The Sonic Definitions of Shatterproof
Shatterproof has arrived on the music scene and are ready to rock your world with their wondrously infectious tunes. Violin based alternative rock band with pop and punk influences is the best way to describe the sonic entreaties Shatterproof has in store for potential listeners. The band recently released their Self-Titled Debut EP through Revival Recordings – a record label owned by the one and only Shawn Milke of Alesana. Tracks such as Cookie Cutter Life, So Punk, and Definition of Fine are sure to gain Shatterproof a good deal of attention above and beyond the Rocky Mountain State.
Highwire Daze Online caught up with Shatterproof right before their explosive performance at White Oak Music and Arts in Van Nuys, CA on the second day of their tour. Read on as Shatterproof discusses songs from their Self-Titled EP, how they wound up being signed to Revival Recordings, touring highlights, and other topics of intrigue…
Introduce yourself and tell me what you do in Shatterproof.
Josh Schoenig: I’m Josh and I play bass.
Benji Spoliansky: Benji and I play drums.
TJ Wessel: My name is TJ and I play violin.
Jeremy Marmor: Jeremy and I play guitar.
Branson Hoog: My name is Branson and I sing.
How has this tour been going so far and what are some of the highlights for you guys?
Branson: So we’re only one day in so far, the first date was in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and it’s our probably our closest market to Denver. So we hit Albuquerque the most often. It’s definitely getting to the point where Albuquerque is one of our favorite places to play out of state, just because the kids know who we are, they know our songs, and any time that they sing along it makes our day. Any crazy tour stories? We haven’t broken down yet, knock on wood. I don’t think we’ve been on the road long enough for anything crazy to happen.
Benji : No, it’s our second day. Last night we pulled up to a gas station in Albuquerque and I was like, hey we should probably be inconspicuous, let’s brush our teeth and get out of here, doesn’t look like maybe the best of areas. And two seconds later some lady was yelling at somebody to get out of her car and she’s like “You don’t know me!” And we were like, okay, let’s pull forward, this is probably not the best place to get ready for bed. But that’s basically the craziest thing that’s happened so far – not too much. Still pretty fresh on the tour.
So where are you guys based out of? And what’s your local music scene like there?
Benji : So we’re based out of Fort Collins, Colorado. So the music scene in Fort Collins is actually very folky, but in Denver there’s a good hard core and post hard core and violin-core, which is what we are, which is a type of scene. Really good music scene, though, very supportive. People love their local music in Fort Collins, and they just come out to support their friends that are in bands, so that’s a great thing.
How did you end up on Revival Recordings?
It was actually a fan who submitted our music to them. They put out a survey, “who’s your favorite local band? Tag them in this post and we’ll check them out.” And, they watched our music video and really like us and contacted us right afterwards, which was kind of bizarre for us, getting an email out of the blue from the guys from Alesana, which was a band I listened to when I was going through high school. So it was kind of a surreal thing, finding out about them, like, oh, these are actually legit people and this is a really awesome label, and they contacted us out of the blue because somebody sent them our music video. It was really awesome, and so far our experience has been really awesome.
Select two songs from the debut EP, what inspired the lyrics?
Branson: The go-to song is always “Cookie Cutter Life.” It’s our – I guess everyone goes through struggles, but everyone has their own hardships and we call relate in that sense. And music is an awesome thing to bring people together. The main lyric in that song is “scream with me if you’re lost, at least you know you’re not lost alone.” And so that one is definitely one of our all-time favorites. And then I’d say the other one is So Punk, it’s been a blast to play. It’s the fastest, rowdiest song we’ve written. I guess talking about the frustrations of the music industry, which, if you’re anywhere near the music industry – for any of you listening – but there are a lot of very frustrating aspects about the music industry so it was kind of like – there are lyrics about how our rib bones are showing and we’re hungry, we’re sick and tired. Tour life is a very difficult grind. It’s awesome, but it wears on you for sure. It’s the best diet ever. So if you ever need to get in shape, go on tour.
“Cookie Cutter Life,” you guys did a video for that. Who was the older guy in the video? Was that someone’s dad?
Josh: The older guy was just a friend that we had met through the Denver music scene. His name is Will Dupree. He runs a music festival in Denver, helps out with it, called The UMS (The Underground Music Showcase). He’s a bigger name in the Denver music scene so we thought it’d be cool to feature another local legend, I guess, to be in our video.
Branson: I actually had a dream with him as the villain of this music video. And ever since he was in the dream we had to make it happen, so that’s how that whole thing came about. He just randomly ended up in one of my dreams, I suppose.
What can one expect from a live Shatterproof show for those who are missing it tonight?
Benji: Much energy. Holy junebug, oh my god. [laughs] A lot of energy. We definitely like to put it all out there on stage and leave nothing behind, so for those who cannot see us tonight, definitely just – I don’t know. We just put it out there as hard as we can. We just play how the music makes us feel and that’s how we write the music. Then when we play it live, it just fully manifests itself on stage as a full cohesive performance, I think. So that’s really what we try to accomplish every time we step out on stage whether there’s two people or three hundred people.
If Shatterproof could open for any band either now or from the past, who and why?
Josh: From the past, I’d say Nirvana because it’s Nirvana and there’s no other explanation, that’s the reason. They’re the best.
Benji: Yeah, definitely Led Zeppelin from the past. Gotta say playing a festival with Led Zeppelin would probably be one of the greatest experiences ever.
TJ: I think the junior high boy inside of me would have loved to open for My Chemical Romance. I think that was a band a lot of us have actually listened to but they’re like epic/anthem choruses are definitely something that inspired us.
Jeremy: For modern bands it’d be a tie between Panic At The Disco and Twenty One Pilots. We look up to both of those bands a lot.
Branson: You guys hit most of the bands, but I actually think one of the most beneficial ones it would be a boy band of sorts. I know One Direction broke up but a Justin Bieber because I feel like our fan base is very similar to that kind of demographic. So even though it’s not necessarily a dream musician to play with, I think that’d be the most beneficial show. I was thinking more One Direction because I said boy band. I feel like that would launch our band the furthest, though, you know what I mean? I don’t know.
What’s up next for you guys after this tour?
Branson: More tours.
TJ: We’ve got a brand new music video coming out this month for “Definition of Fine.” Comes out in August, we’ve been hard at work on that so we’re stoked to finally present that to people. It’s been in the works for over six months now, I guess. Probably like, eight months. We’re stoked for people to finally see it.
If anybody wants to contact you where would they go?
Benji: We’re the absolute worst because we made every social media different, so we really messed up. Do you remember them all?
Josh: if they want to contact us as far as booking us or putting us on anything, firstname.lastname@example.org is the email to go to. We’re on Instagram, if you look up Shatterproof official, we’re on Twitter if you look up Shatterproof_fc, we’re on Snapchat if you look up WEARESHATTERPROOF. Then our website is – Facebook is weareshatterproof – and then our site is weareshatterproof.com.
(Interview and Photo by Ken Morton)
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