5 Minutes with Shangrila | WAMFest 2019 Edition
WAMFest 2019 is coming up fast, so over the next couple of weeks we’ll be talking to some of the different artists that we can’t wait to see perform. First up is four-piece alt-rock group Shangrila. They’ve been playing gigs all over town, releasing new music, and even racked up a WAM Song of the Year nomination in May. We had a chat to Devyn Jupp (vocalist) about their journey as a band and their plans for the future.
Tell us a bit about yourselves and how you started playing together.
We are a 5 piece alternative rock band called Shangrila from Perth WA! Our original line up started from members of a previous hardcore band called Common Bond, since then we’ve gone through a few member changes and really just solidified the line up this year. We are a bit of a mixed bag from the Perth scene with members previously in bands like Saviour, Statues & Vacant Home (Ben still plays bass for these guys too!). We’ve all been friends and fans of each other’s bands over the years and the timing was just kinda right for all of us when we decided to bring on new members to the band.
How has your sound and song-writing process changed over the years?
I think the initial process has stayed fairly similar with myself or Jackson starting the bones of a song and working on a draft structure for vocals to be recorded over. While the vocals are being written we give the track to the other members so they have a chance to change any parts and add their personal flare to their parts which always gives the song a lot more of a natural feel. Usually once we bring everything back together with vocals we are either happy, or go through that process another thousand times haha. We’ve only just begun writing again with the new line up so I’m really excited to see how the process and sound changes with some new input as well!
You’ve played plenty of gigs around WA over the last couple of years. If you could pinpoint one as being your favourite, what would it be and why?
For me personally I think our EP launch at Amplifier Bar last September is the favourite show I’ve played. It was the first time I’d experienced a crowd singing back all the words to a song and the EP was getting a lot of love at the time, I was kind of just on cloud nine that whole night. I know most of the boys would say the Trophy Eyes show is also up there!
What’s the best piece of advice you could give to other local bands trying to break into the industry?
We’ve learnt a lot of expensive lessons over the years with music which I won’t mention because I will start to cry at my transaction history haha. I think the main piece of advice would be ‘focus on the music’. If you start (or continue) writing good songs, everything else will start to fall into place.
Your latest tack Fade Away seems to touch on quite personal topics. Can you tell us a bit about it?
Fade Away is probably the most personal track we’ve released to date, it was a real tough one to navigate lyrically just because I knew people would understand what the track was about and I didn’t want to dilute the meaning with lyrics just ‘fit’. To keep things relatively short; the song lyrically revolves around the line “talk to me, ease my mind” which came from a moment a while ago where I was driving with my girlfriend and she started to have an anxiety attack. I remember her being really on edge and breathing fast and she said to me “can you just talk to me, tell me a story or something”, so I started talking and comforting her, I wasn’t really even talking about anything particular, probably just something that had happened that day or something we had coming up. Eventually she calmed down and began breathing normally again and we got home fine. That moment really stuck with me and the song is based around those feelings of anxiety and isolation which a lot of people experience and also the other side of the coin where something so small that you can do like reassuring or talking with someone can be of such a huge help to a person going through those feelings.
Other than playing WAMFest, what else have you got planned for the year ahead?
We’ve got some more music ready to release so that will be out before the end of the year and we’ve got a few more shows that haven’t been announced yet but keep an eye out!
We can’t wait to see you play at WAMFest! Who are you most excited to see yourselves?
I want to try to get to as many shows as possible, there’s so many great acts on the line up! A couple acts I haven’t seen live yet that I’m really keen to check out are Dulcie & Your Girl Pho – they are putting out some really great music at the moment.
Catch Shangrila at The Boston on Saturday 2 November at WAMFest 2019 – stay tuned for set times!