Along the Shore is comprised of Claire Martin (vocals), Kyle Rhodes (guitar / vocals), Joey Neal (bass) and Chris Bishop (drums). They were brought together by family, friendship and a few chance encounters that lead them to create the band they have today. The original folk-alternative group is appropriately named; they have faced many obstacles from searching for the right relationships, to the birth of a baby girl. Along the Shore is confident and is looking forward to their journey together as a band.
We sat down with Claire, Kyle and Chris prior to the show (opening for Red Wanting Blue!) at Thompson House on Saturday, November 29th!
Give us some background on Along the Shore…
Kyle: Along the Shore has had many lineup changes and a genre change in the 5 years we’ve been a band. I started it 5 years ago with my cousin, we’d been writing for quite awhile and decided to venture out and see what being in a band was like. After playing shows for two years and putting out a record, we took a break. During that break the folky/alternative songs started coming out. Some members enjoyed it and others didn’t. I had also decided that if we were going to bring the band back I no longer wanted to sing. This brought in Claire Martin. After playing with that lineup for a few months we took another hiatus due to some tension. Claire and I did the band as a duo for a little bit but missed the whole band aspect. This brought along Joseph Neal and Chris Bishop. Our lineup now has never been tighter. We get along so well and are writing some of the best material we’ve ever written.
Chris: Our song writing process is like any other, we tend to just play have mini jam breaks in between songs at rehearsal, and this is were we discover past songs that are revived in a different style or we pluck and beat away till we all feel this connection inside when the music sparks.
Claire: Kyle has been doing this for 5 years, and I have been apart of it for 2 years. We have had our share of hardships, but ultimately, we all love what we do too much to let it go! It's amazing! So happy to have Joe and Chris with us.
Tell us about your songwriting process…
Kyle: Songwriting for us is a fun process but other times it’s a pain. I tend to write a lot of music at times and we find ourselves with so many songs we don’t know what to do with them. This overwhelming feeling stresses us out a bunch. We like to write songs that the fans/crowd can get into and stomp/clap and also sing along.
Chris: I was first introduced to the band two to three years ago, when my best friend told me his brother was looking to record some drum playing. It wasn't until a year ago that I made myself available to play, which has been the best decision of my life, but as far as I know this band has been in a few different groups in the past five years.
Claire: Songwriting is...a special process. Usually Kyle or I get a tune stuck in our heads, and we fight to make something of it. It's really a group effort.
What made you want to choose music as your career?
Kyle: I got into music very late in the game. I was 13 years old when I got my first guitar and haven’t put it down since. I saw my first local show at 16 and knew I wanted to give it a shot. After I brought it up to some people, I was put down right away. People said that I was making a mistake, I should find another hobby to get into because music will take me nowhere. I’m glad I didn’t listen to them because I’ve never had so much fun in my life. Especially with this lineup. My one goal I set for myself was to write a song where the crowd would sing along with us and this year we achieved it. We have a song called “Until Forever Ends” and the chorus is just a bunch of “whoa’s” We debuted it this summer at CODA and at the end Claire and I backed off our mics and let the crowd sing. I’ve never been more excited in my life. The smile on my face was from ear to ear.
To answer the question though. I wanted to be a voice for people who didn’t have one. People who have been put down and bullied for what they believe in. Dreams are my biggest motivation. I follow my dreams everyday. I work hard to make sure they don’t stay dreams, they can be a reality. We have another song called “Don’t Lose Hope” and before we play this song I like to talk to the crowd and tell them to follow their heart. So what if people put you down for believing in something, being you is the one thing you’re meant to be in this world. You don’t want to be someone else your whole life right? Why follow in your dads footsteps if you don’t want to. We’re in a generation where we can make change in anything we set our minds to and I can’t wait to see what our fans can do. If I can put a little hope into someone, that’s all I can ask for. That’s why I got into music.
Chris: I wouldn't say music is my career, but it is definitely a passion and lifestyle. I choose this passion because I promised myself I would never give up playing music, so to be able to share a stage with three great individuals fulfills that for me.
Claire: Music is intertwined in every fiber of my being. From singing in my church, to performing with ATS, to singing my daughter to sleep every night. It's who I am. For me, doing anything else has been an afterthought; music is what I want to do.
What can one expect at a live Along the Shore show?
Kyle: An Along the Shore experience is nothing short of fun! We like to say that the crowd will have as much fun as we are. We like to move around on stage and make sure the crowd is doing the same. We ask them to clap and stomp and dance to keep it interesting. I like to think that’s what makes us different in this genre. A lot of acoustic/folk bands are slower and enjoy being that way but all of us besides Claire I believe listen to a lot of hardcore/metal music. That’s what I grew up on. Going to local hardcore shows and dancing/moshing was what made me want to have a band who had the same experience. If we see you just standing around in the crowd, we will call you out and have you move around with us. We’re also very hands on. I like to get to the edge of the stage and stick my hands out and interact with the crowd. Noone is safe at our shows.
Chris: At an Along the Shore you can expect participation and harmony, but not from the band, the crowd echos back our lyrics and tunes while we play. But, surely you can always expect to have a great time no matter what
Claire: At our show, you will feel like you belong. Our music is for anyone and everyone. We stomp, we laugh, we dance, and so does the audience. You become family.
What is next for Along the Shore?
Kyle: Right now all we have on our plate is our show with Red Wanting Blue at the Thompson House on November 29th. This is an absolute dream for me because I love Red Wanting Blue. Other than that, we plan on taking December off to finish up writing our ep. 2015 we’re planning some big things and we hope people join us for the ride.
Chris: In the future we are anticipating some great songs, hopefully recording, and maybe even some big shows?
Claire: Big things are coming for us. This is our time! We want to get our record done, so that our lovely fans can take a part of us everywhere! We are ready for what's next. Prepare to watch us succeed!