Artist Interview – Shivering Timbers

Shivering Timbers is a crazy great folk rock band that puts on an awesome live show.  After seeing them at a show at the Kent Stage I made a point of making contact with Sarah, the lead singer and stand up bassist.  The band was willing to answer a few of our digital inquiries here.  If you’re in the Cleveland/Akron area be sure to check them out live at the show announcement at the bottom of the interview.

1) So for those not introduced to your music, how do you describe your sound?

We’re combining sounds from all music that interests us — rocknroll, folk, gospel, blues, touches of bluegrass, some punk and experimental, plus nursery rhymes and child-thematic… it’s all in there.

2) It seems like “Generations” is growing into a “hit” for you all.  Can you tell us a little about the background to that song?

I (Sarah) wrote that song during a time of insecurity and fears about the future.  I guess it’s a coming-of-age song for grown-ups.  It’s a song of survival and commitment to your family.  It’s interesting how it turned out on the album, the way Collin DuPuis mixed it because we’d placed the mices improperly on the drums and had too much cymbal.  He mixed it to get some of that out, and it gave the drums an interesting kind of boxy sound.  It changed the feel of it, but we went with it because we didn’t have time to re-record the whole song.  We didn’t hate it, so we let it be.  Sometimes accidents happen, that end up being alright.

3) How did you get your start in music?  How did the band form?

 Jayson and I both started playing in bands in our late teens, evolving through various genres.  When Jayson and I met, we were in vastly different bands, eventually we came to writing music together.  It took some time to evolve our sound, and figure out how we fit together, which is what we were working on when we made the first album.

4) The stand up bass is part of what makes your sound unique, but is must be such a burden to take on the road.  Do you have a love-hate relationship with it?  Oh, and does your bass have a name?

 No, I love it.  It’s not that bad, we use a trailer to haul gear, and the bass lays on my daughter’s old crib mattress, padded by body pillows!  It doesn’t have a name yet.  My old bass didn’t earn a name until it almost died…Jayson tripped over a haybale carrying it at a party and snapped the neck off. It earned the name Dixie after that. I had it glued back on, then traded it for our trailer.  Same with the only car I ever named, an old mustang that I unfortunately wrecked, then rebuilt with my dad..  Only when it’s in a state of despair does a name come out.  That’s similar to my songwriting process…

5) What does the songwriting process look like for Shivering Timbers?  Do you write together or is there one writer for the group?
I admittedly have to wait for inspiration to strike;  however, even inspiration for one or two lines, or a melody, or a piece of a song can come, and I have a journal and a recorder I put it all in.  Jayson is the same way, with more focus on riffs and melodic lines.  I just collect all the ideas and keep working on them until a song forms.
6) Seeing you on stage I said to my friend that you were, “the definition of folk rock” due to both your instrumentation and style.  Is that something you enjoy, or would you like to correct my assessment there?
Sure, that’s probably true.  We opened for Kenny Loggins a few months ago who told us we were “the future of folk”.

7) What’s your favorite song to play?  And… why?
Sarah – I really like playing “Satan Your Kingdom Must Come Down”   because it’s dark and dramatic, and I love the way it feels to sing it.  My voice really likes that song.
Jayson – Evening Prayer – It’s always a little different every time we play it
8) What else would you like our readers to know about your music?  (You can be serious or silly with this one.)

We try and put as much passion into our live shows as we do when we initially write the songs.  So coming to hear us perform is really the best way to get to know us as a band, and as people.

Upcoming Show:

Friday March 22   8:00pm

Mahall’s 20 Lanes   13200 Madison Ave.   Lakewood, OH

With The Womack Family Band, and Angela Pearley& The Howlin’ Moons

Tickets $6.00 / $8.00 under 21; online through Ticketfly

 

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