SHIROCK INTERVIEW: “IT IS A UNIQUE SITUATION TO LIVE AND WORK TOGETHER”

Check out Nashville (stylish) rock band, Shirock’s free taster track ‘You Keep Me Singing’
The band is about to land on UK soil, so now it’s the perfect time to talk to Chuck and Pap Shirock about their music, touring and…happy marriage.You’re based in Nashville. Does the place you live influence the way your write music?

Interestingly enough, I don’t think living in Nashville has influenced the way we write.

We write without thinking about how we should be formulating a song – we just write what comes naturally.

It certainly influences what we write about – I think your surroundings always play a part in how you feel & experience things.

We have one song in particular called “Time Goes By” that deals with feelings we’ve had over the years about not belonging or finding our place, that relates directly to Nashville. You guys (Chuck and Pap) met in school and are now married. How do you keep your relationship harmonious in and outside the band?

We could probably talk for a really long time about that one. It is a unique situation to live and work together – there are many amazing things about it, as well as challenges.

We feel really blessed to get to share what we are both most passionate about with our fans, and one another at the same time.

We love travelling together (and with the rest of the band), meeting new people, and experiencing new things – but there’s certainly not a lot of “alone time” on the road.

When we get home from a tour we’re always anxious to go off the grid for a bit.

It is also important for us to find time where there is some separation between our relationship and our work.

Since music is such a passion for both of us, it could easily dominate much of our time together, but we make a point to pursue lots of the other things we enjoy doing, as well.You’ve had some success in the US, what are you hoping to achieve with this UK assault?

To build enough interest in our band to get to come over many times, for many tours! Seriously, we are simply hoping to get our music out to more people.

And for some of the fans we’ve already started to make in the UK, to get to play for them.

The live show is the best way to fully experience what we do – it’s our favorite part – really getting to connect with people and share life together for a moment through this music.

What are your plans generally for the UK?

Our first single should be coming out in the UK anytime now.

To launch things Pap & I will be coming over to do some acoustic touring in the next month.

Shortly after we’ll be bringing the full band over for more shows… all ramping up to the release of the full record in the new year.

From there on out we hope to be touring & releasing music in the UK consistently. Who are your favourite UK based bands – old and new?

Actually, a lot of our favorite artists, in general, happen to be from the UK – Peter Gabriel, Radiohead, The Cure, Joy Division, New Order, Queen, Muse, Florence & The Machine, Coldplay, Depeche Mode, Adele, The Beatles (maybe obvious, but had to be mentioned).

There’s also a fashion connection with your clothing line Irock Clothing – how did this come about and what is the inspiration behind the line?

When Pap & I first started playing shows, we wanted to make the kind of merchandise we would hope to purchase.

The inspiration came from wanting to create something that not only represented the music, but was also a high quality product.

So, rather than have another company design t-shirts and other items for us, we thought about what we would want to buy and wear, and designed things based on that – and decided to have a wider range of options for fans to choose from, including bags, jackets, etc.

An employee from a popular boutique in Nashville ended up coming out to a show, saw the merchandise, and asked if their store could carry some of the products…it just grew from there.

More recently, we’ve focused the majority of our attention on the band, but are excited to be coming out with a new line in the new year.

Who’s style inspires you guys?

So many people… lately, Steve McQueen..and Kanye West – he’s always wearing something interesting (says Chuck), and for me (Pap) – I’m inspired by anything with history – I love vintage things, I’m inspired by a lot of the actresses from old movies, old family photos, etc.

We’ve also loved the recent collections from Balmain, Acne, Burberry & AllSaints, among others.

We’re always looking through fashion magazines and various blogs, as well as just taking inspiration from people we see on the street.What’s the weirdest / funniest thing that’s ever happened to you on tour?

There’s quite a few to sift through! One of the funniest would probably have to be when we played a show a couple of years ago at a high school.

When we tour in the US, in addition to all the regular shows at festivals, clubs, small theaters, etc., we also play at some high schools and colleges. This particular show was probably for about 1,200 students.

We were well received, really connected to the crowd, and had a great show in general.

However, after the show when some of the guys in the band went into the boys restroom behind the stage, they were met with the “one word review” we had been inevitably waiting for at some point in our career from someone (if you’ve ever watched the movie ‘Spinal Tap’ then you know what we’re referring to).

On the back of the urinal was one of our Shirock stickers, corrected with a sharpie to now read Shitrock… complete with someone defecating in the urinal beneath it.

If you could collaborate with any current band / musician, who would it be and why?

Peter Gabriel/Daniel Lanois – We have already mentioned that Peter Gabriel is one of our favorite artists…from his voice, to his lyrics, to the melodies – it’s just incredible music.

He and Lanois have together produced some of Peter Gabriel’s most amazing tracks, which to us are some of the most sonically beautiful recordings we’ve ever heard.

We have also had the chance to see Lanois play live, and he is an incredible artist, in his own right.

Finally, where do you want to be this time next year?

On stage at Wembley or on a boat.

The band’s debut UK single ‘New Solution’, is released in September 2012. ‘Everything Burns’, featuring 12 songs, is due to be released digitally in February 2013 via The Movement Group / Sony / RED / CEN. September 2012 will see the band’s debut UK single ‘New Solution’ released, accompanied by their first UK tour.
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