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Returning to his music feels like home to Frank Shiner (part two)

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You can find part one here.

Examiner: Why did you choose these songs to cover?

Shiner: Each one of them touched me personally (except The Heart of Saturday Night – I just liked the rhythm and that it was a fun song). My criteria was that it was either a personal relationship or my relationship with wife that made these songs reach out and strike a chord. I avoided songs that didn’t allow me creative room. The songs I chose gave me space and freedom to change them and make them my own.

Examiner: Any frustrations with the music industry?
Shiner: What a great question. I had a long hiatus and thought my music career was over. I was okay with that. During the hiatus, I interacted with people everyday and saw the industry as a lay person. I have always loved to watch awards shows and reality shows like American Idol.

Most people don't understand how artists could use their music to make political statements. I think it is self-important to use (an artist's) fame and notoriety to get on a stump and preach. Do you really think that entertainers should annoy 50% of their audience? My beliefs and opinions are private. My music is not for that purpose.

Vocally, I hate how electronic we have become. We have lost the humanness of the human voice. Personally, I hate autotune. In my day it was do it until it’s right. I will never record something I can’t duplicate live. I did not use any electronic assistance to make my sound.

I was once on stage with a band who told me "You light a fire under us. We become so esoteric and the music becomes a chore that we forget why we got into music in the first place."

Examiner: What do you hope to accomplish in your career?
Shiner: I want to have fun. I want to enjoy the music. I’m now established in my life, I have a family, and a good income. If the music never happened I’d be ok. I don’t need it for finances or otherwise. I’m doing it because I love it, and if there ever comes a time when I don't love what I'm doing, it will be time to hang it up.

Examiner: What are your career highlights (so far)?

Shiner: When my single hit #6 on charts. For someone who has returned to singing after a long hiatus to reach that chart position is amazing. To be booked at 54 Below in NYC where so many superstars have performed before is amazing. For this to happen in less than a year is a phenomenon. It feels like it’s not of this world.

Examiner: When does the new album come out?

Shiner: June 24, the day before my show at 54 Below.

Examiner: Any plans to tour?

Shiner: Yes. An east coast tour is now being booked. Will probably play a bit in NYC. So many opportunities here. Not going far but possibly in the near future. Currently I have a couple of big shows booked (click on the links to purchase tickets):

June 25 – 54 Below (Album release show) in New York City - Referred to as Broadway's Supper Club, this is the same building as the old Studio 54, and the same location where my producer Gary Katz spent 10 years producing music.

July 9 – Winery at St. George, Mohegan Lake, New York.

Examiner: Any closing thoughts?

Shiner: I approach a song for the impact its lyrics bring. My philosophy is that if you don’t connect with it, then leave it alone. Don’t sing just for the pretty sound, but for the lyrical content. The meaning is in the lyrics and you need to go there first. Only way I will approach the song – too much focus on the “sound” that makes it You need to be focused on the lyrics. It doesn’t matter whether you have the best voice – it matters what you have to say.

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