The Shift is set to open for Soul Asylum at the Down by the Riverside opening concert Sunday, July 10, at 7 p.m. They took a few moments to talk with us about their most memorable shows, books everyone should read and their top 5 Soul Asylum songs.
507: How does it feel to be opening for the legendary Soul Asylum? Are you nervous or stoked?
The Shift: We feel honored and fortunate, a little nervous, and very excited. Playing in front of a lot of people is what all of us want to do so it’s nice that we get to do so in our hometown and with another Minnesota band that, as you say, is legendary.
507: What kind of audience are you hoping for on Sunday?
The Shift: We hope nobody is wearing pants because we’ve heard that’s supposed to make the performer feel less nervous. But seriously, we hope it’s an enthusiastic crowd eager to dance.
The Shift: May as well listen to all of them. Our debut album just came out on June 26th and you can sample it or buy it on iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, etc. or check out our website. Let us know which ones you like.
507: Most listened to song in the last week?
Taylor: Brand New Day by Bryan Adams
Cole: A Change is Gonna Come by Sam Cook
Travis: Baby It’s Cold Outside by Pezband
Daniel: I haven’t deliberately listened to anything besides talk radio all week.
507: What do you drink during a show?
The Shift: Water with a water chaser for all of us except Taylor behind the drums has Hi-C Ecto Coolers and The Macallan 12.
507: Favorite local band or artist?
The Shift: If you play music or make any kind of art or dance you are definitely our favorite. Let’s keep growing this vibrant art community.
507: Most memorable Rochester gig experience?
The Shift: Last summer our second show as a band was at the Recovery is Happening event in Silver Lake Park. Our set culminated in an epic fireworks display that really made us feel like fancy rock stars. They are doing it again this year on Sept. 10 beginning at 5pm and The Shift will be performing again.
507: If you could run sound for one artist no longer among the living, who would it be? Why?
Daniel/Cole: Thelonious Monk (Daniel) and Mozart (Cole) because we wouldn’t need to fiddle with the knobs much just sit back and witness sublime genius.
Taylor: Slayer. I like turning stuff up really loud!!
Travis: Freddie Mercury because IT’S FREDDIE MERCURY!!!
507: One book you think everyone should read?
Cole: “Cosmos” by Carl Sagan. Billions and billions of people should read it. Star stuff, man.
Daniel: “Americanah” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. It’s so smart on so many subjects. It’s a love story. It’s funny. Everyone should read it because it’s about belonging and connecting in a fractured world.
Taylor: “How To” books by anyone. Folks gotta know how to do stuff.
Travis: “The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success” by Deepak Chopra. If you worry a lot about the future, it is a reassuring stress reliever. Let it go.
507: Favorite local hangout?
The Shift: Lately, we have all been far too busy to hang out. We spend very much time at the Shift Shack making music and we all enjoy the local parks and locally owned restaurants.
507: Strangest thing you’ve ever seen an audience member do?
Daniel: I saw an inebriated woman hoot and holler and try to get on stage with John Prine while he sang that heart wrenchingly tender song “Hello In There” about the alienation of our elders.
507: Best show you’ve ever seen?
Daniel: Off the top of my head it is a two-way tie between Charles Bradley in Paris It was like being transported back in time to see Otis Redding and James Brown rolled into one, and/or Tom Waits Bone Machine Tour in Seattle. The entire stage was covered in dust that would poof up with each foot stomp and cascade off the instruments and players as they moved. I don’t know how they created that effect or endured breathing it in. It was more than three hours of showmanship and musicianship that brought tears, laughter, and goosebumps. I truly forgot about myself and was just present in the world the musicians created.
5 must listen to Soul Asylum songs as chosen by The Shift
Chains (Clam Dip & Other Delights, 1989)
I used to cover that song when I was 16 so it has nostalgic value. (Daniel)
Marionette (Hang Time, 1988)
A catchy ditty about how kissing pretty puppets gets you all tangled in strings and splinter lipped. (Daniel)
Spinnin’ (and the horse they rode in on, 1990)
Who doesn’t wanna dance around with a bunch of people shouting the chorus “if I lost my mind would you help me find it?” ? (Daniel)
Black Gold (Grave DAncers Union, 1992)
Because its great song and its pretty subversive considering they played it at Bill Clinton’s inauguration and its about the world’s addiction to oil. (Cole)
Supersonic (Change of Fortune, 2016)
Because it’s new and I like to hear new things. It’s a rockin good pop song with anthemic chorus that might make a person look up from their cell phone catatonia and smile at the world. (Travis)