Interview with Shannon Smith
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
I was born in some music! Both my parents were professional, musicians, and toured up-and-down the East Coast of Australia. So I don’t think there’s anything else that I could be doing other than Music.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
My life is pretty wrapped up in music right now, I pretty much eat, sleep, and live music.! I do like to travel though! And I love unplanned, travel, and finding secret little places, or somewhere off the beaten track. That and hanging out with my family and friends.
Makes me sound like a boring kind of guy, but at the moment life is busy, and I’m not able to get around to do everything I want to do!
How does that influence me creatively? I think any experience that you have in life or any relationship that you have in life that’s worthwhile will always influence you. Whether it’s your parents or your children. You’ll always learn something and it always develop you in some way. You can’t help but reflect that in your writing.
How long have you been making music?
I started drumming at the age of 2 1/2 and got a proper drum kit by the time I was three. I had been jamming my dad‘s bands throughout the years but it wasn’t until I turned 12 that I picked up the guitar and started learning that properly. I then started my own band and performed my first gig at 13 at a primary school social night. So if I go from my first real gig, I’d say I’ve been making music for 35 years.
Where are you based and how did that influence your music?
I’m currently based in Fremantle Western Australia. The community around Fremantle is amazing. It’s very open and supportive to all walks of life. Being in a very friendly space where so many people are welcoming and supportive definitely influences how you write and where you write from emotionally. Fremantle is a great place to live.
Tell me about your most memorable shows, if you haven’t played live what is your vision for a live show?
There’s a couple of memorable shows that I’ve had. One was in a cover band playing Fleetwood Mac to 5000 people in a park in Kalgoorlie, Western Australia. The other would be playing at Boddington rodeo bushman’s ball. That crew know how to have fun! The energy is incredible and they eat up everything you play! Wild stuff!
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
I sang at the Sydney opera house in my primary school choir, does that count? J I’ve always had the dream to play a stadium show ever since I was a little kid. Doesn’t matter what stadium to me, as long as people are singing and having a good time I’d be a very happy man.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
That’s so hard! I have such a wide taste in music, so it would be purely a selfish lineup for me. It might not make sense to the ticket holders, but it would be my dream lineup. It would have to include 10cc, Steely Dan, the Eagles, the Foo Fighters, Crowded House, Amos Lee, Led Zeppelin and so many more!
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into making music and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
Go with your gut, write from the heart and don’t overthink - just do it! Be inclusive, build and support others around you and can’t do it alone.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
I think this changes in time and it also changes depending on where you are with your headspace. At the moment for me, it would probably be my upcoming single “I’m Gonna Change”.
It’s a very raw, epic, open, gut wrenching song for me. I went through a really difficult time in my relationship and it was my partner that held up the mirror to me so I could truly see what I was doing to sabotage us and myself. That song I wrote from the heart and I’m so happy that I was able to convey exactly how I was feeling and what was happening through the song. It’s epic.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
This single, and the other singles coming up are all from my debut album and I’m only really performing these now with my band so there’s not a lot in regards to requests, but I love playing “Dance The Night Away” and another single I’ll be releasing next year called “Every Single Day”.
What is your creative process, and what inspires you to write your music?
This can vary from time to time, but I’ll usually get a melody or an idea in my head first and then I’ll sing that on my phone and work it out on the guitar later on. I also write a lot just from playing on my guitar, trying something different, playing around with Chords, trying to play what I’m feeling. Then the words usually come after that.
There are times where I will dream of certain songs or pieces of music, and I have my phone ready by my bed so I can also record this by singing what I’m hearing.
Do you have messages that you like to get across in your music? if so please tell me about them.
I’m a pretty optimistic person and I like making people feel better about themselves and have a good time. So a lot of my songs are upbeat and positive. But there are obviously other songs that communicated different message and I try to keep that as real as possible.
Do you have any new singles, videos, or albums out that you would like to tell me and your fans about?
Yes, I have a total of four singles that will be released from my upcoming album (due for release in 2024) and three of these will have a music video.
It tells the story (from my perspective) of my relationship with my partner Helen Townsend (who is an accomplished songwriter). We each tell the tale of how we fell in love, hit rock bottom, worked through our difficulties and came through the other side stronger and better.
We are actually releasing these songs and video clips alternating between us. It’s like a mini-series of music and video clips, one leading into another.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
The plan is to release the singles and the music videos over the next 3 months, and then the album in April or May 2024. The plan is to then tour the album here in Australia, with our eye definitely set on the UK. If you know any good booking agents, send them our way!
How can your fans best keep up to date with you, any socials you want people to check out?
All my social handles are @shannonsmithmusicofficial and my website is www.shannonsmithmusic.com.au
I do have a “FamClub” where my supporters get exclusive content and news, behind the scenes stuff and discounts on merch and tickets. You can sign up to that on my website!
Thanks so much for the interview and supporting my music!