Hi Christopher, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?
Great! Riding the wave of all this fun band stuff!
Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Give A Damn”?
Give a damn was one of the very very first things we wrote for this project. We weren’t sure how it was going to be perceived as its this interesting middle ground between rock and country that I don’t think has been explored that much. It’s on the heavier side for us, so it was a little scary, but the response has been absolutely unreal. I’m so excited people are enjoying it!
Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?
This song was written as a reaction to the music industry and an experience we had with the “big wigs”. In a previous project, dave and I were approached by these types, where they said that in order to succeed I’d have to fire every one who helped build the thing. I just couldn’t do that and betray the people that helped us all get this far. So we told them to take a hike and this song was written as a reaction to that.
How was the film experience?
Painful! I put my body to the test in this one. We used real cops so when I’m being restrained, it’s all real. I had bruises for weeks following the shoot, but I think it was worth it.
The single comes off your new album Turning Stones – what’s the story behind the title?
The original and full title is “Turning Stones and Rolling Bones” which was a statement to how we felt about recording this record. We were turning stones within ourselves to find songs and ideas we never tried before, and we’re rolling bones because we had a very “let’s see if this is cool” attitude.
How was the recording and writing process?
When we started recording this record , we didn’t really know what it was. We just had a handful of songs and approached Chuck Alkazian about recording and he agreed to help bring these ideas to life. So we went to Detroit with about 4 songs and went to work. After that weekend, we thought we had a better idea of what the “sound” of this thing was. So we started writing another chunk, and repeated the process. The album was done and Dave and I looked at eachother and said “I guess we should form a band now” and went to work on the nuts and bolts.
How much as Arizona have influence your music?
A lot actually. I’ve been fascinated with vocal harmonies and never really played in that area before (the next record will be fun), and there’s some bands in Arizona doing some amazing things with song structure and vocals that I find fascinating. Coming from a blues background that is so foreign to me so when I see bands like Bear Ghost and What Laura Says playing in these really interesting places of music, I’m just completely blown away.
Besides Southern music, what role does Blues music plays in your music?
Blues is where I started. When I was growing up all my friends playing guitar were obsessed with the notes and how many notes can you play in a measure. I never got that. I was more concerned with what the notes MEAN. What does this note say about my feelings and what I’m trying to say. And then I discovered Rory Gallagher. This Irish guy who was singing with a slide and adding touches of rock in the mix. I never heard that before, so I dove deeper. Bouncing from artist to artist until I landed on R.L. Burnside. His record, Ass pocket of whiskey, was something I’ve never ever heard before. I had no idea you could make music like that. I looked up the man, his other worlds and knew that the blues would be my home. Pure and raw emotion would be voice, and that would rooted firmly in the blues.
Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?
Living life! You gotta have experiences and meet people. I’m singing about my life on this record, and trying to reach people who understand me. And the best way to feel closeness and understanding, is through music
Any plans to hit the road?
Yes! It’s happening! Not allowed to talk about it! But it’ll happen!
What else is happening next in Christopher Shayne’s world?
Everything and anything all at once. It’s hard to keep my brain focused because of all the little things that need to be done, but it’s getting there! We’re really going to explore video content so look forward to our youtube channel for more details!