March 24, 2021

AN INTERVIEW WITH SHAKEY GRAVES

Credit: Magen Buse

Introduction

Austin, Texas songwriter and creative mastermind Shakey Graves has gone through many evolutions in his career, and it’s our distinct pleasure to offer our vinyl subscription members a very special edition of a crucial building block of that career, Roll The Bones X, the ten-year anniversary edition of his debut album Roll The Bones. The deluxe packaging includes an entire LP of ‘Odds & Ends,’ demo tracks, live cuts, and more pulled from the Shakey Graves archives, and we could not be more excited to have this on gold galaxy vinyl for our members and Shakey Graves vinyl lovers alike.

Shakey Graves himself, Alejandro Rose-Garcia, very kindly answered a few questions for us about the album, what it’s like to look back on his first music after a decade, advice for aspiring musicians, and more. Take a read and get a glimpse into the inner world of this amazing artist.

Q & A

What’s it like to look back on your first album after ten years?

I made many strange burned cds over the years for friends, this first record is the ultimate one of those, the cream on the top of years of strange songs put on tape.  I can hear the ambition and care with which I created this album and it stands as a little monument of personal accomplishment.  I love its rough edges and heart. 

What was it like to go through the ‘Odds + Ends’ and demo tracks when putting this special edition together?

I sifted through piles and piles of cassette tapes and lots of embarrassing whiny tracks and had a huge pile of stuff ranging from silly to sweet. A lot of it came down to audio quality, some things were just too gnarly to fix.  A real treat was going through my old journals which I kept pretty diligently during the years in which I created roll the bones.  I found that a lot of my little wishes had since come true. small sketches of a suitcase drum and musings on singing to crowds.  I felt like I was time traveling. 

How has your writing style / creative process evolved from the original Roll The Bones era up to now?

My creative process has returned to it’s more natural state due to the pandemic.  Meaning just tinkering in my room, making myself smile and bob my head.  It’s been wonderful to get back to basics.  It’s insane to start with a blank canvas, no ideas, no hunches, and end up with a musical world.

What’s one piece of advice you would give to someone who wants to start making music for themselves?

Do exactly that, make music for yourself.  I never fully believed that anyone would listen to this album so I followed my heart, if you like something odds are some other person out there will agree.

What’s it like seeing your records on vinyl?

It becomes real!  The art! The wax! It’s insane.

What was the first album you ever owned on vinyl?

Some strange seven inch, It’s possible that it was a band named Burned Out Bright from Houston. 

What have you been listening to lately?

Wiseacre by Eric Slick and ANTI by Rihanna 

If you could collaborate with any artist, who would it be and why?

Andrew W.K. Because of his infectious personality, skill, and party prowess.  He is a mad genius of the highest order. 

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