Lovers Lane
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Hello, My Name Is Shannon

| January 30, 2008

Hello, My Name Is Shannon
Q&A With Shannon Wright


IE: You’ve just welcomed a new baby. Were you musical as a kid?
Shannon Wright:
My grandma bought me a guitar when I was 9, but I hated it because it made my fingers hurt. My parents liked music a lot, but neither of them played anything. I didn’t play music until I was 20. They say whenever there was a radio on when I was little I would go sit by it.

IE: So now you have an extra body to attract fans to the merch booth.
He is a cutey, but he’s not coming to Chicago. He’ll go to Europe, but he won’t come to shows. Maybe soundcheck. My husband will watch him.

IE: If you didn’t start music ’til you were 20, did you learn to play in school?
I had all these friends that went to music school, and I thought they were nerds, playing all these scales. “That’s not what music’s about.” I was anti-guitar. I never learned other people’s songs. I play both the bass and the treble [parts on one guitar], so I have a very distinct style. I didn’t know piano until I recorded my first album. The piano came so naturally. And it’s just so big and powerful.

IE: Let In The Light has a lot of piano on it.
It was kind of conscious. Over The Sun [2005] I did a lot of guitar on, so I did want this to be different. I couldn’t hold the guitar when I was pregnant! But I was writing and writing and writing. I had all these songs.

IE: How has your live approach changed?
I used to be terrified! The first two times I think I just stood there — completely still. But then something happened. I like to communicate with people. I [still] feel like I’m gonna throw up every time I go onstage. I think, “Why are these people here to see me? Who do they think I am?”

IE: So do you ever think about just quitting?
All the time. Sometimes I wish I didn’t have this need to make music. It’s a ridiculous way to make a living.

Shannon Wright’s Let In The Light (Quarterstick) is out now. She plays Schubas on February 22nd.

— Steve Forstneger

Category: Columns, File, Monthly

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