Shadowplay are a five-piece indie/hard rock band hailing from Mount Laurel, New Jersey. Two years ago, they released their debut album, Vision. They have toured nationwide a number of times and have opened up for major concerts in the thousands for musicians like Hoobastank, Lit and Alien Ant Farm in Michigan, as well as Doug Wimbish of Living Colour.
The band’s singer, Andrew Corkery, just got back from a semester of study abroad at Capa International in London, England. During his travels in Europe, he visited locations such as Ireland, Amsterdam, Krakow, Budapest, Prague, Istanbul and Morocco. He was doing an internship at a brand content video production company doing work for Paul Cannon, Paul Smith and more.
Shadowplay will be playing at Pianos in New York City on Sept. 13. The Aquarian recently spoke with Corkery about the band’s history, their New Jersey roots, and more. The transcription is below:
You released the song “Sandy Eyes” last year. Where were you and what were you doing when your band decided to compose a song about the Hurricane Sandy tragedy?
We were just at band practice talking about what happened with Hurricane Sandy. We were jamming on this tune, and we weren’t really sure what to write about it. We all came to the conclusion that we were going to write about what happened. Dan [Holden, guitarist/backing vocalist] wrote the lyrics to it; I think Dan brought the idea of writing the lyrics to the song “Sandy Eyes.” We all had talked about it after practice. So we said, “Yeah!”
We are all from here. We all might not be from the Jersey Shore, but we are all from New Jersey. This is where we grew up and we know the area. It’s a very important place to us. I like going to places around the country, as well as places outside of America. It just made sense for us. That’s where our roots are. We wanted to help those people, too. That was a big part.
A big part of our band is helping raise people to a higher level. We want to raise those who are struggling in their lives or with injustice or are being suppressed by Mother Nature. It’s a big part of who we are, and it’s a big part of who I am as a person. I like to reveal the truth to people and help those who need the assistance.
Anything to add on that?
Even people who need assistance, even when it is not an opportune moment, then it is easy for people to tune down. I think we all get lost in our own being from time to time. We need to take a moment every now and again to step outside of our own paradigm and realize that this world and society functions outside of our own perspective, and we need to be aware of this.
What do you think the people of New Jersey should be doing to help the victims of Sandy now that there is a lot of political turmoil going on that is overshadowing what happened?
I think keep in mind that all of these millions of dollars that people talk about on the news, online and everywhere that is out there in the media, it all comes down to people. These numbers aren’t just numbers; they affect people. Sometimes we all need to sacrifice somewhat to help the common good for the better. So I think what people should realize is to not really put the issue on one politician, whether it be Chris Christie or anybody else. Don’t put the whole weight of the issue on one person. Realize we are a collective group and we have to work together on this and have to move forward on it. People need to realize that we all might be comfortable in our lives, but there are a lot of people out there that are really struggling.
Last year you were able to study abroad in England and got to visit many different European countries. During your travels, what type of lessons did you learn that you could put to use in the promotion of your band?
I think one thing that I really learned a lot was that life really goes on beyond the confines of yourself. The world is such an expansive place and we need to realize that before we make decisions. I feel like that helped me a lot in realizing who I am as a person and what I embrace and what I am really into. It gave me a better definition for who the band is as well as what role I play in that. In addition to that, what messages we want to bring out to the public, what kind of content we want to deliver to them and what we feel as well as what we believe in music; the ideals we represent in our music and our sound as well as who we are as people. We are able to bring that out more and are able to share who we really are.
England to me was the most epic self-actualization opportunity I have ever had in my life. I was able to challenge my views and everything I once knew about myself. I was able to embrace some of the things I felt that are good about myself. I also worked on the things that aren’t necessarily as good as they could be or maybe not good at all. I was able to be honest with myself. From there I can be honest with the people that enjoy our music.
You have spoken of songs to be recorded such as “Zach Likes Trains,” “Say That You’re Down” and “Boy’s Fantasy.” What type of direction are you going with these tracks and you can say a few words about them?
They are all based in some sort of indie rock, but are different in their own ways. I am still figuring out what combinations of songs go together. We want to have big pieces of music and artwork that are connected to a particular sound. If one song fits with another song, then we will put those songs together. Not to say they all sound the same, but they will sound like part of a record or an EP. It will sound like a cohesive unit of a dynamic meaning of music together. It builds upon itself. It really fleshes the band out. In what we have to offer in terms of our sound, a lot of it is just indie rock. It has a lot of different influences.
“Zach Likes Trains” is more of a post-rock song with influences like Mogwai, Russian Circles, Godspeed You! Black Emperor; maybe not as dark as those last two bands. It does have that ambient quality to it where it is like a tonality type thing where there is this space within the tone and the music that allows the song to breathe and have a life of its own.
With “Boy’s Fantasy,” it has more of an indie rock and Southern folkie vibe to it. It’s got a really rock ‘n’ roll sound to it. It’s brought out in a new type of indie style. It encapsulates the essence of rock ‘n’ roll.
“Say That You’re Down” is more of a straight-up blues song. It has all the chords that are involved in blues and stays true to that sort of fashion. It has an indie flare where certain parts of the song structure deviate from that type of construct a bit. We want to encompass indie rock, folk, and post-rock. If we can combine those three sounds together, then I think that’s the new sound that a lot of people aren’t doing.
You have performed with very notable musicians in the past like Hoobastank, Lit and Alien Ant Farm. What do you see as the next set of goals you are reaching toward?
I think continuing to identify our fanbase and express ourselves in a true meaningful, authentic way as to who we are. I don’t feel like there is anything more we can ask for. Hopefully people enjoy the music that we create and we can all share it together. People can have their thoughts on it.
I think it’s a good thing to always be developing as a band, not only in the sound, but also in the message and what you are trying to accomplish as a band and the things that you believe in. It’s good to have solid core beliefs, but you need to let them evolve over time. You need to seek new and enlightened perspectives on as many things as you can. Stay diligent about being informed I think are keys to what we are trying to do.
Shadowplay will be playing at Pianos in New York City on Sept. 13. For more information, go to shadowplayrocknroll.com.