Exploring Entertainment in Florida's 850 & Beyond
First and foremost, what type of band is Shallow Side? What genre do they fit in? Eric couldn’t have said it better: “I think as any songwriter would believe, and hopefully artists alike, that pigeonholing yourself is devastating. To pick one genre to be a part of just puts walls up higher. Eventually, I would like to be a part of the entire industry not just one hall of fame.”
At the beginning of 2010 – Eric, Heath, Seth, and Cody decided that jamming in an old storage building wasn’t going to quench their thirst for the music industry. They set out to develop a band and began touring under the name ‘Shallow Side’.
The name was thought to best suit “our current position in the industry as well as our up- bringing,” explains Eric. “Coming from a paycheck-to-paycheck family, we have all understood that working and earning your way was inevitably our only way to survive this world. We decided that the name Shallow Side would continue to remind us that fighting for what you believe in will always have the better outcome.”
After two years of touring, Shallow Side welcomed a second guitarist, Justin.
Who are the faces and minds that make Shallow Side complete? Eric gave me the skinny on the fellas.
Their drummer, Heath, is described as a man of compassion and adventure. “Watching him simply think, is as entertaining as watching him play. Small in stature and big in heart, you honestly won’t find a more loyal and kind person to be around.”
According to Eric, one word sums up the entire existence and backbone of their guitar & piano player, Seth, as well as the band – persistence. “I’ve never seen a man so dedicated and well driven before in my life. We are lucky to have this guy on our team. So long as he doesn’t have to plan out his own pee break, working with this guy is the best.”
Bass player, Cody is said to be the logical one. “He’s the first to realize it’s not the sky falling, it’s just that we parked under the bridge that the homeless shit off of… In an unsigned band without financial backing, playing cards with national bands is extremely difficult and there are very few bands that do it flawlessly. With Cody as our brains we have been able to develop the right stroke of luck that has full housed our way into some pretty sweet hands.”
The newest member, guitarist Justin, “Has the background of rock-n-roll pumping through his veins. He is a great young talent.”
Eric didn’t give me a description of himself, so I might go out on a limb and say that he’s the “funny guy” of the group. Although the interview was done through email, his answers made it feel like I was on the phone with him. I could hear a distinctive laugh behind the jokes and the truthfulness in his thoughts.
For the fans who have been with Shallow Side since the beginning, know what the word ‘family’ means to the band. It is used many times in reviews, interviews, and their band bio. For Eric and the members of the band the word has a special meaning:
“When we first started this venture it was pretty tough, not to mention we were terrible. Getting shows was impossible, getting people out to the shows was even harder, and the entire battle for us was relentless… but we never gave up. Even as the tide grew higher for us, we stuck together as a family would. Throughout touring we would tell people we were brothers and family and that we grew up together, because honestly, most of us did. So, it was an easy lie to tell. Soon after gaining fans and hearing stories of inspiration, trials, and tribulations from them, we were being taught that it wasn’t just us that needed this to be a real family. They needed us just as much as we needed them. The fan base FAMILY was adopted and I couldn’t be more proud.”
Your song, Try to Fight It, is receiving radio play across the nation and on Sirius XM Octane. Did you know that this song would be the one to get radio play first, and how did you all feel the first time you heard it over the airwaves?
“First and foremost we are very new to the songwriting game. Now with that being said, we aren’t amateurs either. When you got a song and know it’s a good tune you can feel it. Maybe a sixth sense, but when it’s there it’s there and you know it. After recording this one on demo (Try To Fight It) you knew there was a ‘lil sparkle in it.’ We released the song to national radio January of 2014 and we are just now seeing a response from stations. So to answer the question (have we heard it?) no we haven’t yet, but oh what a day it will be!! And everyone out there keep requesting it, thank y’all.“
What about the guys/gals behind the scenes?
“We for the most part run everything in house, self-sufficient, self-reliant band that thrives off the life of good music and hard touring schedule. Yet if there is a behind the scenes character you’ll more than likely see this guy opening the curtain, closing it, sewing it and getting it all together – Nick, our tour manager. I couldn’t give enough credit to this guy. He has a heart of gold and enough soft spots to make the Pillsbury dough boy jealous. As of now, Nick works hand in hand with booking, promoters, endorsements, sponsorship, fans/Family, live shows, and sound productions, not to mention he does tour managing as well. This guy is our go-to man. If you see our faces, more than likely, he’s the reason, so blame him!”
I’ve had the pleasure of seeing Shallow Side live twice – once opening for Framing Hanley, and later for Taproot in the 850 area at Club LA in Destin. When Eric says that they are a band with a high level of energy, he’s not joking around. These guys love to rock! They are definitely a great performing band with a strong rock sound.
The best place to watch them is from right in front of the stage. You feel like you become part of their show. They reel you in with a bit of eye contact and keep you entertained by their musical talents and pure energy. I can say, hands down, one of my favorite performers at the venue.
Having seen them twice, with two completely different sized crowds, they always put their entire heart and souls into the performance. Eric’s vocals took me by surprise, especially with the way he’s constantly moving. They just didn’t quit until their set was up, leaving the audience wanting more. They are also super cool, down to earth guys off stage, but still completely full of energy.
…..and speaking of shows and touring…..
You have toured with some pretty big names, who/what moment was your most memorable?
“I could think of a few good ones, we seem to be the type to make the worst out of a good situation sometimes, like playing with Pop Evil on the height of Trenches. They graciously let us use their stage cabs to conserve room. If you have ever seen our live show, you know the level of high energy, jumping, swinging, dancing, that goes on. Cody at 6’6″ swings his bass through the air, collapsing their entire back line like dominoes. After the show the guys were extremely cool with us and reassured us everything was ok and it would all be settled over a bottle of tequila. I can’t quite remember what happened after that bottle though, ha ha, as well as playing with Black Stone Cherry and becoming good friends with those guys. We did a pretty sweet acoustic tour w/ Zach Myers from Shinedown and Zack Mack. Incredible Talents!! Another amazing time was at Blazefest, we had won an online contest (thanks to our Family) and then played for the radio stations festival with countless national acts. That day was incredible, and we hope to get the opportunity to play Blazefest again this year!”
I enjoy asking vocalists what song they would cover, if they could pick just one, Eric says that his personal choice would “always be a new trending pop song. Some of the best writers put out stuff in that genre and I simply can’t get enough of it. The other guys would have me sacrificed before a show if I saw it through…….”
As for the article’s opening statement regarding the band demanding purple Skittles before every show, this could be true or not. I asked Eric if the band had any before show rituals and he placed purple Skittles on the list. Whether this is true, or an ode to the Van Halen’s brown M&M’s story…. who knows. But maybe, if you want to get on the good side of Shallow Side – you should show up with a bag completely of purple Skittles.
Hey, it’s worth a shot, right?