WITH SHY (italian version)
by Giancarlo Bolther
Can you tell us about the songs and the making of the new album?
The songs and the new album are very much in the traditional line of the bands music and style. It does feel that it is a continuation of the previous album ‘UNFINISHED BUSINESS’ without any real radical differences. I think it would be fair to say that the band has settled itself in its own niche at last and found its way forward. The songs are traditionally AOR and this is what the band have tradionally become become acclaimed for.
Which is the song of the new record that characterize you best and why?
Probably ‘HIGH TIME’…….it has an AOR standard to it that people have come to expect from the band, a formula that demonstrates everything the band is about, from harmonies to motifs and melodies that all work well together.
Which are (if there are some) the differencies between the new album with your previous ones?
SHY have always been a commercial sounding americanised rock group and have rarely veered away from this sound, except perhaps in the early 90’s when it really didn’t do the band any favours. This album maintains the style and really just reinforces what the band is all about, strong AOR songs.
Where did you find the ispiration to write this album?
Many things, from many times and places, from hitchin’ a ride in Baltimore ‘cause I missed the coach to West Virginia for a show, (High Time) to writing about a family who’s children left home and never came back again.(Where is the Love?) I’ve written mainly from memories.
How much tradition and how much modernity there are into this new record?
Well, it’s a traditional sort of album for the band; actually it’s the first album we’ve recorded virtually-solely on a computer with various different programmes. I guess you don’t get much more modern than that! But with regard to the songs, they are a wide variation on a theme that has become traditional for the band to write.
Your guitarist Steve Harris has got the same name of a famous bass player, does this make some problems to your band in the past?
No, not really, but a lot of reporters always comment on it !
You have started in the early ’80 and i remember a lot of good critics over your band, nevertheless you never became big as some other bands like you, do you know why?
Yes. There were a combination of reasons really. The first major deal we had with RCA failed in spite of itself, the record company gave free products away with our albums to help sell records faster.. this was a disaster as our records position in the charts was handicapped by the company who regulated the charts. Also, we supported bands that were probably not really in our sort of style. I think also, there was a self destructive element internally in the band, because we had not really matured at the time, maybe you explain that as …’Too much…Too young’..?
Which memories about the eighties do you like best to remember?
Touring Europe and the States – Italian audiences were amazing !
Can we say that your sound was influenced by some of the american bands (for example Journey)?
I think it would be fair to say that listening to and working with american musicians over the years has had a relative impact on our songwriting. Having worked with Chicago, and Michael Bolton, through to Don Dokken and Bob Kulick, there will always be something that you take home with you that sticks with you in your writing style for the years to come.
You have a lot of experience in the music world, what has this taught you and what is changed in the music business?
I guess I’ve been in and around the business for around 20 years now. The main thing that strikes you, is when you meet someone who you have idolised, just how down to earth they are and just like yourself. They’ve been through all the hassle, too. I’ve learnt never to believe in promises. Only hard facts are any good to a musician with his career in front of him. Keep all your options open, and don’t bank on the cheque being in the post. For me, the business has changed radically, with the big spending companies of the eighties all but disappearing and the smaller labels popping up all over the world, offering smaller deals. All recording has gone computerised, and the world seems to have gone mad on karaoke and singing other peoples songs for a living. I still like writing my own material, and I would much rather be doing that. Working as a session vocalist, which is something I do for other bands a lot, Can be very rewarding, and there seems to be more and more of that thankfully.
How do you feel about the new bands and the new genres, are you interested in today's music?
Yes, I watch it with great interest. Young people are doing interesting things with music, and so they should be. From EVANESCENCE to ALANIS there are many strong acts on the market. I’m not a fan of the boy pop bands that have turned up in the UK over the last year or two, I would rather listen to more classic sounds from Floyd or Rush to be honest.
The audiences are smaller today for hard rock bands, but there is still a good core of die hard fans, what do you feel about this situation?
Well, the last time I played in Italy it was to several thousand fans in a cycle stadium in Turin. I think that was around 1989. The response was spectacular !!! Why have audiences got smaller in Italy?
What are you preparing for the next tour?
The band are currently in rehearsal in Birmingham , UK
There will be an italian date?
I don’t see why SHY should not play in Italy to promote the new album.
What we can expect from Shy for the future?
AOR music from an AOR band, strong songs, vocals and guitar work.
Would you like to end this interview with a salute to your italian fans?
Of course. To the long standing Italian rockers , that have supported SHY for the last 20 years, we salute You – as long as you follow, we shall always be releasing new albums.
Reviews (in italian): Sunset and Wine