By Quentin Clearly
SHEARE is one of those rare artists whose music perfectly dances along the light and the dark side of life. He is an honest songwriter who is not afraid to bare his soul while keeping his music accessible to the pop set.
Nowhere is that sentiment truer than on SHEARE’s latest single, “Girlfriend” which thrusts forward his heartfelt vocals atop a synthpop sound-bed. Fans of both Bright Eyes and The Cure can find equal enjoyment with this track.
SHEARE recently made the pilgrimage from New York City to Los Angeles and we popped in to ask him his thoughts on his move, music, creative process, and more.
What first brought you out to Los Angeles and how does it differ from the New York music scene?
I always joked that LA is like the girl you briefly dated in your late teens/early 20s and NY is the girl you married. I think I had this initial inherent disdain for LA in my DNA being a New Yorker. While I still feel like NYC is a magical city, it kind of lost its magic in terms of its arts scene. Despite my cynicism towards LA, I’ve never felt more accepted and welcomed by the community of musicians here.
Favorite record shop in LA?
I really like Permanent Records in Echo Park. The last time I was in their shop they had a first pressing of The Smiths’ “The Queen is Dead” that still haunts me.
I feel like every few years there’s a new standard of measuring an artist’s perceived value based on metrics. When I was a kid it was Myspace, then Facebook, then Hypem and blog premieres, and now streaming numbers.
Initially, I would get really hung up on numbers as it feels like every artist is chasing the same small sliver of playlisting pie. I think now I focus more on what’s in my control, which is writing and producing the best songs I can. Everything else will inevitably follow.
What is your favorite part of the creative process?
I really enjoy when a song is in a pure demo state. I usually start by producing a track which then dictates the tone of the song emotionally/lyrically. There’s something really rewarding about watching a song evolve from the ground up. I tend to sing gibberish while listening back to the instrumental demo and eventually shape what I think I’m attempting to say into concise lyrics.
Who is your favorite music producer at the moment?
I think because so much of modern music has become a process of bandmates with laptops, the art of the producer in the most purist form has been kind of lost. I’m a big fan of producers like Markus Dravs, Jon Brion, and Nigel Godrich. The records they’ve made are classic.
What is the backstory of your newest single, “Girlfriend”?
I was sitting in a cafe going through my old email when I first moved out here and I found a long remorse filled letter chronically our relationship that I had never seen up until that point. I went home that day and wrote “Girlfriend” as a kind of anthem for emotional ambiguity.
What can fans expect when they catch you in concert these days?
I try to make every show feel like I’m playing Glastonbury even when in actuality I’m playing to rooms only slightly larger than the men’s room at Glastonbury ha! It’s a proper rock show though.
How would you describe your personal style (fashion-wise)?
I feel like I dress like someone who should’ve grown up in Camden Town but didn’t. Growing up in lower Manhattan, I was really influenced by street fashion and androgyny. Also it needs to be black.
If you could summarize 2019 into one word what would it be?
Politically speaking….: “Fuck.” Musically speaking: “Catharsis.”