Glee cast member Noah Guthrie talks playing Roderick Meeks on hit tv series, and releasing first album Among the Wildest Things
By: Rachelle Henry | PHOTOS COURTESY Brayden Heath
- Los Angeles, California
Glee cast member Noah Guthrie talks about playing Roderick Meeks on Fox's hit tv show, and releasing his first album "Among the Wildest Things". Also Noah tell us about masking a large following on Youtube in High School with his original song covers.
I’ve watched several of your covers, including one with more than 25 million views, “Sexy and I Know It,” by LMFAO. Your version is amazing and I’m listening to your cover of “Skyfall” right now. Love it! How did you get started in music and how did it unfold to bring you to your pivotal role as Roderick Meeks on FOX’s hit TV show, Glee?
Thanks! I have been around music from an early age. In a family of studio singers, it's hard not to catch the bug. When I got my first guitar I fell in love with songwriting and it became the main way I express myself. During my last two years of high school, I started posting cover songs on Youtube and quickly received a lot of unexpected attention. People would comment and tell me that they liked what they heard and how I twisted songs around to make them my own. I decided to keep posting videos as a way to get my name out there while I worked on my own album of original music.
In 2013 I released my first album called Among The Wildest Things and started touring all over. After a couple of years of working the road, writing songs, and putting more content online I got a phone call from the Glee casting directors. They said they were looking for a certain kind of person to fill a role for the last season of Glee. Actually, they said that they needed a shy, chubby guy with a very soulful voice. haha. I happen to meet that criteria quite well so I sent in a self-tape audition and next thing I knew I was flying out to Hollywood to shoot the last season of Glee. Everything cool that has happened so far in my career has kind of fallen out of the sky. When that happens I work hard and try to run as far as I can with it.
It’s been said that Glee isn’t popular just for the music, although we all know the music is incredible. Part of its popularity is that it brings up real teenage issues and makes the misfits feel like they could belong. Do your fans approach you about issues and challenges they face, and can you share with us some of your techniques for making a difference for those reaching out to you?
I think one of the most meaningful and rewarding parts of being on Glee was hearing from the audience. People from all over would write in and tell me that they really identified with Roderick or with his struggles to fit in and that has always touched me. The best thing I can hear from a fan is that they relate to the character and that it has helped them with their own struggles. I was not the most popular kid in high school and was definitely the butt of many fat jokes so I understand how hard it can be. I think one of the most important things to do is to let those fans know that you hear them and you understand. The impact that this show had on its fans amazes me and I'm so grateful that I got to be a part of it in any way.
When I got on Glee I got a peek into the TV world and see how things are done and its truly incredible to watch. The time, money, and crew it takes to shoot one episode is amazing! Each week would vary on how much we had to learn. Sometimes it was just one song and dance, other times it was five. In my opinion it wasn't the rehearsals that were so hard but the actual taping of the performance.
Once you start recording a dance number it takes forever. You just keep doing the same thing over and over while cameras move around to capture different angles. In between each take you have to catch your breath (or maybe that was just me) and make sure your wardrobe is still intact. Then you get reset and go again. After about the 10th take it gets a little tiring haha.
You’ve performed on NBC's, Today Show, Tonight Show with Jay Leno, as well as two performances on ABC's, Dancing With The Stars. Do you ever get nervous or star struck when performing live on TV?
I don't usually get very nervous. I've been so lucky that all of the shows I have been on are comprised of some really great people. Everyone is very inviting and have always tried to make me feel comfortable. This is not to say that I NEVER get nervous, but if I am it is usually if I feel underprepared for something. I'm also not the best with surprises so sometimes that can throw me off. For the most part I just try to stay focused but loose and have fun with it.
You’ve opened for Ed Sheeran, Neon Trees, Selena Gomez and many other talents. Do you go on tour with them for entire tours or for single shows? Tell us about one or more of your most memorable experiences while opening the show.
All of those opening slots have been for single shows. I think one of the most memorable experiences was actually when I was opening for Matt Nathanson out in Sonoma California. It was in the most beautiful concert hall I've ever seen on the campus of Sonoma State University. One of the stage hands had told me that the week before the show, Alison Krauss had opened the venue and I have always adored Alison Krauss. Anyway, where she stood on that stage was still marked on the floor and I got to stand in that spot and play my songs for a full house that night and just breathe in the Magic.
You released your first album, Among The Wildest Things, in August 2013. What was the inspiration for the album and what did you learn with the release of that album that has prepared you for the release of your second album?
The first album was really just the first snapshot of me as an artist. I wanted to put that album out on the heels of the Sexy and I Know It viral video so that I could capitalize on the new fans that I was gaining and let them know that I write original music too. I think the first album process taught me that things rarely go as planned with recording. Some songs change and take longer to complete than others. Some get thrown out entirely. The whole process taught me to be open minded and let things flow naturally. You can't force a song to be something that its not.
What advice would you give to other aspiring performers that might help them on their journey?
The main advice I would give you is to be patient. This is something that I try to tell my self often. If music is the business you want to be in then you need to know that it takes time. Time to get better at your craft. Time to figure out who you are as an artist. Time to assemble the right team to help you reach your goals. No matter what social media may lead you to believe, over night success doesn't happen. If you are true to your self and true to your craft you will find a place for your music.