A Conversation with Stick Figure
A Conversation with Stick Figure
Fresh from releasing his seventh album, World on Fire, California-based Stick Figure continues to be at the forefront of today’s reggae scene, delivering signature deep groves and hook-worthy beats on every track frontman Scott Woodruff creates. Keen to learn more, we asked Woodruff, whose band is behind the Billboard No. 1 reggae album of 2019, to speak with The 10,000 about his career and evolving musical style, and the band’s mascot, Cocoa the dog.
You are a multi-talented musician, producer, lyricist and writer. How did you get started and what inspired you to pursue a career in music?
My childhood friend and neighbor across the street always had musical instruments around his house growing up. When I would go to his house, I would mess around on the drums and guitar and realized how natural playing instruments felt for me. My parents bought me my first drum set and guitar when I was 12 years old and soon after, I got a tape deck with dual cassettes and taught myself how to layer instrument recordings. Recording music was always a fun hobby, burning CDs for my friends, and years later turned into uploading songs online for whoever wanted to listen. Growing up I never honestly thought music would be my career, it just kind of happened as the music caught on more and more online. Even though I never planned on it being a career, music was always my number one focus in life and what I loved best.
How did you get involved with the reggae scene? OR What attracted you to the reggae genre specifically?
When I was in my early teens, my older brother introduced me and my friends to reggae. At the time, no one was really listening to that type of music in our hometown, so it felt like we had discovered something new and very special that no one else was listening to. Reggae music really hit home for us with the laid back lifestyle of growing up by the beach. I taught myself how to play each instrument at an early age by playing covers of my favorite bands, so reggae music and dub really started influencing my sound early on.
You are often accompanied by Cocoa, your tour dog. Would you consider her an honorary member of Stick Figure? Tell us the Cocoa story.
She’s not just an honorary member, she’s the most important member of Stick Figure! She’s def a fan favorite and we love having her on stage as much as the fans love seeing her. When she walks on stage the crowd immediately goes wild.
Cocoa was a stray that ended up in a kill shelter. I got her the same month we first started touring and we brought her along, figuring it would be better than leaving her at home and that she’d be good company. Completely on her own, she started coming on stage and after a few shows it became her routine. She’s never been forced or encouraged to come on stage. She just does it on her own and just naturally loves being on stage.
Your Mercedes Sprinter doubles as a recording studio. How often do you use it? Where do you go in it for inspiration? Are there any specific songs you worked on or recorded in it?
I got the Sprinter this year, and converted it into a fully-functioning mobile recording studio with a cabin-like wooden interior. The goal is to write the majority of the songs on the next album in the Sprinter while traveling through national parks and other places of inspiration. It’s more of a place where I can be inspired while in nature and capture ideas for new songs, which will then be properly produced at the Stick Figure compound, Great Stone Studios, in Oakland, CA.
Stick Figure recently released “World on Fire”, its 7th studio album. What mood or message are you hoping to convey with this album?
The general theme of the album is to live in the moment, believe in yourself and to appreciate all that the world has to offer. There are always going to be obstacles in life, but I wanted to convey the message of hope and overcoming hardship. The idea is to find peace in what can increasingly feel like a World on Fire.
Stick Figure just announced the “Once In A Lifetime” Summer Tour, the band’s first headlining summer amphitheater tour with friends Collie Buddz, The Movement, and Iya Terra. Click here for more details.