Q&A with Ryan Policky and Erik Jeffries of A Shoreline Dream (Denver)
Tell us about your new single and forthcoming album?
Ryan – This single was fueled by some hard times mashed up with amazing timesâ¦ thus why it took it us so long to produce. The second half of 2016 was full of so many ups, downs and sideways thrills that our process has both benefited and become something of a challenge for Erik and myself. We’ve been primarily a 2 piece since 2012, which has put us in this realm of studio production first, playing live last. We’ve basically gone into hiding in a city that once followed and wrote about us often, but more than ever before we’re still compelled to keep ASD alive. Most bands start over thinking that changing their name or pedal configurations will spur new interest, but we really don’t look at it that way. We task ourselves at writing songs we love and not over thinking the “branding”. We found “Room for the Others” to not only be a serious definition of this mentality, but also the purest form of the art. No boundaries, no expectations, just music we love listening to.
What’s your favourite work you’ve been involved with creating at this point in time?
Ryan – I loved “neverChanger”, “London” and “Departure” which were both co-produced/written by one of my favoritesâ¦ Ulrich Schnauss. Some seriously amazing stuff came from that collaboration, and those years for sure were huge steps for us as musicians. Although I must say that with each new track I find myself uttering the same wordsâ¦ “this one might be my favorite ASD track yet.”
Erik – I think our photo and video shoots are one of my favorite aspects. Ryan has continually introduced fantastic themes and concepts. I am still trying to convince him that we need to use a tilt-shift and shoot stop animation. Otherwise we have had some good times capturing videos and photos at a ton of different places.
Can you share a quick anecdote with us – from on the road, the studio or otherwise?
Ryan – While visiting Ulrich at his home in London, I became so engulfed with the lifestyle that I begged for us to do a track before leaving. Ulrich was deep in the process of helping Mark Peters of Engineers finish a song which quickly became my favorite titled “Twenty Paces”, and though time was short we made “London” happenâ¦ all amidst visiting the legendary label K-Scope and setting up the deal of remixing “Twenty Paces” for them. Those 3 days were some of the most productive of my life and I bet I had a total of 2 hours of sleep during that crazy time.
Erik – One of my favorite parts of working on Room For The Others was the recording process. A portion of my guitar tracks are founded in a series of swells creating a backing texture to Ryan’s melody. Our first attempt at recording did not reflect the dynamic range we had hoped to accomplish. So we reconfigured part of the studio for an extremely loud, live-room capture. The only catch is it finished up at about 9 in the morning. Not everyone around us was happy but I love the track.
Who or what inspires you in your musical path?
Ryan – Life in general is my biggest inspiration. So many experiences, so many changesâ¦ how could you not be inspired by the short time we have on this planet to make something that could be enjoyed by future generations to come? It’s easy to point at another artist and say without them we would have never sounded the way we do, but I really have never felt that way. Motivation comes from within, and experimenting with what is possible with my voice, instruments and production style has always been on the path that lies ahead.
Erik – I think life inspires me the most. Our music is often reflective of our own perspectives about life. Additionally, Ryan and I capture a lot of our feelings and experiences in our music.
Which song do you wish you wrote?
Ryan – I guess, like other musicians out there looking for a way to make this all profitable, I’d say I wish I wrote one track that hit it big so I could focus 100% on music and music alone. Though in reality I also like the diversity of what I’ve been able to accomplish outside of music tooâ¦ so this one is a tough one to answer. I can say I don’t ever wish I wrote someone else’s vision. That would just feel empty to me.
Erik – “Sit Still” by Experimental Aircraft is one that immediately comes to mind.
How would you describe your sound in food form and why?
Ryan – Our music is from that place way up on the mountain top that has only one road to get to it. You’ve gotta search for it, but once you do you’ll find it to be a rare dish that you may never experience again ;)
Erik – There’s a place in Seattle that makes burritos with mashed potatoes instead of rice. I think that is like our music. Our music is often described and encapsulated in one wrapping. However, once you get into it you find different flavors and textures. If you pay attention you can separate the differences for their uniqueness and range.
What’s next for you?
Ryan – Well we have more songs to write to get this “Vinyl-Only” album complete so as far as ASD is concerned that’s #1 on the tasks to do. We’re in the middle of some stuff that is really getting me excited so I’m looking forward to recording again. On the side I throw pinball and haunted events, so that’s also right around the bend. Lots to do this summer and fall. Glad to keep myself motivated and have something to look forward to!
Erik – More singles to complete the development of the entire album. Creating each single then releasing them while still working towards a complete album has been an exciting challenge. We still have a lot of work to do and I look forward to it.
What’s your scene?
Ryan – I spend my time working on video, music production, haunted house building, watching drag with my girlfriend and making horror films. Oh and of course playing pinball since I own and operate games all around town.
Erik – Right now I feel like my scene is in the studio. Of course the fact that Ryan has about 10 different pinball machines makes it even more enjoyable. It is also the start of summer so we are going to check out some shows and keep recording.
About A Shoreline Dream
A Shoreline Dream is an American indie rock band from the Barnum neighbourhood of Denver, Colorado. Their sound has been described as being “a moody blend of psych … and post-rock,” as sounding “like a band out of time,” and possessing a sound quality unique enough that it “outruns” the shoegaze moniker which bands of this kind are often labeled. The band currently consists of the two original members, vocalist/guitarist/producer Ryan Policky and guitarist Erik Jeffries, who record in their own Barnum-based Shoreline Studios.