Friday, July 6, 2012

"From Where I'm Standing" by Schuyler Fisk

ARTIST: Schuyler Fisk
SONG: "From Where I'm Standing"
WRITERS: Schuyler Fisk and Blu Sanders
ALBUM: The Good Stuff
YEAR: 2009

Good music shows up all the time when I least expect it. Last summer I watched an indie film from 2006 called I'm Reed Fish, starring Jay Baruchel, Alexis Bledel and Schuyler Fisk, among others. About forty minutes into the story, Schuyler's character gets up at an open mic night and starts to sing a song. Not knowing that she was a musician, I'll admit that I expected it to be one of two scenarios: the first being bad, and the second being some kind of trickery involving a track by another musician. Well, shame on me. The song was not only lovely, but it was actually written and performed by the actor herself. And just like that, I became a Schuyler Fisk fan.

I love it when I'm wrong, especially when I get new great music out of it. This is the song from the film, as recorded later by Schuyler for her debut album. The original film version can be heard here.

BA: Hi Schuyler! Thanks for being a part of this series. I’m so happy to have you on board. I love your song.

SF: My pleasure. And thank you!!

BA: I first heard “From Where I’m Standing” in the film I’m Reed Fish. Was that shot before you’d recorded it for your album, The Good Stuff? Or was it the other way around?

SF: I signed on to do the film, I'm Reed Fish, and they asked me to write 2 songs for my character to sing in the film. They explained to me what they wanted and I wrote the songs. "From Where I'm Standing" was one of those songs. Then, years later, I re-recorded it to put it on my album, THE GOOD STUFF.         

BA: Was it your idea to make your character in that film a singer/songwriter?

SF: No. When I was first approached by the filmmakers with the script, she was already a singer/songwriter.

BA: Are the lyrics about a real person in your life, or a hypothetical scenario?

SF: They are my take on the situation/point in her life that my character was in . . . but that was something that I related to in my own life . . . so a little of both, I guess. For me, the song is about how life doesn't always end up like you expect it will. No matter how great your plans are, things change, plans change, and sometimes/usually those changes are for the better. Kind of like, "the journey is the reward." You can still have your eye on the prize, but the song is a reminder to me not to get too caught up in the end result when all these bumps in the road along the way are the special parts.

BA: You wrote this song with Blu Sanders, right? How did that collaboration come about?

SF: Blu and I had met years before and wrote a bit together. We became good friends. When the film came up, he was in LA for a week or so and we had plans to get together. Then of course we started to play around with writing some songs and I had the film project on my mind. One thing led to another and we came up with this song (and another called "On Your Arm," also in the film), in like a day or two. 

BA: Was he part of the album version?

SF: No, he wasn't a part of that version.

BA: This song feels a little bit different than the rest of the album. Was it recorded in the same sessions as the rest of the tracks?

SF: It was recorded with the rest of the album but written years before.

BA: That makes sense. Do you still play it live? If so, do you do anything differently with it in that setting?

SF: I do still play it live. And yes, I have been playing around with it and play it very different now. Sometimes I even change the lyrics a little bit. I have to keep it fresh for me!

BA: What were you listening to at the time that you wrote “From Where I’m Standing”?

SF: I honestly cannot remember. Probably Wilco and Patty Griffin.

BA: What’s your favorite song right this minute?

SF: Hmmmm. "Skinny Love" by Bon Iver or "Losers" by the Belle Brigade.

BA: Again, thanks for your time. I look forward to catching your live show at some point.

SF: Hope so!!

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