Saturday marks the release of The Saltshakers third album, Lights Out, and to celebrate they’ll be headlining a show at The BBC with The Nice Outfit and Elusive Parallelograms. Churning out riff-heavy power pop in the same vein as Superdrag and Weezer, The Saltshakers have gone through some lineup changes since their 2007 release, Up All Night. In anticipation of Saturday’s show, lead singer Chad Curtis took time to talk with Fanbelt about the band’s changes and his passionate pursuit of the perfect 3-minute song.
Read the interview after the jump…
Fanbelt: The band’s lineup changed a bit since Up All Night. How did that influence Lights Out?
Chad Curtis: Two guys in the band started families and therefore moved out of the Milwaukee area… and I didn’t think it was realistic to think we could carry on a long-distance situation, so Jon and I decided to move forward with two friends of ours that already lived in Milwaukee and that wanted to be a part of what we were doing.
Nick and Jamie have brought the musicianship in the Saltshakers to an all-time high – and they’re both really laid back guys that are easy to get along with. I think all of us have a great time playing music together and don’t ever take anything too seriously. And most importantly I think we’re all very aware that this is supposed to be fun.
FB: What bands would you consider to be your biggest influences?
Curtis: As far as my songwriting goes, my biggest influences are The Replacements, The Beatles, David Bowie, Oasis, Tom Petty, Ryan Adams, and New Order.
FB: What’s your favorite Replacements song?
Curtis: Probably Can’t Hardly Wait, but Alex Chilton is a very close 2nd.
FB: What Milwaukee bands are you excited about?
Curtis: The Etiquette finally put out an album, so I hope they continue to put out records because I’ve always been a huge fan of them. The Wildbirds are good dudes playing good ol’ rock’n’roll. Heathrow has quietly been putting out great Britpop records for years. There are a lot of Milwaukee bands we haven’t gotten the chance to play with yet that I hope we can work with in the near future. The Goodnight Loving, Decibully, and The Championship all come to mind. I think it’s boring to just play with the same bands every single time, so I try to set up shows with all kinds of different bands that I like – even if the final bill may end up being very diverse.
FB: How do you feel your band has matured since your first EP (2004′s “A Beautiful Mess”)?
Curtis: I think our entire band is at a great point right now where we’re doing exactly what we want to do and don’t worry about what anyone else thinks or how we’re perceived. Not everyone is going to be into what we do – and I’ve come to accept that over the years. I remember when we first started and would receive a blurb on a website or magazine that was not entirely positive and being personally hurt by that negative comment or review. It might’ve just been the fact that I was younger then, but that type of thing just rolls off my back now.
I think our sound has matured beyond the very simple pop songs I was writing when we first started. I just think I listened to more and more different kinds of music and because of that the songs became a little more complex over time – and I think they’re more fun to play because of that. I like to think we still play songs with hooks though, and I hope that will never change. I am constantly trying to write that “perfect” 3 minute song that makes you want to hit the repeat button over and over again.
The Saltshakers play at The BBC on Saturday October 3rd at 10pm. The $10 cover gets you a free copy of Lights Out.