INTERVIEW: Frank Shiner
by Cyrus Rhodes
Frank Shiner’s http://frankshiner.com/ musical artistry swings in that special place where his lifetime of experiences in singing and acting are able to breathe together and tell a story. “As a student of Shakespeare,” Shiner explains, “as a student of language, the song is a play, and the lyric is the most important thing to me. If a pretty sound comes out after that, it’s a bonus, never the goal.” Shiner is that rare performer whose delivery evokes a certain classiness associated with Frank Sinatra, Bobby Darin, and Mel Tormé. Yet Shiner is lyrically rooted in the generation that belongs to Paul Simon, Tom Waits, Van Morrison, and Randy Newman, just a few of the composers whose work is showcased by the singer. Shiner’s debut single, “Driving Home for Christmas,” was a holiday evergreen from the pen of Chris Rea, British singer-songwriter. The song was producer Gary Katz. Shiner donated all Christmas 2013 proceeds to St. Jude Children’s Hospital in honor of his late father.
Here's what a few people are saying about him:
Winner of 2 LA Music Critic Awards:
"Shiner delivers a great performance on each track featured on The Real Me. The album tells a complete story and doesn't feel like individual singles. His vocal range shines and the instrumentals that surround his performance help to take this classical music to a more modern and unique place." 4 Stars - thecelebritycafe.com
"Just when you
thought that Josh Groban and Michael Bublé held the patent on
amazing voices, along comes Frank Shiner to shatter those
Below is a recent Interview I conducted with Mr. Shiner.
IMD How would you classify your music? That's a tough one because I don't like to label music.
FS I would say the best description I've heard so far is Pop Vocalist. People bring up crooner sometimes but I really don't think I am one.
IMD Who are some of your top 5 musical influences?
FS Only 5? I would say in no particular order, BB King, Elton John, Bobby Darin, Frank Sinatra, and Doc Pomus.
IMD What do you want fans to take from your music?
FS The highest compliments I've received so far on the album is when people comment that they feel the emotion and meaning of the individual songs I'm performing and that's what it's all about for me. That's what it makes it so worthwhile. Taking the lyrics from these incredibly talented songwriters and making the listener feel something. These days it's rare to hear music that touches you and when it does there's an instant connection.
"Taking the lyrics from these incredibly talented songwriters
and making the listener feel something..."
- Frank Shiner -
IMD How’s the music scene in your locale?
FS In the area I live on the outskirts of Manhattan there is a very rich, eclectic and thriving music scene. From the large stages like The Paramount in Peekskill to the newly revamped Capitol Theater in Port Chester to more acoustic venues like Turning Point in Piermont or The Winery at St George in Mohegan Lake, you can find great music virtually any night of the week.
IMD What is the best concert you have been to? What do you like most about playing live?
FS Seeing Billy Joel and Elton play together a few years back was a great night. The amount of classic songs these two have written is staggering to me. To play live in front of an audience is the ultimate satisfaction. I feed off of the crowd on stage. It's exhilarating to get the immediate reaction, you just don't get that in a studio.
IMD Tell us about this single? Is there a single song on your latest CD release here that stands out as your personal
FS My first single, a version of Randy Newman's Feels Like Home went to #5 of the AC charts so it was almost like an out of body experience seeing my name up there along with superstar artists. It doesn't get any better than that. We are about to release my new single, Temptation, written by Tom Waits. We did a radio version of it that really sounds great, it has a cool, sexy, rhythmic sound to it. I went painstakingly through a number of songs before. deciding on the ones that made it, so I really love all the ones we did. There is a Doc Pomus and Dr. John song, A World I Never Made, which to my knowledge was never recorded and because of that is very special to me.
IMD How have you evolved as a band over the last year?
FS No question. I think the band is still evolving to this day. After each performance I review tapes that I make on my ipad or iphone and ask, "what can be better, what needs to be adjusted." I've grown more closer to the songs on the album. They mean more to me every time I perform them. They have penetrated my soul, it has been a great experience.
IMD If you could meet, play a gig, co-write a song, have dinner, get drunk with any band or artist (dead or alive) who
FS Another tough question. I would say BB King.I love artists where the music flows through them organically and you get swept away in their pain, their torment, their love. Listen to his "How Blue Can You Get," oh man, you feel the anguish in his voice. And believe me there's no auto-tune involved.
IMD What’s next for Frank?
FS More live shows, another album and continuing to keep it fun.
interview conducted by Cyrus Rhodes. Property of Indie Music Media LLC.
Copyright © 2014
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