I am really happy that I got the chance to meet Sarah and bring you all this interview with Sarah Shook & The Disarmers. I love her sound and believe in her vision, she is going to do big things and I will be right there smiling from the crowd, singing every word and enjoying her rise. You guys should really check out her new album called ‘Years’ it’s get. I hope you all enjoy this interview and her music as much as I do.
Round 1 – For anyone that has never heard your music how would you describe it to them?
Sarah ~ “Real, raw, undiluted. The spirit of punk rock meets traditional country stylings. Rolling Stone referred to us as “sneering country-punk” and I’d say that sums it up well.”
Round 2 – Can you tell us about your band?
Sarah ~ “We’re a total band of freaks. The music industry is constantly churning out these young, good lookin, well dressed bands because it’s not about the music anymore, it’s an image based business. But, as with most everything else, I make my own rules when it comes to building a band. Chops and personality always come first. I’ve played in bands with difficult people in the past and boy howdy it’s just not worth the headache. So yeah, we’re a rag tag bunch of folks, we’re scrappy and tough in our own respective ways, but I’d be lyin’ if I said we also weren’t some pretty laid back, friendly, and compassionate humans. We look out for each other hardcore and we always have each other’s backs. One of the things I appreciate most about my bandmates is that it’s ALWAYS about the music. Music comes first. Always.
My electric guitarist, Eric Peterson, has been playing music with me in one form or another for almost 8 years now and he is one of the only true guitar lords in existence right now haha. Our pedal steel player, Phil Sullivan, played lap steel in my old band, Sarah Shook & the Devil, then took a hiatus to master pedal steel; the press often remarks on the brilliance of his and Eric’s interplay, those two truly have a special musical connection. Aaron Oliva is my upright bassist, he spent years in Nashville gigging around lower Broadway before moving back to central North Carolina and it’s evident in his playing. Dude knows his way around a dang bass! Kevin McClain is our new drummer and it’s been a blast getting to know him and work together musically. He’s a super talented drummer and avid cyclist. We’ll be working with a few subs due to increased touring demands, Adam Kurtz will be with us on pedal steel with some frequency, wicked talented and instant partner in crime status.”
Round 3 – I know you just released a new album, what can you tell us about it?
Sarah ~” “Years” is so cool. Ten songs featuring the same suspects, doomed relationships, late nights, alcohol, drugs, heartache, but presented with a warmth and fullness to the sound that softens the edges just enough to make it golden. We’ve evolved a shit ton as a band and as individuals since we independently released “Sidelong” in 2015 and it really shines through on this new record. Couldn’t be prouder of my boys.”
Round 4 – As an animal lover I enjoy hearing about other people’s pets, so I always ask do you have any pets and if so can you tell us about them?
Sarah ~ “Man, I wish I did. I live vicariously through pet owners. I would love nothing more than to adopt a rescue (or three cough cough) but we’re touring relentlessly this year and I just wouldn’t have the time to give them all the love, attention, time, and affection that dogs deserve. Serious retirement goals, my friend.”
Round 5 – What hobbies do you have, what do you enjoy doing when you’re not making great music?
Sarah ~ “I love cooking. I’ve been vegan for over 4 years now and when we’re not on the road I’m constantly in the kitchen inventing recipes and making stuff up on the fly. It’s really relaxing and satisfying, especially when I have friends over to help me eat everything! I’m also a big fan of the outdoors and any chance I get to snag a hike or a long walk I’ll take in a heartbeat.”
Last Call – This is a final open question so you can say what ever you would like to your fans and the people reading this.
Sarah ~ “Always put yourself in someone else’s shoes before you judge ‘em. Nobody is perfect and we’re all in this mess together so love hard and be kind.”