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Progressive Rock Interviews

Shady Lane

Interviewed by Gary Hill
Interview with Shady Lane from 2010
MSJ: Can you give our readers a look at the history of your group and your involvement in music?

Remy Tjassing: We started as a cover band, playing songs from Screaming Trees, Pearl Jam, Iggy Pop, Stone Temple Pilots, REM, Soundgarden…etc. In 2000 we started playing our own material - more REM like in those days. Our first EP How Long was produced in 2000. In the cover period we were a band of 5. But since 2000 (actually when we started playing our own songs) Shady Lane is a band of three, Roland Bosma (drums), my father Piet Tjassing (bass) and Remy Tjassing (guitar, vocals). After How Long more EP’s were recorded and in 2009 we finally produced our first full length Between Two.

When I speak for myself, I started drumming when I was 5, tapping along with Yes (“Owner of a Lonely Heart” was my favorite, because it was quite simple in contrast with the complexity of most of their songs), Talking Heads, Boston, Led Zeppelin, Guns ‘n Roses and many others. Around 12 I discovered the guitar. I sold my drum kit to our drummer Roland and bought my first electric guitar and a little 10 watt amp. I never took a lesson, just fooled around a bit. Then the “grunge” arose rapidly in the nineties and as a guitarist it really blew my mind. Unfortunately it took me a while to play along with it, but after some time I managed to play most of my favorites respectfully. The next big step was trying to sing along with it 0 weeks, months, years of practice but I enjoyed every minute of it.


MSJ:

Where does the name Shady Lane come from? Is there some significance to it?

 Remy Tjassing: Our band was born at the farm of my parents in a little village in the north of Holland. The left and right side of the pathway to the farm are covered with trees. At night when you walk home the path gives you the creeps because of the darkness and spooky atmosphere. You now understand there was only one option for the band’s name. And I think it suits our music well.

MSJ:

If you weren't involved in music, what do you think you'd be doing?

Roland Bosma: I think I would waste away somewhere in a dusty office. I really don’t know. I never really thought about it. Reason enough to enjoy being in music more intensively.

MSJ:

How would you describe the sound of Shady Lane?

Piet Tjassing: Tricky question. I think the best description is melancholic, melodic, dynamic, alternative rock. We are influenced by the seventies and nineties. We love the psychedelic, heavy and melodic sounds of the guitar bands of these decades.

MSJ:

What's ahead for you?

Remy Tjassing: We are preparing a club tour through Holland and we are busy writing new material.

MSJ:

Are there musicians you'd like to play with in the future?

 Remy Tjassing: I would be great to tour with bands like Porcupine Tree, Tool or Pearl Jam someday. I think such an experience would give me a lifetime of inspiration.

MSJ:

 Do you think that downloading of music is a help or hindrance to the careers of musicians? It's been said by the major labels that it's essentially the heart of all the problems they are having in terms of lower sales - would you agree?

Remy Tjassing: It’s the biggest reason for the raging ticket prices and the stagnating CD sales. On the other hand, for unknown bands the Internet is the way to get yourself out there. But to outshine the mass you have to be creative. Illegal downloading is bad for the bands and the industry, but with distributors as for example iTunes and Amazon I hope things get better. I still prefer the disc and its artwork, because I think music should be heard at maximum quality. Like reading a book at a computer., it just doesn’t feel right. Maybe I am getting old.

MSJ:

In a related question how do you feel about fans recording shows and trading them?

Remy Tjassing: Mostly it’s recorded with a cell phone somewhere in a dark corner. It’s a shame people get away with it, but I wouldn’t know how to prevent it. I wouldn’t mind if someone taped a decent live performance and dropped it on YouTube without holding his hand. But often the recording quality is not equal to the performance and capability of the band. It just doesn’t feel right. To earn money on art which wasn’t created by you sounds like stealing.

MSJ:

 If you were a superhero, what music person would be your arch-nemesis and why?

Remy Tjassing: Ha ha, that must be 50 Cent. That guy scares the hell out of us, but with our superpower music he will be knocked out in a second.

MSJ:

If you were to put together your ultimate band, who would be in it?

Piet: Great question and easy to answer. On drums: Danny Carey (Tool); bass: Chris Squire (Yes); keys: Rick Wakeman (Yes); Lead guitar: John Petrucci (Dream Theater); Guitar, vocals: John Kay (Steppenwolf)

MSJ:

If you were in charge of assembling a music festival and wanted it to be the ultimate one from your point of view, who would be playing?

Remy Tjassing: Tool, Steppenwolf, Kate Bush, Yes, Porcupine Tree, Smashing Pumpkins, A Perfect Circle, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Dream Theater, Mastodon, King Crimson, Screaming Trees, Portishead, Massive Attack and of course Shady Lane

“Never Going to Happen Festival” would be a great name. It’s going to be hell to decide who will start playing first. Ahhhh ok we will!

 

 

MSJ:

What was the last CD you bought, or what have you been listening to lately?

Roland Bosma: Misa Solemnis from Beethoven. He wrote this for his own funeral. The beginning is very slow and dramatic. Especially as a drummer I idolize the rhythmic brilliance in this piece.
MSJ:

What about the last concert you attended for your enjoyment?

Remy Tjassing: Sweethead, the new band of Troy van Leeuwen

MSJ: Finally, are there any closing thoughts you'd like to get out there?
Remy Tjassing: Listen to music, be patient with it and stop whining about your tax paper during a live concert.
MSJ: This interview is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2010  Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.
 
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