KSC guitar player first picked up his instrument at the age of 13
The Equinox spoke to George Barber, leader of local band the Lake and the Lion, and a Resident Assistant for many KSC students.
The Equinox: Did you always play guitar?
Barber: I first really got into playing the guitar around 13-years-old.
The Equinox: When did you first truly get interested in making music?
Barber: When I was really young I started hitting pots and pans one day, and the rest was history.
The Equinox: Did you start writing music right away?
Barber: I started writing music before I knew how to play. I would make lyrics over songs that I heard and go from there. But the first song I can honestly say I wrote, I was about 13.
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The Equinox: Do you have a specific writing process?
Barber: Up till about four months ago it was always music first. Since then I have been getting more and more serious about sitting down and writing as a matter of practice so the words have been there first and the song dictates what it wants to be from those usually. So it’s about an even combination of both.
The Equinox: Have you had any formal music training?
Barber: No. I’ve been a pick-up-player my whole life. Pick up a riff here or chords there, particularly from my Uncle and Dusty, my best friend back home who’s an incredibly talented player. They’ve been my musical mentors for quite some time now.
The Equinox: Do you try to emulate anyone’s writing style in particular?
Barber: No one to out of the way. We all try to be as original as we can. If I emulate someone it’s usually [Jeff] Tweedy or [Bob] Dylan or [Eddie] Vedder, or Matt Berninger. But in truth, you got to be honest about what your doing with your music emulation only helps you get the idea of what the lyrical patterns might be…the writing has got to be you.
The Equinox: What was the Keene music scene like then you first came to KSC?
Barber: I don’t know. I was very much on the outside at first which made it even more surprising when people started calling me papa bear!
The Equinox: How has being an RA helped/hindered your music career?
Barber: Being an RA has been good to me as a musician! I met a lot of the people I play with now through that avenue, I, and a lot of other people, had great rehearsal space at our disposal, and when we first started out we had a captive audience. The only down side has been missing shows or gigs because of Duty or other responsibilities but that’ll happen with any job.
The Equinox: What was your original plan for the Lake and the Lion?
Barber: I don’t know if there was one. I think that anything we have done or continue to do has thus far passed my expectations. The little family we have amazes all of us.
The Equinox: Are you happy with how that group is playing?
Barber: Incredibly so. We get on stage with songs we’ve never played-ever and yet something happens there that is so honest and so natural that I get emotional after shows sometime. I love those guys. I love our songs, you know? And our support system keeps growing! We’ve been very blessed.
The Equinox: Were do you see your music career in five years?
Barber: Hopefully somewhere where I feel as good about all of it as I do now.
Tom MacLennan can be contacted at email@example.com