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
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.