One of our main goals here at FanLabel is to help our users discover new music by introducing you to artists or sounds that you may not be familiar with. One artist we think you should know is folk singer-songwriter, Matt Sauter, known by his stage name, Adventures With Vultures.
Another thing FanLabel is very proud of is its Detroit roots, and Sauter is a local artist who grew up in the metropolitan area. Look for Adventures With Vultures’ music in upcoming FanLabel contests!
We had the opportunity to speak with the up-and-coming musician about his experiences, perspectives, influences and more! Check out our in-depth Q&A below (some edits have been made for clarity):
How did you come up with the name Adventures with Vultures?
I made hip-hop music from 2008 through 2014 and was going to name my last CD (Adventures With Vultures) for a clever name to represent “living life with people waiting for you to fail.” Once I started attending DIME (The Detroit Institute of Music Education), I was asked what my stage name was…I knew I didn’t want to go by my (real) name, and at the time, Imagine Dragons was all over the radio and charts and I thought Adventures With Vultures had that kind of name for people to remember.
Can you name an artist or two who inspires your sound or your career choice?
The main artists I think inspire the sound of Adventures With Vultures…. I always tell people if The Lumineers, Johnny Cash and Eminem had a baby, it would be Adventures With Vultures.
You write your own music. What does your songwriting process consist of and what are the challenges of writing a song?
My songwriting process is simple. I wish is was cooler, but it all starts with me just messing around on a guitar while watching TV and drinking beers. Than a pretty chord progression will come along that I start humming to it… and then I replace the humming with words until a song is done. I’d say the biggest challenge of writing a song is finishing a song! I probably have over 100 starts to songs that get left behind because I start writing something better the next day.
If you could collaborate with any artist, who would that be?
If I could collaborate with any artist, it would be (composer and singer-songwriter) Carole King because she’s my favorite songwriter of all time and she’s super kickass.
How do constant changes in the music business impact you as an artist? I.e., How has music streaming impacted you as an artist? Is it good for musicians?
I think with how the industry is changing with streaming, it is actually helping out artists. Yes, with streaming, no one is really buying records anymore, but free shit is cool, and once people fall in love with your music, they’ll come to the shows and that’s all artists really want is to have people coming to shows, singing along and recognizing the work you put in. Once that happens, they’ll buy the records! If you’re in this industry for the money, leave now because you’re in it for the wrong reasons.
In addition to your musical talents, you are also a gifted painter. How are music and art related and does one help you with the other?
So I started painting because I noticed a lot of successful songwriters were also painting often. And they relate so well because one week, I’ll just paint non-stop and it makes me miss playing my guitar and writing — and when I miss writing is when I usually write my best stuff.
What would you say the struggles are as a musician? What have you found some of the challenges are in terms of breaking into the music industry, specifically in a less mainstream genre of music?
I’d say the biggest struggles of being an artist in the indie-folk-rock scene is getting people around my age (and younger) to get on board. Everyone my age is just so into EDM and dubstep and that’s all they want to listen to all the time non-stop. But my fans are 30-plus year olds who still want to hear artists play instruments and sing songs. Once the scene changes, I’ll be ready to grab the young fans.
What is the next step for your career? Are you working on any new music, scheduling tours, collaborating with other bands, etc.? What are you excited about?
Right now I’m currently starting the early process of recording my debut album! My producer and I have been doing a lot of pre-production of the new songs that will be on the album and we’re expected to be in the studio in the fall and will definitely be releasing a single before this year ends. Also, we just got done booking my first tour, which we’ll be hitting the road in the early November and playing throughout the Midwest.
Are you planning to be a “lifer” in the music industry, and is making it big important to you as a music artist? What’s the payoff of your work in music?
I’ve been a “lifer” my whole life so far. I’ve been writing songs and playing instruments since I was young. It’s all I’ve known, and I recently just graduated from the Detroit Institute of Music Education with my degree in songwriting. I am currently talking to a couple of publishing companies and will be signing a publishing deal at the end of this year to write songs for artists, TV, movies and games full time.
What is your advice for aspiring artists?
If this is all you want to do with your life and eat, sleep and drink music, then get out there and play shows and release music! But if it’s something you’re going to half-ass, then pick a different career, people, because there are hungry artists like me who run you over if you’re in the way. And that’s not me being a jerk, it’s how this industry is and I work my ass off for my opportunities.
For those of you who would enjoy seeing Adventures With Vultures live, the tour kicks off on Saturday, Nov. 3 at the Loving Touch in Ferndale, Michigan. The tour runs through Nov. 17 and makes stops in Kansas City, Nashville, Louisville, Chicago, and several other cities.
As mentioned earlier, look out for Adventures With Vultures in future FanLabel contests!