Q & A with Nathan Spenser 

Pin It
Favorite
news_fivespot1-1.jpg

By day, Nathan Spenser is a cool substitute science and math high school teacher for the Granite School District. But two to five nights a week, he is in the Salt Lake City music scene as a multifaceted artist. He plays keyboard, guitar, mandolin and harmonica and sings in a band. He just turned 29, and holds a bachelor's degree in sociology from the University of Utah.

You have a lot of gigs for a school teacher. Where do you perform?
I do both public venues and private events. For instance, I have dates coming up on January 18 at Gracie's and on February 2 and 16 at Twist. I also play at the Snowbird Tram Club, the Garage on Beck and out of state near Jackson, Wyoming, and in Las Vegas. Sometimes I perform solo and sometimes with my band, The Nathan Spenser Revue.

How did you get involved with music and public performance?
I was born and raised in Salt Lake City, and I went to local schools where I studied piano and keyboard. At 15, I got my first guitar, and by 18 I was playing local coffee shops. I found that I like blues and jazz, but more country and western. I definitely liked the local Salt Lake music scene, because fellow artists help push each other to become better.

What kind of music do you lean toward?
I get inspiration from artists like Bruce Springsteen and Norah Jones and Prince. Prince said his most favorite song is the next song he writes. I like that, and I write a lot, and mainly I gravitate to what we call Intermountain West; that is music from the Rocky Mountain region of Utah, Wyoming and Colorado—areas that reflect the Western motif. I love the John Denver style, but I can play a variety of styles, so I manage to get a lot of dates.

You have an extraordinary playlist. How do you manage to even remember all that without notes?
I've had lots of music theory, and we constantly rehearse like crazy. What defines a cool song for me—and that makes it easier to remember—is a story and music that is interesting. I step inside the story with my own interpretation. Stepping inside the story helps you deliver. Music is great for the soul; it creates happiness and joy.

You seem to have so much. Is there anything else you'd like?
Supporting live local music helps perpetuate this great culture of ours. People should come out more for live shows. And, meeting a nice girl would be nice.

Pin It
Favorite

Tags:

About The Author

Stan Rosenzweig

More by Stan Rosenzweig

  • Q&A with Margo Walters McDonald

    Get to know one of the 10 most influential Utah women in skiing.
    • Jan 18, 2017
  • Gone to Pot

    What's the worst that could happen if Utah legalized marijuana?
    • Jan 4, 2017
  • Voting in the Past Election

    I have lived through 12 U.S. presidents and 17 presidential elections before this one.
    • Dec 28, 2016
  • More »

Latest in 5 Spot

  • Q&A with Margo Walters McDonald

    Get to know one of the 10 most influential Utah women in skiing.
    • Jan 18, 2017
  • Q & A with Marian Pham

    They enter the bar in twos and threes ... ordering a drink, donning yellow smocks and eventually settling down before blank canvases, brushes and styrofoam plates with dabs of acrylic paint.
    • Dec 28, 2016
  • Q&A with art activist Cat Palmer

    Local photographer fights to Keep the Politicians Out of Our Vagina with powerful photo series.
    • Dec 21, 2016
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

© 2017 Salt Lake City Weekly

Website powered by Foundation