April 29, 2010
Son of a Bad Man Interview
Jacksonville, FL band Son of a Bad Man are an up-and-coming group who’ve had the opportunity to work with some industry greats and tour with the likes of Hinder, Gavin DeGraw, and others. The band includes guitarists Casey King and Robbie Vanosdol, bassist Scraggle, and drummer Brad Moxey, and singer-songwriter Shawn Fisher.
We got to interview 21 year old Shawn Fisher to find out their sound and the Jacksonville music scene.
1. It looks like you have been touring quite a bit around the southeast. How has that been going?
It’s been going great! The guys and I really consider the road our second home. We give our all at every single performance, regardless of how many people are in the crowd. If you attend one of our shows we are determined to leave you talking about it for the rest of the week. If our future was in our hands, I think all of us would choose the life of a touring musician.
2. You have described yourself as southern pop. How exactly would you describe that?
There are two elements I had in mind when I described our sound as “Southern Pop”. Our songs (especially when you see us in concert) have this twang and raunchy sound when you hear them, which gives the southern impression. We weren’t even deliberately going for a southern sound; but the few times we have toured the northeast, the people in the crowd have commented on how we have a different accent. At the same time, however, the songs we play have this familiar quality to them as if you could hear it on the radio. Therefore, we decided to call it “Southern Pop”.
3. You’re from the town in Florida that was pretty much ground zero for southern rock in the 70s. What was it like growing up as a musician in Jacksonville?
There definitely is a history here in Jacksonville for original southern music, which creates a community of support for fresh, new artists. What I like about Jacksonville is that you have to have a dedicated work ethic in order to get any recognition in the music scene. You have to constantly be honing your craft and evolving as an artist to keep people interested. I think that really affected us as a band and encouraged us to really deliver honest songs and an energetic live show.
4. Who are some of your biggest musical influences?
I am a huge classic rock fan. My two biggest classic influences are Tom Petty and Aerosmith. I love Petty for his lyricism and Aerosmith for the raunchiness and Steven Tyler’s vocals, of course. In terms of more current bands, it is kind of a wide spectrum. I’m currently listening to Augustana, Mike Viola, Butch Walker, Jay-Z, Mumford & Sons, and Grace Potter.
5. You recorded the five songs on This is Me in as many days. What was the hardest part about the process?
Surprisingly, the process of recording a song a day (especially with John Fields) was extremely fresh and enjoyable. Everything in the studio was always set up so if we had already recorded drums, but wanted to change a fill, our drummer would just go in real quick and do it. It left a lot of open room for editing stuff last minute. Probably the hardest part with recording that way was the stress before going into the studio making sure we all have our shit together, hah!
6. What did you learn through the recording process and how do you think you might do things differently next time based on that experience?
Well since our recording process was so short, we really didn’t get a chance to pick up too many tricks or tidbits of knowledge. But we did learn how to hunker down and record songs when you’re under time crunch. We’ll probably be even more comfortable the next time we go into the studio since we had such a positive first experience.
7. You are just 21 years old but you’ve been performing for quite some time. How are the songs you’re writing and performing now different from the stuff you were playing in your teens?
When I was performing in my teens, I constantly found myself trying to imitate my peers and influences simply because I didn’t know any better. It was after I turned 18 that I decided to really find my own voice and style of writing. It took a lot of evolving as a person and artist to get to that point, but I feel like I finally found it now. It has made me even more comfortable on stage because I feel like these songs are just an extension of myself instead of an interpretation of someone else.
8. How did you go about assembling your band, Son of a Bad Man?
I really owe it to my manager, Eddie O’Neal. He was well connected among the Jacksonville music scene and knew of a few great local bands who had just broken up when I decided to become serious; so he picked the cream of the crop of those bands and convinced them to start playing with me.
I know that 90 percent of the time when a band is formed, there are personality conflicts, so I was expecting the worst. However, we all really got along and still do to this day. I’m really appreciative for that because we respect each other as musicians and as band-mates.
9. What is the live music scene like in Jacksonville? Do you guys have a favorite place to play?
The live music scene in Jacksonville is definitely growing. There are a lot of great up-and-coming bands coming from garages in the countless suburbs surrounding the city. My favorite place to play in Jacksonville is Jackrabbits which is an intimate, hole in the wall, venue where we headline when we do hometown shows. I consider Jackrabbits my second home. Its where I played my first club show, so my history as a performing artist is definitely tied to that stage.
10. Where can people go for more information about where to see you live?
Anyone who wants to see us live can go to www.myspace.com/sonofabadmanmusic . Or they can text me on my personal cell phone and let me know their name and what city they live in and I will text them whenever we come to their town. My cell # is (904)874-4843. Dead serious, that’s my real cell number. =)
Wow, I’ve heard that Son of a Bad Man try to get really involved with their fans; I think Shawn giving out his cell number is probably as involved as one can get. There you go. We’re looking forward to hearing more from these talented guys in the future.
Posted by A. Sogal at 9:20 am