Eric Boatright of Shallow Side at Bratfest
photo by Tricia Starr TStarr Photography
Alabama rockers Shallow Side, who have brought back their energy to Madison at BratFest this past Saturday, shows that rock isn’t dead. It’s very much alive in their stage presence and overall musicianship. Re-inventing the driven side of rock, these southern boys, (and one Midwesterner, Matt Daniels, the new kid playing the bass slot), Shallow Side hits it home hard with songs like “Can You Hear Me”, and go to the soft side with “Crazy”.
Eric stands by the saying, “ Don’t be in that grey area”. And Shallow Side proves it every time they hit the stage.
I had a chance to talk to Eric Boatright, frontman for Shallow Side before they hit the stage Saturday at BratFest:
MI: Eric, you recently replaced your bassist with Matt Daniels. HOw’s that working out?
EB: Matt is the newest part of the formula we call Shallow Side. He’s from Chicago.We picked him up late 2017. There were a couple of member swaps and things changed around. Things are progressing and moving a lot faster now. We had to find someone who could carry that weight and speed of what was coming of Shallow Side. Matt easily fit that mold.
MI: New music coming out. What are we looking at?
EB:Well, the one thing that I can say. And this is the first that We’ll talk about it.And we will continue to talk more about for the rest of the year.We started playing music together,writing and developing our brand in 2011. Before that, we had zero experience. Like ZERO. So when we started the band, we started as musicians as well. So we’re far from professional, in my own opinion. Of songwriters or musicians. Luckily enough, some of our first music that we put out was pretty damn good. Try to Fight It, Out of Reach, Stand Up, My Addiction and Crazy which is a ballad that we put out on our second EP. And our third EP we did a cover of Renegade, and then the song, Can You Hear Me. Luckily, we probably, as a band have written thirty to thirty-five songs. And out of those thirty five songs, we came out with videos that turned out to be pretty damn good.The music that will continue to come out is something that we noticed that we didn’t notice before that while we’re creating a full-length album, is that we’re unapologetic US. We can’t sound like “them, we won’t do what’s the popular thing to do. We write and create music for us, the stuff we enjoy. You’ll hear a little of the country, and a little of the rock and roll. We’ll slide off and do some metal breakdowns, that fills an entire room. And have the crowd headbanging and fist bopping. And then we’ll turn around and be slow, and fall into a pop world. It’s the world we grew up in. We didn’t grow up with albums, being a millennial. We didn’t have that. We grew up with Napster. WE get the songs. Steal the music. And then that stream base came along. And now the kids want that full version. So we’re dipping back into that album type world again. People want to hear the full thing, instead of the single based stuff. But we continuously heard both avenues. And we are unapologetically us. And we will continue to make that music that sounds like us, that is us. So there’s new music coming out this year, for sure. And I think it just sounds more like us.
MI: What inspires you? I mean everyone asks that question. But what inspires that creativity of Shallow Side?
EB: I believe it’s stories, that we lived through. The walks of life, that actually happened, through our day-to-day. The music that’s created, The art that’s created. We do live video, commercials for the shows. Those things all have a touch of our personality. And i believe that those are all created because of the steps that we’re all taking in our personal lives. Those things all come together as a conglomeration of emotions, feelings, sometimes it’s boasting. Sometimes it’s not sad at all. Sometimes it’s a middle finger to say “Fuck-off”. And that’s another thing that’s unapologetically Shallow Side. It’s that, we’ll cut another radio single that has “Fuck” right in the middle of it, and don’t care. If the radio don’t want to play it, whatever.
MI: What are you currently listening to?
EB: I jumped on the new Shinedown record that just dropped. I’m a big fan of that. Actually a fan of them for a very, very long time. I really dug into that. A lot of Breaking Benjamin, their latest stuff that they just put out. I listen to a lot of the latest of rock, pop, whatever is being released.
MI: The tour. You have some major things coming up. What’s the scoop?
EB: We have a tour coming up, in…Jeez, July. There’s another tour this summer for Shallow Side, and then we’re jumping on a heavily anticipated tour, that will be released this fall. I can’t give out the details just yet. But soon enough.
MI: Ok. last segment. About the members. Describe something about each one.
EB: Ok, the mannequin head on our merch table. That’s my twin sister. (Laughs). We’re from Alabama, so things are weird. (Laughs). So her “something” is bigger than mine, so we had to get rid of that. (Laughs). That’s how I feel about competition. Just don’t be bigger than me, and I won’t cut your head off. (Laughs). Next the drummer, Heath. We have to lock him up from time to time. After a certain time, a “cage call”. Seth, what’s his problem. (Laughs). What’s not wrong with him is easier to explain. He drinks way to many energy drinks. Seth is actually made of titanium springs, and that’s why he doesn’t stop bouncing. (Laughs). The new guy, Matt, makes random noises, like tourettes. (Laughs)
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