VP 001: Bringing community together around music with Shawn King
Shawn King is a member of Devotchka, best known for their soundtrack to the 2006 comedy-drama "Little Miss Sunshine", which received four Academy Award nominations. They have a new album out, called "This Night Falls Forever", which is available now. Shawn is part of a project, called Los Dreamers, with Ozomatli singer, Raul Pacheco. He is also the co-Founder of ColorWheel Music, along with Ben Wysocki, Jeff Linsenmaier, and Ted Hudson, which is a music house that provides music beds for TV and Film.
In this episode, we talk about:
what was unique about the recording process on their new album and how that has evolved over their 19 years together as a band
how becoming a father has changed his approach to his career as a musician
and how that paved the way for Sean to become co-founder of ColorWheel Music, a music house that provides music beds for TV and film, which not only supports him and his bandmates, but many of his peers in the industry
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Shawn King: 00:00:00 For me, the purpose is the is the connection. It's the, it's the community. It's just trying to be in service to helping each other out through music because it's so important. It's such a huge part of our lives, but ultimately it's. It's about a connection. It's not.
Gabe Ratliff: 00:00:28 Welcome to the Vitalic Project podcast where you'll learn how to find your own voice in a world filled with noise. I'm Gabe Ratliff. I'll be your host as I sit down with fellow artists, creators, and entrepreneurs to learn more about their work and how they serve others so that you can tap into your creative purpose and live a life that's drawn, not traced. All right. I'm stoked. Let's get to it. Hey guys, thanks so much for joining me on this first episode of the Vitalic Project. I'm really excited to get this kicked off with a very good friend of mine, Shawn King. He is the drummer in a band, called DeVotchKa, and they have a brand new album out called this night, false forever, which is available now. You can learn more at devotchka.net and a little bit about them. They've been inducted into the red rocks hall of fame. They've also received for Academy award nominations for their soundtrack to "Little Miss Sunshine", and he has also collaborated with Denver Center for the Performing Arts on projects like "Sweeney Todd" and most recently, "Tommy the Musical". While we caught up in his home recording studio, we discussed what was unique about the recording process on their new album and how that has evolved over there nineteen years together as a band. We talk about how becoming a father has changed his approach to his career as a musician and how that paved the way for Shawn to become the cofounder of Color Wheel Music, a music house, that provides music beds for TV and film, which not only supports him and his bandmates, but many of his peers in the industry. Shawn is a family man, first and foremost. He's also an amazing musician, but overall he's just an amazing human. I'm really excited for you guys to meet him, so let's get to it. Shawn King, welcome!
Shawn King: 00:02:24 Thanks man.
Gabe Ratliff: 00:02:24 Thanks so much for being on the show.
Shawn King: 00:02:26 Thanks for having me here.
Gabe Ratliff: 00:02:27 Yeah, man. Glad to have you here. Well, so, um, first I just thought maybe you could tell the vitalic audience about yourself and what you have going on these days.
Shawn King: 00:02:39 Sure, man. Well, I'm about to go and do some promo for a new DeVotchKa record. I play drums for DeVotchKa. We have a new album coming out, which is kind of a big deal for us just because we haven't, we haven't had anything like this since 2011. We did a live record in 2013, I believe, but this is the first studio record we've had in, in over six years. So, uh, that's, that's my most current thing happening amongst other things, but it's, it's really exciting because we all love New York. We haven't been back there since we did a benefit with Gogol Bordello a couple of years ago. Uh, maybe it was actually last year, I can't remember, but we did a, we did a benefit on a boat for the ECLU, which was fantastic. And now we have our own show on Thursday, which is, which is great.
Gabe Ratliff: 00:03:47 Yeah. And I saw that you are jumping around quite a bit. Uh, I think, uh, the Showbox I saw in, uh, the Pacific northwest and landmark that, um, I actually just supported, um, for the um, uh, on change.org, there's a petition to try and keep it a landmark because they want to tear it down. Um, so I actually thought thought that was amazing that you're actually playing there.
Shawn King: 00:04:18 Well, we're huge supporters of that place. I mean, Seattle has been, Seattle has been so good to us since the very first few times we went. There are touring routes used to start through Arizona and get into California. But once we, once we finally did make it to Seattle and KEXP started playing us. It's just been, it's been like a home away from home for us. Yeah. Showbox included.
Gabe Ratliff: 00:04:47 Yeah, that's actually, on my last tour with the A Shoreline Dream. We started in Portland and Seattle and that was my first taste of that region and oh my gosh, I love it.
Shawn King: 00:05:02 It's beautiful.
Gabe Ratliff: 00:05:03 Yeah. And they love music, so, you know, definitely. Um, uh, I was happy to support them and, and uh, and I was excited to see you guys are playing in that specific venue because it has a long history. Very long history.
Shawn King: 00:05:16 Yeah, we did a, we did a Valentine's show there last year. That was a little bit crazy. We had a, there was a reunion of this popular outfit called circus contraption. They had suffered some tragedy years ago and had broken up, but they had reformed and we did this whole Valentine's extravaganza with them and uh, so it'll, it'll be great. And it's also, it's also the beginning of a tour. It's like day two of our tour in September. So, uh, there's, there's a lot of excitement at the beginning of a tour obviously because you're trying to figure out which songs to play, what your set list is going to be. And, and that's a, that's a great place to start.
Gabe Ratliff: 00:06:01 Well, that's exciting to you, right, because you you haven't really had the opportunity yet per se, to get the fan reaction to the new songs and so you start to really see which ones are hitting with people and when they were.
Shawn King: 00:06:17 It's true. There's also this thing to where you, you record it and it might have sounded a certain way. I felt good on record and then you get in front of people when you're. You just realize, okay, that's too slow, or something else happens where you do a fade out on the recording and it. It makes perfect sense when you're listening to a record or listen to the radio and you get in front of people and a fade out. It's not going to work, but some kind of dramatic ending that makes sense. Needs to work so you really have to think about. You'll have to think about how is this, how is this going to translate? And I liked that. I think it's fun and I. I do think it's fun, like within a tour you start realizing, oh, this person's playing that last chord, this person's not. And I think especially from the drum seat, you, everything is actually in front of you. All the other musicians are in your peripheral, you see everything that's happening. So sometimes there's almost like a physical thing too, you see, oh, that person's doing this at the end and they need to be able to switch. They have to put the violin down so they can pick up the accordion. This person needs to meet the base before they get to this song. And then the, those, those little pieces that can only get figured out as you're going show to show they start to make more sense.
Gabe Ratliff: 00:07:40 Yeah. Yeah. And it's, you know, it's interesting to uh, I know we played around with um, and one of my previous projects Drop the Fear. We, we played it, we actually did swap instruments as well and there will be times where I had sequenced the drums and now it'd be playing bass or I'd be on the synth. And um, I was always the drummer in one way or the other, but we're always swapping around. And gosh, I remember it just took us forever to set up when we first started, she told me that before it did. Yeah, it was hysterical. I remember this sound guy just laughing at us when we first played the Hi-Dive here in Denver and he was just cracking up at. We took longer to set up. Then we played our set. I mean it was just hysterical when we fixed it immediately. But man, it was just so much electronics and acoustic instruments as well. And I mean it was a lot to do, but it's great, you know, it's a learning lesson and then you realize how to get faster and leaner and um, yeah, it just, I remember just that, that need of thinking through the logistics, right, of, of not just the equipment but the moves, um, you know, the order, it all plays such an important role in that journey that you're taking everybody on that. That's awesome. So you're a, the album is this, "This Night Falls Forever", is that. And it comes out August 28th,
Shawn King: 00:09:07 August 24th I believe. Twenty four. Somewhere around there.
Gabe Ratliff: 00:09:12 Okay. It said 28th on line,
Shawn King: 00:09:14 Maybe it is the 28th, that could be right.
Gabe Ratliff: 00:09:16 I can always update that for the, for the episode. So, uh, I'll have that on the show notes for the episode when that launches. So, um, uh, one of the things I was curious about with this album, since it's been a few years, you guys have all been doing so much. You're all so versatile and because I know you're also a trumpeter as well as the drummer a and just a music producer. I was curious about after taking this kind of break from, from, uh, DeVotchKa album, what was the process like for recording this one? As you've all been off doing so many other things and have all this new input.
Shawn King: 00:09:59 I mean it's taken a long time to be honest. And it's various studios and, and we live in two different cities now, so it's really sporadic and, and it's interesting to hear the final mixes and, and get surprised by. Oh yeah, that part that I did in the bridge and I'm the at the same time even though it's, it's been over a large amount of time. We had the same two engineers in Denver, Sandy Weitzel and, and a column bricker at mighty fine. And those guys really understand their room very well and they understand how to capture a drum sound. That's, that's a great picture of what I do. So, so the consistency and the sound is there, which is great. And, and also at the same time, there's, there's things that that changed within within the time that you did the last song that you were recording that uh, start to get into your, they start to get into your psyche and start changing the way you perceive things. Maybe it's a production technique where you've been hearing stuff with a lot of busy high hats or something. And I'm coming from a drummer point of view, but any producer can kind of use that Lens. And then in the spring of this year or even earlier, so even into December of last year, I got offered to play in a musical. So I had called the whole band and said, okay, I know we're supposed to be recording, I really wanted to, I really want to take this job because it was the, who's Tommy and any, any guitarist or drummer, any electric guitarist, drummer knows that record.
Gabe Ratliff: 00:12:02 Yeah. So Yup. Uh, or at least around our age, say yeah. So like you'd like to think really cherishes the art of their instrument and the elite people, um, musicians and artists that wrote them and the album's themselves, right?
Shawn King: 00:12:22 Yeah. So when that, when that was presented, of course I wanted to say yes, but I had to check with everybody, what's our recording schedule? What is everyone doing? And ultimately it was like, okay man, you where you can just take the whole spring off. Which we were able to do. And, and I think this all is to the point of like all this kind of starts to influence how you, the next time you get into a studio, how you're going to record. Because with that musical particularly, I was asked to do the Keith Moon Parts, the drummer in those. Or if you go back and listen to that record, it's like that guy has such a wild style for anyone who doesn't know it. I think the easiest way to describe it as just that he was very unconventional and had a very wild sense of time where he was on that record and, and in the not so much in the musical, which is Kinda two different things. But in the record he was crazy. So I had to learn how to add all these extra beats that I just didn't do. And DeVotchKa like I'm a very song based player so if it needs a shaker I'll put it in my right hand and then my left hand I might do something minimal or take the snares off or play something purely on Tom's and not on symbols. And I didn't really think about these things too much recording previous records because I just thought I'm just style is basically repeating something that you think is cool. So. So if I have any style, it's just that I was trying to play my drum kit for the song. So. So something like the alley on our last record, it just so like to me that just felt like it needed a big rolling toms and I don't really touch cymbals on it and something like "I cried like a silly boy", I would just do with a shaker in one hand and the other hand I just be around with toms and stuff and, and those, those things, you just are just, they're like a, they're only creations because the songs seem to call for that. So when, so when was asked to do this for, for the musical and try to do Keith Moon style, I was just Kinda, it just like was one of those challenges where you're like, damn, do I, do I jump in and try to take this or just accept that I'm not that kind of drummer and musical director, Greg Coffin who we worked with on our production of "Sweeney Todd", he convinced me to try out. So I did and we have a good working relationship. And then another phenomenal guitarist named Dave Divine was on the gig as well and I've done plenty of shows with him in the Sweeney pit and in other projects. So I said, okay, I got to try this in all this is to say that that rehearsing in those shows seem seem to be something that has kind of crept into my playing. So I think there's a couple songs on the new DeVotchKa record that are like little more realistic and maybe busier Tom Pattern type stuff. I still am very pattern based, not much of an Improv player. I'm not an Improv player, but very pattern based. And I think some of the things that were called for in Tommy, I think we're already starting to seep into what I was doing for my part into the new record.
Gabe Ratliff: 00:16:15 Mhmm. That's awesome. I, I'm similar, I'm a similar pattern drummer. And the thing I wanted to mention that has been really fascinating for me lately is we, I had asked the guys like, hey, um, hey, how about we put our shoegazer style to, you know, a classic that we love. And so we chose Led Zeppelin, um, and as I, he's my favorite drummer. Um, I love John Bonham. I just, I love that low slung, just ballsy drums. Yeah, it's an amazing style, man. It's just really great. And it has that blues, it has a, you know, the rock, it has so many different elements to it, but it just has this chunkiness that I just absolutely love about it.
Shawn King: 00:17:04 He beat the shit out of the drums, but also did it in like, in like a perfect, perfect style. And was very, very calculated. He just, it just came across where he just was. He was smashing those drums and, and uh, yeah, I mean it's, it's interesting how, how, how signature that bottom is and, and Keith Moon and in a very different way is a very signature. And it's interesting to. It's interesting to, to take your, your own take of that and be like, well, how am I gonna? How am I going to put my, my own thing on it? Because one of the biggest compliments got from about four people who saw it, who saw Tommy. They said, they're like, yeah, I knew it was you in the pit, and I was like, that sounds crazy to me. Granted, my bandmates have heard my same drum kit and my same symbols and probably a lot of the same fills, but couple of people who didn't know all that actually said that. So it's like that's a huge compliment to hear someone's style kind of come through and in the case of Tommy you've got, you've got crazy ass Keith Moon playing from the record from 69 and then you've got all this time passes. He passes away his. He becomes this legend like legendary drummer status. They replaced him. They go on tours, the WHO and then in in the late eighties, early nineties, Pete Townsend makes the musical with a, a book writer in New York. They put "Tommy the Musical" together and then it comes out in 91 and that book, you listen to that Broadway recording, you've got something very, very different from 69. It sounds dated, to 91 where the production techniques that drumming. I don't mean to keep coming back to the drumming because you make a musical on a lot is going to a lot is going to change. You got the 69 records and the 91 musical and then what we were doing in 2018 and everybody in that on that team was saying this, this is neither of those things. This is we're going to take the best from the musical and the best from the 69 records. We're going to make our own creation of it. So we had a lot of freedom to experiment and I just, I, I feel like I'm lucky to get in those situations where people want to collaborate and, and Greg, the music director every at every turn it would be like it's good but show them, play some more like it's good. But Phil can you just fill right there and then I'd have big notes on my, on my 50 page chart that was like go ape shit for 12 seconds. Literally hitting everything with a double kick pedal and just going crazy for, for 11 seconds. And that would be my be my thing to do right there. And it's fun when you're in that, when you're in that scenario that's just so different from crafting pop songs where you're like, my whole thing is been like, we've got to do less here. Less like strip this down. Maybe this only needs a shaker when you go through that all the time when you're producing. But in particular scenario it was just like more, more, more so it was wild. Yeah. That was my spring. Right. To then come back and be working on the album.
Gabe Ratliff: 00:21:00 Yeah. That's awesome. Because I was going to say, the thing that I've found, I, I imagine you can totally connect with this from what you just said, is part of what I had so much. I've had so much fun with as we've been working on this because we're not a cover band. We don't play these, um, you know, that that's not commonplace for us. So it's, it's very special to, to do, to do that. Um, and the thing I find so interesting about it for guys like us that really appreciate that is that it's where you're putting your own spin on it, but the thing I loved as the, the same musician, um, are the same, you know, playing the same instrument as that person is that dialogue you have with them while you're listening to their version and you're working on yours, you know, and that kind of, you know, that kind of mental conversation you're having of what do I want to keep? What is, what is an homage to you? What is plagiarism? What is being, you know, um, what is honoring myself as who I am as a drummer? You know what I think that dialogue is just amazing to have that.
Shawn King: 00:22:10 It does, it does happen. It's, and it's happening as you're listening to some of that stuff in these jazz cats, go through it all the time. When I was studying a little bit, uh, when I was in college, we would analyze solos and you'd get in there, and, and especially with trumpet, you start realizing that, oh, this little triplet figure that comes every time that Clifford Brown gets to this change at the end of a, of an eight bar phrase, it just really feels good on those valves. So that thing feels great. You might not do it on vibraphone, you might, you probably wouldn't do it on guitar, but, but here's a, here's this pattern that they would do every time they got to this certain musical transition, just like Keith Moon would do. He did a lot of, uh, he, he actually didn't play with a high hat when they played live and he, his whole thing was, he was into symmetry. So he would have to crashes, same kind of crash on each side. And he'd have four huge drums in front of him. Tom drums that were the same diameter. So they ultimately had the same sound to kick drums underneath that in two, four times. So his whole thing was having this look of symmetry and it came, it made for a nontraditional sounds. So you get these, you get these crashes all over the place which sound by any kind of modern pop standard. It sounds like this guy is like too busy, but you can even listen to isolated jump tracks on youtube and it sounds nuts, but altogether it's, it creates this beast of a groove that is just undeniable and that kind of energy is something that we're actually missing from some rock bands if not a lot of rock bands now because it's just, it's a different world and, and, and it, it doesn't have the same kind of like chaotic looseness that is favorable.
Gabe Ratliff: 00:24:25 Right? Yeah. It's like that structured chaos is what I used to think of it when I was younger. That was kind of the name I had coined for myself of just, you get that looseness, but it has that. The ethic as pattern drummers. That makes sense. Right? Like you, you're like, you know, there's the big picture that we're visualizing with that phrasing, but it has that looseness and I think that's a big, big reason why I love John Bonham because he has that, but there's like this brilliance to it, these little things and these things that you don't expect, um, that have been so fascinating to dive in and deconstruct because you just start to realize the brilliance in what they're doing, even though the simplicity to the, to the layman, they just get it and they're, you know, shakes your tush. But, um, when you really dive in and deconstruct it, you realize like, man, there's something bigger happening here. And it's just amazing. I love that. That's awesome man. So, um, so I, I'd love to touch back on the album with, you know, hearing that about how this affected you in your process. Um, what's unique about this album? Like what, what is this album saying, you know, what is, what is, what is DeVotchKa's message, you know, in, in 2018 with, ""This Night Falls Forever"".
Shawn King: 00:25:48 You know, I think, I mean, it's really, hats off to Nick. He's been, he's been writing like mad in his lyrics have changed and he's the, he, the way he is articulated in the way it's mixed this time, I think fans are going to be, oh, in the CD comes with a lyric sheet right off the bat, which I think we only did like on a special edition in the past. So I think fans are gonna be really happy that they can understand what nick is saying because I think he, he's always had kind of a Thom Yorke approach where the style of annunciating is, is very artistic. And I'm hearing that, I, that, that that's a little bit changed this time. So it's, it's a lyric heavy record and it's produced differently. Uh, it's just, it's a, it's not, it's not going to, it's not going to alienate our fans. I mean, there's still a lot of, a lot of the signature things that we do. It just, it just seems like this time there's maybe more polish. I don't know. I think it's, I think it's going to be interesting. I don't, I don't know that it's not a huge departure from previous DeVotchKa records, but I think in the production and the lyrics and I think, like I say that what nick has done producing it, it's been, it's been a more. Hmm. I don't know how to say that. You may have to cut, cut this up a little bit. I think the new record just sounds more polished. Yeah. Right. And maybe that's a bad thing. I think maybe will alienate some people who feel like we're not as raw. We do some stuff that's a little more just straight rock on this one and I am having a good time with that. I feel like I feel like my, where I'm at right now, drumming wise, it's, it's fun to play uptempo and, and hit a lot of drums and uh, there's not as many, not as many ballady type songs on this newest record. So we'll see where that takes us. And the other consistency I think is that, you know, I've thought about how just thought about how the band works and how a front man works or frontwoman and how certain things come in and out of style and you don't really know, like the fact that the fact that, how it ends and the songs off, how it ends really spoke to these directors in 2006 that got onto a soundtrack that, that happened to happen to do with that movie did when I'm talking about ""Little Miss Sunshine"", that's just something you can't recreate that you've got this like zeitgeists thing where, Sufjan Stevens and Beirut and all these bands that have these, these male lead, um, soaring kind of vocal happening with cookie instruments in the background that, that was like, that was a thing. And the directors of "Little Miss Sunshine" kind of caught onto that, brought us in and then took us along in their insane voyage, which was fantastic. Um, that's, that's something that you can't really, you don't, you don't get to repeat that. But, um, I think we still, I think we still have, there's still some of that within the latest record and I, and one of the through lines is that nick likes to write about romantic escapes being being lost somewhere else, missing people, heartbreak, but he, he, he stays in, he likes to stay in that kind of world lyrically. And I feel like we, we do a great job of supporting that. And uh, there's, there's still some of that like nostalgic missing kind of through line in some of the new songs too.
Gabe Ratliff: 00:30:42 I mean, I, I think that's such an interesting thing that you mentioned about the, you know, the polish and how that may affect listener, you know, the, the fans. And I think it's so interesting to hear that.
Shawn King: 00:30:54 Do you remember the first band that you heard that, that, that happened? I know the first band, I heard that, that happened with that, that made me kind of like, we'll put a hard line. Who is that? For me, it was Metallica when I was in high school. Right. And I had heard "Master of Puppets" and I was just so blown away by that and I was getting into heavier stuff like Slayer and
Gabe Ratliff: 00:31:18 Yep. Pantera
Shawn King: 00:31:18 death. I was into, I was getting into like a lot of death metal to Cannibal Corpse. So I went that whole route. You can see like eight bands for eight bucks. Just be these like crazy speed and black metal and black metal wasn't really a thing yet. Yeah, I mean where I was for, for us it was like, you know, I grew up on east coast, but it was like very distinct. Like if you're going to a grindcore show, you wouldn't see death metal cats there. And if you're going to a thresh show you wouldn't see a whole lot of crossover from, from uh, like noise acts. And like it was, it seemed like it was pretty separated.
Gabe Ratliff: 00:31:57 But it seems like that was like our generation where that sub genres got really sub genrified, when that really became a thing.
Shawn King: 00:32:03 Yeah, I think so. I think a lot of it had to do with the amount of the amount of people or a well going. I would go to shows in Boston, so it was just, there wasn't. I've heard people tell stories about small towns where, you know, the Pantera fans would have to hang out with the thrash metal fans and that was more of whatever my thing. Yeah. But I can't remember what my whole point was with that. Oh, metallica master of puppets was amazing. It was raw, gnarly, melodic and then, and justice for all came out and that's what I was. That's when I first noticed like, I knew nothing about how records were made or anything and I was like, wait a second, what's going on? Why does this sound like? I distinctly remember the big CD case, you know, the cardboard case, ripping it open, putting it on, having just got it and just come out. The video for one was already out. So they had already their star had already kind of ascended so good and that. And I remember listening to the record and friends just were kind of gathered around the steering and we're like, why is this, this doesn't sound as raw wise, it's not as raw like, and at the same time that was like, that was just the beginning of it and they got more clean and more clean in and they just, they're like the biggest band in the world now. And, and I think for, for the three percent of fans you lose, you might gain 30 percent more or something. Who knows? Yeah.
Gabe Ratliff: 00:33:44 Well, and for me it was Nirvana, which was the beginning
Shawn King: 00:33:49 Between "In Utero" or "Bleach."? Well, bleach was kind of raw.
Gabe Ratliff: 00:33:56 Just that transition, just seeing their transition. Every album, you know, in the, "In Utero" is the one where you started to go, hm. And then they did that amazing unplugged show, which is timeless. But there was this, you could see where we were heading with Kurt. Now looking back, you can see that this was just like him imploding inside to me. Um, because there was just so much inside. He was letting out. And even to be restrained the way he was I thought was fascinating. Yeah. But it was just, you could see this like peeling away from his solace that he had from his music. And I just, I, I just felt like it was like almost this Joseph Campbell's "The Hero's Journey" when you look at his life and
Shawn King: 00:34:54 It's a good way to put it.
Gabe Ratliff: 00:34:55 You know what I mean? Like it was this hero's journey because he was, he was connected to so many people that felt that same angst.
Shawn King: 00:35:03 [Phone rings] We'll actually have a landline. I might be the last.
Gabe Ratliff: 00:35:09 What is that?
Shawn King: 00:35:10 I know.
Gabe Ratliff: 00:35:11 For those of you out there that don't know what a landline is, landlines were used for many millennia before these new fangled ones that can.
Shawn King: 00:35:22 It's funny though, and I keep, I keep this in my, I keep that phone in my studio because my goal is to be able to open this door, shut off my, shut off my phone or I'll just put it somewhere in a corner and it and put it on silence or whatever. And then I'll get to business, meaning trying to get creative. I'll go over to the jail, usually start on drums or something. I'll just start playing. But lately it's just been, I think with kids and, and wherever I'm at mentally it's like it'll buzz across the room and I'll be like, well why didn't I, I shouldn't have silenced it and I'll be playing and they'll interrupt me and stuff. And currently I'm having A. I'm having a moment of have not timeboxing enough. You've heard that term 10 blocking time, time boxing, time blocking. I know it was a dilemma. It's, it's tricky. I mean this, I tried to do that. Like I say when I almost like take a pause before I actually opened the door and just think what am I going to do when I come in here? And I try not to turn on that computer. Yeah, it's going to go on at some point because that's where I do all my recording. I know, right. But sometimes I have to like really think about the steps because trying to, trying to drum in being an engineer and produce it can really it. Those are, those can be like such different, a mental, like just just different modes that are not super easy to transition to. So I'm trying to, like currently I'm trying to figure out how to do that a little bit better. You can see I have mikes that are, have set up just ready to go. Yeah. More. Yeah. More ready to go or like I'll try to leave guitars plugged in or whatever. And we did the same thing. Sometimes it works and sometimes it's like it doesn't want to just take everything out and just not even, not even have any kind of book distractions or anything. So, uh,
Gabe Ratliff: 00:37:38 yeah, I, I definitely understand that, you know, it's interesting though, like all this stuff feeds into that inspiration. I feel like, um, I, I think the same thing because I'm, I'm, I'm on my way to being a minimalist, but I look around, um, especially in my office and I have all these, you know, like I have a Ronin Boba Fett and all these things have gotten his gifts because friends, friends, friends, certain family know that I'm a fan of Scifi and star wars and stuff is, I know you are because I saw your rtd to puzzle and the way coming in. But um, you know, I keep thinking the same thing. I'm like, is this feeding my soul and my inspiration or is this the distraction? And it's interesting to go through that, you know, it's what I've been trying is um, more day blocking, kind of working bigger and then working down. I'm like, Tuesdays are my recording days for the podcast. And so I, I just know book book this day and this is my day to be in this mode of, of, of dialogue with, you know, connecting with people and having a dialogue and um, and being in that space and just, I'm not doing anything else.
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Gabe Ratliff: 00:39:19 It's interesting you, you basically gave me my segue. One of the things I wanted to ask was, um, uh, you know, how becoming a father of two beautiful little boys and a husband, how as that kind of changed the way that you approach your creative projects and, and, and approach these things, you, you basically were really leading right into it.
Shawn King: 00:39:50 I'm still figuring it out. I have, I have the same, have the same desires to do things as, as before children. I still want to make a bunch of records. There's, I've got, I've got a list and I keep it on, keep it on notepads or I have whatever app done I'm currently using to try to like organize thoughts and there's like three right now that I'm using. I'm still not. What are they? Oh, well I use slack to talk with my coworkers with color wheel and I use evernote to just collect stuff, which is okay. I think that's fine. Just Kinda to get just notes because it'll, it'll sync between computers and then, um, I can't remember the other one that, that obviously that one's not right. Jumping out at me and saying this works, this works, but the desire to make all these records happen is just the same as before. But what's what's happening now is just that little kids are demanding and in it it means you have to pivot a from your plans a lot. I think that's really what it comes down to with being, being able to pivot in and being able to say like, okay, you know, today this didn't work out. Someone was sick. I had to, I had to take care of this. Uh, but trying to, for me now it's to like break it into the what, what that end goal has to look like. And trying to work backwards and say, okay, what's the next thing that has to happen? I was talking to my friend Nick Luca is lives in La. He's in town to help us with some DeVotchKa shows and it was talking to him last night and you know, he helped with engineering on the low streamers album that we've talked about before. And, we were just talking about like, well how the hell did that happen? Because what I was just as busy then I had one kid at the time and we were between two cities. My, my friend drove from Ozomatli. He was traveling all around but we still made it happen and, and we're just talking about last night there's like that. There's like that 10 percent at the end of a project where it's like you've done all the work and it just feels like it feels like that last push is just so fucking hard to get the thing wrapped up and without, without looking at that very last part. I think you can, you can just be kind of swimming in the day to day. You can always, you can just re tweak a song or get a different take or you can book more studio time. You can spend an endless amount of money on a project. But without that, without that vision of what it's gonna look like at the very end it's you, you can't, you can't figure out what to do day to day. So like, so that's kind of what I'm trying to use right now is like what does that actual physical thing look like? What were, where's my very end? I did this other thing too, that was just like, it was just a pet project I had to prove to myself and, but also lots of fun. I started messing with some sense when Gideon, my, my oldest was, was about a year old and, and just making these ambient pieces to, to help just kind of like chill the house out as my friend already said, you gotta chill the house out adults too. So I made these little ambient pieces and in they were just sitting around and they just didn't do anything. And then I use Ableton so I'm looking over to the left and Ableton. I see these things that are just these sketches. And so what does it matter? Doesn't it doesn't matter. You know, you experimented and, and everyone does that. You can, you can, you can have a great time experimenting with new sense and I have a great time doing that, but I had to just frame it in a way of like, well, what, what could this be? And so I came up with this new dads concept and that was supposed to just be a collection of ambient tunes to chill the house out and it, and it lasts one hour. So from the very beginning I was thinking of it like in it just as it applies to my own life. You put it on and you're kind of done with baths and you've eaten dinner and everything and that, that our drifts into complete white noise by the end. Huge drones, uh, that are also as you know, super fun to create that kind of stuff. I mean, I could do that stuff all day and just have a hard drives full of, of ambient nonsense. But I liked, I liked just being able to package it in and have this, have this thing that at the end of the day it, it's a physical disc. Not that everyone is, not that people are using that anymore, but I called another friend, a designer and I was like, this is my concept. I sent him a sketch of what the, what I thought the album would look like. He came back with five different concepts. We tweak the colors a little bit and I loved what he came up with and we tweak the title a couple times so it's music for bedtime, volume one, but just having that image and posting it to the world. I had read that somewhere. This whole like this whole like use the use community to force you to do something. Yep. I posted that image because I loved it. I was like, this is gonna. This is what I'm coming out with soon. Soon actually wound up being like 10 months, but whatever. That wasn't the point. The point was to just put that image out there and now when I think about new projects, I'm actually like, I think about that and I want to just recreate that like I want to make. I want to make the logo and the tee shirt before we've tracked the first drum beat. Right. It's like your North Star. Yeah, that's exactly it. That's exactly it. So hopefully that answers your question. I think it's. I think it's now these little, these little parts of my day where I'm trying to time box and make things happen. Whether it's trying to play a little bit of piano or record some drums. I have to be. I have to be thinking more about like you just said like that. What's that North Star? What does it look like? What does it, what does it. Is it going to be a digital release on bandcamp? Should anyone care about that? Is it, am I going to release a youtube video or am I just making a document? Like am I just creating something that I just want to create? Yeah, so that's think that's my new, my new approach. You use small amounts of time, but also just just keep thinking about like, well what does it. What does it end? What's the end goal? Whatever that is. Just going to ask you, as you were talking about, you know, all those projects, how do you know in that you're talking about the last 10 percent and you were talking about now having this north star. How do you know when you're done? How do you know when it's done for you? I know it's different. Me. Well, with Los Dreamers it was really difficult because we got to this moment where we only had a few songs and for me it was almost like the fear of the fear of failure kind of pushed me to like make it all happen where we only had about four songs that were completed and all these other demo type things that we had done. So to get the rest of the album done just to get 10 songs together was a huge push. But that in that case it was more like I, I really think that the fear of failure pushed me to be like I have to make. I have to make a record. I can't do an IEP. I know the world doesn't need another record. It doesn't, it doesn't matter. But just, just having that, like unit of 10 songs is so stuck in my head. I know younger artists can just go and just like make a killer video, put it on youtube and that's, that's it, as long as they're following it up with another youtube video and another. But um, I guess I'm old school and just need to have the framework of, of 10 or more songs for a record. The other thing is I think you just gotta you just gotta hire somebody to do that extra part. Like I call, I called sandy to mix the, the new dad's record because I, I was just losing perspective. I was like, I don't know how, don't know how to mix this anymore. Sandy, sandy white. So I started is a fantastic engineer and producer and, and so. So I think at any point like that, whether it's like pay someone to do some graphic design for your, for your album cover, pay someone to master and you can do cheap mastering all day now on the Internet and that's fine. But I've, I've recently learned that that mastering is almost like you're, it's almost like you're stop gap before it reaches the world. Like if you have an excellent mix and that person gets it mastering agent and they put it up on their incredible speakers and, and it sounds perfect, well they're not going to tweak it because you've, you've done the master's job, right? But 99 out of 100 times, that's not going to be the case because you, there's something on this song that you didn't, you didn't bring it up to a sonic level that the other song is now you need those to kind of be smoothed out a plus. You've been in it for so long, you've been in it for so long. I just think I think with any project, for me at least where I'm at, I, I don't want to be. I have no pride in, in mixing something to perfection. I like, I like mixing, I like, I like getting things to sound good enough to present to friends, but I really love to hand things off. Yeah. So I think that that last 10 percent we're talking about, it's like even if it's further out, just knowing, just knowing that you have that date. So like in two months I'm going to send to Jessica to have mastered. That's the only time she can do it. I've got that on the calendar. Yeah. So she's looking forward to having a mixed by that time. It's like that's for me, that's, that's the best way. Yeah. Because I have enough, I have enough friends who use Ableton protools and, and they will, they'll, they'll, they'll mix themselves and they come up with great things in this. I'm just at this point in my life and this age, I'm just realizing like, oh yeah, it's better to have. It's better to have an awesome guitarist come over and play this part and just be an engineer rather than me try to get this part right. I love playing guitar. I love, like I say, make an ambient stuff on guitars. Super Fun, Super Fun plugging in, pedals, all that. Totally. It's fantastic. But if there's like a part part and you know, you know, it has to sound like a guitarist and it has to have feel to it. It's good for me, it's going to be so much more fun and productive to have someone come over me, go to them and just just have it done. That's the transaction to pay you. You're going to do what you're awesome at.
Gabe Ratliff: 00:52:55 Right? And I was going to say, I think what's fascinating to me or what is fascinating, but um, what the key is to that is finding that person that you trust to do what they do best, right? And that, you know, is gonna take care of your baby, right? Like you, you did all of your work. But I think having that collaboration and partnership right where you're like, you do you, I did me, you do you. And then they, and then you, you, you allow them who has not been in it for months to then take it and, and crafted into this thing that was meant to be, you know, and it's, and they've been, they've been put their stake in it as well. And I think that's just, that's the beauty of creativity and collaboration, you know. So you've mentioned a couple things I want to step back to. I'd love if you could, um, just tell the audience about. Tell us about the low streamers project. What, what is that? You mentioned Raul Pacheco from Ozomatli. What, what is the project? What was that? Because it's awesome.
Shawn King: 00:53:57 It stemmed from a, it stemmed from a play that my friend Antonio put together called "Dreaming Sin Fronteras" and that was, that was monologues about current immigration stories, which was like 2013 and then we would follow those monologues with a song. So we crafted songs to compliment the monologues and it was like a back to back kind of black box theater type of production, a lot of fun and durable. And I became really close after that and we decided to just turn the songs into a record called the band, Los Dreamers. And then we did some shows around that and some press. And the funny thing is we've had no time to do a follow up, but we've got all these ideas and how to do it. Super exciting. And now, especially now, I mean, it's always, it's always, it's ongoing, it's, you know, SB 1070 and everything that was happening years ago. It's like, that was just like a precursor to the bullshit that we're dealing with now. And, and it's, it's a, it's kind of an ongoing, it's more of a concept, I guess at this point, but we have a, we have a network of artists that we've worked with singers, bassists drummers, uh, you know, electronic music makers and remixers we've had, we've had this group of people now that, that we can draw from for the next record and I think we would probably reach out to some more too. But, uh, because we can't be a touring unit, it's Kinda just a, it's just a recording project at this point. Yeah.
Gabe Ratliff: 00:55:51 Yeah. It's awesome though. I mean that's, I love that. I love the whole idea of it and just the community, you know, and like, I mean it's tapping into and a need, a need to speak to something that's very relevant in today's time and it's, I love the union of you and Raul and the union of all the different players and you know, the, the monologue and all of that. I think it's just, I just, I love it. Um, you also mentioned Color Wheel Music. I definitely want you to speak to that.
Shawn King: 00:56:31 Yeah, Color Wheel is a, is a company. There's four of us were music makers and we've all, we're were all in bands or have been in bands and, and my partner Jeff and I were making music for some commercials years ago and decided to make more of like a more of a bonafide music house. So rather than just being creators were actually representing some other artists and we've provided soundtracks for, for some short films and, and we basically want to be a capable. We are capable of doing any kind of production from someone's Internet commercial to a full on documentary. And it's been a, it's been an interesting road because we all are onstage and we have our lives, so, um, it's been, it's been wild to connect with new people and, and just, you're finding all these people that are in similar positions where they love to play live, but they also love making recordings at home, so we've been able to make some things happen in Colorado and in Chicago and in Portland that have been stuff we're really proud of with the community that we know, which is all these indie artists. And yeah, we just got a license for wheelchair sports camp and Caitlin has been a friend of mine for a long time and was one of the first licenses that they've gotten. So they're stoked. We're stoked. The Aspen Mountain who licensed the song, they've got some street cred because they've got this, this incredible activist woman and her band attached with their commercials. So it's like, it's one of these three way winds that I'm always looking for. Yeah. Can you mention who that is? What's that? The woman activist. Oh, Kaylin Heffernan. She's the, she's the, she's the lead singer of wheelchair sports camp. Okay. So yeah. Um, so one of the things I was curious about. Oh, first, um, who, who are the other co founders besides you? Sorry, there's, there's Jeff Lynne's admire in Nashville, a Ben with Saki is here in Denver, in tid. Hudson is also here in Denver and I know they have some other connection system, pretty big bands as well.
Gabe Ratliff: 00:59:10 You guys definitely have a discography amongst the four of you.
Shawn King: 00:59:14 Yeah, well we also, yeah, Ben in The Fray, has been at it for God. I think he's been in The Fray for, is it 12 years? It's been a long time. Jeff has been on the road for ages and various bands and he tours with a Keith Urban right now. So. Wow. Um, yeah. And, and Ted's a phenomenal basis, who's, he was a, with a band, called The Damnwells, years ago. And so, so we try to use all our collective experience and knowledge of, of one side of the industry and try and apply it to this other side. So yeah, and it's making us all better producers and better communicators too. So it's really, it's been a great thing.
Gabe Ratliff: 01:00:02 Yeah, well I love that you're supporting other, you're supporting the, again, the community and these other artists that have really amazing music and they fit well with these other brands or entities, nonprofits, whatnot that are, that have a. I'm just giving a pause, uh, that have, uh, you know, great. Um, synergy for projects and I think that's great. That was curious. How is that different from the Songs Colorado that you also do?
Shawn King: 01:00:37 Oh, well, Songs Colorado was a project I took on last year. I was, I was the inaugural ambassador of music. And in within that title, I was specifically working on community, get together to talk about music production, talk about managing bands to talk about a licensing specifically to talk about a film scoring so that, that all that was all put together within the context of songs, Colorado because it was like all the, all the ambassador things that I was able to, to set up, whether it was workshops or working on getting, um, trout steak revival into a bank commercial. All that was Kinda, it was like housed at songs Colorado. So that's what, that was like our online presence for what I was doing. While it doesn't say that, it was like this is the work of the ambassador, etc. That's where was living. Okay. So awesome. And, and yeah, and we're Trying to figure out how to continue that program and how to have another ambassador because as we, as, as the governor's mansion changes hands in, in politics change in denver, Colorado, we want to, we want to be sure that there's a, there's still a music presence as far as, as how it affects the economy and how, how it's a huge part of our identity in denver. Yeah. Yeah. Uh, well I was, I was gonna ask. So both of these are still going correct? You were just saying that you're still trying to continue that one, two songs, Colorado. Yeah. Yeah. Well songs. Colorado was kind of the place where that work to, to showcase where that work was done. What's interesting is that we just, by default color we'll actually helps denver in Colorado artist feed into the, to the licensing world. SO we're in, we kind of carry that work on. That's why I'm just by default.
Gabe Ratliff: 01:03:07 Yeah. Well, and I was going to ask, so are you accepting submissions or how do you, how does one, if say there's an upcoming artist or, or someone who's really interested in working with you guys? Uh, how do they get in touch with you or how does, what does that process?
Shawn King: 01:03:21 Yeah, there's a, we have uh, on, on Color Wheel's site or either on Songs Colorado you can send an email there or on Color Wheel's site you can email one of us to talk about licensing. And I think one of the most amazing things is that, uh, through the studios in denver, you find that you find that people are recording amazing stuff and sometimes forgetting to just, hey, just cut some instrumentals. Like before you walk out of that studio and you have your finished product or the product that's going to go to the mastering engineer, just just cut some instrumentals and, and be able to have those. So you can, you can play with that audio yourself because we all have, we, I mean recording software and editing software is so accessible right now. It's easy enough to like make your own 32nd edits of something you walked out of a studio, make you made, you made a three minute song, but it's easy enough for you on your own, your laptop with GarageBand, chop it up and make some cool edits of it. Yeah. Yeah. It's never been easier actually. It's super easy.
Gabe Ratliff: 01:04:38 So, um, I'm going to start kind of winding down. I wanted to ask some a little bit, you know, more like a overarching questions but a little bit more rapid fire style. Sure. Um, what music would you say has um, well actually, first, before I go there, I'm kind of the big pivot question I wanted to ask is with all that, I mean, you're so community focused in your, um, obviously so connected to such a diverse culture with obviously with DeVotchKa, and Los Dreamers. I mean, a lot of the projects worked on. I mean, you're even working with Denver Center for projects like The Who's, uh, Tommy and um, I just spaced it, the, um, the Demon Barber, Sweeney Todd. Thanks. I'm with Sweeney Todd and, and, and Tommy. Um, so you, I mean, you're just very diverse. I love that. And then having, you know, the Academy Award-nominated album for "Little Miss Sunshine", um, what would you say your purpose is?
Shawn King: 01:05:59 I think my purpose is to make music but also connect with people through music and I think I'm discovering even more that it's not just, I guess I'd never really felt like I'm just a drummer backing somebody up, but that even even with within travel or within the different gigs that you get, like, um, I think that there's, for me the purpose is the, is the connection. It's the, it's the community. It's just trying to be in service to helping each other out through music because it's so important. It's such a huge part of our lives, but ultimately it's, it's about a connection. It's not, it's not a selfish thing and I don't make music. I don't look forward to making music alone. Uh, and I guess the other thing of that is that you realize that you use the old jazzers used to say this too is like you have a duty to be a mentor to the next generation. You have an actual duty for that because someone helped you and I think about that more in and it's great because color wheel is very in touch with that and I feel like we're going to have lots of opportunities to help the next generation and try to help people get over some other business hurdles that DeVotchKa had to get over. But I mean specifically now I just started hosting a podcast through Youth on Record and expanded them too. I love what they've been doing and DeVotchKa has been able to. We've done little things donating, donating some of our time by, by giving master classes and studio. But now thanks to Jami Duffy, thanks to everything that's going on at Youth on Record and their presence was able to dream up this podcast with them. Where I have two co hosts that are alumni from Youth on Records program and a third producer and the four of us are putting together this, this podcast that we're calling "My Youth on Record" and we're trying to. We're trying to use this period of time as like a moment to talk about as it relates to the students I'm working with, but as it relates to other artists who have been successful and we've. We're going to be rolling it out October 13th, which will be fantastic. Hopefully, we'll have three episodes done by then and it's just gonna be short stories about what people's first recordings were like. First song they wrote or just quite simply how. How did, how did you get through high school? We talked with comedian Ben Roy and he's part of The Grawlix and the tv show. Those who can't. We sat and talked with him and I'm really looking forward to that episode because he. The way he talks about music from that era is a little different than I would talk about it and we both come from. We're both east coasters who were in the metal, but what I liked, I kind of laugh at some of that stuff and, and only because metal was just such a small part of the music journey that I was about to go on. Right as I became an adult. Same here and I think he can say the same thing, but as he was talking about his old band and, and the, and the, the music he grew up on, it was, it was so incredibly powerful. You could tell like there's not really anything. I look at my first musical endeavors and they're just so laughable trying to be play metal or whatever. And Ben's case was not that. I mean he, he remembers every lyric from the first album he put out in wow. And, and we, and we're realizing through the podcast that way that we're connecting with people. We're talking about things that are so dear to them, but also I also have this, this through line is connection and basically saying music is as important to me is eating or it was more important to me than anything else. And it got me through this time and we were able to do that from two people who have made art their career. And ben has been. Roy hasn't, he wouldn't say he's a professional musician. He would say he's a professional comedian. I've been fortunate enough to be a professional musician, but we're, we're working with these, this next generation rappers and artists, guitarists who are looking to to fill these shoes. And I think that. I think that's. It's interesting that you asked me now about that because I don't feel like I'm a great host. I don't feel like I don't feel like it's in my future to be podcasting all the time. But I as it relates to me as an artist, it's like, yeah, this is, this is actually, this is very purpose driven because it's dealing with up to three generations and it's dealing with what's so vital and important to us. And so yeah, I don't, I don't have a. Don't have a fine point on what my purpose is, but I know that's part of it.
Gabe Ratliff: 01:12:17 Yeah. Well that's the thing I love about you is that you just do, you just. It's just natural for you to just do and have community and connection and people and collaboration and all of those wonderful things be a part of who you are and you know, be this great dad at the same time and husband, you know, I think that's awesome because it's a lot to juggle as we talked about so far.
Shawn King: 01:12:39 It's a lot. It's a lot.
Gabe Ratliff: 01:12:41 It's a lot to juggle and touring and album. I mean, I remember when we did our first album with shoreline, I mean it was intense. It's intense and you get pr and you've got interviews and you've got, um, you know, just new new cities, new venues, weird random electrical issues, sound guys that you never know what you're going to get. Um, and you know, meeting other bands that you look up to and then you realize that they might not be as cool as you thought as people. Um, and vice versa. Um,
Shawn King: 01:13:16 My rule on the road though is that you just don't know. You don't know what that person's day is lesbian yet. I mean, they, they might have had three flights canceled, right? They might have only slept for three hours, so I've tried to.
Gabe Ratliff: 01:13:30 Or you may be that person.
Shawn King: 01:13:31 You may be that person too. You can be cool.
Gabe Ratliff: 01:13:34 You may have been driving for twenty-three hours
Shawn King: 01:13:37 Try to be cool. It's usually possible. Just try to be cool.
Gabe Ratliff: 01:13:40 Hear! Hear! So, um, I want to ask what is, what is, what music has influenced your attitude in life? What music has influenced my attitude or just influenced your life either way?
Shawn King: 01:14:11 Well, I would say the most because we both love a lot. Yeah. What's influenced my, my, my life and attitude the most. I spent a lot of time with clifford brown and max roach and well I don't feel like a jazz addict as much as I used to be. That's, that might be two, two artists that because they recorded together frequently and I'm talking specifically about, there's a few records that I can listen to that just really make me feel good and I wound up. I wound up really internalizing a lot. I think that's partly why I wanted to play trumpet too was because I was listening to Max Roach is a drummer, but fell in love with Clifford Brown's trumpet style and some of those recordings like did you can, you can put them on and just feel the energy that, that they had as a team is like, they had this brotherly love for sure and I think the whole band kind of flushed it out pretty well. And clifford brown passed away tragically in a car accident. He was very young and I think max roach in later interviews just like missed him terribly because they had such a thing going. So that was that, that duo and those records I think was maybe some of the most influential, influential uh, early things that I listened to. John Coltrane, of course. Then I met my wife and, and kind of like immediately after meeting my wife I heard "Kid A" (Radiohead) that blew me away. And then, I don't know, there's, there's, there's a, there's a bunch of records that just have this like, I don't know. Yeah, just, just rapidly, just thinking about things that just came into my life at a certain time that made a lot of sense. And even like the pop of Magnetic Fields, "69 Love Songs" came to me at a time where we were traveling a lot. So that became like my, like a road handsome where we were all listening together and we just were just fascinated by the, the amount of brilliance and those like simple, simple pop songs. So it kinda, I dunno, it goes all over for me, it's just just taking random samples now. yeah, yeah. Um, what keeps you going when things are hard, whether that's in life or you know, working on a project and like if you're, you know, having writer's block as they call it or, or just, you know, something's not coming together. The song, the digital media, the juggling. I think the two things that I have are mY wife who's definitely my best friend. She's, she's very good at synthesizing in a way that I don't, I feel like I feel like I returned the favor because when she talks about some of the things she has going on in her, in her professional life or, or she's got all these things going on, but I feel like we, we, we both have, she has a way of simplifying what I feel like I have going on and really quick to give me like what the next step is and I feel like I can do the same thing for her by just kind of making these connections that she may not have seen. So that's the first thing I have is mY relationship with her. The second thing I think is jUst when, when everything's good, I'm jogging and running for me is the best because I can spend an entire record and really thInk about why is that sequence like that or how did they, how dId they get to this conclusion with their sound and, and what I like to think about the whole thing. I like, we are so busy these days and we're in this spotify culture where it's so easy to hit shuffle that for me being on a job, listening to an entire record or a podcast, which just takes me away and I love it. It'S like kinda like my preferred medium of anything nowadays. Same and more so than driving though. I mean being on foot and moving the. I think those are, those are probably my two things that just I can come back to, to, to kinda reset. Yeah. Um, what do you find inspiration when you are working on music or your creative projects? Where does that come from for you? People sometimes hearing, sometimes hearing something that I know won't be specific to what I'm about to create. It'll just kinda trigger one idea. Like, hey, why don't, why am I not using an 808 kick in in this thing that I'm working on and I'll, I'll hear something like that. Okay, I want to do that. But just taking little pieces from music that I listened to are people. Nice. Um,
Gabe Ratliff: 01:19:54 What surprises you most about where you ended up in life?
Shawn King: 01:20:02 I think what surprises me about being here is that we got, we got so luckY with DeVotchKa to meet, to meet the kind of people to have this chemistry that would last this long because we're coming up on 19 years now and bands just break up. I mean the Beatles broke up. Just great bands, breakup, bad bands, break up all kinds of bands that, that's just, that's how bands work. They, that if some of them get fortunate enough to actually make a splash and have some kind of hit or whatever, it's like that doesn't, that doesn't guarantee any kind of future, any kind of future connection, any kind of future relationship. So I think what surprises me most is just that I've found people that I'm not going to say it's easy, but to find people that we had a chemistry to get this far with his special. And I think it really is luck and, and, and at the same time what is interesting is that I've had, I've had dozens of jobs in my life, all these different things. And, and nothing has been as rewarding as music and I would say stressful too at the same time, but I think the other surprising thing is just like, it's like, yeah, I don't, I don't know what else. I don't know what else I would do in the sense that like I like being more entrepreneurial and just like you said, just doing, coming up with things and trying to make things happen and that's like, that's in my nature. So while I think it's luck, some of it just kind of had to be, it had, it had to, I had to have some kind of life like this, right? Because I don't, I don't do that great with like taking directions and having my, my wife was telling me, she's like, I don't know if you've ever had a 40 hour week job. And I was like, yeah, I have come on and I'm looking back and I'm like, I don't know that I actually have. I've had tons of part time jobs, but I don't know if I've ever had like a nine to five kind of thing. So I feel very luCky about that.
Gabe Ratliff: 01:22:31 Great man, that's great. Uh, did this. I think that's great. I did that and that's why I'm here.
Shawn King: 01:22:40 Exactly
Gabe Ratliff: 01:22:41 That's why I'm doing good thora and having my own business. Um, so. All right, I'm going to get into the real quick ones here.
Shawn King: 01:22:52 I think too, Gabe, I probablY got like, I probably got like five more minutes just because these guys are starting to get starting to show up to where the gear is.
Gabe Ratliff: 01:23:00 All right. So, um, uh, all right, well let's, we'll just get to it then. Um, is there anYthing else that you'd like to say?
Shawn King: 01:23:13 You know, I think this has been really fun. It's been, it's been cool to talk about all of these things and, and it's pretty rare that I that I'm like processing all these things in one sitting. So I feel like I've eaten a large meal. It's like, oh man, there is that. And, and there there's been moments Where we've been talking. I'm like, oh, well I haven't given much love to that or I haven't really thought about that. so it's interesting. And um, and yeah, it's uh, it's, it's, it's cool to talk about this stuff and I just, I wish you luck with it with a continuing these conversations.
Gabe Ratliff: 01:23:55 Thank you. Yeah, I mean, you know, the goal is to, you know, put a spotlight on people like yourself that are out there creating with purpose and giving back and uh, just making cool shit. Um, but it's also to inspire people just like with what you're doing with Youth on Record. and I'm, you know, I'm also a big proponent for Girls Rock. My niece, she just sang this year, last year she played drums like her uncle and uh, um, you know, it's great. It's very empowering for her and her friends that are in it. And um, and I think it's such a great shift culturally that we have things like that. Um, but I agree and uh, you know, and I'm, I'm a big advocate for Youth on Record as well and it's just, it's awesome to be able to get in a space like this and be able to showcase and spotlight those things that you're out there doing. Um, and to uh, you know, hopefully inspire other people, young kids or even adults like us that have this yearning inside to create with purpose, you know?
Shawn King: 01:25:05 Yeah. Well it's, it's cool too because I think I was talking to someone yesterday, I think that I think that the podcast is, it is in its golden age right now. People are understanding that with commuting, with the way we interact with media on our phones and on screens that a podcast feels more like a phone call or an in the way people connect with it is. I think it's really important and I know personally I can get pretty swept away, not just, I mean there's the classics, right? Like this american life, great storytelling, but you know, 99 percent invisible is incredible storytelling. And, you know, there's my favorite, my favorite of all time is, oh yeah dude, which those guys, I know them now, but, but even before that years before, like I'd be listening to them and I'd feel like that that stuff would get so into my head that I would actually, I'd actually start thinking that I had a conversation with them, be like, oh yeah, who was it that was talking about that movie be oh shit, it's these podcasters in la. It's not anyone I've talked to in the last Week. I need to shut up right now if you're hanging out, you know, I sound crazy. But it's. But that's why I feel like this is like a golden age of the medium because. Because people like to. They like to get info this way.
Gabe Ratliff: 01:26:37 Yeah. So. And it's a great way to connect whether, because you're connected with them, even though they're in la. And I think that's amazing. So, um, where can people find you? We've got the DeVotchKa album coming out. And what's the website for you guys again?
Shawn King: 01:26:51 Just devotchka.net and we think it's August 24th. It's, I think it's, I think it's the 28th, 28th, right? That's what I read. Maybe it's the 24th.
Gabe Ratliff: 01:27:06 Okay. We'll figure it out.
Shawn King: 01:27:07 Yeah, but it's coming real soon and there's actually, you can actually download three songs right now from. There's one radio station you give them there, you give your email away and they'll give you a download to three of the, three of the songs from the record.
Gabe Ratliff: 01:27:22 Fantastic. And then colorwheelmusic.com.
Shawn King: 01:27:27 Colorwheelmusic.com is where we do our custom licensing.
Gabe Ratliff: 01:27:31 And if people want to follow you on the interwebs, uh, what are you like? Instagram?
Shawn King: 01:27:36 Yeah, I, I think I'm more of an instagram guy now. That's just @drumkingshawn. That's pretty. That's pretty much the only place I go. Facebook makes me mad. I do like Twitter still and yeah.
Gabe Ratliff: 01:27:51 Nice. Well Shawn, thank you so much man. Congratulations to you guys and your new album and uh, for all the great stuff that you do and keep up the great work, brother. Thank you.
Shawn King: 01:27:59 Thanks, Gabe!
Gabe Ratliff: 01:28:01 Hey gang! Thanks so much for listening. If this is your first time checking out the show, then thank you so much for being here. I hope you enjoyed it. The Vitalic Project podcast comes out bi-weekly and is available every other thursday for your enjoyment. The show notes for this episode can be found at vitalicproject.com/001, and all the links from this episode will be in the show notes. If you haven't yet, please subscribe to the show and feel free to leave a rating or review on itunes. If you'd like to be a guest or know someone that would be a great fit, please go to vitalicproject.com/guest. Feel free to share this or any other episode with your friends and family and thank you so much for listening. Until next time, keep being vitalitic.