Exploring Entertainment in Florida's 850 & Beyond
Becoming a fan of a band is about more that just liking their music. Whether that means enjoying their live show, meeting the band to discover they are a great group of people, and yes, having something in their music deeply resonate with you.
The Chuck Shaffer Picture Show (CSPS for short) is a trio hailing from Virginia. With two releases under their belt they have a growing fan base along the east coast. Including Brett Hestla (of Dark New Day and formally of Creed) who co-produced the band’s latest EP, even appearing as a guest vocalist on a track.
What makes a CSPS show special? They artfully balance emotional songs with a wicked sense of humor. They manage to be passionate, putting relentless energy into their performance, without taking themselves too seriously.
As a band each member brings a lot to the table as musicians, creating solid pieces of music that perfectly meld together with their strong vocals. There is an openness to the songs, a confidence in letting the music speak for itself.
These are the kind of guys that you love to meet and hang out with. They are there to mingle with the crowd, meet new people, and put on a killer show.
The Chuck Shaffer Picture Show is a little tricky to label in one musical genre; what do you feel best describes the sound of the band?
We typically tell people that we sound like an edgy Incubus meets Chevelle. I think we throw people for a loop occasionally because we do a lot of instrumental stuff live in between a fairly heavy set…but it gives people’s ears a break and we really love taking people on a roller-coaster ride like that. Who doesn’t like roller-coasters right? We play and write from the heart.
Do you know if the person (or his family) that inspired the band name, is aware of the tribute?
Chuck Shaffer knows about it and he has a cd!! =) it was originally a song name and got bumped up to band name.
The “Protect Your Silence” EP, feels like a conceptual disc, building on a theme from song to song. Did it naturally come together, or were you going for a conceptual release?
As far as Protect Your Silence is concerned, it wasn’t intentionally written that way haha. I got the idea for an interrogation themed tune w/lyrics going back and forth between the interrogator and the prisoner/hostage…and knew I wanted to call the song Protect Your Silence. That sort of lead everything else along I suppose, but it was definitely more organic how it came together. The 2nd tune on the EP, Come and Gone, was actually written in like May of 2010! Protect Your Silence was written closer to December of 2010, and the rest of the tunes really came together by February. I did, however, try to have the collection of tunes make more sense than the first album lyrically and musically so it would flow well. We almost spent more time picking out the track order than writing haha.
After a little digging, it looks like one of your first projects was a ska band. What inspired you to transition to a different music genre?
HAH! You found me out! I played trumpet and guitar in a band in high school called the New Age Vikings. it was a ton of fun, shows were outrageous, and the band had like 16 members. I also played in a group called Savory, which was more indie/alt rock that I connected more with musically. I think New Age Vikings was a blast, but it felt different playing music that was closer to my favorite bands/inspirations. That made the transition to play how I do now fairly easy I guess!
What advice do you have for bands that want to tour?
Advice for bands that want to tour is hard! It’s different for every group. Definitely, without a doubt SAVE YOUR MONEY! Before you go out on tour have a bank…take a cooler and buy groceries instead of going out to eat every night. Don’t be afraid to sleep in your van or at some random dude’s house on a couch. Being in a hotel is nice if you can afford it, but you shouldn’t expect that stuff right out of the gates. Tour smart…don’t book yourself in Florida one night and New York the next day or two. ESP with gas prices the way they are, try your hardest to get shows no more than 5 hours apart. Use sites like indieonthemove.com to find venues and contact information. And work hard, dammit! There are so many lazy bands out there who want to tour but not put the work in!!! Once you book a show, don’t just put a blast up on facebook and expect people to show up. Go into town early and promote around the area w/flyers or postcards. Get EVERYBODY’S contact info…other bands, bookers, the venues, and your new fans…then followup! I could go on for hours haha.
What is next for CSPS?
Next up for CSPS is a big block party show in Richmond called Shamrock the Block then we’re heading out on the road with Framing Hanley. We’ll be touring until May…then taking a month or so off to write/record and plan our next big jump.
Where would you like to be in one year from now?
A year from now I’m hoping we’ll be moving our way up the touring ranks, touring full time…out with bigger bands as support and really getting our name out even more. I can tell you we already have two new singles recorded and being mixed. So expect another release (hopefully before the year is out)!
Upcoming tour dates for the Chuck Shaffer Picture Show with Framing Hanley.
03/29 – Market Street Saloon – North Charleston, SC
03/30 – Hooligans – Jacksonville, NC
03/31 – The Rock Shop – Fayetteville, NC
04/03 – The Masquerade – Atlanta, GA
04/05 – The Swamp – Fort Walton Beach, FL
04/06 – The Pit – Jacksonville, FL
04/07 – State Theatre – St. Petersburg, FL