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Featured: Lindsey Stirling – “Home For The Holidays”

| December 14, 2020


It’s hard to believe, but yes, it’s that time of year again — the usually festive, Frosty-and-Rudolph, tacky-sweater-sporting Yuletide season, when everyone, even that spindly little Charlie Brown conifer, gets spruced up for the occasion. But if you’re having a tough time getting out of grumbling Grinch mode, imagine how it’s been for poor Lindsey Stirling — the versatile pop/country/folk/electronica violinist has had to keep her chipper Christmas chin up since July, when she first started conceiving and choreographing her upcoming online special, “Lindsey Stirling: Home For the Holidays,” with scheduled re-broadcast and post show Q&A session on Saturday, December 19, at 3 PM,  7 PM and 8 PM ET, via

“So I am in Las Vegas right now, where we filmed this special, and I just decided to stick around instead of going home to L.A. because things are so crazy,” she reports in. “And my daily routine right now is a lot of editing — I’m trying to edit the entire show, and I’m hoping to do it all by myself, and I’m right on track. And I’ve learned a new skill for my Christmas show, and it’s something that I’ve never done before, and I would say that no one in the world has ever done it the way that I did it before.” What is she teasing fans with, exactly? She giggles, coquettishly. “I’ll give you a hint — it was inspired by Cirque du Soleil, and I worked really, really hard for several months to be able to do it in my show, and it’s gonna be a big surprise.”

But the musician is used to hearing sleigh bells when everyone else is responding to the tinkling of ice cream trucks. Even before she released her chart-topping Worldwide Live Stream Revisited event Warmer in the Winter album in 2017, or its deluxe-edition followup a year later, she was spending her summer vacations rehearsing for her annual holiday tours, a process that sadly ground to a screeching halt this post-pandemic year (she managed to participate in the “CMA Country Christmas” broadcast instead, and also issued a new seasonal single with Darius Rucker, “What Child is This.” “Christmas for me just starts super-early,” she sighs. “I always start working on it in July.”

IE: How did you get the idea for “Home For the Holidays”?

LINDSEY STIRLING: This July, I became very aware that this tour wasn’t going to happen, and I was like, “Noooooo! I really NEED this!” And I’m so close to my tour crew and my dancers, and some of the people I tour with have been with me for eight years or more. They’re like family to me, and when I was checking in on them, it was so obvious that everybody was just wanting to do what they do — everybody was missing being able to tour, and being able to create music in the way that they were used to. And I thought, “That’s it! I need to be creative, because I’m craving to be creative again, and I need to work. And I have a feeling that, come Christmas, we’re all going to need something to look forward to. And I see other artists doing similar things right now, so I’m not alone in this. We all need something, as creators, to create, and we all need something, as viewers, to look forward to.” So I put together this Christmas show, and worked really tirelessly and hard on it for two months straight to miraculously bring it all together. And I am so proud of what we created.

IE: Did you fly everyone in or what?

LS: There are all kinds of ways to go about it, and to figure out the best way to be COVID-safe. So what we ended up doing was bringing people in, then we all got tested, and then we all quarantined together. So we just got two Air B&B’s and kept everybody locked in there together. And we didn’t go anywhere. We went to the stage to film, then we’d go straight back to the house, and then we were just in lockdown for the whole week and a half of rehearsals and the taping. So between testing and quarantining together, we just created our own bubble.

IE: And fans who purchase tickets to the show will also get a holiday-merchandise gift with certain packages?

LS: Yeah. And we’re working on that now, and I’m leaning towards a really cute Christmas ornament, or we’re considering an exclusive merchandise item, like some type of a shirt or hoodie, or even a tacky Christmas sweater. Hey — everybody needs a tacky Christmas sweater this year, right?

IE: Or you could have a shirt with the cool cartoon version of you featured on your web series, “String Sessions.”

LS: That was actually fan art! Her name is MonsterStirling on Instagram. I’ve got some really talented fans out there who through the years have created some really amazing fan art.

IE: And you even roped in the reclusive Evanescence singer Amy Lee for “String Sessions.”

LS: I love Amy. And Amy and I have gotten pretty close through the years, because we’ve collaborated on two songs — I was on her album, then she was on mine. And we also toured together — we did a co-headline tour for a month and a half, and on something like that, artists are either going to stay completely separate or they’re really going to get along. And we really got along and became quite close, as well as our crews — we all had a fun time, and it wound up being a really special tour for all of us. And I’d always been a fan of Evanescence and Amy Lee, so it was pretty cool to have that experience. So “String Sessions” has been a lot of fun — it was something that kept me sane in the beginning of quarantine, to work on these arrangements. And to be able to have stuff to write to, and people to talk to and different artists to connect with? It was a really cool experience, and I’ve really enjoyed it.

IE: Then a new beach-filmed music video shows up for this amazing young soul singer Philmon Lee, “No Saving Me,” and there you are, prancing around on the beach with playing violin accompaniment.

LS: He is SO talented. And that was the first time I met him, when I filmed that music video, because I recorded the song at the beginning of the lockdown. It was sent to me by Epic Records, and they asked if I would be on it, and I was like, “Oh, my gosh! I love his voice! Why not?” And I was excited to have something to collaborate on and work on. And then finally, the single came out. And it’s so funny sometimes with these projects, because they often get worked on for so long before they ever come out. But the video was more recent — it was shot maybe a month ago, kind of from a distance, and we didn’t film it together. We just came in, filmed, and stayed far away from the crew, which was strange, because I usually like to come in and meet people and hang out and get a general vibe. But Hey — that’s the way it’s got to be these days, even though it certainly does feel less homey to just walk in, stay away from everyone, walk onto the beach, film, and then leave. But I guess if that’s how we have to be creative, then for now, let’s do it.

IE: But you’re optimistic. You have a 35-date world tour for your last “Artemis” album slated to begin next July.

LS: I do! And I am optimistic that it will happen. But I’m also realistic, in that I know that it might not. But I’m gonna plan that it’s happening, because it keeps me hopeful and gives me something to keep working toward. And then if it doesn’t happen, I’ll just shift gears, and maybe I’ll film another show like I did with my Christmas special, ya know? We’ll deal with that when it comes. But for now, I’m hopeful that it will happen.

IE: Even though some mask-flouting idiots will probably still be insisting that COVID-19 is an elaborate hoax.

LS: I know. And it’s so sad. I don’t understand it. I just can’t wrap my mind around why people wouldn’t separately wear a mask, you know? It’s like the simplest thing.

IE: How will you actually, physically be spending your holidays?

LS: Unfortunately, Thanksgiving got canceled in the Stirling family. And I was so sad, because it’s just ironic that this will be the first year that I won’t be on tour in four years. So I haven’t been able to have a family Christmas, because literally, I’ve just been on tour through all of November and December. So it’s ironic that the very reason I’m not touring is the same reason I can’t be with my family. But it’s all good. I’m planning to go be with my sister on her farm in Missouri for Christmas — that’s where I spent the first three months of lockdown. So I’m really just looking forward to finally having some family time. And I’m pretty determined to do it.

–  Tom Lanham

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