I interviewed members of “theSHIFT” during their 2015 U.S. tour when the band played a show in Cincinnati, Ohio. The three-piece group are skilled musicians based in New York City. Their songs and lyrics are tight and they put on a fantastic show. It is obvious these guys enjoy playing and touring. The feeling is mutual by the reactions of their audiences.
1. Who are the members of the band and which instruments do they play?
John Shannon plays guitars and lead vocals. Ben Geis plays bass and backing vocals. MJ Lambert plays drums.
2. Describe the band’s biography.
On the quick – we were all free-lance musicians in NYC. Met ata gig playing for different bands. After talking and hearing each other, decided to get together and play. When we played there was a magic there. And we’ve been working on the band ever since. We’ve had a few big premieres lately for our music on Loudwire, HitFix and Pop Matters.
3. Describe the band’s discography.
theSHIFT – 7th Direction
4. How long does it take for a song to go from an idea to a recording?
That is case by case. Sometimes years. Sometimes days.
5. What is your most memorable gig?
So far, Nashville at The Basement for new faces night was a great one!
6. Describe your most important gig:
Every gig is important to us. At this point that’s hard to do. First time we played LA mattered a lot to us.
7. You have just been signed by a major label and the label tells the band they must relocate to the West coast. Would the band be able to move?
8. How many band members contribute to the song writing process? Explain what each member contributes to this process.
We all contribute everything from chordal ideas to lyric ideas to arrangement ideas to parts for each other.
9. Have you ever written a song after a dream?
Probably. Technically speaking life is a dream. We have a song called Dreams as well. Though it’s more about Dreams in the way of goals.
10. What are your band’s short-term and long-term plans?
Short term – keep touring the U.S. Long term – Tour the world. (World domination)
11. Do you write your music or lyrics first and why?
Usually music first, just the way the process goes for us. Melody leads.
12. What do you think about being an independent band?
The biggest challenge is to rise above the rest when you’re independent. But on the same coin it’s really about if you connect with people or not whether you are indie or major or major indie.
13. What is the most important thing about your music and why is it important to you?
theSHIFT is about using music as a tool to have an experience. It’s not about the craft as much as it is about the experience. Rock-n-roll has a high energy to it which we find to be a good catalyst for a transcendental experience through music.
14. A fan at your show offered to buy you a drink, but you don’t drink. What would you do?
As our drummer MJ often does, say no thank you.
15. Where can your music be purchased?