Shallowpoint interview with bassist Heather Shallowpoint
Conducted by Dark Princess
Greetings Heather! In a few days you'll be releasing a new video for your song "Self Inflicted" where did you film the video?
Heather Shallowpoint: The video for Self Inflicted was filmed in several different locations within Lenoir city and Loudon Tn. One of the locations was an abandoned water treatment plant.
How many days did you film for?
Heather: It has taken us approx. 4 months to film this video, but the whole video was produced exclusively by the band, only working on it on weekends as time permitted with our day jobs and such.
Do you create and film all of your videos as a band do you have anyone else to help you make them?
Heather: All of our official videos have been produced mostly by Chuck Roberts who is the lead singer/guitarist for Shallowpoint. With help from some absolutely outstanding friends and family.
Creating videos is a lot of work can be fun and frustrating at the same time. Who came up with the concept for this video and what can you tell us about it?
Heather: It was a collaboration of ideas mostly from band members and friends. The story line basically is about people fighting their inner demons.
Today, there are more people self-inflecting themselves by cutting themselves to avoid feeling other pains and sorrows. Is this what the song is about and what inspired both the song and the video?
Heather: The song really has to do with how people self-inflict themselves and abuse themselves with all kinds of things in life, drugs, alcohol, knives, many forms and many ways as you will see in the video. It is about inner demons
I think everyone has inner demons and each individual handles it in different ways. What do you do to release your inner demons?
Heather: I play music! Mostly pretty heavy music! I think in a society that is so stuffy it is the best way for me to release my inner demons, thru music. I think this is why heavy metal music in general comes off as angry.
I agree music is a great way to release what is on your mind and what is happen around you. Do you think that heavy metal is more accepted today than it was back in the days?
Heather: that's a good question; it seems to be doing well in our area. But from what I gather, we are more of a new metal band, not heavy metal, nor death metal... So it's really hard to say.
When listening to your music you can hear different elements of metal blended into one. It's brutal and full of aggression for sure. I like the hard attitudes that you bring to the table within your songs. How is your EP doing?
Heather: very well! We keep dreaming of going back into studio to record more songs, but it just does not seem to be in our fate at the moment.
Your 5 song EP each song stands out on its own. Which is your favorite at this moment?
Heather: self inflicted has always been my favorite of the five. I think I just relate to it the most
I like the rawness of it. When listening to the song Nothing Left you can either get up and slam dance or dance along. It’s a song for everyone. It sort of has a Ministry feel to it.
Heather: yes, I love Nothing Left as well. Those two are my 2 fav's hands down. I find broken life a little depressing.
Complicate is another song that has sadness to it as well. One of my friends was listening to it and she started to cry. Have you ever seen any of your fans shed tears at one of your shows?
Heather: no, I don't believe I have ever seen anyone cry. Most of the rest of our set of unrecorded songs are aggressive and up tempo, so I don't think anyone has time to dwell to long on any sadness.
How many songs have you written since your release in 2011?
Heather: We have so many that I am not sure of the exact number. The past few months have been spent trying to perfect several of those songs, I am sure many won't make the cut.
What are some of the changes you are working to perfect those songs?
Heather: We are kind of perfectionists and super tweakers, which is one reason it takes us awhile to start playing our newest songs. We don't want them heard until they are as good as they can be. We end up re writing words to make the lyrics flow better, adding stops and starts, all kinds of things, we experiment with each song until we get it the way we want it.
I agree, if you're not happy with something then it shows. Do you ever ask family or friends to come to your rehearsals to give you their opinions of your new material?
It’s good to have friends who are upfront and honest about it instead of blowing it off too with just yessing you to death. What was one of the most valuable pieces of advice that someone ever gave to you?
Heather: most of our most valuable advice came from our producer, but I have also been VERY fortunate to of met many people in the music businesses that have helped me a long. It's a long way to the top if ya wanna rock n roll! LOL
Yes, turmoil’s, blood sweat and tears and holding on to your dream because you're passionate and believe what you’re creating. Times are hard today for bands between economical struggles and some down falls from free downloading sites, where people aren't really buying albums anymore. How has this affect Shallowpoint?
Heather: This has affected every band that I know, it is the main reason we have not been able to afford to tour or to cut another album. Sadly it takes money to do these things and if we don't make money we cannot spend money to further ourselves. Or spend money to make more music for people to enjoy. It’s really sad
In some cases I don't think that bands are making enough noise about it and that maybe some don't realize what expenses a band has to shell out to release a demo, EP, or album. There is rehearsal to create new songs, studio time to record, hire a producer, an engineer, and mixing. About how much would you say a band needs for that alone?
Heather: if you are counting all the equipment the bands use to practice, I would say upwards of 20k easily, and that is not even including gas to practice and back. Our drummer drives 45 minutes each way to practice. That does also not include a vehicle to tour in and we still could use several thousand dollars in wireless equipment for our live shows as well.
I agree and that doesn't also include money for someone to do the artwork, the inlays, the cd itself, the full packing, press kits, photo shoots, videos, the marketing for the release either. It's not a simple as many think it is. The internet has change a lot for the band and yes it has its ups and downs. How has the internet helped you out? And how hasn't it?
Heather: it is strange to think of how it has helped in so many ways but hurt in so many ways at the same time. But at the same time if not for the internet NO one would even know who we are, all except for local people who have heard us on FM radio or seen live shows. So it has definitely been helpful.
It's a good channel to get bands heard, meet new people, and make new friends, network with other bands, clubs, radio stations, magazines/zine and so forth. What countries outside of the USA have become your friends and fans?
Heather: I have met some wonderful people in Canada! Many of them are music biz owners that I have become great friends with! I get all tied up talking to them for a long time on here! Also met people in the UK and Germany as well.
I know that feeling to well. LOL Where you able to meet some outlets in Canada that could sell your EP and play a few shows down the road?
Heather: yes, I believe if the time comes and we are able to go to Canada to play that we would have help there. I can imagine if we ever make it to Canada though that we will get tied up there and will never leave. It would most likely be our new home.
Canada has a nice scene going for them. I'm sure you'll like to spend time seeing sights too. But that is another thing bands don't often get enjoy it because they are playing back to back shows, doing interviews and are lucky to eat at least one good meal. I hope you won't be planning on going over the falls in a barrel.
Heather: LOL I just hope to make it there one day, I have sincerely met some great friends from there, and I know they will read this.
Do you and the other members have a passport yet?
Heather: no, we sure do not.
In time it will all fall in place. You have played show with bands like Otep! What was that experiences like for you?
Heather: That was an amazing show! I had never seen them live so I gained much new respect! We now know that opening for big bands is where we want to be.
Were you able to hang out with them before or after the show and did they see your set?
Heather: I only met two of them just briefly right before the show, I have no idea if they saw us play. They were pretty cool though!
How often do you play shows?
Heather: We tend to play locally about once a month.
What is like booking shows in TN, such as do you have venues that you have sell tickets, pay to play, rent out a place or by head count at the door?
Heather: all of the above.
I know that you handle all the social media for Shallowpoint do you handle booking the shows as well?
Heather yes, I do. I'm a multitasker LOL
If I'm not mistaken you and your husband are the founders of Shallowpoint. How did this idea come about to form a band together?
Heather: The band originally formed with chuck "hubby" and his cousin Ray was our drummer and our good friend Robbie on guitar. And me of course. We are now on our 3rd drummer, so welcome the new guy, his name is Jason Williams, and he's a cool dude and a great drummer. He has been on board approx. a month.
Was it hard to find a new drummer and how did you meet Jason?
Heather: no, it was not hard at all. We met him thru a friend.
Sometimes changes are for the better. When having a little set back what makes you carry on?
Heather: I sometimes wonder why I carry on, but I’m a really determined person and this is my life and this is what I love to do, so I have committed to it. If I did not do this I would be completely lost in life.
Yeah, you keep pushing yourself beyond the limits. What reasons do you feel makes a band stay together for years?
Heather: I truly believe it is the love of doing what they do that makes them stick together, there is also a bond, and a band is like a family. Even if they are not really related.
How do you handle band issues and not bring it between wife and husband and friendships?
Heather: Luckily we are fortunate in that we are a really easy going group of people; there have rarely ever been any conflicts with any of us. And Chuck and I get along really good, so it's not usually a problem there either.
What is like being the only female in the band?
Heather: It is interesting to say the least! LOL when we first all played together we just played together at our house for a few years, we never really knew there was anything "different" about us. But once we got out and started playing live, it became evident that people were intrigued with a girl playing bass. I think I am a role model for other women as well, I have had soooo many girls tell me how cool it is to see a girl playing in a band.
At times it can be tough being a female in a band. You learn to never let anybody get the best of you. Because you know that you want to do something important. Why do you think it's so difficult for females to get into scene and be taken seriously?
Heather: Honestly, I think, and I hate to say this, but I think females are just not thought of as "musicians" But I’m always glad to prove them wrong! LOL I think a lot of people look at girls in bands as being "gimmicky “Just there as ornaments LOL
I think today many females like you, I and others are getting in their faces and saying we are here to stay now watch me rip it up on stage. At times I feel some who are not musicians themselves feel a bit intimidated as well that females are killing it. So instead of saying she is a great bassist, vocalist etc. they yell out nasty things like take off your clothes. Have you ever dealt such immaturity like that while you were on stage?
Heather: Yes, I sure have, had a guy yell and tell me to take off my clothes once, I yelled back and told him if I wanted to be a stripper I’d be making a whole lot more money! LOL But honestly, that's the only time that has ever happened, thankfully. Honestly, most people have been very respectful to me.
I bet he didn't know what to say next and had a dumb founded face on. LOL I would get so irate about it but you start to mature and ignore them and just conjure the stage. You started playing bass at a young age, what challenges have you overcome over the years?
Heather: My biggest fears in the beginning were mostly stage fright, believe it or not, I’m actually a rather reserved person who does not really like to be in the spotlight, but I grew to love that part of it as well, though I am still way to self-conscious, that's another of my down falls that I must get over, but that is a female thing as well.
Think of everyone in big polka dot briefs. LOL you never forget where you come from and you are. How it can be a challenge. Maybe sometimes it can make you feel lonely as a female musician because they just care about your looks and not your skills and talents. But in the end you win it once you see the crowd’s reaction. You can practice in a mirror or have friends come over and do a bass jam in front of them and ask them to be in the front of the stage, which helps a lot. Do you warm up before a show and how often do you practice on your own?
Heather: I rarely ever practice on my own; it bores me to death LOL. But I do exercise a lot, though I have been guilty of slacking lately LOL
There are days where you have those moments. What type of bass do you own and who are some of your influences?
Heather: I have a Schecter bass, I love it! Been a fav of mine for a long time. I love Korn's bassist, tho I don't remotely even compare to him skill wise.
You tend to gain your own skills and techniques and standout from others. Have you been approached by the girls and woman at your shows about you teaching them how to play and what advice can you give to other females out there?
Heather: I have been asked to teach several people, but I just don't believe I would be a very good teacher, I still feel I have a lot to learn on bass as well.
There is always room for growth and development. I think you should give it a shot. It’s great to see that many look up to you where you live. Have you rocked the stage with your mom or did she come on stage with you and sing? Did you ever think of writing a rock song together and play it live?
Heather: yes, I first started out playing bass when I was sixteen yrs. old in my mother’s band, she was the singer, they mostly did cover tunes, but they had a few originals as well. So at this point, I have been doing this most of my life. That would be a cool idea to rock out with her again on stage. She sometimes sings back up at our practices and has written a few songs for us that we just have not had time to develop yet, but hope to eventually.
That's awesome. Who came up with the name Shallowpoint and what is the meaning behind it?
Heather: Chuck and our ex drummer Ray came up with the name, it was named around the idea that everyone reaches a shallow point in their life, a point to wear they break.
I would like to thank you and Chuck (vocals-guitar), Rob (lead guitar/vocals) and Jason (Drums) for creating music that deals with mature issues that deals with life and where many people can relate to. Before you leave the metal throne any last spoken words you like to leave for our readers and your fans?
Heather: Thank you for taking the time to interview me, it is much appreciated, please tell them to check us out on FB at https://www.facebook.com/shallowpointofficial
Thank you Heather for the interview and taken your time out. I sure will spread the word about Shallowpoint. I can't wait to see the video in a few days.