Record Store Day 2018: Noah Gundersen on Selections from White Noise Live From KEXP 90.3 FM

Interviews, Local Music, Record Store Day
Dusty Henry
photo by Matthew B. Thompson

Noah Gundersen is no stranger to KEXP. He’s performed on-air four times as a solo artist, once with his band Young in the City, and has shapeshifted his sound since he emerged on the Seattle scene with Noah Gundersen & The Courage. Gundersen’s candid songwriting and raw, emotive performances have made him a favorite here and around town and now that live energy is being captured on wax with Selections from White Noise Live From KEXP 90.3 FM, which you can find as a Record Store Day exclusive this Saturday, April 21. Recorded during Gundersen’s session last September, Selections from White Noise gives a glimpse of the thrilling energy he brings to every performance. We caught up with Gundersen to learn more about the release, performing in the live room, and which records he’s looking out for this Saturday. Oh, and there might be some mushrooms involved.

Listening back to your performance on KEXP, what made you want to release it on vinyl for Record Store Day?

When we were talking about ideas for RSD, the KEXP performance was the first thing that came to mind. The station has been so supportive of my music. But even more than that, they are a fixture in a music culture that is rapidly changing. In this way they are similar to all the local record stores around the country, the ones that have stood the test of time. KEXP is a big part of why I’m proud to be from Seattle.

Do you have any specific memories that stand out from your in-studio session? Could be during your performance, before, or even after. Anything memorable that you took away from the moment.

I had been microdosing mushrooms and that morning had taken a little more than a “micro” dose. When we started playing, I had forgotten about the live audience behind the semi-tinted glass. Needless to say, I was a little tripped out when I looked up from my pedal board and saw faces in the wall.

How do you feel your songs change from your recordings to live performances? What appeals to you about putting out a live record?

That particular performance was special because it was the first time playing any of the White Noise songs live, with the band. John Richards was our first live audience (along with the faces in the wall). The band and I had been putting in long hours rehearsing for the tour and it was a nice payoff to have the session go so well.

Are there any other Record Store Day releases you have your eye on?

I actually just went through the list and saw that Tom Wait’s Brawlers, Bawlers, and Bastards is being released in stand alone sections. I’ll be looking out for that.

You can find the 10-inch vinyl at select record stores throughout the city. If you see it, act fast – there are only 500 copies pressed. Watch the live video from the performance featured on Selections from White Noise Live From KEXP 90.3 FM and look out for those faces in the wall.

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