I recently interviewed the very talented Shane Mc Laughlin. Here is the interview below:
Who are your musical influences and why?
OK so with regards to musical influences as always, this is gonna be very hard to nail down.
From a young age I can remember imitating artists like Meatloaf and Michael Jackson, with me even performing all the moves as a kid and pretending my hair brush was a mic to mimic the latter. My older siblings would always listen to music or have “the music blaring” as mum would say. One of my sisters in particular was a huge Queen fan so therein began my obsession with Freddie Mercury as a performer and frontman. His voice to this day is still one of my main vocal influences. Other influences came from acts like U2, The Doors, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Damien Rice, The Ramones, Paul Brady, The Frames, etc and here the list becomes endless 🙂
Do you play any musical instruments? If so, when did you begin to?
Yes I play some musical instruments. I play guitar and use that as my main tool for writing. I can play a song by ear on the piano but other than that other instrument playability is somewhat limited, in the sense I can make a sound or hold a note on most instruments but being able to properly play them is another thing. Lol.
You were in the bands Soul Removal and Red Light Inferno. What was your experiences like as part of a band and how do they compare to your experiences as a solo artist?
In the first band Soul Removal, I guess I learned how to perform in front of and to a crowd. Sort of get a feel for it and push way out of my comfort zone as I would of been quite shy back then and not very forward in showing of my skill so to speak. With Red Light Inferno, we started honing in on our craft at original songwriting and I experienced what touring originals and entering battle of the bands felt like. Going solo, everything changes. In a band you get to bounce ideas off each other and work hard and share the workload as a group, but solo, it’s all on you. As an unsigned solo artist, you have to write, record, promote, organise every aspect of your career and that is a huge task. It’s more rewarding too in the end and you get to make the final track decisions so to speak and don’t have to worry about hurting feelings with your views. As a lot of solo life is very hard. You still need a backing band, but in my old bands we became best friends and enjoyed all the new experiences together as a whole plus when I go onto stage, it’s just me to the crowd which can be very daunting. I’m a bit if a joker,and the best thing about a band scenario for me was messing and slagging my band mates on stage and bouncing off each other and showing the audience that we were having a great time, but solo, it’s just the audience for that and this can go tremendously well or horribly wrong as you can imagine. Don’t get me wrong I love going solo too, it somewhat makes you learn a lot about yourself and tests you in new ways you never thought possible.
Do you write your own songs? If so, where do you draw inspiration for them from?
Yes I write my own songs. I live in the countryside in downings, which is on the shoreline and one of the most scenic parts of Donegal, so inspiration is all around. I like to write my songs about my life experiences. The good the bad and the ugly so to speak and pull on themes of love, lifestyle and mental health. Leave no stone overturned in a sense. I like artists who tell stories in their songs and I’d like to think that I fall into that category.
How did you feel when your debut EP “Rivals and Lovers” and your debut single “All That I Want” went in at no.1 in the Irish singer/songwriter charts?
When my single “All That I Want” went to no.1 on the singer/songwriter charts in Ireland, it was both one of the most exciting/rewarding experiences and one of the most nervous aspects of my musical career. It was like, OK this shit just got real. Also,my fear of being able to create good music on my own was banished and a lot of self doubt was replaced with confidence in a sort of “hey, if the people like it, it must be good enough” sort of way. Also a lot of pressure was placed on me to deliver after The Voice success and it was just so rewarding and a huge weight off my shoulders when the single succeeded my expectations. Pints were had that night for sure 🙂
You made the final of The Voice of Ireland in 2013. What was that experience like? Are you still in touch with your mentor from the show Kian Egan or any of the other contestants?
When I made the final of the voice, I was so overwhelmed with a sense of emotion and pride in a way where I was like “yes, my hard work over all these years is finally paying off and I can do this”. I was planning, like most Irish prople at the time, on emigrating to Canada. I then seen an add on TV for The Voice of Ireland and started applying in a sort of half amused at the idea sense. Coming from a gigging/touring original band, talent shows like The Voice are heavily frowned upon in the music scene.
I however, was very glad I did. Things literally changed over night for me in a sense where I now was a public figure and role model to kids throughout Ireland who loved the show. The experience was amazing. Sure we were all exhausted and simply worn out at stages but I have absolutely no regrets. I met some amazing people and learned myself how well I can cope under pressure and under scrutiny from set judges.
I was also fortunate to have Kian as my mentor as he was the most hands on of all the coaches. I unfortunately lost contact with Kian directly after the show but have remained in contact with a large number of the contestants which is great.
You have done some acting and modelling too. Tell us about your ventures into these fields?
With regards to acting and modelling, a lot of my modelling work came from jobs secured after The Voice. I was fortunate enough to get called by numerous men’s fashion outlets in Donegal, Sligo and throughout Ireland, to model their clothes after The Voice. For me modelling, is great fun as I never seriously thought of myself as the modelling type but one never knows what will come their way in life and The Voice has a huge part to play in this for making me a recognisable figure and helping me secure modelling jobs when I apply for them.
With acting, my flatmates I lived with whilst at music college, were mostly studying film and television production and I forwarded myself at the start to feature in their plays and short films and then all of a sudden I was getting called on quite frequently but it was so much fun I didn’t mind at all. I sort of enjoyed being in front of the camera from a young age of acting in school plays and dramas.
What’s next for you in your career?
What’s next for me…. The million dollar question. Ha.
No, I intend to finalize material for my debut album and secure some decent support slots. Also, at the minute I am heavily into songwriting for other artists, so I Intend to get signed to a songwriting publishing deal and develop that side of the business also as I don’t see myself on the road for the rest of my life. I would also like another no.1 if possible. Possibly in Ireland or wherever I may lay my hat. A successful song and album is essentially living the dream. Making a living from doing something you love, what better thing is there?
If you would like to find out more about Shane Mc Laughlin go to:
Shane mc Laughlin music