Stephen Lynch is ‘the Beyonce of Scandinavia’ [INTERVIEW]
Stephen Lynch is a New York guy who’s established himself as a highly-successful musical comedy performer for the past 12 years. But while most would pin him as a comedian, Stephen identifies as a songwriter– a clever and hilarious one at that.
He’s had two top-rated Comedy Central specials and a stint in the Broadway hit show ‘The Wedding Singer’ back in 2006, earning him multiple American Theatre nominations, among sold-out live shows and best-selling albums. In fact, he’s already cranked out four albums to date, the most recent of which was released mid-November. ‘LION’ incorporates various musical styles blended with his sharp sense of humor that amounts to yet another genius Stephen Lynch CD.
We recently caught up with the comedic songwriter to discuss the latest album, his experience on Broadway and why he’s been named ‘the Beyonce of Scandanavia.’
‘LION’– where did you come up with that name?
It is actually already the name of a member of the cat family. You know- has a mane, comes from Asia or Africa, kills wildebeests, that sort of thing. I just stole it. Also it is the name of one of the songs on the record.
This album has a great way of blending different musical styles with your fantastic comedy. What do you think really sets it apart from your previous albums?
This album actually has a more consistent style than my other ones. But it probably has better songs, better music, funnier concepts, better production. I really took my time with it.
How did you get into musical comedy?
I grew up doing musical theatre and watching Monty Python. There’s a lot of good music that makes me laugh, too.
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You consider yourself “a musician trapped in the body of a comedian.” Where did this identity start?
I don’t identify as a comedian. I can’t sit down and write jokes. I’m a songwriter. But when it comes time to write the lyrics, I have one objective: be funny. And people pay for me to make them laugh. So I have to channel that side of me, which doesn’t necessarily come easily.
You’ve already had an extremely successful career touring and performing in front of sold-out audiences. Early on, you landed your first ‘Comedy Central’ special and it was one of the highest-rated programs in that series. What was that experience like?
Terrifying. I didn’t know if any people beyond my little circle of friends would find these songs funny. Fortunately, several dozen of them did.
In addition to comedy shows, you’ve also been seen on the Broadway stage in ‘The Wedding Singer’. How was that different from performing comedy?
You have to say and sing the same thing every night. No room for improvisation or experimentation. But I got to wear make-up, so that’s fun.
Would you do something like that again?
Sure. If the right project came along. (*Billy Madison*)
Open mics or performing on stage– is there one you prefer?
Obviously I prefer to have an audience who has chosen to specifically see me. That said, open mic nights were fun, especially when I was anonymous and could still catch people off guard.
It’s been said you’re “the Beyonce of Scandinavia.” Did you have any part in creating this honorable title?
I actually said I was the Solange Knowles of Scandinavia and I was misquoted. I’m really more like the Harry Knowles of Scandinavia, except I don’t review movies or have a big red beard.
Let’s say you have the option of creating another name for yourself, similar to “the Beyonce of Scandinavia.” You would choose what?
“The Sceyonce of Bandinavia.”
Check out StephenLynch.com for more information on the new album, tour dates and more.