Grat Massa - Good Morning Shakkar
Shakkar   - Good Morning, Grat!
GM         - Before I get to questions about the New CD, let me ask you about your previous CD.
Shakkar    - FireStorm.. Very memorable project.
GM          - Well, my first thought is the title, how did you come up with that?
Shakkar    - It came from the title of a song my nephew and I wrote together.
GM          - That must have been fun.  
Shakkar    - Indeed.  Jared was either 15 or 18, (laughing...).  He is a great guitar player.  he came up with this Hendrix
                type riff, complete with drums he arranged on a rhythm machine., and asked me
                if I could write lyrics to it.  I remember I listened to it over and over, then one night I woke at 4 am and wrote all the
GM         - what is the song about?
Shakkar   - It's my take on musicians and others who fall victim to the limelight.
GM         - Tell us about your musical background
Shakkar   - well...I don't have much of one as it relates to formal training.  I'm just
             a huge fan of all music.  When I write, it's from the heart, and about
             my experiences and observations. I'm also tone deaf in my left ear, making 
             me have to work a bit harder.
GM       - do you play any instruments?
Shakkar - No, but if I did...I would have chosen guitar. I may still try and learn bass.
GM       - how did the music come together for FireStorm?
Shakkar - I wrote all the lyrics and presented the musicians a vocal melody of how
              I would like the song to sound.   Luckily for me, I set the songs up well 
              enough that they arranged the music just as I envisioned the song to sound.
GM        - Following Dreams, great song
Shakkar  - And deeply personal.  I wrote that song starting when I was 18...and while
              in the studio, I found the cassette I recorded...and finished the song.  It has 
              my growing up, and finding myself.  I It's a bit of an ode to David Coverdale,
              as his music was very influential in my adolescent years as well as now.
GM        - Exlplain Shakkar
Shakkar  - Are you referring to my name, or the song?
GM        - Both if you will.
Shakkar  - Back in 2000, I joined Whitesnake's Bulletin Board, and made a huge amount
              friends, as well as got to finally chat with David Coverdale, whom I eventually
              met after a show in Las Vegas!   Long story short.   my screen name for the.
              BBS was JShakeMyTree, taken from a Coverdale page tune ( Shake My Tree)
              David started calling me Shaker for short, so the nickname stuck.  Unfortunately
              when it came time for using that nickname as a professional name...I would find
              there is a band  by the name of Shaker.  So...I respelled it. It's actually a Hindu 
              word meaning sugar...or sometimes milk and honey.
                   The song SHAKKAR is a very cool story.  I bought a vocal FX Machine and found
              a setting that made me sound like a guitar.   So I setup two different drum patterns
              and gave it a shot.  The engineer and my keyboardist loved the one minute demo I gave 
              We bought in a sax player, and Nate Zane, who played keyboard on most of the CD, played 
              trumpet.  But the guitar type sound and drums were done by me, so I called it 
GM        - That is a cool story.  Considering you don't play drums.
GM        - OK Let's talk about the new CD
Shakkar  - Yes.....its a big project.  I already have 15 songs mastered and ready to roll.  I'm
              working on two more vocal songs and maybe another instrumental like SHAKKAR.
GM        - Wow!  That's a double CD!   What if anything, will the listener find different?
Shakkar  _ I'm very happy to say, with the exception of 4 songs, I not only wrote the lyrics
               but I did all the musical arrangements.  No musicians were harmed during the 
               making of this CD, LOL!
GM         - How was that for you?
Shakkar   - Satisfying and a bit sad at the same time.   While I got much satisfaction in
               arranging and mixing the songs, I certainly missed the interactions with other
               musicians.  I formed really close relationships with Erick my guitarist and Jason
               the engineer and owner of Project Sound Recording Studio
GM         - What are some of the highlights to look forward to on the CD?
Shakkar   - The CD as a whole.....is centered around my life.  basically its my life in song, as I
               grew up, the losses I experienced.  I'm especially proud of how a song I wrote for
               my father turned out.  I lost him when I was 16...tough age!
GM         - and your mom died before you got married.  
Shakkar   - As some people I talk to online may recall, I have mentioned I was adopted.  My adoptive 
              mother abused me sexually.  I never did get to address this with her, but I wrote a song
              dealing with this.  I hope that others may hear it and they feel empowered to speak up
              when they feel something is not right.
GM        - I can't imagine that singing thiat one must have been easy.
Shakkar  - No, but luckily I recorded my vocals in one take.  Honestly, I'm not sure if I'm ready
              for the response the song may get.  But all the same I am glad I wrote it.  It was
              very therapeutic.
GM        - Good for you., John.  When might we expect the CD to drop?
Shakkar  - I'm hoping late May or early June. All depending on if I finish the songs I'm working on.
GM        - It certainly sounds like you put a lot of effort into this project.  So, its mostly
              and acoustic project?  Any rockers like FireStorm?
Shakkar  - No screaming guitars, but plenty of up-tempo stuff and some ballads that really hit home
              for me, hopefully my listeners will feel the same way.
GM        - Thank you Shakkar
Shakkar  - My pleasure.

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