Lamitschka: Music has many new fans throughout Europe who
may be hearing about you for the first time. How would you describe
yourself and the music you play to someone who has never seen or
David Shelby: I’d describe my music like my two favorite
cities; it’s got the the gritty rock feel of Detroit with a little
bit Nashville polish & shine. (And if you’ve never visited
either state, come on over!)
Lamitschka: How was the last year for you? What were your
David Shelby: This has been THE year of highlights for
me. I’ve been touring (and recently opened for Hank Jr.); released
a new CD and single to radio; I’ve been visiting radio stations.
…and this is just the beginning!
Lamitschka: What is your latest CD and how’s it doing?
David Shelby: I just released my new CD (RUST BELT
COWBOY) and the reviews from the critics are trickling in; the fans
seem to really like it, so I hope that’s a good sign!
Lamitschka: How did you choose the title for the CD?
Is there a story behind the name?
David Shelby: The title is fitting because of my rust
belt upbringing and fan base. Being from the north (Detroit) and
releasing a country album, the Rust Belt title
goes together–like a beer and a shot!
Lamitschka: Do you write the songs yourself? If not, how do
you go about finding the songs for your CD?
David Shelby: With the exception of two, I wrote or
co-wrote the majority of the songs on the project along side my two
writing partners, FJ Turner and Chris Virizi, The ballad, “Your
Better Man, “ is actually a song I wrote to propose to
my wife. She cried for two minutes and I finally had to say: “You
didn’t answer? Is that ’yes,’ or ’no?’ “ (I’m a lucky
man, she said ’yes!’)
Lamitschka: Please tell us about the songs on your album
David Shelby: Because RUSTBELT COWBOY was an introduction to my
music, I wanted to have an assortment of listening experiences. From
party songs and moonshine (that are not meant to be deep lyrically
but fullfill the purpose of having fun), to demonstrating that I do
have a softer side. The track, “Stealing Honey“
was designed to showcase the band’s musicianship and “
Story Of Our Lives“ is introspective and
thought-provoking. The collection of songs on the album were meant to
make for a well-rounded project while pushing the boundaries a bit.
My music enables me an outlet to cross lines and express emotions.
Lamitschka: What is the difference between your last CD and
your current one?
David Shelby: You’ll see a different level of maturity
and presentation with performance on the new project and, in
comparison, it lends itself more to the standard “
commercial sound“ while still being
different–pushing those boundaries.
Lamitschka: Your current single is being played by radio.
What do you feel is special about this song that makes people want to
David Shelby: “ Kick A Little Dirt Around“
is not a deep song but it does get the blood flowing, gets the
audience up to dance, catches on quick and, it’s a sing along! It’s
been received very well. The song is part of a dance club promotion
currently and there are even videos of line dances all the way from
France. The song doesn’t ask much of the listener, but it makes
them want to move and dance and “ kick a
Lamitschka: What will your next single be?
David Shelby: I don’t think I’ve written it yet. So
many opportunities have arisen; I’ve met so many people and enjoyed
so many new experiences; I feel that the best is yet to come. You
never know what you’re walking into in Nashville–every experience
is an adventure and influential.
Lamitschka: What kind of songs do you like to record the
David Shelby: I like to record the rockin’ songs, but
then again nothing says it quite like a tender ballad. I feel like I
still have that one emotional ballad still in me that speaks the
truth and hits every individual equally as hard—the kind of song
that makes you feel like it’s the morning after you’ve kicked too
much dirt around the night before!
Lamitschka: What is your favorite song among all the songs
you have recorded and what’s the story behind it?
David Shelby: “Prayer Of The Broken; “
it’s a song that is the most personal and reflects a bit of my
hometown. It captures the hardship of a tough economic time and the
challenges a person goes through. I recorded it, but never released
Lamitschka: Do you have any interesting stories about how
fans have been affected by your music?
David Shelby: There have been a couple of stalkers but
beyond that, it’s been a treat in general to get the reaction I
have from fans and social media. The feedback from all over the globe
(from France, Germany and so many other areas) has been really quite
Lamitschka: Who inspires you musically and how deep do your
musical roots run?
David Shelby: One artist did make a BIG impression; it
all goes back to my first Garth Brooks show. When I saw him live, I
thought, I have to do that. I’m really partial
to big band music and crooners like Sinatra. I’m a Jeffrey Steele
fan, not only because of his performance, but his songwriting. And
Wait! There’s more: Hank Williams Jr., Motown and some old hometown
rock, like The Rocketts, have all been extremely influential. Traces
of all can be found in my music.
Lamitschka: What do you think about today’s music scene
versus its post and where do you see it going in the future?
David Shelby: I hope doors keep opening for more
independent artists because it enriches the listeners. Now, more than
ever, the digital world has enabled the independent artists direct
access to the public—and the public access to new music to discover
that it doesn’t all have to fit under one cookie cutter format.
Lamitschka: What do you think about today’s music industry?
David Shelby: We’ll always have the big players in the
industry and we all strive to play in the same game. The cool part
is, today, that doors are opening for the independent artists and the
playing field is much broader.
Lamitschka: If you had the chance to change something about
the music industry, what would it be?
David Shelby: I’d say, to give some control back to the
local program directors and DJ’s at country stations so they are
not restricted as to playlists. There is a lot of good music to be
heard and unfortunately, due to restrictions, there is just not
enough space to play it.
Lamitschka: What was your big break that got you into the
David Shelby: There are two sides to the story, but what
re-enforced my love and interest in music was the trumpet. One day. I
got a phone call to go out on the road with The Imperials and Davy
Jones (formerl of The Monkeys) as my first touring experience playing
the trumpet; it was the best experience being on tour with these
talented performers. [When I get old, I want to be telling stories
like this in a crappy hotel bar!]
Lamitschka: As an artist, you so many tasks such as
recording, touring, interviews. What do you like best, what’s your
David Shelby: Touring–I’m built for it and I love it.
Funny story from the road: I was doing a radio interview in a booth
at the station and outside the studio window, somebody had mistaken
me for Brad Paisley (which caused quite the commotion outside the
studio during my interview). Seeing the group of people that had
rallied, and their reactions, was the funniest and most flattering
Lamitschka: Are you doing anything to take music beyond its
current borders or are you happy where it is?
David Shelby: No boundries! No borders! I’ll keep
pushing the envelope sonically and from the songwriting aspect as
long as it is acceptable!
Lamitschka: What inspired you to become an artist?
David Shelby: Garth Brooks is the man behind my dream to
become an entertainer. My inspiration grew over time as I become
more aware of music composition, and the emotions it translated and
tapped into, and then I learned to play the trumpet. You’re kind of
born with it or you’re not; it either sticks or it doesn’t. If it
sticks, music consumes you little by little and then you find
yourself eating ramen noodles!
Lamitschka: What inspired you to become a songwriter?
David Shelby: I began writing as a necessity; the
inspiration came from the appreciation for the art. (Look what a
person like Jeffrey Steele can do.) I have a genuine appreciation
for Nashville, the songwriting craft, development and storytelling.
Lamitschka: What’s unique about you that will differentiate
you from other artists?
David Shelby: Where I’m from! Detroit: where I grew
up; the culture and the music I listened to. Put that in a blender
and that makes my sound unique.
Lamitschka: What moments in your career stand out in your
memory as highlights and achievements which you are proud of?
David Shelby: Playing the main stage at the WYCD Hoedown
(opening for Jake Owen and Emerson Drive) and performing before Hank
Jr. (When I was younger, I saw a Sesame Street
show on the very same stage; I can’t help but feel I’ve shared
the stage with Big Bird!)
Lamitschka: Who is your biggest critic, yourself or others?
David Shelby: Surprisingly, my mom (and that’s why I
love her so). She was so completely honest through the recording
process and it has helped me to propel forward to want more from
Lamitschka: When you get time off, how do you like to relax?
David Shelby: I have a pilot’s license, so, I like to
fly and I own two horses, a quarter-horse and a Clydesdale, and I
have trained for jousting.
Lamitschka: What hopes and desires do you have?
David Shelby: I hope I can make a good living as a
performer and as a songwriter in the industry. Stardom is not a
driving force for me. Wait, scratch that; I want to be the next Garth
Brooks! [laugh] Might as well shoot for the moon to land among the
Lamitschka: Many European fans travel to the United States
to attend the several of the music festivals for the opportunity to
see so many of their favorite artists, bands and celebrities. Will
you be participating and how will the fans be able to find you?
David Shelby: Fans can find me everyday, any day, at all
times at www.DavidShelbyMusic.com.
That’s the best place to locate upcoming show dates and
appearances. I hope to tour overseas to visit my European fans. My
passport is all ready! (The photo is not that great, though…)
Lamitschka: Is there any place you haven’t played that you
would like to?
David Shelby: CMA Festival; I’ll see you there in 2014!
Lamitschka: What can your fans expect to see when they see
you in concert?
David Shelby: Fans never know what they’re gonna get
and that’s the best part. Every show is a give- and-take. I
entertain with the motivation to energize the crowd and they, in
turn, energize me; we feed off of the same energy. I’m there for a
good time, but it’s a fresh show every time. I’m never sure what
it’s gonna take to entertain the audience; I will do whatever it
takes to put on a good show.
Lamitschka: When you’re on tour, do you have time to play
David Shelby: Every now and then, yes. I’ll have some
down time to look up the local fish hatchery, bakery or local hot
Lamitschka: What message would you like to send your
David Shelby: First, my heartfelt THANK YOU for your
support, all the messages and videos! All of your responses to my
music have been a truly humbling. I hope I am fortunate enough to
bring my music to you all LIVE and IN PERSON in the coming months.
Lamitschka: Fans are always hungry for good road stories. Do
you have one you can share with us (come on don’t be shy)?
David Shelby: Coming back from Canada, one of the guys
from our band was detained because he was Canadian (there was some
sort of immigration/paperwork issue). That evening we had a gig and
performed without him. (And don’t forget the story about my being
mistaken for Brad Paisley above!)
Christian Lamitschka ( Ch.Lamitschka@t-online.de