Six months since our last interview (check here), we are so happy to catch up with our beloved Scottish psychedelic/garage rock trio ‘The Shakedown Project’. Having stuck them out since their very first steps and their 2012 (August) self titled EP, we were very excited to know that they are coming back with a second one, in less than one year’s time! So, here we are, another very interesting interview with ‘The Shakedown Project’; Kris (guitar/lead vocals), Pete (bass guitar, vox) and Dave (drums, percussion, vox) are back to ‘The Basement’ to generously give us details and information about their forthcoming release, which we eagerly expect. First song shared ‘Gone’ is absolutely beautiful…
The Shakedown Project – Gone (2013)
The Basement: Hi guys! How’s the band doing? How have ‘The Shakedown Project’ evolved and progressed since the last time we had the chance to talk?
Hi Mike! The bands going well, just glad to be finally releasing new music again. We have matured a lot as a band, especially when it comes to arrangements and creating soundscapes. We have a much clearer vision of what we want our music to sound like, and how to convey our ideas much more effectively.
The Basement: What’s the best thing that happened to the band since then? And, on the other hand, which was the most difficult or annoying moment?
The last six months have been pretty intense, we have spent most of our time inside working hard on recording and mixing. We wanted this record to sound more professional than our last one so this meant a lot of hard work through trial and error. The best part about this has been having the space to improve and grow as musicians and songwriters. Having this freedom meant we had endless time and room for experimentation, which resulted in a more unique creative process. I think the most frustrating thing was having to shelve good songs due to our relative inexperience recording live – some of these discarded songs were earmarked as singles. (We will probably redo and release these songs at a later time!)
The Basement: Well, a brand new record on the way… It will be another EP, isn’t it? When is it officially coming out? Title? Where was it recorded? Your first one was made at home, an absolutely DIY situation. What about this one?
The new release is going to be a Double-EP, of roughly 8-9 songs. At the moment we are putting on the finishing touches, and we are hoping to release it in the next week or two. We will be choosing a title for it during this time. The DIY method still hasn’t changed, we still record, mix and master everything ourselves. However, this time round we recorded in a few different locations in order to get our hands on different instruments. We recorded the Guitar/Bass/Drums live, experimenting with overdubs and adding vocals later on.
The Basement: What should we expect this time? In what ways (if any) does your new work differentiate comparing with your first effort?
There’s definitely more of a broad spectrum of sounds this time round! Last year we tended to try and fit our songs to a certain mold, whereas now we allow the initial concept of the song to dictate the direction of the music. This led us to use different instrumentation in certain songs; sometimes leading to a more understated sound, and other times leading to a heavier, manic sound.
The Basement: First song shared “Gone” is outstanding. What’s the story behind it?
‘Gone’ was one of the last songs we recorded, we started working on it in May. The song is about those fleeting moments brought about by either a dream, smell, or anything that ignites old memories and feelings of nostalgia that take you back to a specific time or place, sometimes forgotten, even if only for 10 seconds or so. In the song, each verse represents a different chapter, each with their own backstory.
We recorded it live, improvising around a loose structure. We knew we wanted a weird instrumental in the middle so we left space for that to be filled in at a later time. We managed to get our hands on a wide range of instruments for the afternoon, so we came up with a harpsichord solo accompanied by marimba and vibraphone. This was the first time we had access to all these types of instruments so it was a great experience for us and were easily inspired to create new parts on the spot.
The Basement: The video for the song is awesome, as well – that mirror concept is very cool. It seems more professional than your previous (homemade, awesome, hilarious, Basement’s favourite) Caroline. How was the experience of being in a video and taking part in the shooting process?
Hahah well we are glad you think it looks professional, as its another DIY effort! We had a basic concept for a video that was based around a more psychedelic mirror effect. This time, we thought it would be cool if we were featured in the video, even if we are somewhat hard to recognise! We just used a crappy camera and took a lot of shots which we edited together later. Obviously this is another thing we had to teach ourselves how to do, but we are really proud with the end result!
The Basement: What about your debut full album? Any plans about it?
We have a particular sound in mind for our debut album, but we won’t be able to achieve this sound without professional help. Until then we will just keep doing what we are doing and hopefully this kind of help will come along in the future!
The Basement: Are there any gigs scheduled for summer?
No gigs scheduled yet.. As soon as this record is released we will most likely go into ‘promotion mode’ for a few months. During this time we will start preparing for live shows again, then will put on a few shows around Scotland. As soon as we know more details we will let you all know via facebook!
The Basement: In our opinion, you guys make great music, The Basement loves The Shakedown Project… What’s the feedback you get from fans and press in Scotland and in UK in general?
Why thank you we appreciate the support from you guys! In general, the people that see us play and hear our music tend to really like us. However we don’t get much exposure from Scottish/UK media. I don’t think we are your conventional Scottish indie band.. However, we have had a much stronger reaction from outside Britain which is very exciting!
The Basement: How do you picture ‘The Shakedown Project’ in five years from now?
Hopefully continuing to improve and still doing what we are doing now but on a much larger scale. Maybe even living in a country that has an actual climate haha.
The Basement:What’s your definition of ‘success’ ? At what point would you consider your band as a successful act?
Our goals are pretty much the same as they’ve always been. We would love to have the chance to go on tour and play to our fans around the world. The perfect situation would be generating enough revenue to make music as a full time job.
Thank you The Shakedown Project !!!
Find The Shakedown Project On Facebook here.
Download the Shakedown Project music here.