May 18, 2018 Interview – Shim Moore
Imagine working most of your life to attain a dream, finding success, and then being rudely awoken from that europhic slumber. Scary, right? This was the harsh reality Singer-Songwriter Shim Moore faced when he learned he was no longer a part of Sick Puppies, a band he poured 15 plus years of his life into. Left to pick up the pieces of his career, he tried, mistepped, but after some time away, he is back with a vengeance.
Famously known for his energetic demeanor when a part of the popular Hard Rock outfit Sick Puppies, Moore returns with a new sense of self-awareness and he is translating it into what he believes to be the best music he has ever created. Gearing up to drop his debut solo album later in 2018, his latest single, “Hallelujah,” is out now, and if it is any representation of what is next, brace yourself! Excited for the future, affectionately known by fans merely as Shim, the musicians sat down to talk his re-entrance into Rock, plans for his solo project, life lessons learned, plus more.
CrypticRock.com – Last we spoke, in 2013, you had just released the Connect record with Sick Puppies. In recent years, you have remained active with your band Screaming At Demons, and now you are preparing to release a solo album. First, tell us, what has the past 5 years been like for you?
Shim Moore – I guess, probably, you would say an evolution, that would be the best way to describe. In comparison to the 5 years prior, I was kind of locked in a bubble – you just do the same thing, rinse and repeat. You get out of it, especially getting out of being in a band, and you have to sort of find your way in the world. I tried to put Screaming at Demons together and it didn’t work out… I just didn’t know how to do anything but be in Sick Puppies.
Figuring out what I was going to do was really hard. I didn’t want to do a solo thing, I really didn’t. I didn’t want to take responsibility for it, I didn’t want to be alone; I am used to sharing the ride and I prefer to. It knocks you around a lot, and you have to find who you are. You are not the guy in the band anymore…
CrypticRock.com – Yes, there has been a lot of changes. You now return solo and your lead single, “Hallelujah,” is a pretty high-energy Rock song. Is this a good representation of what the full-length record will be like?
Shim Moore – You can definitely expect that type of energy. This particular song is kind of bluesy. The record is not bluesy, it is pretty broad. The thing I always loved about the Sick Puppies records is we never did one thing – there were really Hard Rock songs, some soft ones, and some kind of quirky ones. That element is still on this record in terms of broadness.
“Hallelujah” is certainly the introduction to that. As far as the energy, I am telling you, this is definitely the most energetic record I have ever made. There is more blood on this record than anything I have ever done before. I had more of myself available now to put into it. When you are in a band, there are limitations, and also other people’s opinions. There were things I would want to put in The Puppies and people would say – we don’t want to do that, we don’t think it’s the right move, or we don’t want to go in the direction. With this record, I was able to put a lot more of myself into it, there was nothing holding me back.
CrypticRock.com – Understandable, and it is a change to have complete control of the final product. Your lyrics have always come from a very emotional place and it shows in each song. You say there is a lot of blood on this record – being an up and down, as well as enlightening, 5 years, what served as your inspiration for these new songs?
Shim Moore – The inspirations are different depending on the songs. The inspiration for the record… it basically sounds like me digging myself out of a fucking hole. (Laughs) It fucking hurts, it really sucks having to dig yourself out of this hole. You are dealing with this emotional headfuck of “I’m not who I used to be anymore.” People would introduce me and say, “Shim from Sick Puppies… well, not anymore,” it fucks with your head. Especially when I started that band when I was around 15 and it was all I have ever done. I tried to do other stuff, but the universe kept redirecting back to “No, you are supposed to make music.” I tried to produce other artists, write for other things, and this and that. It always redirected back to “You need to write your music”. In terms of the overall inspiration for the record… it was I have to claw my way back.
CrypticRock.com – Yes, it sounds like a lot really went into it. It will be really exciting to hear the full-length album. You have always been very enthusiastic on stage, feeding off the music. That in mind, you are set to perform at Rock on The Range Sunday, May 20th. What will your solo set be like?
Shim Moore – I can tell, if you think I was energetic before, you ain’t seen nothing yet! The record, the sound, and the band I have put together is the bomb! It’s so tight and electric. Basically, when I signed up these players to be in the band, I told them, “You are going to be in the best Rock-n-Roll band in the world,” “You are going to be in the band that other bands watch and say, ‘I gotta go home and practice.'” That wasn’t false, but I didn’t think it would come together so fast. We have been rehearsing for a week or two and it’s just, holy shit! I am at the best I have ever been because I have been working the past few years to come back and I am not fucking it up. If people are asking, “What can we expect from the show?,” I have no quam saying, “This will be the best show in Rock-n-Roll today.”
CrypticRock.com – Wow, that really makes it compelling to check out! This appearance at Rock on the Range will follow with more shows, correct?
Shim Moore – Oh yea, they are getting booked no. We are just finding the right place to land. Right now we are just finding if there is another band to go out with. There are a bunch of cool bands that I have toured with before who are all dropping records. I am sort of seeing if I can roll out with one of them for a bit, but I couldn’t even give you names of bands we are pitching right now, we are just trying to figure it out. I am expecting to be on tour for the next couple of years after June, Rock on the Range is just the first show.
CrypticRock.com – Awesome! Do you have a date set for the album release yet?
Shim Moore – No, I haven’t decided what the second single is going to be. I am planning to go out and play the songs live, get the vibe from the fans, feel out what songs they like the most, and which song they think should be the next single. We will probably drop the album some time after the next single, but it will probably later this year.
CrypticRock.com – It seems like a very inspired time for you. As you said, digging out of a hole, that is a challenge for anyone. You have really dedicated yourself to music, and no matter what you did, it kept calling you back. That in mind, through all of this, what would you say are some of the most important things you have learned?
Shim Moore – Wow, that’s a big question. One of the things I have learned, I am basically doing this all myself now. That is one of the reasons I didn’t want to do it, because it is a stupid amount of responsibility and risk. I have my own record label now, I produced the record myself, it’s all me. It’s terrifying sometimes!
At the same time, in terms of what I have learned, the fact that I have bet on myself, seems to have brought a level of grace into my life, one that I haven’t encountered before. There have been a lot of people who have come out to support me, and there have been opportunities that are coming to me, that I am not asking for or searching out, I am just trying to do my job. When I said, “I’m doing it my way, I am not relying on anyone else, I’m going to be 100% accountable,” that said, I think one of the things I have learned is… life comes together when you take accountability for your actions.
CrypticRock.com – Agreed completely. You said you really did not want to do this solo, but now that you are engulfed in it, is it one of those things where there is a mountain in front of you, you start to climb it, and start to pick up momentum?
Shim Moore – Yea, it is like that. It’s interesting you say that because I use the mountain analogy when I talk to people about other things. It’s true, everyone’s got their mountain to climb, and this turns out to be mine, or it is the current one. Once you start to make headway, you are halfway up, and see how far you’ve come, yea, you pick up momentum.
I am talking to people and catching up with friends and they say, “You look different, you sound different.” I am very energized and that is partially because there is just so much to do that you get on this role of momentum of emails, mixing, rehearsing, and everything else. There is a buzz happening now. I titter back and forth between excitement and fear, but the irony is that, excitement and fear are basically the same thing. (Laughs)
CrypticRock.com – Yes, in many ways they do derive from the same raw emotion. Well, it really seems like a rebirth and it will be exciting to see where it all goes.
Shim Moore – I can’t wait for everyone to hear the music. Everyone who I have shown the record to has said it is an evolution. I know it’s the best music I have ever created and it will also challenge the listener. I have yet to find someone, who I have played this record to, that has said they didn’t like it. I am pretty happy with it.
CrypticRock.com – Very cool. Last we spoke, you mentioned you had done a bit of acting as well. Is that something you would consider doing more of?
Shim Moore – I have a lot of interest in that. That is one of the things I was trying to do, then I got redirected back into music. I have an acting manager in LA. I went and did the whole grind that you see on TV where you are going to auditions, sitting in room with 10 guys that kind of look like you, and read lines. I grew up as an actor, that is how I started out. I was an actor for the first 14 years of my life, then I discovered music, and I switched trajectories.
All the discipline, craft, and mentality I have toward my work comes from acting. The way you learn the acting craft is very specific, disciplined, and the show must go on. Most people in the Rock game, I have found don’t have that much discipline and I just want to be the best motherfucker in the game. People said, “Well, you are a good actor, but you have no credits.” I told them, “That is because I have been on tour for 15 years.” They said, “Well, we don’t hire people who don’t have credits,” to which I replied, “How do you expect people to get credits?” They told me, “I don’t know, call us when you figure it out.” After a while, I thought, “I can’t keep doing this, this is getting me nowhere.” That is why I fell back into music.
CrypticRock.com – It would be great to see you do film as well. Although, like you said, how are you supposed to get credits if you are not getting gigs?
Shim Moore – Yea, it wound up being the best option to move forward with my life was getting back into music. That was scary, because the way the band ended, was really painful. I really didn’t want to do that again, at least not for a while. Now that I’m back, everything that was missing from that situation is now in my new situation. I am very happy I did it again.
CrypticRock.com – It is a reinvigorating and it all sounds very positive. Last question for you, last we spoke, you mentioned one of your favorite Horror films was 1960’s Psycho. Since then, have you seen any new Horror films you enjoyed?
Shim Moore – I wish I had a good answer for you, but the honest truth is, I haven’t had much time to watch any TV in the past year while I was setting up the record and the release. (Laughs) Unfortunately, I haven’t seen any movies, let alone any Horror movies.