Eric Boatright lead singer from Shallow Side, a Southern Rock band that got their start in 2007 in Cullman Alabama; refuses to take sides in the “Pop/Soda” debate, instead saying “It’s not pop or soda, it’s just called Coke” recently sat down with Tina Earl from PatchChord News to discuss their new EP “One”, and life on the road.
This world takes many types to make the world go around, even those that might require a safety brief to make it through a weekend. For those that don’t know, a safety brief is typically given to junior members of the military by their leadership just before a time off. They tend towards being quite funny as they are usually full of common sense things for most. If you’ve never heard of the band Shallow Side, the lead singer Eric describes their sound as “Thrilling, energetic, youthful, sexy and wild.” If any band in the history of touring has needed a safety brief, it would be Shallow Side. Eric shared how three of the band members have bounced back after what should have been career ending injuries; a drummer with a broken collarbone after an alcohol induced skateboard incident, a base player with a busted hand, and Eric himself landing in a trauma unit for a few days in Florida after an accident “because walking and chewing gum is hard.” Being on the road for months at a time with the same people you learn that everyone has an annoying habit or two. Asking him what his bandmates might say his are, he laughed “Not mine, I don’t have any bad habits!” after a bit of prodding he says, “I don’t know, I’m always punctual, and always right about everything, but if I handed them the phone and let them tell you, they’d probably never hang up!” He shared that his bass player Cody, and drummer Heath just kicked one of the nastiest habits, tobacco. “Cody’s dipped since he was able to eat cereal, and Heath has smoked since he was able to breathe…they were able to kick that this tour which is great! Seth though he has a bad habit of drinking liquid cocaine, which is coffee. The reason I say that, everyone I feel like needs a little coffee in their life, but Seth has this addiction that is untouchable. He has a thick espresso black coffee love, I had it once and couldn’t sleep for two days.”
Recently Shallow Side released their third EP titled “One”; their previously released EPs are called “Home Today”(2012) and “Stand Up”(2014), There is a learning curve as with most things in life, like learning from walking and chewing gum, he says “at first we were trying to find out what, and how to do the things we were supposed to do, but now its digging deeper to recreate our brand and stay artistic and interesting and keep the value of our brand.” When asked how he felt “One” differed from “Home Today”, he said “It’s a growth. It’s a continuous growth, as an artist you always challenge yourself and the people around you, listening the third EP from the first, you can tell how the songwriting has grown, as has the production.” Most musicians can easily tell you who their inspirations are, but right now, Eric is listening to a lot of pop music, as he is “intrigued by the hooks and melodies.” A big fan of both Bruno Mars’ and Adele’s latest albums, you’ll also find him listening to The Chevelles, Breaking Benjamin and “a band called Highly Suspect that we just picked up, along with what seems like the rest of the world.” He admitted that he thinks people would be surprised looking at his playlists, “as you wouldn’t find a lot of hard rock, instead you’d find a lot more of the blues type world; Otis Redding, and a Sensations type vibe.” The blues just pulls the emotions right out of you, he said “Yeah, that’s something that I love, I want to feel it when I’m listening, if I can’t then I cannot listen.”
One of the songs off “One”, is called Start a Fire, Eric says “that song is about sex, drugs and rock and roll. Start a Fire is the first-person world of promiscuous adventures I guess you could say. There is a lot of sexual tension in it and it’s pretty much what we wrote it about. It had that vibe when we were listening and creating it.” While it was easy to find two of the albums Shallow Side has put out the third was not, Eric described the albums like his children when asked if there was a song on one that means a bit more than the others. “The newest songs off the EP “One”, they’re newer, so more fresh and the emotions it took to write those songs are held a bit closer versus those of the EP “Home Today” which are the emotions and worlds of yesteryear; I still go through those avenues of emotions when I go back and listen to them but the newer ones are more where we are emotionally now.”
Every artist wants to play the huge venues like Madison Square Garden someday, Shallow Side is averaging 200 shows a year, and there are places they feel like are “home away from home” for Eric, and Shallow Side, Michigan is one of those places. “We have a large fan base there and a growing community of rock and roll listeners, we have a great time when we go there. His favorite part of playing a new venue for the first time is “New faces. It’s that first song, you get halfway through that first song, and they don’t know what to expect, and then they get this jaw on the floor type face where they’re like wow, I had no clue. Those are exciting things to see, people who have never heard of us before and then after the show they’re stopping us to tell us they were blown away.” The ultimate dream band Eric wants to open for right now, “Metallica and Gaga”, because “I feel like that would sell out the biggest of stadiums and arenas… whoever is up and at the top of the list on the kingdom, whoever is wearing the title, we want to play with them, I feel like we would give them a run for their money.”
Speaking of big names, everyone has heard the stories of performers of all types with crazy requests and rituals for before their shows, Eric laughed, “we’ve been asked this a few times, I’m not sure how other bands answer that, I don’t really know what a ritual would be, we don’t sacrifice goats or anything; we don’t demand only the purple skittles. We like to have a good time. I think if we have any type of ritual, we like to sleep and eat food.” Living on the road has its own unique challenges, “it’s not so simple to take everything you’ve ever known, shove it into a backpack and take off running to never look back.” He compared it to start-ups and Mom and Pop businesses; “they struggle with their day to day so I don’t see that much of a difference.” Touring is not only hard on the body, its hard mentally, “we are living in the elements, the hottest of hot, the coldest of cold, you load in at two in the afternoon, and leave the venue around three in the morning, to be up and moving around grueling turns around mountains to get to the next radio interview or TV appearance.” Speaking of mountain passes, looking at Shallow Side’s upcoming tour dates, it’s very heavy on Midwestern and Central US dates, but “we should be doing some East Coast stuff pretty soon, we just are not 100% on where and when yet.”
Asked if he had any final words Eric said “Our new single is out now on iTunes, and you can call and request it on the radio, the single is called “Can You Hear Me, and is off our latest EP. You can find us online at Shallowside.net, or anywhere on social media at Shallow Side Band.”