Videos by American Songwriter
Artist: Geoffrey Louis Koch
Song: “The Storm”
Birthdate: December 21st
Hometown: St. Louis, Missouri
Current Location: Nashville, Tennessee
AMBITIONS: To make beautiful music, and experience what it’s like to perform it to growing crowds across the world both as a solo act and with a band/orchestra. I want to continue to get better at producing art that touches people in the same ways art has profoundly influenced me.
TURN-OFFS: invasion of privacy/drones, saggy belt-less pants, demons
TURN-ONS: The electricity in the air as a storm comes in, compassion, nachos covered in absolutely everything
DREAMGIG: Me, Ryan Adams, Bon Iver, and Death Cab For Cutie with a secret set by REM at The Hollywood Bowl
FAVORITE LYRIC: “you can throw all your lucky coins on me… on me…” Gregory Alan Isakov’s ‘Master & A Hound’. Everything about that song is perfect to me. His delivery, the musical bed and space the instruments make.. I’ve maybe never else at any other time in my life had a vision like I have when I hear those words. I always think about a coin or a stone being thrown into water, hurtling down towards it and dunking in in the beat after his voice trails off…and when he sings ‘…on me….’ I always SEE the water coming back together and splashing back straight up and ascending just like his vocal line does. And everything’s in slow motion. I can’t explain it any better, I literally see music when I hear him sing that.
CRAZIEST PERSON I KNOW: I don’t keep them too close anymore.
SONG I WISH I WROTE: There are many, many. But wouldn’t it be great to have written “Angeles” by Elliott Smith? Just a pure crucifier, a total crusher. Whisper-sing is maxed out, guitar musicianship is off the map, the traveling urgent yet completely fragile melody bouncing you around in an old car and you just have to hold on. How does he get away with the counter melodies happening in that bridge? Walks it right back into the chorus, unreal. He was a wizard, I still think about him often.
5 PEOPLE I’D MOST LIKE TO HAVE DINNER WITH:
Alive = Bill Clinton, Michael Savage, Lola Cola, Willie McGee, Don Shipley
Dead = Teddy Roosevelt, Danny Ralph Pierce, Adam Carlton, Kurt Cobain, Mary mother of Jesus
MY FAVORITE CONCERT EXPERIENCE: Very difficult. But if it has to be one, it’s gotta be the time I saw Elliott Smith+band at The Granada Theater in Lawrence, KS on November 4th, 2000. Truly great songs and loud rock performance, but what happened to me was extraordinary.
2/3rds of the way through the set their midi keyboard cut out in the middle of the song and the whole band stopped playing. While all of us listened to Elliott softly apologize – the keyboardist Sam unplugged it and yelled, ‘WHO WANTS IT?!?!!” and then threw it high up into the air. Well it spiraled out of the sky and I turned at the very last second and Elliott Smith’s keyboard smashed into my back. I complete my turn back around to it lying where I was standing with a strange invisible perimeter around it. I had enough sense to scoop the thing up and offer it back to Elliott, but he said I could keep it. After the show I waited around back to have him sign a setlist and one look at me with that keyboard under my arm and he sheepishly smiled and half-joked, ‘…please don’t sue us!!!’ Incredible. He signed my setlist and we traded a couple pleasantries and that was about it for the night. I’ve got that signed setlist hanging on my wall right now and the keyboard is in a safe place 🙂 I’d actually love to give it to his sister or someone in his family so if anyone reading this story knows how to get in touch with any of them, please drop me a line. It’s better if they have it rather than it sit on a shelf next to clothes I never wear.
I WROTE THIS SONG: I certainly have not written a more important song than this. ‘The Storm’ is partially influenced by an award-winning and unforgettable documentary I saw years ago called ‘Southern Comfort’. Eye-opening, gut-wrenching, and beautiful love story about a trans couple in their last months together. It is a mirror reflecting to us how poorly we can treat each other and the serious consequences those actions have. It also shows how beautiful the human spirit can be as it endures in the fight to demand humanity, demand equal rights, demand dignity. I identified in my own way with those themes of loss, lost love, feeling misunderstood, isolation, extrication, and injustice. I wove my autobiographical experience throughout ‘The Storm’ and combined it with the ‘Southern Comfort’ triumphs and tragedies. Strangely, when I perform it, I feel a kind of honor as if the song came to me as a gift and I did not write it. I sense I have a duty to perform it well, because the message is far greater than the messenger. This song has found you. I hope you will let it in, and pass it along.