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Interview With 'Shadowplay'

Firstly, introduce yourself/yourselves and tell us a little bit about the band and how you came to be?

Well the band in many different forms has of been a going for a while. Myself (Andrew Corkery) and our Guitarist Dan Holden started forming what would later become Shadowplay, while we in High School around 2008. It was a very orginic process forming this band together because we were all friends prior to being in the band. So it seemed very natural to sort of expand our friendship into the musical realm. Back then we were into a lot of Classic Rock and Grunge music, but as we all started college around 2010, we started rapidly expanding our musical influences to include Post Rock, Alternative, Post Hardcore. Folk, Funk, Jazz. The idea in a sense was really, not to let our previous influences of Classic Rock limit our song writing and musical structure as a band, to try and make music that was original in the sense of expressing ourselves and what was true to us. At the same time we wanted to really expand our sound and layer it with a wide array of music elements, but at the end of the day still be considered a Rock band. It was around 2011 that the music really started to come together, and we began to write and play with the sounds that would eventually become the songs for our latest album "Almost Lifelike."

What were you all up too prior to the band, was this always the chosen path or did you have other dreams and aspirations?

We are all in our early mid 20's, everyone is either 24 or 25 years old. A few of us have been in some form of this band since we were 14 or 15 years old. So the band has been a constant in our lives over almost the past decade, as other things have changed and changed drastically at times. Over these years in the band we have been focusing more and more on defining our sound, and getting it just right. So to a certain extent its hard to say what some of us did before the band because the band has always been with us, while we've been growning up. But while the band has been a constant key force in shaping our lives, both as individuals and as a collective, we are each heavily involved in different endeavors outside the band. I write as a journalist for a newspaper in Philadelphia called The Spirit, and work as a video editor both for CBS News and on other documentaries on a freelance basis. So I would say my dream in particular is to be a fulltime touring artist with Shadowplay, while at the same time working as a journalist on foreign and global policy issues, and then editing documentaries and long form news content about similar issues. So I guess you can say I don't like sleeping hahah!

Tell us about your latest Album and why our readers should check it out.

This album is really the first fully formed maturation of the bands musical sound, that has taken the past five years or more to bring to life. We are very proud of the record, and feel as though it encompasses an extensive range of emotions and influences through which everyone will find something that strikes them. We go for occupying the spot of showcasing our wide range genres and band influences, but at the same time remaining accessible. We definitly lean more towards the Progressive Rock side of things, but have very definitive Grunge, Post Hardcore, and Post Rock influences tastefully thrown in as well. This record in particular is all about dynamics and playing with what the listener thinks is coming next, sometimes throwing in surprising elements into the songs that one might not necessary think would work, but do in the context of the musical arrangements. Other times on the record we are sure to give people exactly what they want the song to be. In short we are all about emotion, dynamics and builds that bring people back for more! Fans of Radiohead, Brand New, My Morning Jacket, Rage Against The Machine, Sound Garden, Mogawi, Slint, Minus The Bear, and Led Zeppelin will find something they enjoy with our album 'Almost Lifelike'.

Have you ever come face to face with someone within the music scene who has left you awestruck and why?

Yes I once saw a band called Paris Monster from Brooklyn perform at a venue called Milkboy in Philadelphia. The lead singer of the band was their drummer, and also played a mini keyboard with one hand, while playing drums with his feet and other hand. I was incredibly gobsmacked watching him play. As the lead singer in Shadowplay I am traditional front man and do not do anything but sing and have a good time on stage. So for me, watching this drummer play keys, drums and sing all at the same time really flipped my world upside-down just watching the sheer focus and talent of this one man bringing this band together. The band Paris Monster is a 2 piece band and I encourage everyone to check them out asap! My personal favorite song by them is "It once had been kind."

If we were to head out to one of your live shows what can ourselves and others expect?

You can expect a full on performance of not just music but showmanship that encompasses our highest ideals of artistic expression as a band. We really take pride in leaving it all out there on the stage, and as much as we love being in the studio we are at our best as a live band. Also because we are influenced by such a wide range of music we love to throw in obscure and not so obscure cover songs of our favorite artists into our set between our own original tunes. We will throw our own versions of songs by some of our favorite artists Rage Against The Machine, Radiohead, Jamiroquai, Portishead, Phantagram time to time. We try and give the Trip Hop songs we play by Portishead and Phantagram, a distinctly artsy Rock & Roll vibe I also enjoy doing headstands and other (interesting at times) semi acrobatic moves while performing. Come to a show sometime its certainly an experience!

If you had one artist/band that you could go on tour with tomorrow who would it be and why?

For me its Radiohead, without question. They exhibit one of the most important characteristics of music in my opinion, the ability to keep pushing the boundaries of their music without it being disingenuous in any way to their previous sound. They in the truest sense constantly evolve as a band with every record, and whether I enjoy a particular song on not I 100% respect their commitment to constantly explore new styles and sounds. They have trailblazed a path for so many amazing bands and artists in both Rock and Electronic music. In my view, no band since The Beatles has accomplished so much in their career.

You can spend an hour with a musical icon living or dead, who would you pick, why and what would you speak about?

Chris Cornell, of Soundgarden, Audioslave, Temple Of The Dog, one of the greatest singers of all time! He has had quite an interesting life going from one project and one band to the other, and has been an artist that constantly tries to push the envelope even if people don't always agree on his style changes. I would like to talk to him about all the transitions he had made as a singer throughout the years, and what were the points in his life that gave him the strength and inspiration to evolve and seek new directions in his music over time. He has always seemed like a fascinating person and musician to me because of his steady progression as an artist throughout his life from the late 80's start of Soundgarden, to reinventing himself with Audioslave and further political activism, being part of the first American Rock band to perform in Cuba, starting his solo career again. Then more recently bringing Soundgarden back together and recreating their sound with a similar flavour. He is a maverick in many ways, and I aspire to learn from him in many ways!

And finally and most importantly is Die Hard a Christmas Movie?

Yes of course, representations of violence and destruction in media are an American Christmas pastime!

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