INTERVIEW: Shadow & The Thrill

Hi guys, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Hello!  Thanks for checking in with us…  We have been busy, playing out and generally following up on the single for the album, “Sugarbowl.”

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Sugar Bowl”?

We’re so excited that this track has gotten noticed by people internationally through the Classic Rock Magazine, “Track of the Week” contest.  We were up against some bands with established labels and followings, and we placed first!  This was a complete surprise to us…  our following voted I’m sure, but it had to have been  new listeners that put us over the top.  Very happy that the song is connecting to people.

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

The song is about the general demise of a relationship, and the hope that someone will redeem it, and save it.  At least that’s what it meant to me.  I like for people to be able to put themselves in the music and message and interpret it to fit their own situations.  The sugarbowl is a metaphor for a relationship, and the sugar is the love and attention.  If you don’t mind the sugar…  life is less sweet!

How was the filming process and experience behind the video?

Awesome! Randy Deleo was our Director of Photography, and he scouted all the locations in and around New Orleans.  We were VERY fortunate on the days filming outside, great weather! Not too hot either, not a drop of sweat which is unusual for NOLA.  Filmed on the banks of the Mississippi… epic!

Why naming the album after this song in particular?

This track had the longest tenure, and I felt was best representative of the general vibe of the band and album.  Relationships all through this thing.

How was the recording and writing process?

I had written the first batch of songs, and was convinced that I neede my old friend Brentt to play drums.  Each song HAD to have it’s own identity and GROOVE.  Brentt is amazing, so I packed up and went to him in New Orleans.  We recorded the bulk of the rhythm section in the Music Shed, New Orleans, LA with Jack Miele at the control board.  I did a fair amount of vocals and guitar over-dubs at New Media in Oceanside, CA with Cedrick Courtois engineering.  It took us two years of flying back and forth from CA to Louisiana to finish the recording, and then a year to get it mixed by the Grammy winner, Sylvia Massy.

What was it like to work with Sylvia Massy and how did that relationship develop?

I had worked with Sylvia on a previous project in the 2ooo’s, and she has always been supportive.  I needed a heavy, but lush mix for this, and she was the perfect choice.

How much did she get to influence the album?

Sylvia totally re-interpreted the multi-tracks and started to choose performances and outtakes that I was too shy to use in my rough mixes.  She let it all hang out!  At times she chose take and alternate instruments that great affected the vibe and mood of the track.  She’s amazing!

Coming from both New Orleans and LA – how does both cities get to influence your music?

I came up in the Los Angeles club scene, rock clubs and metal clubs.  It’s ultra competitive  here, and the need to be a proficient player influenced a bit.  New Orleans offered us a host of performers to help us augment the vibe of the songs.  The city itself, seems to have a vibe al its own.  I thrive on that kind of thing.  We were amping up the mojo!

What were some of the trials and struggles you get to explore on this record?

Definitely it touches on the hardships caused by tough relationship issues – betrayal, obsession, jealousy, desperation,  lust and love!  We got it all!

Where else did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?

When possible I like to be indirect about my subject, or use metaphors.  I like these things because it allows listeners to re-interpret.  Admittedly, I went to some dark places psychologically and emotionally, and this album was a perfect vehicle to get that out.

Any plans to hit the road?

Absolutely!  We would like to do a package with a similar act.  In the meantime, we do shows when and where we can here in the US.  We have plans to get out to the UK, Europe, South America and Asia if the world will have us.

What else is happening next in Shadow & The Thrill’s world?

After our little victory on Classic Rock Magazine’s “Track of the Week” with the single and video for “Sugarbowl”, we are making plans to release the single and video  for what we hope will be our breakout track,  our unique blues cover of Gnarls Barkley’s, “Crazy”.  We hope this one will get everyone’s attention!  We have an album that is deep with good tracks, so we have a few singles to follow that one as well.  Then it’s time to play out as much as we can.  We are excited to bring our live experience on stages everywhere!

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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