On their debut EP, ‘The Better Man in Me’, Shaded showcase a brash, slick set of upbeat pop-punk that is reminiscent of those who bridge the gap between the mainstream and the underground. Nevertheless, it’s a versatile introduction from the Surrey-based quartet. Songs such as ‘Better With You’ and ‘Too Far Distant’ sees them embrace their bouncy, poppy side, ‘Here’s To Starting Again’ and ‘Tendencies’ are carried with a heavier undertone.
To get a better insight into how Shaded shaped their sound, we talked to vocalist Matt East as he chose five influential albums.
State Champs – Around The World and Back
The refined pop-punk sound and their style of writing has certainly influenced us all as a band. The vocal melodies, guitar tones and production on the album in particular really opened our eyes to the way in which the genre is evolving and gave us a lot of inspiration which we applied to writing this EP.
Marianas Trench – Masterpiece Theatre
They are one of those bands that literally do not have a bad song. Their vocals and craftsmanship have had a massive influence on me, personally, as a musician and songwriter. I introduced them to Callum (Irons – guitar) when we first started living together and they are just one of those bands that click with you instantly. He loves them now!
All Time Low – Nothing Personal
They have a very unique writing style that placed them in their own bracket back when they were breaking through into the pop-punk scene. Although perhaps slightly dated, their songwriting and lyricism has always been a huge influence to all of us. Not only that, but seeing the way in which they’ve progressed and crossed the border into the mainstream side of the industry. It’s really inspiring to see that they’re not afraid to break out of the pop-punk bubble and do whatever they want with their music. It’s working out for them!
Slipknot – Slipknot
Despite our sound, we are actually really into heavy music. Slipknot were the first band that introduced me to the heavier side of alternative music. Also, their whole image scared the shit out of me as a kid… I loved it! Not only on the EP, but in our live set we implement a lot of rhythmic and melodic aspects that you would commonly find in heavier music. Also, the drum and guitar production on the EP was approached from a perspective similar to that of how we would approach producing a metal track. Despite the final product may sound, when isolated, lot of the processing and tracking is actually quite heavy, in particular the guitars.
Boyz II Men – II
Growing up, I was surrounded by a lot of pop and R ‘n’ B music. These guys introduced me to a totally different vocal style to what I was used to listening to. The riffs, improvisation and versatility in scales is something that majorly influenced me and are things that I have definitely implemented into writing my vocal melodies!
‘The Better Man in Me’ EP by Shaded is out now.