


Rainbows are pretty great.



To find out more information about Blu Sanders, visit his website at