10 Questions with Shannon Hurley

Singer-Songwriter Shannon Hurley

Singer-Songwriter Shannon Hurley

Named one of the top 25 artists on MySpace by Rolling Stone Magazine, LA-based songwriter Shannon Hurley was born in Indiana and grew up in a family of singers.  Her alt-pop style has drawn comparisons to artists like Aimee Mann and Sarah McLachlan, which are well deserved, what with her well crafted songs, smooth soaring vocals and talented piano playing.

Shannon’s voice is definitely her own though, and she is loved by many, as evidenced by the fact that over 400 people chose to remix songs off her recent album Ready to Wake Up and that she was chosen as KGRL.FM’s Flower Powered Artist of the Month for August 2008, among other honors.

I met Shannon on Twitter (@shannonhurley) and quickly found my way to her MySpace page to listen to her awesome tracks.  I was also inspired by the discovery that Shannon helped found a collective of female singer-songwriters called “Don’t Call Us Tori“, with the idea of showcasing great talent at group shows together in LA.  Definitely worth checking out!

Shannon wasn’t available for a phone interview but she did take the time to answer some questions I sent her over email.  Tune in to KRUU-LP 100.1 FM or kruufm.com tomorrow from 9-10am Central to hear tracks off Ready to Wake Up!

1. Where is your favorite place to sing?

I spend so much time driving around Los Angeles, so I would have to say my car. I have an ever expanding collection of cds that I love singing to..My current favorites are Chantal Kreviazuk’s “What If It All Means Something”, Carole King’s “Tapestry” and Dusty Springfield’s “Dusty in Memphis”.

2. What are you most proud of about your new album?

I am proud that I was able to create and complete a full album of meaningful songs. I know that other musicians get what I’m saying- It takes a lot of patience, a lot of writing, and tons of organization to make a record. You have to have a vision of where you want it to go, and you need to trust the producer and the other musicians who play on your songs. Sometimes I think that non-musicians are feeling like, “When are you putting out your next album?” If you haven’t done it, you don’t know the time it takes, or the sheer force of the planets aligning in the right way. Also, you have to be really decisive about how you are going to go about it. Song choice is important. It’s hard work!

If anyone is interested, my album, called “Ready to Wake Up”, is here:
http://www.cdbaby.com/shannonhurley3

3. What’s the one thing you can’t leave for a tour without?

My tennis shoes! If I don’t work out, I feel like crap. I have to get moving every day. I try to find a little time each day to go for a walk, which is a really nice way to get to know the cities you visit!

4. What are your 3 most played tracks on your iPod? (if you have one, or, What music are you listening to these days?)

I am an “album girl”. So the tracks I’ve listened to most on my ipod are all the songs from “Sam’s Town” by the Killers. That album was criminally overlooked.

5. Do you get most of your inspiration for your songs from your own life or other people’s stories or both?

If another person’s story affected me, then it touches my life and I feel like it does become personal. I write from all kinds of experience..I try to write about situations that I’ve been through personally.

6. What has been your most exciting songwriting experience so far?

When I was asked to write a song about an exhibit at the Getty Museum last year. A curator contacted me and said that he wanted to see I would be interested in reading  the story of the Zuccaro brothers, which depicted an artist’s struggle in the renaissance.

It was an incredible story, and I was able to write a song that I felt paralleled my own life as a songwriter. It’s called “I’ll Turn It On” and I premiered it in late 2007 for a full house at the Getty Center, along with other LA singer-songwriters like Tom Freund, Priscilla Ahn, Libbie Schrader, and Jim Bianco. That was a terrific time!

7. Any new or current projects coming up you are excited about?

Yes- I just released a remix album of songs from my “Ready to Wake Up” full length debut. I announced that I was looking for remixes, and I received over 400 submissions from all over the world. It was fun listening to all these different styles they would shape my songs into. I was getting trip-hop, heavy rock, rap, trance, and ambient.

I selected eight songs to go on the album and you can find it here:

http://www.cdbaby.com/shannonhurley4

8. Let’s say you just won a big award for your music at a red carpet event – who do you thank in your acceptance speech?

My husband Ben. He has been with me since I started writing in 2001. At the time, we had met in a Duran Duran tribute band (He was the bass player and I was the keyboardist-I’m not kidding!) and I had a small handful of songs that I wanted to try out at some coffeehouses. He and I played the open mic circuit in LA (which is brutal!) but he always believed in me. He is also the best bass player I have ever played with!

9. If you could pick 5 or 6 people, (living or dead) to be in a super band, who would you pick and what would they play?

George Harrison is all I would need. I love his guitar playing..I think my mom played his music alot when she was pregnant with me so I came out of the womb knowing his songs..There is something about his slide guitar that just feels like home to me.

10. And the big question I’m asking everybody these days is: What’s your favorite sandwich?

Without a doubt, it’s PB & J!
It has to be the healthy kind…All natural fresh ground peanut butter, with the all fruit jam, on fresh whole grain bread.

There you have it!  10 questions with Shannon Hurley!

For more info on Shannon, check out the excellint in-depth KGRL interview with video and audio, her website and MySpace.

Once again, Ready to Wake Up is here:
http://www.cdbaby.com/shannonhurley3

And the Ready to Wake Up remix album is here:
http://www.cdbaby.com/shannonhurley4

Or if you prefer you can download from Shannon Hurley - Ready to Wake Up or Amazon.

4 Responses to “10 Questions with Shannon Hurley”

  1. Dave Zeman says:

    Wonderful, I’ll go look her up.

    Dave

  2. Dave Zeman says:

    I wonder if Shannon knows that her settings in MySpace stops her from taking request from bands? I think a band not accepting a band request is most of the times a mistake, com’on we’re fans too.

    I’ll think about the Bluff View site.

    Dave

  3. Lyrical Venus says:

    Yeah, I can understand not wanting to accept a flood of bands from unrelated genres who are just out there to pump up their numbers, and aren’t interested in forming any sort of meaningful relationship, but HAS been frustrating to me on more than one occasion when that happens. Usually if it’s worth it to me, I send them a message explaining how I really am a fan, and that if THEY request ME, we can be friends. So far no one has turned me down. :)

  4. Shannon Hurley says:

    Hi Dave,
    Thanks for the feedback. I just changed my settings to allow other bands to friend request me on MySpace. Please feel free to stop by and say hello!
    Cheers,
    Shannon

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