1.Introduce yourself and your band and tell us why we should listen to you.
- Hey everyone, I’m the guitarist and backup vox for Dead Harrison, and formally known as Shawn the Dead. I would love for you to listen to our music because of how much we loved writing, learning, playing and recording it for you. We have played together as a band for well over a decade with additional members coming on board along the way and are a band truly about the music and telling a story in what we write. We hope you will take the time to listen and enjoy what you hear.
2.What do you classify your sound as, Who do you tell people you sound like?
- We consider our sound as a doom rock / doom metal / stoner metal type of sound. We like to compare ourselves to bands like Type O Negative, Black Sabbath, Kyuss, Monster Magnet, Danzig/Misfits, and Corrosion of Conformity. But that list may change depending on who you ask in the band.
3.With digital music in today's world would you vote to keep or eliminate physical media?
- As great as digital music is today, especially streaming on-demand, there are still benefits to physical media that I believe will keep it around for a long time, though the format could change. I would vote to keep it. You get to have the added appeal of physically owning the item, as well as enjoy the added benefits of physical art work and being able to play on a greater number of devices that don’t require an Internet connection or ability to decode MP3’s. Vinyl records have made a come-back to for music enthusiasts which furthers the argument that physical media will not go away in the short term future.
4.What is the reason you decided to be a musician and has that reason paid off?
- I learned how to read and play music, as well as sing, at a young age and the music bug has always stuck with me. It’s been a love of mine all of my life and I couldn’t imagine not being able to somehow play music, even if it’s just casually for myself, or professionally on the stage or the recording studio.
5.How do you feel about females in metal getting special attention? Do you feel it is fair?
- I say good for them! Humanity has many thousands of years of male domination in the roles of society. It’s great to be able to see women break through what has been another male dominated industry and I think it’s necessary to give it special attention in order to further spread the awareness of female fronted metal bands since it is still heavily male dominated.
6.In the world climate with hatred being at an all time high and metal being an “angry” music
Do you think your music contributes to anger and hatred?
- I would go further to say that metal is not just “angry music”, but encompasses a huge range of emotions depending on the genre, artist and particular time in their life they recorded their work.
- Music is the channel of being able to express your feelings about what goes on around us in our life. Being able to create music to express these feelings and emotions is key to being able to cope with the environment. However, if the music is deliberately trying to spread a message of hate, then it is counter intuitive to the situation and is only making things worse.
7.Are you opposed to religious beliefs or politics being used in music?
- Religion and politics have been a part of our human societies for thousands of years along with music, so having religion and politics be used in music is nothing new. Let people believe what they want to believe as long as it does not harm one another.
8.We have dive into some pretty deep issues here do you think your music sends a message and if so what is it?
- Much of our music is more rooted in fantasy, love, the struggles of life, death, and the end of the world! We are not trying to push any overarching message or agenda. We are just expressing ourselves through music.
9.The market has changed and many bands believe that record labels are a thing of the past, with many labels now charging bands to “sign” how do you think a band can make it in todays scene?
- My observation is that the bigger national, and international touring bands are still part of a label, so I wouldn’t say they are a thing of the past. If anything there is just a lot more competition out there now, including a lot more smaller labels. So I think the spectrum of what a label can do for you has changed, depending on how far up the ladder you are. At the end of the day, you need to set yourself apart through your music, image, tenacity and hard work, and the grind never stops.
10.Why with the thousands of options including netflix , sporting events everything on demand
Why do you think people should take the time to listen to what you have to say in your music?
- People definitely have a massive amount of options available for entertainment today. The most I can hope for is that like minded people who would enjoy our style of music would be able to hear it, enjoy it, and want to hear more of it. Those people are out there, the big struggle is getting it in front of them. I won’t be so assumptive to think we would convert someone who wouldn’t enjoy our style of music to become a fan. People like different things and it’s a matter of being able to reach as many of the ones that would like our music as possible.
11.How do you feel about pay to play? Do you think it is fair for a band to have to pay money to play?
- This is really a matter of context. There are some scenarios where it makes sense that bands need to do some level of hustle, but only if there will be a reward in it for them beyond just “exposure”. A common tactic of doing all day “festivals” where 20-30 bands play for a national opener and have to sell 20 $20 tickets, while not seeing a penny of it, is absurd. Things need to be done fairly, understanding that these things do cost money and there needs to be an economical way of having the event the benefits all the bands and venue fairly.
12.It is fact that you are the talent and the entertainment explain what you think is the most important key to success?
- You need to be marketable in some way to be successful and get the attention of people that have not heard of you before. You also need the right connections in place to get the music to people outside of your circle.
13.In country music and even in some cases rock music is written and performed by different people would your band perform a song written by someone else?
- If someone went through the effort to write a song for us to perform, I’m sure we would love to do it. This wouldn’t be a normal practice as the majority of our music is written by us, and the music not written by us is a cover from another musician.
14.If you are pro female in music are you pro using sex to sell your music?
- As long as it wouldn’t be considered inappropriate for the audience (ex. Children/all ages) and there is proper consent in place.
15.What is your view on the lawsuits against people saying lewd or unprofessional things to women or men and how does that affect an art described as sex drugs and rock n roll?
- I think this really depends on context for what the lawsuit is entailing and if there were actions taken against someone else without their consent. Just because rock and roll has the history of this and there may be music written about these themes, doesn’t make it ok to do it to other people without their consent. If this is a matter of free speech, then there are a lot of other factors that come into play depending whether or not a lawsuit is the government trying to silence someone, or a private organization that has it in their right to take litigation against someone.
16. Ok lets lighten up a bit. What is your favorite band of all time and why?
- Very tough to say just one. One of my favorite acts that is still making music is Devin Townsend and his various projects. One of my first heavy bands I got into was Black Sabbath and that has a lot of influence on the band style now.
17.What would you be doing if you were not in a band?
- I have a wife, son, 3 dogs and a full time career. I’m sure I’d be keeping pretty busy regardless. The void of not having others to play music with would definitely be there though. Playing music by yourself just isn’t the same.
18. Do you have a favorite sports team?
- I’m not a huge pro sports fan, however since I’m a New Englander, my loyalties lie with the regional teams, e.g. Red Sox, Patriots, Bruins, etc
19.If you could get on stage with anyone dead or alive who would it be?
- Alive: Devin Townsend. Dead: Stevie Ray Vaughn
20.This is your shot to let loose, Throw down your biggest complaint about the music biz
- Not a complaint, but an observation that the music scene, especially around Boston area, has taken massive hits in terms of places to play, as well as accessibility of getting into places that are still available. With COVID impacts in place, more places are shuttering doors and the scene will be incredibly hard to recover for the near team future. The landscape of being a local musician will be changing greatly and it will be even tougher to break through without having a good product, image, marketing and management strategy.