Hazleton-based rockers Shatter Influence release new record, plan to gig
Source: Shatter Influence - TopicFragile
A hiatus from live performance has allowed a local rock band to develop its sound and create new music its members are enthusiastic to share with the public.
Shatter Influence released a new studio album, “The Farewell Decline,” on Jan. 28, and, proud of the effort, the Hazleton-based four-piece plans to promote the album and return to local gigging.
The 12-song LP brings together a variety of influences to create rock ‘n’ roll that is both heavy and melodic, using fast-paced tempos and more subdued, ambient arrangements alternatively.
When the band formed three years ago, it was comprised of vocalists and guitarists Sean Canavan and Brent Carder and drummer Dan Cudwadie in addition to a keyboard player.
The band put out a demo, which was self-produced at Canavan’s home studio in Drums, distributing the music to family and friends and playing at small venues in Wilkes-Barre, Scranton and Hazleton.
But shortly after the record was recorded, the band’s lineup and sound changed.
“At first we were going in the direction of a progressive rock sound,” Canavan said. “But when we lost our synth player, we focused on a more traditional rock sound with two guitars, drums and bass.”
The band pushed forward with the new bass player, Matt Rice, and with eight original songs and some covers in its catalogue, but Canavan said band members began to feel the routine getting stale.
“Before the hiatus, we lost direction,” Canavan said. “We weren’t excited … because we really weren’t doing much.”
Then, a jam session led to inspiration, and the band decided to slow down and refocus its efforts.
“We were in the rehearsal space one day and came up with a really cool jam, and that sparked a desire to write more,” Canavan said. “This time last year, we stopped playing out and became hermits. We wrote a bunch of new material and recorded it and started practicing a lot and trying to better ourselves.”
Improvement, Canavan said, came in the form of musicianship as well as production.
“I got a lot of practice recording on our first record, but I got a chance to get better at it, because we weren’t gigging,” he said.
A desire to record music was something Canavan picked up from his father, George, who performed and recorded locally with Hocus Pocus and Golden Age of Rock and Roll.
“My dad taught me,” Canavan said. “He sparked my interest, and he’s my biggest inspiration.”
“The Farewell Decline” gathers influence from late ’90s and early 2000s hard rock by bands like Tool and Incubus and infuses it with the classic rock sensibilities of Led Zeppelin and others, Canavan said.
Band members name acts as different as Deftones, Jeff Buckley, Pink Floyd and Yes among their favorites.
Canavan called the band’s songwriting process “pretty formulaic.”
“All four of us contribute to every song,” he said. “Brent will come up with a guitar riff, and I’ll arrange it and add a bridge and chorus. Then, all of us will sit down and write lyrics. Most of our songs tell a story rather than describe our feelings.”
With its new arsenal of conceptual tunes, Canavan said Shatter Influence is ready to get back to performing live.
“Gigging is our next focus,” he said. “We’ve played a couple dozen shows since we’ve been playing together. Now that we have a product we’re happy with, the next step is getting it out there and playing and doing what we love.”
Canavan, the lone 25-year-old in a group of 26-year-olds, said age played a factor in motivating the band to create original work.
“We’re in our mid 20s, so life kicks in,” Canavan said. “We wanted to have something with our name on it that people could hear. We wanted to say, ‘this is what we do. This is what we made, so come listen.’”
Reach Matt Mattei at 570-991-6651 or on Twitter @TimesLeaderMatt.