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      Articles Home » Music Talk » Shallow Side Interview with Eric Boatright By Nina McCarthy
      Shallow Side Interview with Eric Boatright By Nina McCarthy

       

       

      Shallow Side

      Interview with Eric Boatright

      By Nina McCarthy, Sr. Music Journalist

      Boston Rock Radio

       

      “The energy and excitement of rock & roll is missing nowadays, and we need it now more than ever,” believes Shallow Side’s frontman, vocalist Eric Boatright. “Our goal is that we want to revitalize that entire genre and remind the world how rock & roll can besuch a strong force in everyone’s lives." 

      I had an entertaining chat with these Alabama-bred boys on their bus before the Providence, RI show. They put on a fantastic, energetic show and then hung around to meet everyone at the merch table.

       

       

      Eric Boatright – vocals (far right)

      Seth Trimble – guitar/keyboards

      Matt Daniels – bass/guitar (far left)

      Heath Fields – drums (no shirt)

       

      BRR: To start, what is your personal musical background?

      EB: It started with church like every other child in the south. My very first memories of music were when I was a toddler in church. As my musical tastes grew I got into what my parents and grandparents were listening to. A lot of the stuff that I remember vividly is the Motown era, or Soul and Blues, that kind of stuff, and still to this day it stuck with me. As that developed it kind of turned into rock n roll. As I was exiting High School, the rock n roll kind of drove me to wanting to create music myself.  All those things together influence the music that we make today.

       

      BRR: So you were singing since you were a little boy in church?

       EB: Yes, my grandmother and mother sang in the choir and all three of my sisters sang in the choir, so I was just a part of it constantly. Sometimes I would sing in the choir but sometimes I’d prefer not to so I could see things from the congregation side. I went to three or four churches growing up and they were all like a nightclub atmosphere. They be praising God down south, that’s for sure.

       

      BRR: What do you think makes Shallow Side unique compared to all the other rock bands out there?

      EB: The singer is fucking good. I think being as authentic people that we are is the extreme difference maker as opposed to a lot of the bands out there. We don’t really shoot for anything other than what we are.  That’s who we are and what we do.  Authenticity!  Or maybe we weren’t smart enough to figure out something different.

       

      BRR: I have a weakness for southern rock and there’s definitely a lot of that sound in your music.

      EB: There is a reality to the music that we create and I think that’s the core of who we are. I guess that's how we were raised.

       

      BRR: Saints & Sinners was originally slated for release on March 29, but that was changed to July 26. Can you relate that story?

      EB: We had a handful of labels interested in the album and we were extremely interested in having a label back us, so we took it all into consideration and thought it was a good idea. After looking at contracts and really getting into the knitty gritty as it should be, we decided to go the direction we were going to go initially. So, the album was pulled down in negotiation and then scheduled to release July 26 for that reason.  All the physical CDs are available directly from us only until then. The digital downloads will be available July 26th.

       

       

      BRR: The album was produced by Michael “Elvis” Baskette who has also worked with Incubus, Alter Bridge, Slash amongst others.  How did you get connected to him and what was it like working with him?

      EB: Our management company, Thermal Entertainment, the incredible team that they are, got us linked up and in conversation with Elvis and we sent him some tracks we were working on and he agreed to do the project strictly based on the fact that he loved what we were shooting for and we knew exactly what we wanted on that album. He heard something from the beginning. That’s what producers do. He has an incredible ear and talent and we were honored to work with him.

       

      BRR: I bet. You blogged about the story behind the first single, “Sound The Alarm.” Can you briefly share it for our readers? (Read the blog HERE.)

      EB: I think Heath tripped me! (jokingly)

      Heath: Of course he would say that!

      EB: It all goes back to Jacksonville, Florida. You would think I knew what happened, but there is a solid 16 hours of my life that I was just blacked out, that I have no clue of what happened. I woke up in Trauma 1 Unit in the hospital in Jacksonville  and the doctor was telling me that I had to go for a CT scan. Of course, I’m trying to make a joke, lying on the fucking bed, “Oh, are you going to go scan my cat?” Then it clicked, “What the fuck am I doing here?” I hadn’t come to the realization of what had happened or where I was, and what I was doing. Was I even looking out of the same body? It didn’t make sense.

       

      BRR: Could you even see out of both eyes?

      EB: No, one was all swollen up. In the same trauma unit, there was a police officer that had been shot and he had shot the man next to him. There also was a girl that ended up being in a fatal accident and she came in screaming.  When I woke up I was like, “What’s up? You all remember me?” Then I looked around and realized we were all doing the same thing...we were all about to die and I started freaking out and had like a complete self evaluation. I think that is what spawned a lot of the lyrics for “Sound The Alarm.” The catch phrase, or the title of the track came later on because the track that was built kind of had an alarm feel to it, but lyrically it was that near death experience.

       

      BRR: To go back, you were randomly attacked on the street?

      EB: I think Heath actually tripped me. I landed face first on some sort of concrete I guess.

      Heath: We were in a drunken foot race and he was beating me because I was too drunk to operate my short little legs, so I had to do something. I reached down and grabbed a stick and stuck it in between his legs and won the race. That’s what it was all about.

       

      BRR: You guys are too funny! I was trying to figure out my favorite track on the album. I think “Hallejujah” is my favorite. (mispelled on purpose-continue reading to see why!)

      EB: (Sings “Hallelujah” and clapping as if in church.)

       

      BRR: Going back to your upbringing in the church, I can definitely hear that being sung. Can you tell me a little about the inspiration behind that song.

      EB: I’m going to take to church tonight!  God and man. In the vein of Forrest Gump, it’s hard to see the struggle when you’re flying from above.  We are all from the same walk of life. The whole Saints and Sinners album is very ying yang. Everyone has their struggles, the ups and downs and there is always some motherfucker out their that is judging you. It doesn’t matter if you are doing good, they hate you. If you are doing bad, they are happy, so there’s always this back and forth moment and that’s what “Hallejujah” is about. It’s a fun track too. Seth wrote the riff to that song.

       

      BRR: It definitely was the beat that caught my attention.

      Seth: Nothing was really clicking at the moment and I was sitting there with my guitar and riffing around and all of a sudden I was strutting because i wrote that riff.

       

      BRR: With the spelIing of “Hallejujah” I noticed instead of another L, you put a J. Was that intentional to be different?

      EB: On “Hallejujah?” Is it spelled wrong on the album itself? (They all look confused.) I do not believe this!! I didn’t know, but now I am digging through our artwork.  You bring up an alarming question!

      Heath: We’re from Alabama. We misspell the tracks on our album.

       

      BRR: Oops, sorry! Now you have to get them reprinted and change the release date again.

      EB: This is so funny. I’m so excited about this.

       

      BRR: What other messages or themes are covered on Saints and Sinners? I know you said it’s very ying yang.

      EB: The whole album is about the black and white, good and bad, the pretty and the evil. That’s pretty much the gist of the album. The things we go through, personal experiences, and even the balance of the song. One of them is about self and our relationship appreciation and the other one is about self defamation.

       

      BRR: How would you compare the full length to your previous releases?

      EB: I was telling someone about this earlier today. I think the biggest difference with this album is the maturity of the sound. It’s really the sound we have been trying for for awhile. It feels mature. I can’t wait for the next album?

       

      BRR:  Are you writing it yet?

      EB: I think we are living it now first.

       

      BRR: Maybe Providence will give you some crazy stories to write about. I think you are the first band I have interviewed from Alabama. What is the rock scene like there?

      EB: I moved away from Alabama five years ago, so I imagine since I don’t live there anymore it sucks. It was pretty fucking cool when I was living there though. Now Heath lives there so it’s worse.

      Heath: There’s not much of one. 

      EB: I don’t even know what a scene is. It’s not like it’s hopping all the time.

       

      BRR: Just for a little fun since we have a couple of the other guys here... who is the band cook?

      EB: Heath is the main cook.

       

      BRR: Most likely to be drunk by the end of the night?

      ALL: That would be Heath too!

       

      BRR: Gets the most groupies?  

      EB: That’s Heath! Is this whole interview a Heath love fest?

       

      BRR: It must be because he’s the only one with long hair.

      Heath: That and I have a weird medical condition called PenialLongatus.

       

      BRR:  I'm going to have to guess at the spelling of that disorder. Back to the serious stuff. You guys are touring heavily and have the new album.  What’s next? Another album?

      EB: We need to get this one out first. Then we want to dig into that deep publically.

       

      BRR: Congrats on Saints & Sinners. It’s a fantastic album.

      EB: You heard the whole album already?

       

      BRR: I have.

      EB: That’s wonderful.

       

      BRR: We did a review of it too. Thank you for taking the time to chat with me tonight. You guys have been fun! I’m looking forward to the live show.

       

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