We had the good fortune of connecting with Scott Uhl and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Scott, why did you pursue a creative career?
Ever since I was 16 and I started playing guitar, I knew that I wanted to do music as a career. I had no idea what was going to be involved at that point, because at that point I was just a teenager wanting to play as many Green Day, Linkin Park, and Nirvana songs as I could learn. But as I grew older, I realized how difficult it was to make a full time career out of being a musician. I quickly learned that I would have to be able to do multiple things within the bubble of “musician” in order to pull it off. So I can play in a band, I can compose music/scores, I can run and rent sound and equipment, I can teach (and then realize I did not want to teach anymore), video editing, etc. You have to be adaptable as a musician in order to be able to make a career out of it. Having multiple avenues of income is a huge important part. It allows me to not get stuck just doing one thing over and over again. It gives enough variety which keeps me interested and not bored.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
It took multiple years to be able to be a musician full time without the need of a day job. It definitely wasn’t easy. And those first few years of only being a musician were on such a tight budget. I remember thinking back to when I did have a day job, and I would work at Starbucks in the morning, then teach guitar all afternoon/early evening, then I had band practice every night (I was in 4 bands at the time) until late at night. And I would repeat that every day. I definitely don’t miss that 🙂 The biggest lesson I learned along the way is to be “good” at multiple things instead of “great” at one thing. That’s part of why I can play in so many bands, from jazz to metal to country. I’m good at multiple genres, but I’m not a virtuoso in any of them. But it just gives more opportunity and more options for me. Sure, I won’t get the gig that needs a jazz virtuoso, but I find that is less and less common now. Also, being able to run and rent sound equipment has been huge. Many bands I play with I can “double dip” and get paid to bring sound and lighting as well as perform. Finding these little tricks just make being a full time musician a little easier for sure.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’m really blessed to play at some of my favorite places around town. There’s too many to list, and I know I’ll leave some of them out. I love Grist Brewing Company, Scruffy Murphy’s, Twenty Mile Taphouse, Studio at Mainstreet, Viewhouse, Gothic Theater, Bluebird Theater, Moe’s, and so many more. I told you I would forget some of them! I just got over covid, so blame the brain fog 🙂 But all of those places have such great staff and customers who enjoy live music. It’s always a great time.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I honestly don’t know if I could give only one shoutout because I’ve learned so many different things from so many different people along the way. However, I guess the best one to say is my friend Bryon who said “hey take guitar class with me” when I was 16 and started the journey. It wouldn’t have started without that one sentence being asked of me.