John Collier

Music Monday: “The End of the Dream”

Get “The End of the Dream” on iTunes or Amazon.

This song, like a lot of songs I write, started with the bassline.  I wrote this line back in 2000, for what would have been a uptempo high-energy rock song if my band at the time had put it out.  It never came all the way together in the studio though, so years later, when drummer John Collier and I were working on music for the first Kiera Plan album, it was still something I was playing around with.

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Shawn at CBGBs in NYC, in June of 2000

A cool thing happened, as it often does when you’re collaborating: John heard something very different in the line, and started laying down a different kind of beat than I was expecting:  it was chill, and paired with the bassline the song suddenly seemed to have a vibe I didn’t even plan on.

So “The End of the Dream” became a really unique song on that first album; it became one big experiment with a lot of little experiments in it.  I had never really grabbed that vibe before, so it led to trying a lot of things for the first time – the dueling synthesizers you’ll hear being one of my favorites.

These experimental songs have really held up for me in a way that not everything does.  I’m always excited to hear “The End of the Dream” when it comes on shuffle, and I still love what a unique track it is in the Kiera Plan catalog.

In a few weeks, we’ll be taking this bold experimentation to a whole new level when we start releasing the first 3 singles from what will ultimately be the 3rd Kiera Plan LP.   In the meantime, I hope you enjoy the vibe of “The End of the Dream.”

Shawn

Music Monday: “Tell Rachel I’m Sorry”

Get “Tell Rachel I’m Sorry” on iTunes or Amazon.

Though drummer John Collier and I had collaborated initially on an EP that pre-dates The Kiera Plan, in truth “Tell Rachel I’m Sorry” was the first Kiera Plan song.  John and I had so enjoyed our first collaboration, which we’d initially thought might be just for that EP, that we decided to press forward together and make an album.  We decided to call ourselves The Kiera Plan, and that album would be 2009’s Dedication.

We first hit the studio in 2006 and recorded a single track with producer Vince Ratti.  It was our first as The Kiera Plan, it definitely set the tone for the album it started, and it was called “Tell Rachel I’m Sorry.”

That single version may only have appeared on our MySpace page – remember MySpace?!  But a polished up version 2.0 appeared on Dedication, and with it came this montage clip to celebrate:

It was filmed at a 2009 show with The Kiera Plan, Zolof the Rock and Roll Destroyer, and The Pink Spiders – a show that remains a highlight for me.  While the lighting was dim, the fun factor was high, Philly was dancing, and two of my favorite people – Chris and Steve Mocey – make an early cameo in the video!

Joining me in The Kiera Plan line-up at the show was Greg Park on bass (and getting down), Tim Balch on the drums, and incredible guitarist Jessica Stefanov.  Greg and Jess joined me for a number of great shows that year, including the first-ever Kiera Plan performance on Radio 104.5!

I hope you enjoy the clip, and the song!

Shawn

Music Monday: “It Only Takes One”

Get “It Only Takes One” on iTunes or Amazon.

Short and sweet – that was the goal here.  When drummer John Collier and I put together “It Only Takes One” we were hoping to deliver a full song worth of energy in something like half the time.  At 1:43, 2 verses, 3 choruses, and 1 bridge, I feel like we did it.

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Drummer John Collier in the studio back in Jan. 2008

Why shoot for that, right?  Take your time fellas.

The thing is, I remember hearing “Argh I’m a Pirate” by Zolof the Rock and Roll Destroyer, clocking in around just 2 minutes, and I couldn’t stop listening to it.  I was playing this track 3 or 4 times at a shot.  I figured there had to be something to that.


This would have been 2005, and my introduction to Zolof.  So, by the time John and I were ready to hit the studio to start making the first Kiera Plan record,  I was a huge Zolof fan.  So, to get to record with Vince Ratti, guitarist from Zolof, and to have Vince and Zolof singer Rachel Minton perform with us on that first record – it was just incredible!

More on those guest appearances later.  For now, I just hope you enjoy “It Only Takes One” and that maybe you listen to it 3 or 4 times at a shot.

🙂

Shawn

 

Back in the Studio

Back in 2006, my friend John Collier and I started writing, recording, and performing as The Kiera Plan.   John provided the ferocious drums on the first Kiera Plan album, Dedication.    So, as I headed back into the studio a couple weeks ago to start work on some brand new music, it was great to have John back in the mix helping put some tracks together.

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John Collier on drums, 11/29/15

This is our first time working with producer Trevor Leonard (who you might have seen performing in Punchline on their recent tour, or with his group, The End of America).

This new music is heading in a new direction, so we’re excited to have Trevor on board helping to steer the ship into these uncharted waters.

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Trevor Leonard, making it happen 11/29/15

Anybody who made it out to the benefit concerts for the Whole Planet Foundation (in 2013, and this past summer) might recognize a couple very special guests who will be featured on the new music, Abdul Zarrella and Kharee Staten.  Having written and performed with these gentlemen for a while now, it’s exciting to finally be putting some tracks together in the studio!

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l-r: Kharee, Abdul, Shawn, and Trevor

If you missed the live-tweeting from these first couple days in the studio, check out our Instagram for pics from the sessions.

We have 3 new songs in the works, and just one or two more days in the studio to finish them up – we should be back in with Trevor sometime mid-January.  The new music will be coming your way soon after that – hopefully the first single will get released sometime in February.

For now, just to re-introduce you to John, here’s one of our favorites he did with me on the first record, “One O’clock.”

Wishing you and your loved ones all a very Merry Christmas, and all the best for a happy and healthy new year!

Shawn