Shannon Wardrop is an up-and-coming geetar-pop sensation from the UK. Heavily influenced by The Kinks, Rolling Stones, and dare I say a bit of Buzzcocks, she’s a cross-generational mixture of great sounds. Playing a mean guitar, and singing like an angelic demon (you read that right), she mixes vibes effortlessly, coming up with a unique and special blend of rock and roll. It’s twangy, danceable, thoughtful, and fun. I can only hope she gets to quit her retail job very soon.
We connected over email for a little Q and A. For more info on what she’s up to, go to http://www.shannonwardrop.com/.
Once the track “medicine” kicks in, you had my attention. It’s incredibly hip and now, but with heavy references to 60s/70s garage rawk. What year do you think this is, anyway?
Yeah! Well I was introduced to Sacha a couple of years ago, and since then I have embarked in a management, recording and production contract with him and Mike Dixon in order to develop myself/my sound and start to build up a fanbase.
When recording the songs, what was it like working with Sacha? He’s worked with Adele, Duffy, etc. How did you feel about the production process?
It was great! I have known Sacha for quite a while now so I was completely at ease with him. You’d think that the pressure would always be there to impress someone who is so credible and has worked with some amazing artists, but Sacha’s personality and approach in the studio (and in general) makes you relax and lets you be as creative as you want to be. He is great at bringing out the best of people in that way. Cool as a cucumber!
Was this your first time recording this way?
I’d recorded in crappy studios years ago with an old band from school so I was quite used to the recording process but this was a much more thorough set of sessions. We recorded straight to tape which was really cool – it gives it a much warmer sound and it’s nice to keep it old-school as much as you can!
Your inspirations (according to your brief bio, anyway) are 60s acts like the Stones, Kinks, etc. What is it about that vibe, that sound, that gets you excited?
Yeah! I think it’s a wall of sound that is filled with adolescence in every which way that no generation has ever been able to replicate and for that reason it becomes exciting and sounds forever current. It was an era where young people were becoming incredibly creative in many ways and it is reflected within these songs.
Not that it matters particularly, but what do you do when you don’t have your guitar strapped on? Assuming maybe you’re a student?
I work for Topshop when I don’t have a guitar strapped to me! I have always been really interested in fashion aswell as music so it’s nice to get a bit of pocket money working for a big high street brand to keep me chugging along on my musical quest.
And since I brought up studies, what training have you had in music? I’m curious if you’re the “classical music student who likes rock” or if you’re the “girl who picked up a guitar and just figured it out”?
I had guitar lessons for a few years so I started coming more and more interested in Music as a subject then. I completed an A Level in Music at school and although I didn’t feel like I was too good at it, I definitely feel like the classical side to it taught me a lot and has made me try to think outside of the box when I songwrite.
How did you connect with the band? Do they contribute to the writing process?
Well my first EP Medicine was recorded when I didn’t actually have a band together. Sacha knew some great guys who were really cool and creative and who he knew would be great to have playing on the EP. I do have a band with me now though who I knew vaguely from school and I feel like we have come a long way sonically since that first EP! We recorded my 2nd EP at RAK Studios earlier this year and it is due to be released very soon. The video for my first single from it will be posted online next week in fact!
Back to the Stones for a minute…this is a band who’ve been playing for over 50 years…how is what they do relevant to you?
I think that it’s all in the delivery of the songs. Mick and Keith wrote so many incredible numbers that relate to such a wide audience from generation to generation, and the stones performed them in such a way that we can’t help but keep going back for more!
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