Jeff Shelton is a pop underground luminary known for his work with Spinning Jennies and the Well Wishers. Jeff graciously shared with us his comments on the PoP10.
1. Why play music?
I do it because it’s in me. I didn’t start playing guitar and writing songs until I was about 18 or 19 years old. Music was always in me…it just took the first half of my life to realize I could actually learn to express it! At some point anyone’s inherent “talent” finds a way to manifest itself. What’s truly sad are those who feel they have it but don’t reach into themselves to bring it out.
2. Who are your influences?
I love everything….from the Beach Boys to Black Sabbath…Mozart to Miles Davis; but as a musician and songwriter, most influence flows downhill from the Beatles. I get inspiration from just about every decade …with the most influential being the 80s and early 90s. I grew up listening to 80s modern rock with the cornerstone bands of my youth being REM, The Smiths, The Cure, Husker Du, X and others. In the 90s it was pivotal power pop bands like The Posies, Sloan, Redd Kross, Matthew Sweet, Teenage Fanclub, and many others. All those bands and genres shaped my musical background. I love the dark moody post-punk of bands like the Chameleons and Killing Joke as much as a cheery 3-minute pop song.
3. What is success?
I received two emails recently from two people I did not know who went out of their way to find me and tell me how much my music meant to them. When music becomes more than just background noise…when it really reaches to people and makes them feel more than what is on a superficial level, that’s the golden ticket. The fact that two random people conveyed this to me completely justifies everything I’ve ever done musically. And for that, I can be eternally grateful!
4. Why should people buy your music?
So I can send my kids to college
5. Who do you love?
God. Family. Friends. (is there anything else?)
6. What do you hope to achieve with your music?
As I alluded in question #3… the best I can hope for is that my music will reach out to someone in more than just a superficial way. If I can accomplish that – even with a few folks, then I feel I’ve achieved something.
7. Who comes to your gigs?
I don’t currently play live (as I don’t have a backing band). In the past (with Spinning Jennies) it was the die-hards…and on down nights it was usually just the drunk at the bar, the drummer’s girlfriend selling merch…and the other bands on the bill that night.
8. What is your favorite album?
POSIES – Dear 23
9. What is your favorite song?
“God Only Knows” Brian Wilson
10. How did you get here?
On a hippy trailhead full of zombies …. or was it The Magic Bus?