Shouse - Alone on the Sun
"belongs in your hands right now."
- INDIE MUSIC DIGEST:-
I first had the privilege or hearing Michael Shouse or Shouse a few weeks back reviewing his latest release "Alone on the Sun." From start to finish “Alone on the Sun” CD is one hell of a ride. The strong suit is clearly the guitar showmanship, melodic delivery & overall musical consistency. This CD will be a joy for guitar enthusiasts out there who enjoy technically savvy guitar, shredding solos, & a classic 80’s late 90’s rock vibe. So if you like your guitar served hot to the touch, with solos that are fast and furious, "Alone on the Sun" belongs in your hands right now.
IMD How would you classify your music?
SHOUSE Its hard. I have done funk, vocal rock and singer songwriter, classical and sound track orchestrated pieces for film. But, this particular CD, I would say is full on Rock Guitar Madness
IMD I was impressed with some of the fancy fretwork, how long have you been playing?
SHOUSE Over 20 years now. I started my senior year in high school. I was a saxophone player in the school band until then, so I had a good back ground.
IMD Who are some of your top 5 guitar influences, starting with the most influential?
SHOUSE My first was Van Halen with the release of 1984. Then in college I heard Satriani and that made me look at lead guitar in a different way. Stevie Ray Vaughn, Zack Wylde, Paul Gilbert. The most influential would be Satriani, I liked how he was innovative but focused on the melody.
IMD I hear Joe Satriani, Eddie Van Halen, Steve Vai, Tony McAlapine am I off the mark there?
SHOUSE Lol..NO. All of these players have had an influence at some point. I haven’t played tab or anyone else’s music in 21 years. I did my first year, playing songs in a band. I decided early on that I wanted to learn all there was about the guitar and be original, but its hard not to be put in the category as the other artists of this genre. All of the licks and ideas on the CD are original, that I have been working on over the years. There are things on the CD that have never been done on the guitar and that’s why I wanted the guitar tab with the CD. So, guitar players see what I did. My music is theory driven and I didn’t use the same lick s for each song. Each song has its own licks and ideas.
IMD Aside from guitar driven rock, who are some of your top musical influences as far as bands go?
SHOUSE I grew up with Kiss and AC/DC, & growing up in the 80s, the metal groups of that period. Mostly because it was guitar oriented. Today I like Shine Down, and other bands of that nature. I listen to Satriani, Gilbert & Petrucci, too.
IMD Who gets to be your favorite band of all time?
SHOUSE Man, that’s a tough one. I would have to say AC/DC, considering I’ve seen them twice in concert and still love to listen to them today.
IMD How’s the music scene in Lexington, KY these days?
SHOUSE It’s ok if you play cover songs, but of course, I don’t. I have recently been asked to play guitar for a Christmas rock opera, like TSO, that will be performing for charity this December.
IMD What was the best concert you’ve ever been to?
SHOUSE Well, if you have never seen Shinedown in concert, you really should. They relly know how to put on a rock concert and please the
"This particular CD, I would say is full on Rock Guitar Madness."
IMDI especially enjoyed the song “DEAD IN MEMPHIS” could you tell us more about that particular piece, what inspired that one?
SHOUSE I had composed the intro part and the rhythm a while bck. It took on its own life from there. Going from blues to a mixolydian mode, gave me room to breath. Of course, lots of key changes. It was my first attempt at slide guitar, too. It was a fun piece to work on. It was mostly improv, not like the others on the cD and I liked the slow part in the middle of the song. Josh Kerr played bass on the song. He has played with Billy Corgan, JImmy Chamberlain (The Smashing Pumpkins), Parry Farrel, Billy Howerdel, Third Eye Blind, Avril Lavigne, The Panic Channel, Eve 6, Deadsy, Ashley Parker Angel, Aly & Aj, Katy Perry, Devin Bronson (Avril Lavigne), Robin Diaz (Trapt) and Peter Black.
IMD How about “FOR ALEX” seems like a very personal statement?
SHOUSE Yes it was. It was the first piece I recorded and is a tribute to my good friend and student Alex Hudson, who died in a car accident two
years ago. At the time I had no wants to even do an album like this, hard rock instrumental, but I wanted to do something that would make him
proud & that would keep his memory alive. It is the longest track on the CD and includes everything but the kitchen sink as far as licks and
original ideas. The melody is what I think angels might be singing as he joined them. Deep, I know.
IMD I like how you brought a lot of different players to the table for the CD as well – you know a lot of gunslingers?
SHOUSE Not really. I have done some on-line columns for some websites. Chopsfromhell.com was one in particular, and I contacted most of the bass players on there to see if they would play on the CD. They agreed after hearing some of the tracked guitar work. The drummers I got from internet searches and some were contacted by friends, who they suggested play on the album as well. I did all of the guitar, keyboards and vocals at home, sent it to the drummers, then a basic mix to the bass players and then to Nashville to mix it all down. It was a great experience, considering I have never met most of them. Vocals were done by my friend Gene Booth, of the rock band Stitch Rivet, a local band that is getting some national attention. Each musician was given free reign on their song, only a few suggestions and changes were made if I thought it didn’t work.
IMD What’s next for Shouse?
SHOUSE I’m currently promoting the CD, getting ready to start practicing with the rock opera for Christmas and I’m always acting in Indie films and composing for different projects. The educational film “Igirl: A teen survival Guide” just received a Tele Award, which I assistant directed, composed score, sound edited and acted in. I was just casted as the lead villain in “The Last Race”, a film that will be shooting in Utah, New Mexico and Costa Rico. I am also a full time art teacher with a masters in nude figure drawing. So, my focus isn’t on guitar, but it is one of the things I enjoy doing most. I started writing a guitar column in the Music Entertainment Magazine and I am teaching guitar at the Music Institute of Lexington. So, Im pretty busy. Thanks to you and the Indie Music Digest.
interview conducted by Cyrus Rhodes. Property of Indie Music Media LLC.
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