Interview: Meet the Soul Shakers, a band that makes new kind of classic rock band
If you’re a classic rock fan, then the Soul Shakers are a modern rock band to get on your radar. The group makes soulful, nostalgic rock in the style of greats from the ’70s. The band’s current single, “Here to Have a Good Time,” is a catch, feel-good tune that fits next to Led Zeppelin just as much as it does Shinedown.
Vocalist Brett Hellings checked in with Anne Erickson to talk music, radio and his top five rock bands of all time. Hellings, along with Elias Reidy (guitar, vocals), make up the heart of the Soul Shakers.
Anne Erickson: Tell me the story behind the formation of the Soul Shakers. How did you two find each other?
Brett Hellings: Elias and I found each other in the L.A. rock scene years ago. We’ve been friends for around 10 years—in and out of different bands like passing ships in the night—until about three years ago when we finally started writing together. And what a great decision it was. From the start of our sessions, it was pretty apparent that it was meant to be. From that point on, we went through tons of lineup changes and name changes, but the two original members stayed consistent. Now we’ve landed in Nashville, Tennessee, with a record and band, ready to release and start hitting the road.
Anne: Your debut single, “Here to Have a Good Time,” has an awesome classic rock feel. Do you feel the Soul Shakers are kind of a “new classic rock” band?
Brett: That’s kind of fair to say. We are definitely influenced by old-school rock and roll; it’s where we draw our inspiration from. But we also put a very modern twist on our sound. People want and need something fresh and we are trying to bring them that.
Anne: What was the writing process like for the tune? Is there a full-length album coming soon?
Brett: The idea for that song came from a New Years party I was at, actually. I wanted to create something simple and fun, and the chorus just came right out. A good time. After that, the verses came from life in L.A. The first verse is a lot about Eli and his struggles with his situations. In that part, the song took him on as a kind of muse, which also hit home. Other verses were more from my perspective and about my feelings towards the scene and the music industry. Most importantly, it’s about good ol’ fun rock ‘n’ roll.
We just finished the album this summer and fall, and we’re waiting until the New Year to release. It’s a hard wait on us, but we feel it’s worth it at the moment.
Anne: What are your top five rock bands of all time?
Brett: In no order, AC/DC, Aerosmith, the Rolling Stones, the Doors, Led Zeppelin and the Black Crowes. That’s six! You can’t have me choose! (Laughs) The list goes on and on…
Anne: What do you hope to bring to modern rock radio with your music?
Brett: More guitars and some sex appeal. Also, fun lyrics mostly, but with thought. We want people moving and grooving again and singing lyrics that we lived through. We want rock ‘n’ roll back on the radio. If anybody really knows that term and what it stands for, then you know what we mean.
Anne: What’s next for the Soul Shakers?
Brett: Releasing this album and starting to play out everywhere. We have several shows coming up in January. Please come out and support, and stay tuned to more details on the record release through Facebook.com/TheSoulShakersmusic or thesoulsshakersmusic.com.