Interview The Shadowboxers

The Shadowboxers are making a splash in music with high praise from artists like Justin Timberlake, Hunter Hayes and Chris Stapleton.  We checked in with the Nashville-by-way-of-Atlanta band ahead of their upcoming shows in NYC next week. You can catch them on February 26th at Bowery Ballroom and February 27th at Rough Trade. Founding members Matt Lipkins (keyboards and vocals), Scott Schwartz (guitar and vocals), and Adam Hoffman (guitar and vocals) met while attending Emory University in Atlanta. The band has become known for their soulful sounds, tight harmonies and songwriting talents.  We can’t wait to see the band in action in NYC next week!

Read our interview with Adam, Scott, and Matt and learn about their influences, pre-show rituals, and what fans can expect from the Shadowboxers in 2016!

How would you describe one of your shows for someone who hasn’t seen you live before?
SCOTT: Tight and energetic. We really focus on putting on a show in every sense of the word. Real playing, real singing, high energy, decent (at best) choreography…we try to create a show that’s captivating and contagious.

You recently shared the stage Hunter Hayes and have gotten support from Justin Timberlake .. what artists would you love to collaborate with?
ADAM: There are so many people we’d love to collaborate with and I might as well shoot for the moon here. Stevie Wonder, Prince, D’Angelo, Prince again, Thundercat, Mark Ronson, Pharrell, Frank Ocean, Kendrick, Tame Impala, Prince one more time. We’ve also talked about how we’d love to induce a Quincy Jones and Phil Collins comeback…simultaneously…as co-producers.

Who would you “fangirl” over if you met? 
MATT: I don’t know if we’d be able to keep our shit together in front of Prince. Everyone would very obviously be trying to play it cool…cause how do you act around someone like him? Yourself?!! No way. Also Vince Vaughn, for very opposite reasons. Everyone in the band would just wanna hang out with that guy immediately. I mean, who doesn’t?

Do you have any pre-concert rituals or superstitions?
MATT: Other than some vocal warm-up’s here and there, a 15-min group meditation, a quick game of Russian Roullette, and a secret handshake before downbeat… and also up for suggestions!

What music did you listen to growing up?
SCOTT: My mom was a big Motown fan, so I listened to a lot of Jackson 5, Temptations, early Stevie Wonder…And from my dad I picked up on Simon and Garfunkel and listened to them religiously through high school.

How would you describe your sound?
ADAM: Trying to steer away from the if “x” met “y” and had a baby with “z” formula, I’d probably say that at it’s core, our sound is soul music. We incorporate elements of R&B and funk and the sound is certainly pop, but to keep it basic, soul music.

What is your favorite song to perform live?
MATT: I think i’m gonna have to go with “Runaway.” To me, it’s the perfect mix of fun and grit. It feels badass, but it also grooves. It’s easy for new audiences to have the chorus down by the second pass, and also, it grows into a really fun outro that gets everyone on stage (and hopefully in the crowd) smiling.

SCOTT: This is really tough, but I’ll go with a new one called Want What I Can’t Have. I say this because it embodies all of the elements I was describing in my earlier answer about our live show. It’s really high energy, has some great moments musically, and gets the audience involved, which gives us an unbeatable feeling onstage.

ADAM: One of our new tunes called Want What I Can’t Have. At pretty much every show, that song reaches such a joyous point energetically with everyone on stage and the audience – it always feels like a special moment.

What song did you have the most fun writing/recording?
SCOTT: In the mid 70s we had this one called Stayin Alive that we ended up giving to the Bee Gees, which was pretty fun. The Kit Kat bar jingle was also a blast to write…few people know that was us. And we’re currently working on a song for Fast & Furious 8 that’s coming along really well.

What is the best concert you’ve been to as a fan?
MATT: I’d have to say Stevie Wonder’s “Songs In the Key of Life” Tour. We were very grateful to see that show twice. And amazingly, they were two very different but equally emotionally impactful shows. I mean talk about catharsis. Everyone (including Stevie!) was crying for “Joy Inside My Tears.” I mean it was palpable; everyone in those rooms knew they were experiencing something special and important.

What can fans expect from The Shadowboxers in 2016?
ADAM: New music released. Whether that’s a single or an EP or a double album, we can’t be sure, but we will put out new stuff this year.

You can catch The Shadowboxers on tour in February! Get your tickets below.

Feb 23rd – The Southern Cafe & Music Hall – Charlottesville, VA – Buy Tickets
Feb 24th – Johnny Brenda’s – Philadelphia, PA – Buy Tickets
Feb 26th – Bowery Ballroom – New York, NY – Buy Tickets
Feb 27th – Rough Trade – Brooklyn, NY – Buy Tickets
Feb 28th – The Hamilton – Washington, D.C. – Buy Tickets
Feb 29th – Local 506 – Chapel Hill, NC – Buy Tickets

Be sure to follow The Shadowboxers & Secret Fangirls for more updates!

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