On the eve of Shayna Rain's EP Release / Tour Kick Off on Sept 21st at the Bunkhouse Saloon, VIM Magazine interviews Shayna Rain.
VIM: You recently performed with your band in support of Rusty Maples at the Bunkhouse, what were the highlights of that night for you?
SHAYNA RAIN: The highlight of that night was seeing Rusty, they're such a good band. I feel lucky to see them each time that I do.
VIM: What were some of your early influences growing up? Do you have any local favorites?
SHAYNA RAIN: My influences growing up are a little different than my influences now. When I was a kid I learned a lot of Carole King songs and listened to the oldies station on my radio and try to sound like any singer that came on. I was also really really into pop singers, and I would record myself singing Britney Spears or Alicia Keys songs on my karaoke machine. I could do a pretty good Britney Spears impression.
VIM: You have a new EP coming out in September? What can you tell us about it? Is it already completed?
SHAYNA RAIN: The EP was recorded and mixed at naked city audio here in Las Vegas. I'm really excited about it being mastered at West West Side Music. Deja Entendu was mastered there and that's one of Zellers (drummer/producer) and I's favorite albums.
We let Zeller produce this one and I'm really really happy with the way it sounds. I really enjoy singing over electronic music. I have always thought because my voice is a little on the softer side it fits my tone more. Zeller and I working on electronic type songs together actually came about when we worked on a benefit show for someone and no one else in the band was in town. We had to make it work, and he and I have always wanted to work together, just us and his beat machine, and it turned out really great. So, once the whole band got together we started writing more like that. Paper Flowers is something I'm really excited to show everyone, it's my baby. I care about that song so much. I started singing the melody randomly one day while I was knocking on doors for politicians, and I recorded it on my phone so I wouldn't forget it, then I showed him and was like "what are these chords?" He put a piano part to it pretty fast and we went from there. I would also have lessons with Brittany Rose and she would help me with harmonies and the intro to that song. It's been a lot of craft that I'm excited to show what we've pieced together.
Although, the EP isn't just electronic.
There's two electronic songs on the EP and two rock songs. One of them is titled "Before My Body," I wrote it after I watched a documentary about the Golden Gate Bridge. They filmed people jumping off the bridge for a year and then interviewed those peoples families. It's nuts.. Anyway, it's really depressing. Part of the lyrics are "The stories I can no longer tell are tied to my feet, oh watch me sink. I'd watch myself die if I could so I could see my body slowly let go of my mind, I'd watch you back away from my blood and I'd tell myself that's not what I would've done."
VIM: Your first show was three years ago. Looking back now, what have been your favorite shows and performances? Where would like to perform next?
SHAYNA RAIN: The first show was one of my favorite shows. I took a picture of the crowd that night and I still use it as my header for some social media pages. It warms my heart thinking about how supportive everyone was. Both of my parents were there, my dad flew out just to see us, it was rad. Nick is also in that photo but in the crowd he's giving me the "number 1" finger sign for some reason and it's funny now because we're dating and I asked him about that and his answer is, "it's because you're number 1 babe, I just knew it then." Haha! He's full of shit but he's cute.
Some of my favorite shows since then.. Our release last year, a lot of people came out to that. I'm always taken aback and surprised whenever a good amount of people show up. Like this amount of people want to see us? Crazy.
And some shows on tour..
I'll never forget we had like zero dollars going into Colorado and we had two shows that day, hoping we would sell a good amount of merch to continue the tour. At the first show this man tipped us a very generous amount and asked us to never give up, it was the sweetest thing. It really lifted our spirits, the next show Colorado again lifted our spirits. The place was packed and they were so supportive. Needless to say we were able to finish the tour because of those people and I think that's why those are my favorite. The people made them my favorite.
I would just like to build more of a fan base.. I don't really care so much where it's at as long the people are listening.
VIM: You’ve been singing since you were 6 years old, what do you consider to be your biggest inspiration? What’s next for you?
SHAYNA RAIN: Yup, six years old. I started singing the day of my grandpa's funeral. He was my hero, I felt like I needed to show him that and I never told him so I went into this room that had a piano in it and attempted to sing a song. I've never had a hero since, but I've sang since. It's what got me through his death.
My influences change, but at this time I would say one of my biggest influences is Justin Vernon. He has such an incredible ear- have you heard how amazing his harmonies are on his songs? Have you seen him live? I wish he had a school so I could learn his techniques because he is so talented. He just released a new song under Bon iver called
'10 Death Breast' you should listen to it.
Also check out our interview with Glass Pools here.