Evoking the harmonies of contemporary male/female folk groups such as The Civil Wars and the music of bands ranging from The Beatles to Ryan Adams to Coldplay, Schottsy & The Sharpshooters deliver smooth melodies set to intricate instrumental backdrops. Hailing from Spartanburg, SC, the band centers around the husband/wife duo of Pete and Jen Schottleutner (“Schottsy”) and also includes Ben Brune, Alex Jones, and Drew Cunningham (“The Sharpshooters”).
The group released their most recent album, “Looking For A Name,” in January 2012 and are currently touring in support of the release.
I hope you guys enjoy this interview! Big thanks to Pete Schottleutner and Ben Brune for this wonderful interview!
(Mesha) When did you become a musician?
(Pete) My hope is to always be “becoming” a musician. I have never felt that I’ve arrived. Growing up, my dad often sang to me and my siblings. There was always music in the house, especially from my older sisters. They are both extraordinary talents. Guitar wasn’t a pursuit of mine until I was in high school, though, and I didn’t take songwriting seriously until my last year of college.
What is music? Why is it important?
Music is a doorway God allows us to step through to enter into the spiritual realm. Music is one avenue of experiencing the unseen, feeling what you can’t touch.
Who or what is your inspiration?
Just stop and listen. From trains to vacuums, most everything has a pitch. We live among so many moving things so all around us there is music and rhythm, we need only capture it.
My upbringing still inspires me. My family loves to sing. Birthdays and holidays are such musical times. My older sister, Clara Oman, is a massive source of inspiration. She is an accomplished singer/pianist/songwriter/composer. She’s tops.
A main source of inspiration is harmony. A strong melody brings about an intricate harmony…likewise, a weak melody is given legs to stand on by introducing a tight harmony! I remember my first music class where we learned to sing in parts, I was so excited to learn how to listen for and make harmony!
This great earth: Between my wife and I, we have traveled to all 6 inhabited continents! There is so much to be learned from other cultures. I love listening to classical music and music from around the world. I especially enjoy the music of India. And then popular music from 1935-1970…I love Gershwin and the Beatles, the Beach Boys and Dylan. The classic recordings…I love recordings. The art of recording is so fascinating.
What kind of music do you play?
We call it folk/rock. It could be simply Indie or indie folk. Folk/rock with a 60s flair.
What is the relationship between the listener/audience/community and the music/musician?
Music connects. Music makes two strangers share an experience and makes them life-long friends. I want to move people into a new place. I want to take people where I’ve been or introduce them to the characters that I’ve dreamed up. I want people to remember what it is like to love and hope. We all know what it is to despair, and often times I draw upon that. It is the lost, lonely, hurt, desperate times that we can easily remember, so I tend to use that as a vehicle. But I don’t want to be left there. I want listeners to realize where we are. But my music is also a vehicle of hope, anticipation, togetherness, wholeness. We are broken, but there is mending, too. We mustn’t leave that out.
I think there could always be more. Some places seem very exclusive. And there seems to be a love for “metal” and cover tunes. I want there to be a love for new songs with old ideas and a love for listening and learning. I’m surprised that the colleges don’t promote more music. But, if there’s anything going on, I’m probably the last to know. I do love the Coffee Bar and they’ve done a nice job of promoting an atmosphere of community in music and art. So that’s good to see.
What do you think of Hub-Bub and their contribution to the Spartanburg Music scene?
I know they are the driving force behind most of what happens downtown, artistically. For that I’m grateful. We did play at the opening of the Hub City Farmers’ Market and had a blast. Being a newer artist in the area, we don’t have a large following, but Hub-Bub has been gracious in all the support they’ve given to us. We are looking forward to more of everything they offer.