We connected with Portland, OR based band Shotski, comprised of Clark Phillips (Guitars/Vocals), Brandon Graviet (Bass/Backup Vocals), and Conner Smick (Drums), for an exclusive Q&A to discuss their incredible new EP, “Pipedream”. We also learned how this new EP is different than the band’s earlier project, “West Beach”, how the city of Portland inspires their creativity, and what their goals are musically heading into 2020.
After reading our interview with Clark, Brandon and Conner, be sure to connect with them on their website and social media, listen to “Pipedream”, and check out our in-depth review.
Congratulations on the release of your new EP "Pipedream", which is composed of five songs. Were there additional songs recorded that did not make the final cut? If so, why?
We have a backlog of songs that we hope to record at some point, but we tried to pare down selections for “Pipedream” by choosing songs that flowed well together. We also wanted the EP to be palatable as a group of songs for both existing Shotski fans, and the casual listener. The hope is that listeners who come in for one song, stay for the entire release, and listeners that come in for an album are left wanting more, and will anticipate the next release.
What does the EP's title "Pipedream" represent?
Shotski is meant to represent living life to the fullest, and having a good time. That being said, a lot of what we write is poking fun at ourselves for that naive outlook on life. “Pipedream” is a mix of buying into that ideal, as well as realizing that life is more complex than that, and having that viewpoint can be a sham.
In what ways is "Pipedream" different than your first project, "West Beach"?
We made a concerted effort to build on our last project, and maintain a surf/psych/blues/jazz synthesis, however we wanted this record to come off sounding less produced, and more genuine. I think we accomplished getting new sounds with our songwriting, and tried to push outside of our comfort zone. We also are very proud to have worked with a great studio engineer who was able to track and mix the sound we wanted.
Would you say that the city of Portland influences your creativity at all when developing new music? If so, how?
Portland is an amazing city for music. The music community is really inspiring, and I think we all feed off the energy of the music scene here. There are so many bands pushing boundaries here, and we like taking that inspiration to reach outside of our own comfort zones, while still aiming to write music that appeals to our fans. The hope is that we give back to this city as much as we take.
With "Pipedream" now out, what's next for the band musically and what are some of your goals heading into 2020?
A lot of our goals revolve around building on the momentum we've gained over the past year. We hope to put out another set of songs in early 2020, and the goal is to take that music up and down the west coast. We hope our current music is making its way to lots of peoples ears in the next few months, and that people will want to connect with us online, and better yet, come see us in person.