XS ROCK: Tell me about the latest band news? Any new projects coming out, live shows, or announcements?
Matt Conradi: This pandemic has fucked everyone out of live shows. We’re not doing shows because we don’t want our fans to get COVID. If you’re playing in horribly infected areas, your PRIDE IS SHOWING. CARE about the people who come to see YOU. FUCK YOUR SHOW.
Taking a break from shows has been nothing but a good thing for us.
We’re getting gear, we’re writing songs, we’re releasing an EP. We’re staying busy.
There are so many other things a band can do than play shows at this time.
We’re not doing live streams because we don’t want to risk our sound’s integrity and intensity.
XS ROCK: How long has the band been together?
Matt Conradi: Since 2013, we have been in full swing of living, breathing, dying, and bleeding in this band. If you count all my incarcerations and behavioral camps and rehabs, you could take off about a year of me being present. Even when I was in these shit places, I was still contacting my bandmates through the mail, still writing and still waiting(the worse part).
XS ROCK: What was your main motivation for starting or being in a band?
Paul Goings: trauma, heredity, malaise, poverty, sadistic instincts in the belly of the beast. Ever-present violence of the city. The strands of muscle, tendons, and hate jerking their skeletons around for a meal under an invisible hands crack of the whip a decade long with the tip dipped in tar and contempt. I would’ve done anything to pull away from that, anything to soften the lash, how my hands found their way to a guitar I don’t remember but they did and that’s my answer to your question.
XS ROCK: What is your music background?
Paul Goings: I Imagine a prelude in E minor mash-up with the vocals of love will tear us apart being played in the background of my funeral. I’m sure that’s not the kind of background you’re talking about, but I don’t have an answer to your question. I’m not being purposefully obtuse when I say I don’t fully understand the question, I have no classical training, I clung to music like debris in a shipwreck. That’s as much background as is relevant.
XS ROCK: What image do you think your music conveys?
Paul Goings: A slow motion, high saturation motion blur of segmented fictitious music video clips. Sweat. Injury. A person’s face focused & fallen to its first honest expression. The way heat distorts light.
XS ROCK: What are your immediate music career goals? (Next 1 to 3 years.)
Matt Conradi: Fuck lol. What music career?!. Ive accepted the fact a long time ago that I’m not going to have a lot of money. I don’t give a fuck about any of that. I want to go on the road and do as many shows as I possibly can enough to quit my fuckin day job. I only want to make enough to eat and pay rent. That’s all I want.
XS ROCK: What are your long-term career goals?
Matt Conradi: Again lol. What career?! I don’t know anyone who makes good money playing our type of music. You gotta do this because you love it. YOU WILL NOT MAKE GOOD MONEY DOING THIS SHIT.
Stay your ass in school, kids.
XS ROCK: Which do you prefer? Writing new songs and recording or playing for a live audience?
Paul Goings: For this particular musical endeavor “shadow people” I prefer playing shows. I don’t really have a large part in writing these songs ,much in the same way Matt doesn’t in the other project we have together. So for me shadow people is all about the live show. Hurting and being hurt. I like the idea of using Music to destroy someone’s evening and then put it back together in a way they didn’t know they needed.
XS ROCK: What are your songs about? (What specific themes do they cover?)
Matt Conradi: Imagine being in a near-death situation. That extreme emotion is the fucking song. You could be happy you might die, you could be sad you might die, you could be horny that you might die. The songs aren’t about the line we dance between living and dying. It’s about the emotion put forth and excitement. Whatever thrill that might be for you or me.
XS ROCK: Do you have any outrageous tour stories from the road?
Matt Conradi: I would say the mixed bills. Getting booked in a cow fuckboy honky-tonk and them hearing screamo is probably one of the funniest things you can possibly see.
XS ROCK: What’s the strangest request that you’ve ever received from one of your fans?
Matt Conradi: DILDOS. Dildos, dildos, dildos. We love dildos. We throw free dildos into the crowd sometimes. We’ve been asked for a certain type of dildo to be thrown(the big rubbery ones that don’t hit you hard in the face). Sometimes the color, the size.
The only thing that brings me joy is knowing a few people are going home happy with a sex toy and WE HELPED THEM GO FUCK THEMSELVES.
XS ROCK: Were your parents supportive of your aspirations to play in a rock band?
Paul Goings: Depends on your definition of support. No, they are not openly supportive in the traditional sense of encouragement, positive commentary, or funding. But the traumas of our youth, I feel very much, have provided the foundation for the sadistic ways of our adulthood. Our pain makes us who we are in a much more real way than our pleasures. So it just depends on your definition.
XS ROCK: What are your favorite tracks to play live?
Matt Conradi: One of my two favorites are probably “Edward” from our ‘Secrets’ EP and “Glass Houses” from our last EP ‘Baton Rouge’.
XS ROCK: Which band or artist inspired you to perform? Why?
Paul Goings: no band of the musical project has inspired me to play. Growing up bands inspired me to buy albums buy T-shirts and buy posters not to play music. It was a constant threat of violence and the readily available examples of how deep hell can be, that trust me towards anything to save myself, anything to stop from being swallowed by the throat of a particular death anything to escape the lobotomy of monotony. Desperation carves a cruel blade & and in an effort to avoid self-destruction and an instinct for self-preservation I wielded music like a flaming fucking sword to cut the tentacle of inevitability.
XS ROCK: If you could design a dream tour for your band, who would be on the bill?
Matt Conradi: I would have Dali paint murals while we performed. I would have John Keats smoke a fuck ton opium while reciting poetry between songs. I would get Teletubbies to dance and all have sex with each other.
XS ROCK: If you weren’t performing in a band what kind of career do you think you would have?
Paul Goings: I can’t speak for the other guys but I think I would be a visual artist probably painting.
XS ROCK: What type of equipment do you use for live shows?
Matt Conradi: I will not go into that. That’s very personal. Let me tell you why.
We stumbled on this sound. It was all fate. I got lucky with the equipment. It was never bought for me. The guitar, the heads, few pedals I have…all that shit is a part of our sound and it magically was there at a certain price and convenience. Why would I give away the ingredients to my special sauce?
XS ROCK: What do you think of the current music scene?
Matt Conradi: It sucks shit.
XS ROCK: For anyone that doesn’t know you, what would they be surprised to know about you?
Paul Goings: Maybe that my dad’s an undertaker, maybe that I’ve been hospitalized a half a dozen times after serious automobile accidents.Maybe that I’m currently sick and dying at an accelerated rate. Maybe I don’t like music. Maybe that I’m walking around the outside of my tiny apartment in my underwear answering these questions with speech to text smoking a cigarette in the middle of the night in 90° air so thick and humid I can hardly breathe. Maybe that I shot smack on the edge of the roof of a skyscraper. Maybe because I know where the devil stays when he visits. Maybe that I take pleasure from inflicting honesty like a weapon. Maybe I know the best place to hide the body. Maybe that I know the ancient secrets. Maybe that I know how Mardi Gras really begins every year, early in the morning before first light men in Victorian-era garb. . . Na. . . I’ll save that one for if we ever meet. It’s a true story though and it’s fucking surprising. I guess I don’t know depends on the person.
XS ROCK:If someone had never heard you before, how would you describe your sound?
Paul Goings: Honestly I wouldn’t, there are more important things to talk about. But in an effort to not be a dick I guess I would tell them whatever I thought they needed to hear to come see us play live
XS ROCK: Is there anything that you’d like to promote or say to your fans out there?
Matt Conradi: WEAR A FUCKING MASK! We have better chances of us coming to a town near you if you do and we get passed this fuckin shit.
XS ROCK: Thanks again for taking the time to talk with us at XS Rock!
Shadow People are:
Matt Conradi – Vocals/Guitar
Percy Bergeron – Drums
Paul Goings (StruggleBear.) – Bass