Stephen Jerzak is a musician from La Crosse, Wisconsin. He plays the ukulele and guitar! He’s built his career by interacting with fans through social media and Myspace. He has gone on tour with Cassadee Pope, Mike Posner, Allstar Weekend, and The Far East Movement just to name a few. Check out our interview with him below, and try to make it out to one of his concerts!
What’s your favorite song to sing live?
“It’s such a hard decision between “She Said” and “Cute”, because they’re both pretty much crowd favorites so it’s hard to decide between those two.”
Do you have a preference between acoustic or full band performances?
“I love playing with a live band it’s very energetic, very fun. But playing acoustic, I don’t know, again, they’re both really amazing to do. My first tour was just me, my acoustic guitar, and my friend Joel played drums with me and that was pretty much like an acoustic show. I think playing with the acoustic is a lot more intimate with the crowd. A live band is a lot more like a party.”
Coming from La Crosse Wisconsin, How did you get your big break?
“It was Myspace. When Myspace was cool, everyone was on it all day, and that is basically all I did. In 2008 I just sat on Myspace and added people all day. I talked to people all day. I recorded my music and put it on the player. Before I knew it, there were hundreds of thousands of plays on it. It was definitely Myspace. I think it was a great platform to start personally, because I got to talk to so many of my fans that I still know now that will come to the shows. It’s cool.”
What’s your favorite tour that you’ve been a part of?
“I think my favorite tour was the Mike Posner tour I did in 2011. It was Me, Mike Posner, 2 AM Club, and The Far East Movement. We played the House of Blues. It was cool, because I was used to playing smaller clubs, so getting on that tour was a different tour experience. There were thousands of people there, it was crazy. It was my first big show, so I really liked that one a lot.”
When you were on tour with Allstar Weekend, you guys did prank wars. Did you love them or hate them?
“The prank wars kinda happened out of nowhere. One day, my van was just covered with post it notes, it was like thousands of them. I guess to Allstar Weekend it was a big plan all along, because they had plans all figured out. I tried to get them back. On the last day I duck taped their door shut to their bus and Saran wrapped it, but it took forever. We didn’t get much done because all we had was the five guys on our set and a huge bus, so it was kind of a fail, but I thought it was pretty cool. It was a good attempt.”
Who has been your favorite person to collaborate with on a song?
I’ve done a lot of features and a lot of co-writes with people that help me write the song but aren’t in it. I think my favorite co-write would be “King”, which I wrote with John O from The Maine . That was really really fun. It was my first time meeting him so that was cool because I was always a fan. With a feature, my friend Dylan Lloyd is a really really talented songwriter, producer and is from Chicago. I met him in LA and we put a song together. I think that was my favorite feature.”
What are you and Andy Albert up to?
“I just hung out with him yesterday. We have a song together called “Forgive and Forget”. It’s acoustic and really cool. I used to listen to Holiday Parade records all the time, I just sat around listening to Holiday Parade, so that was really cool being able to sit down and write music with him. We’re planning on writing more, we’re good friends.”
What’s your favorite cover to play?
“I think my favorite cover to play is Jason Derulo’s “It Girl”, it’s a new song that I put on YouTube that got a lot of views. I did that on the Cassadee Pope tour, it was very fun.”
Will we be seeing you at Warped Tour again this summer?
“As of right now, I’m not playing Warped at all, but you never know, I might pop up for a few days.”
Do you have any touring plans for the summer?
“I actually don’t have any touring plans as of right now. I’m definitely working on it, because there’s definitely no way I won’t be out there playing shows. I’ve just been on tour constantly so I’m taking these next few months to really focus on writing and recording new music, so I have new material out floating around. That’s basically what’s on the agenda right now. Actually, I’m recording 11 songs next week on Monday.”
How did you and Cassy meet?
“Cassy and I met in LA, I was living there at the time. She flew to visit one of her friends that was one of my friend’s friend, so it was kind of like one of those things. I met her at a party. Actually, I met her at the restaurant before the party. We just got to hang out. She was like the new girl in town. So I started talking to her and stuff. She was cool. It’s been crazy.”
What are you currently working on?
“I live alone right now in Nashville. I wake up every day with my guitar in my hand and just play guitar and write music all day. That’s pretty much all I have been doing in the last three weeks. Just waking up and writing a ton of music. I just got my whole studio set up, so I’m trying to figure out how to do that, but I’m not very good at it right now. That’s what I do. Wake up and write music. Sometimes I take a walk, because Nashville is awesome.
We know you love Taylor Swift, so what was it like meeting her?
“That was a really great time in my life. That was like February 2010. My manager came to town and was like – hey there’s this BMI party I’m going to, do you want to come? I was like sure. You never think that Taylor Swift would show up to something like that, like a business party like that, but she did. I just waited around, because she was doing press. I just sat around waiting to get a chance to talk to her and the second I had the chance I just ran up to her for a picture. That was pretty sweet.”
Check out Stephen’s latest cover!