Band of the Day: Shadowplay

Ed Flynn, guitarist and almost-newest-member of New Jersey’s Shadowplay was pushed into a dark room with a set of crayons and refused exit until he answered our Band of the Day questions on behalf of his bandmates…

How long have you been playing as a band? How did you meet?

I was whoring myself on Backpage. They wanted to run a train on me. I told them I played guitar and we started a band instead.

The whole shebang started in high school. Andrew, Dan and John started playing together in a band that kept going into the college years and eventually they needed a new guitar player. I had been buddies with them throughout high school so I just kinda slid right the fuck in like a glove. No lube necessary. The next couple years we played with a number of drummers until about two years ago when we finally met up with Jamile. Again, perfect fit for us. Not a drop of lube needed.

Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?

Dan’s dad said it one time, I think. There’s a Joy Division song called “Shadowplay”.

What are your influences?

To name few: Mogwai, Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, Portishead, Bjork, Elliott Smith, The Grateful Dead, Justice, Brand New, Don Caballero, Weezer, Fugazi, Slint, Soundgarden, Nirvana, The Pixies, Drive Like Jehu, Muse, Hans Zimmer, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Hiatus Kaiyote, Michael Jackson, Stereolab, At The Drive-In, Radiohead, The Decemberists, Stevie Wonder, Justin Timberlake, Cake, My Bloody Valentine, Slowdive, Prince, Sonic Youth, Sleater-Kinney, Megadeth, Melvins, Dead Kennedys, VAST, Pink Floyd, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Steve Reich, Little Dragon, Earth Wind and Fire, Battles, Boris, Frank Zappa, Steely Dan, The Smiths, Tool, Weird Al Yankovic, Yes, Genesis, Yo La Tengo, Sweep the Leg Johnny, The Stone Roses, Gorillaz, Smashing Pumpkins, Primus, Metallica, The Joy Formidable, The Mahavishnu Orchestra, John Williams, The Jesus Lizard, Jeff Buckley, Guns N’ Roses, Talk Talk, Dinosaur Jr., The Fontaine Classic, Deep Purple, Talking Heads, Depeche Mode, Black Sabbath, Swans, Russian Circles, Fela Kuti, Run the Jewels, Bob Marley, Madlib, MF DOOM, Arvo Part, Tchaikovsky, Miles Davis, Stravinsky, Julia Holter, Kendrick Lamar, Danny Brown, Sigur Ros, Rage Against the Machine, Incubus, Foo Fighters, System of a Down, The Killers, Television, Joni Mitchell, Big Black, Flying Lotus, David Lynch, Earth, Minus the Bear, The Darkness, Buckethead, John Fahey, Jamiroquai, The Flaming Lips and (of course) Sam Gasparre’s Band.

Describe your music. What makes you unique?

It’s weird as fuck. It’s rock. It’s angular. It’s emotional. It’s heavy. It’s loud, very loud. Big ol’ guitars. Big ol’ bass. Big ol’ drums. The singing soars and tears at your heartstrings.

Dynamics are essential. Our songs are like roller coasters: ups and downs and side-to-sides and big drops and loops and after you’re done your heart is racing and you want to do it all over again.

It goes everywhere. One song is folky, the next punky, the next ethereal, the next funky. We listen to everything and it comes out in the music.

Live it gets even louder and better. We get into it. You get into it. It’s a goddamn party. The drops hit harder. The softs bits are more tender. Everything and everyone becomes fine as hell.

Do you have any particular lyrical themes?

Life and shit. I dunno. One of my songs is about going on a train.

What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?

Live it gets even louder and better. We get into it. You get into it. It’s a goddamn party. The drops hit harder. The softs bits are more tender. Everything and everyone becomes fine as hell.

What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?

Watched a guy die…

…as I was killing him.

What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?

Dan plays a PRS and a Line 6.  John plays a Lakland bass. Duck Dunn Signature.  Sounds great. I play a Jazzmaster and a Dual Rectifier. Jamile plays a Yamaha drum kit. Andrew uses a microphone.

What are your plans for the rest of 2017?

Continue to aggressively fuck up the South Jersey/Philadelphia area, occasionally pillaging NYC and DC. Record more stuff in the next year or so. Got a lot of songs prepped and ready to be shoved into the oven. Try to travel when we can. Going up to Canada later this year. Gonna fuck up America’s hat. Make more music, spread more love. That’s it.

If you were second on a three-band bill, which band would you love to be supporting and which band would you choose to open for you? A chance to plug someone you’ve toured with, or a mate’s band we’ve not heard of before!

Probably Radiohead. Sam Gaspare’s band can open for us.

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