The following interview was conducted via email in November 2012.
1. FRENCHBADASS asks: What are your musical influences?
To put it very simply I only like music when I 100% believe the artist with how they are conveying the song. I am a big classic rock, funk and roots music junkie. I love bluegrass, old, traditional blues and old school country. A lot of my favorite music is from the 1920s-1950s but here is a list of some of my all-time favorite albums that are much more current but not particularly mainstream:
Nikka Costa – Everybody Got Their Something (This girl is a powerhouse and is so very one of a kind.)
Jonny Lang – Long Time Coming (This album shows what an amazing singer Jonny is on top of his obvious guitar genius. He is oozing with soul and r&b. I love every song on this album with the exception of the very produced “Red Light.”)
Doyle Bramhall II – Jellycream (Doyle is my favorite living musician. He was also Sheryl Crow’s guitarist, producer, cowriter and band leader when we toured with her in 2011.)
Jody Raffoul – Like A Star (Marlon Young, fellow TBT member, co-wrote and produced a lot of this album. He is from Canada and plays a lot of shows locally in Detroit.)
Greazy Meal – Visualize World Greaze (This is a long time defunct Minneapolis band that was very funky and creative. My mom used to drive me from Fargo to Minneapolis every Sunday night to see them play when I was about 12-13.)
Jeff Beck – Who Else (On this album Jeff uses his guitar in countless ways I have never heard a guitar used. It blows my mind every time I listen to it.)
Mindy Smith – One Moment More (This young woman has a voice that makes my heart hurt every time I hear it. She’s such a beautiful writer as well.)
I am also a huge Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix and Queen fan. Their entire catalogs move me.
2. JOHN asks: How did you end up joining TBT? We understand you have worked with Marlon in the past?
I joined TBT through Marlon. Marlon had called me when he was in the studio with Bob and asked if being in the band would be something that interested me. They were looking to replace a background vocalist position and add a third guitarist that could act as more of a relief player when Bob didn’t want to play guitar and to help cover all of the more intricate guitar work that was recorded on the Born Free album. About a month later they sent me the songs Rock And Roll Jesus, Picture and one other song (it may have been Cowboy) to learn for an audition with the band. I didn’t think I would get picked because I had never been a side musician and I definitely don’t look the part of the other background singers I’ve seen Bob have. As I walked in it was like a reunion. I have known Marlon, Stef, Jimmie and Aaron since I was 14 and all of us have always stayed in pretty close contact throughout the years. We have all played “Shannon Curfman Band” shows together and they recorded on my “Fast Lane Addiction” album. Marlon was also my main co-writer and producer for many years. Anyway, after the audition I was told I wouldn’t be going home and would be continuing on with rehearsal. We tried it out for the summer tour and we’ve been playing together ever since.
3. SEAN asks: What’s it like being on tour with mostly guys?
Smelly! haha I really enjoy all of the band. Krause helps me a lot when it comes to having a family at home and dealing with that awful feeling of being away. Our families really care about each other and we spend time together whenever geography allows. Jimmie “4-H” Bones is a wealth of knowledge; especially about farming and music. haha He is so very sweet. Freddie is my comedic relief. He’s one of the funniest guys I know. Aaron has always felt like a brother to me. We watch out for each other and also love finding nonsense to get into on the road. Fratangelo is always there to make sure everyone feels groovy and chill. McMurray is just the most pleasant, warm person to have late-night conversations with in the bus. Marlon is very serious about his work, thrives in the music business and is always creating. They are all great sounding boards and all have very special places in my heart.
4. KIDLUVR asks: What were your first impressions of Kid Rock & have they changed in the time you’ve known him?
I had actually partied with him and had been to his house in Michigan when I was younger but I don’t remember much about any of it. Those were some fuzzy days. We have always had a lot of mutual friends which brought us to a lot of the same shows, awards shows and parties in Detroit and LA but I would never say we hung out until I joined TBT. He’s a pretty open guy so what you probably already assume of him is how I view him. As for the business side, he is very serious about his work, his brain always seems to be going on ten and he is very meticulous. The personal side of him is what I love to be around when he’s just goofy and funny and it’s not about business. He is also a great host and throws great parties.
5. JB asks: If you had to pick one of your solo songs for Kid Rock fans to listen to, which song would it be and why?
One? I don’t know if any one song encompasses what I do. The best I can do is give you a couple that I think are worth the download to represent what I do.
“True Friends” was the first single I ever had. It was sort of my identity for a good couple years but I dig playing it so much and it’s just a good guitar and keys driven rock and roll song.
“The Weight” is a cover I did of the classic song by The Band. You can’t go wrong with a song written by Robbie Robertson!
“Do Me” is my favorite song that Marlon and I ever released. It’s saucy, bold, powerful and a great pick-me-up.
“Never Enough” is the first song I ever wrote and it’s the song I get the most fan-mail about with saying it got them through a really trying, personal time. This one can be hard to get through.
“Can’t Let You Go” was written for my cousin and her husband, who just left for his third tour of duty in the military a couple weeks ago, and all the people at home who have loved ones that are overseas. Being on the home-side is no piece of cake and I wanted to show my support for the support systems behind the scenes. This one also breaks my heart to sing.
6. NICK COLLINSON asks: Which Kid Rock song is your favorite to play live?
I love Low Life and MF but the song I really wish I could play on every night is Bawitdaba. I wouldn’t even care if I played the triangle during it. I just want to be part of playing that song with THE artist that created it once in my life. I will never forget seeing him play Woodstock on MTV back in the day. I’m also really looking forward to playing a bunch of the tracks off of Rebel Soul. This new album is really my cup of tea. Or whiskey.
7. MB2K12 asks: Did you have any involvement on the new Kid Rock album “Rebel Soul”?
Yes. TBT did exactly what they usually do onstage for the new album. I’m really excited for this one. I would buy it myself if I wasn’t in the band.
8. SUSAN asks: What would you be doing career-wise if music wasn’t part of your life?
I would totally dig just being a stay-at-home mom and wife if I didn’t have this passion for music like I do. Psychology is also a love of mine.
9. ASH asks: What music is on heavy rotation on your mp3 player at the moment?
Lately I have been jamming out to the Alex Clare song “Too Close” but realistically the thing I am listening to whenever possible is the new Kid Rock album so I can get all my parts down.
10. BECCA asks: What would you say is the highlight of your career so far?
It’s all been pretty cool. Hopefully it just gets cooler and cooler so my highlight will be sometime later in life. When I was a teenager I played on Jay Leno, Letterman, Good Morning America, Rosie and others, toured with Mellencamp, Buddy Guy and more and played with pretty much all of my big influences with my own solo career so all of that was a blast.
11. ANDREW asks: What other interests do you have?
I love cooking. My house is almost all organic, grain-free and sugar-free. When you have such restrictions you have to learn to cook pretty well pretty quickly. I also love reading and naps. And TV. haha Honestly, outside of music I really just hang out with my daughter and friends and family when I’m home. We love board games and cards. Scrabble, Catch Phrase, hold-em, gin, dominoes and go fish. Traveling is something I do a lot of as well as most of my dearest friends live in Detroit, LA and Wisconsin. I’m also completely addicted to comedy. I love listening to live stand-up, watching old cartoons and surrounding myself with anything else comedic.
12. LIZA SIMMONS asks: Which was your favourite gig this year and why?
My favorite gig was my own band’s show in Minneapolis which is my hometown. My band is so stinkin’ talented. It’s such a pleasure to stand on stage with them. I get lost listening to them take their solos. I am so lucky.
13. DETROIT STASH asks: Does Twisted Brown Trucker fulfil your artistic needs? In other words, when you’re done performing a show, do you still desire to be the one out front or are you content with your current role?
I never would have accepted the gig with Bob if I thought I wouldn’t be fulfilled at the end of the show. That wouldn’t be fair to him, the audience, the position I took or myself. Our music and inspirations are so similar that I love playing what we do every night. Now, if I had to give up my own career completely it would emotionally kill me and I just wouldn’t keep myself in a position like that. I will fit my own shows into every nook and cranny I can when we aren’t doing Kid Rock shows but I dig the balance I have.
14. RACHEL asks: If you had to describe yourself in 3 words, what would they be?
I’m going to have to ask my friends to help me with this one.
Playful, loyal and caring.
15. DETROITJJ asks: What do you enjoy the most about touring?
Outside of my daughter the one thing I need to survive is alone time and, boy, do you get a lot of that on the road. I’ve always been that way. If I don’t get time to unwind at some point during the day, whether it be morning or night, I lose my marbles.
16. SHELLY asks: Which of the albums that you’ve put out as a solo artist is your personal favourite?
That really is like asking to pick your favorite kid but….I would say Loud Guitars, Big Suspicions. It was my first album but I still love playing that material to this day so that must mean something! I made that album before I knew anything about barriers or thinking inside of a box. I think I’ve done pretty well not doing that even with my other albums but there is something very pure about the Loud Guitars, Big Suspicions album that I hold dear to me.
Finally, do you have any final words for the fans? Any current projects you would like to mention?
I love keeping up with all of you on Facebook and Instagram but I am completely revamping www.shannoncurfman.com so go there and sign up for my mailing list to know when it is all up and running and when I will be playing in your area. I am going to start updating it frequently from the road and look forward to having the main page of the new site being in more of a blog format where you guys can also comment and we can have discussions. The other thing to mention is you can purchase my cds through my website and I can personalize the cds for you. All of my music is also available through iTunes and Amazon. See you all on the road very soon! :o)