>> Krit and I had the chance to go and see a local Buffalo band named White Shade play a few weeks ago at Mohawk Place. Matt Sacha (singer and guitarist), Dan Heuskin (bass), Anthony Berardi (drummer), and Zack Moore (rhythm guitarist), are White Shade. We asked Matt to tell us a little about how the band started, “My drummer Anthony and I have the most history together. We grew up two doors down from each other in Lancaster, NY and we both have been consumed with music our whole lives. We’ve played together since we were around 10 years old and for the most part just messed around with music for fun in his basement. Once I got to college I was really sick of never having played live much. I found our bass player, Dan, on Facebook and we developed good playing chemistry immediately. Our rhythm guitar player, Zack, was on UB's rowing team with me for a year and we started jamming together for a while and then eventually he joined the band.” The name White Shade came about through the band looking at existing band names that they liked and combining two words that are opposite of one another, “ [Also] the fact that we in general just like band names with colors in them.”
The band has a unique blues-infused alternative rock sound, inspired by bands such as Led Zeppelin, Radiohead, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Interpol, Queens of the Stone Age, DIIV, Mac Demarco, Kings of Leon, Arctic Monkeys, and Twin Peaks. Each member of the band has a different taste in music which adds more depth and forms a unique blend of sounds: “Anthony and I both have a lot of appreciation for classic rock and modern indie stuff. Dan is really into progressive rock and more improvisational music. Zack is really into punk and he definitely got me into that genre of music. After getting into Interpol I became really interested in 80's British independent music: Joy Division, Smiths - stuff like that. So some of our songs are bluesier, some laid back, and others more stripped down and aggressive. I think we have a good mix.”
We asked Matt about his songwriting process and his response was, “Most of our early songs began with an idea or structure I had laid out myself but as we have played together it's become more of a collaborative process. Dan and I can bust out ideas pretty consistently by jamming together and some of our songs have emerged from that.” As for the creation of lyrics and themes for the songs Matt gave us some insight into how he goes about writing songs, “With our songs the music always comes first. I write and sing all of our lyrics so far, and words and themes are definitely something I reserve for last. A lot of it is me observing self-destructive things in my own life and in my relationships with other people. I have a workaholic attitude and I definitely applied that towards our band when we first started, so some of the songs are about me recognizing the potential pitfalls of that. I intentionally keep the lyrics kind of ambiguous in our songs because I find it more interesting that way.”
With all of the member of the band still in college it has been a bit of a challenge to find time to practice together, “Although we can't practice as a full band all the time, I try to play with the individual members as often as possible, which definitely helps.” This hurdle doesn’t stop White Shade from performing or creating more music! In fact, there is new music on the horizon for White Shade, “We just released a single called Delayed that you can listen to on our Soundcloud page. It's an instrumental with a fast pace and a lot of energy to it. It’s worked well as an opener our past few shows. We have a few songs that we've basically finished writing that we have to just put the finishing touches on recording, so we can probably release an EP by the summer! We recently made a video entry for NPR's Tiny Desk Concert of us playing our newest song that I think has become all of our favorite out of our setlist. It has a much easier going style to it compared to our other songs.”
Matt is very invested and has ambitious goals for himself as a musician. “I think all of us would agree that we would like to play as much as possible and continue to write and improve the original material. I'd consider myself to be the most invested in the group out of all of us, so although the other members would probably be fine just playing for fun here and there I absolutely want our music to reach more ears and for us to be able to take advantage of as many opportunities as possible. We're still a very young band - our first real gig was less than a year ago - so I'd really like to develop a decent audience and continue to meet people in the scene.”
We hope to see White Shade in Rochester soon and we cannot wait to get our ears on their anticipated EP!