Arizona’s Christopher Shayne brings country rock spiked with southern desert heat on their debut single, “Give A Damn”.
With strong vocals, an energetic live stage presence, and songwriting that encompasses timeless elements, Christopher Shayne has partnered with internationally renowned producer/engineer Chuck Alkazian for this newest adventure. With an onslaught of fresh ideas at Alkazian’s Pearl Studios outside of Detroit, Shayne and his team created an engaging blend of classic southern and blues influenced rock, complete with modern tones and contemporary twists.
In this interview, we speak with Christopher about filming his videos, his influences, and his new album Turning Stones.
Full Q&A, links, and the video for “Give A Damn” below.
Let’s dive a little deeper into You, the artist and your music. What attracted you to this genre(s) or style(s)?
I’ve always been attracted to blues and that feeling that blues creates. It’s very human. And there’s something incredibly alluring about the mystique that surrounds blues and roots music. The hardships and life stories all come out through music and I love hearing the human condition told through the most simplest way.
How long have you been creating and sharing your music with the public?
Ever since I first picked up a guitar I was writing. I remember having only played for a month or two and sitting with a friend of my dad’s who worked in radio and showing him this song I wrote. It wasn’t anything exciting, but it was mine. I still get that feeling today with each new song.
Who or what influences your playing and/or writing? Also, what motivates you to keep going?
My influences change daily based on mood or something that catches my eye. I love ideas that sound truly unique or taking an idea that I just haven’t heard before. There was an eagles of death metal song that had girl back up singers that sounded completely bored with the track. It made me laugh at how much of a simple idea can change the song. It reminds me to keep twisting the tune and challenging myself to think of different ways to change basic song principles. I wish I could say what keeps me going. Writing and playing are as much a part of me as breathing and eating. There’s an innate need in me to keep playing and keep writing that I don’t know if it will ever be filled.
Were you trying to accomplish anything specific on this new project? Creatively or otherwise?
Spending time in rock and metal, I got caught up in the emotions that the scene brings. The angst and anger and depression. With this record, we sought to drop all of that and we wanted to write something honest and fun. Try the ideas we always wanted to do. It was a major exercise in abandoning pretense and positioning and writing truly from the heart.
How about this one…. Do you prefer Spotify? Apple Music? Bandcamp? Or something else? Why?
I really like Spotify. I can’t go into much regarding our future plans with it, but it allows us a degree of interaction with the fans that I haven’t explored else where (barring just generic ignorance of other products). I love having every piece of music right there waiting for me and soon we’ll be able to share what makes us tick with everyone as well. I really love their services.
Other than the digital era overwhelming us with access to an abundance of music, what are one or two of the biggest challenges you face when trying to attract listeners to your music?
Showing everyone just how different we are is a real challenge. If you say you are one style of music or another there’s immediately a stigma placed on you. It’s hard to push people to see you as different from that mold and push them out of their comfort zone and accept you for how you see the music. Today you have to have everything together in one image, one message, and your whole product have to match on every level. There’s no more doing anything on the fly. And acquiring all of those pieces takes a lot of money, time and effort that most bands just don’t have. It’s no longer just about the music but you need to have your brand ready for the get go. That is a major challenge.
Do you gig, tour or perform? Do you ever live stream? Where can music lovers see you live?
I love playing shows, performing, traveling. I love sharing the feelings this music gives me with those who are wanting to experience with us. It’s one of the most rewarding things that music provides. We stream on periscope at most gigs to give people a little taste of our live shows. Keep on our socials, we always provide up to date plans on shows.
Where is the best place to connect with you online? Discover more of your music?
We’re working on a lot of stuff at the moment. Facebook.com/christophershaynemusic is the best place for direct/up to date stuff; but, stay tuned for updates to Spotify and our youtube channel. We’re finalizing a few things for those places for some really cool stuff I’m excited about!
What was it like filming videos for “Give A Damn” and “When I Come Down”?
Give a Damn was a blast! It was crazy being on a set, and filming aerial shots. It was a really fast and fun experience.
When I Come Down was a fun party. The Carlsons let us into their home and had so many things that it just made the video this awesome piece. It would not have come together right without their help. Once we showed up they had so many ideas that we just kept shooting the party and having fun! It was a blast!
Any last thoughts? Shout outs? Words of wisdom?
No real words of wisdom that haven’t already been said by someone far more knowledgeable than me. Go out, have fun, live you your life and don’t stop dreaming!