When we heard the talented Amy Shark was coming through Vancouver and might have some times to chat, we jumped at the chance.
This rising star is being talked about through the industry.
Her hit song, “Adore”, has been a smashing success and paved the way to a contract and an EP for the young talent.
Check her out online at the following spots:
The interview was conducted by the mighty beard over at Cryptic Photography.
Concert Addicts: Your EP, Night Thinker, was just released earlier this year. Has anything really changed for you since that’s come out?
Amy Shark: Yeah, a lot of has changed, actually. I mean, like everything was sort of based around “Adore”, the single off it, which is what changed everything, really. I quit my job and signed a record deal and I have management now, but it was really important for me to get new music out…’cause I’ve been writing songs my whole life and I knew I had really great stuff just sitting there.
Concert Addicts: Just pending up?
Amy Shark: Yeah, and you know, there was a couple little articles being written…because this was at a time where I was reading everything, now I kinda don’t, but it was sort of, “Oh, she’s a one-hit, how is she going to follow that up”, and I’m like, “Oh, fuck off”, like I’ve got so many songs. So, yeah it was big relief for me. I was like, people now know this is what I do and they get to hear a lot of it. Obviously, there’s similar stories in my songs, and, so they hear other stories, and, at shows, people… I’ve just come off my tour, so everyone knew every song, so it was way more fun.
Concert Addicts: I guess “Adore” was originally released on Youtube?
Amy Shark: Pretty much, yeah.
Concert Addicts: Then, from there you released your EP, which is six songs, and since then life has changed a bit, obviously. Have you had any sort of aha moments, where you are like, ”Whoa, this is happening”?
Amy Shark: Yeah, just recently, actually, I went and met the Chainsmokers and I thought it was going to be at the studio. I don’t do much co-writing, well I have never done anything like that before and so I thought, “Okay, I’ll just go with the flow. All of will go to a studio and maybe all of us will write a song, I don’t know.” The Uber, like, stopped…dropped me off and it was like at his house and it’s like at this mansion, and it was like, honestly, it was such a pad, it was like a soccer pitch, like a lap pool, it was just pimp.
Concert Addicts: You were a little struck by that, I imagine.
Amy Shark: Dude! It was next level and like… I’m talking to Drew and were talking about songs and he’s like “Yeah, I love your EP” and blah, blah, blah and then he’s talking about Halsey and Chris Martin and when they went and did the song with Coldplay and how it happened and at that moment I was like, “Am I in this conversation? Is he just talking to me like this blasé about these big superstars?”
Concert Addicts: And throwing your name in the conversation.
Amy Shark: Yeah! I was like, “Oh my god! I don’t think I’m meant to be here.” I felt like I snuck into a house or something.
Concert Addicts: I could imagine that would be just overwhelming.
Amy Shark: It was really weird, but it was cool. But yeah, that was totally that moment.
Concert Addicts: That’s very cool. Okay, weird question, what is a “night thinker” to you?
Amy Shark: To me?
Concert Addicts: Yeah.
Amy Shark: I’m a night thinker.
Concert Addicts: You’re a night thinker?
Amy Shark: Yeah.
Concert Addicts: Is it just thinking at night?
Amy Shark: Yup. It started for me when I was really young. I had so many issues and family dramas and whatever, and I guess that is just what I did, I thought about everything and everyone. I worried about…you know you worry about stupid stuff. At that age, I was just like, “I don’t want my nan to die. What if mom dies? Oh my god, death in general.” But now, I guess, I’ve had a little bit of that comeback ‘cause I’m sitting there like, “Is this actually happening? This is crazy. Oh my god, I’ve got this to do tomorrow and I’ve got this other song I wanna do.” So, yeah, like I’m back on the insomnia stage, at the moment. Where I don’t really get much sleep. So yeah, I think I’m a night thinker
Concert Addicts: So, a night thinker is just you can’t fall asleep because things are running through your mind?
Amy Shark: Yup.
Concert Addicts: Impending life decisions?
Amy Shark: Yeah, everything. You won’t think about it all day and then it’s time to sleep and relax and it’s like DING!
Concert Addicts: Your single “Adore” has been a big hit, obviously. The lyrics are really personal. Is that about one single person or is that just a general feeling?
Amy Shark: I try not to give away who I’m writing about, ever.
Concert Addicts: It doesn’t have to give it away, just wondering if it is about one single person.
AS Definitely it is about one person, everything is. All my songs are and they’re all about different people but there’s always a hero in it. There’s always someone I’m thinking of or certain situation I’m thinking of.
Concert Addicts: A character you’re deriving it from?
Amy Shark: Yeah, definitely. Because everything is all autobiographical. So, that one, in particular, is literally just a play by play of a night out.
Concert Addicts: Oh okay. Yeah, just that one feels very, very personal but also feels like it could be about how you felt over a year or whatnot, but it being a specific person makes sense.
Amy Shark: Exactly and I think the lyrics are very specific so it does set a scene and it does…I think you can tell it’s definitely about someone.
Concert Addicts: Definitely does, and I think that is what people connect with. Anyone going through something similar or reliving something can identify with it immediately.
Amy Shark: Totally.
Concert Addicts: Very, very good song. I watched your cover of Silverchair’s “Miss You Love”, I think it was on Triple J. Your take on it was very…obviously you modernized the song but it seemed much more emotionally charged. The original was more poetic and almost poppy, but this was way more emotional almost ballady.
Amy Shark: That was the aim.
Concert Addicts: That was just a note I wanted to point out from watching it.
Amy Shark: Thanks. I appreciate it. I had…I remember, because that is such a big deal to do a version, in Australia, and it was a big thing off my bucket list to do, and then they were like, “Oh, you have to pick an Australian artist.” At first I was kinda bummed. I’m like…I had all these cool people I wanted to do. I was like, hang on, I’m like the biggest Silverchair fan ever. So, yeah, I love Silverchair. He’s what started me writing and thinking. I was stoked with that cover, I love that song.
Concert Addicts: It is very good. Like I said, your version is grand. It’s one of those ones where you wouldn’t even realize it’s a cover. I mean, somebody might complete know the original but then they hear yours and it’s like you hear the lyrics differently.
Amy Shark: Awesome, yeah, that was the goal. Well, I’m glad you liked it.
Concert Addicts: Well, I’m sure I’m not the only one. The video had like a few million views. Are there any other songs that you love the you would release covers of?
Amy Shark: I come from a world of singing covers. I used to work full time and then I used to play a lot of covers. Even tonight’s [interview conducted on September 27th, 2017] very surreal to me because I used to cover Vance Joy and now I’m supporting him around North America, so it’s crazy. I love Tracy Chapman and I do…I can usually do an Eminem sort of cover, so I cover one of his songs. Yeah, I’m definitely not against it. It was cool because I would only pick songs that I loved. I wouldn’t do anything that I was….I couldn’t even tell you like Selena Gomez or something.
Concert Addicts: Yeah, but to take something that is slightly different from what you do and maybe convert it over to your style.
Amy Shark: Totally, totally!
Concert Addicts: Perfect. Alright, what was the first album that you ever bought?
Amy Shark: Yup, I remember it, it was Jagged Little Pill from Alanis Morissette, a fellow Canadian. [laughter]
Concert Addicts: A fellow Canadian! Yup. [laughter] A great choice.
Amy Shark: I didn’t plan that, that’s actually what happened. I got home and my mom saw the explicit warning sticker on it. Had to take it back. I was super embarrassing.
Concert Addicts: Yup, that happened a lot back in nineties. Those explicit stickers were a pain.
Amy Shark: Yeah, ugh. I had to get a friend to burn it for me.
Concert Addicts: Ah, yes. The very early days of burning.
Amy Shark: I’m okay to say that because I did go to…I did try and buy it. So, I did try to do the right thing.
Concert Addicts: It wasn’t just straight to burning. You tried to buy it first. People don’t buy CD’s the same way they used to. They might order it online or at the show, but those explicit lyric stickers they ruined so many purchases for me back then.
Amy Shark: They did. Oh man, they were such a pain in the ass. And they were hard to get off too.
Concert Addicts: Yeah, so you couldn’t hide it, it was stuck on there for good. You weren’t taking it off.
Amy Shark: No!
Concert Addicts: Alright, so, is this your first time in Vancouver?
Amy Shark: No, I played a show here. Was it June?
Concert Addicts: Wait, was it at the Biltmore maybe?
Amy Shark: Yeah.
Concert Addicts: Okay, so I was looking and I thought I remembered you had come here but I couldn’t seem to find where it was, and then I thought, “Maybe she didn’t come here and I just imagined it.”
Amy Shark: All I remember was it was a really cool, that venue was really cool.
Concert Addicts: It was like a little pub kinda thing.
Amy Shark: Yeah.
Concert Addicts: A lot of hipsters and hip people.
Amy Shark: It cool trashy. That’s what I’m all about.
Concert Addicts: Yeah. I’ve seen a lot of great bands there. So, I read recently that there was some back and forth between you and Tom DeLonge. I think the most recent thing that I had read is that you had been emailing back and forth but nothing had come to fruition but there was some discussion about possible collaboration.
Amy Shark: Well, I went to have dinner with him and his crew in Encinitas and that was like a real aha moment. I was like, “Oh my,” ‘cause I’m a huge fan. And I was a huge fan from the age of fifteen and I remember…like I flew to San Diego to watch Angels and Airwaves play with my boyfriend and I met his assistant. She was like, “Hey, you gotta come to Macbeth,” ‘cause she knew I was just this crazy fan and she know I was playing music as well but I was like…I had the worst acoustic, trashy, dashboard but worse sounding songs. But she was just super sweet to me and gave me her email and every now and then I would email her and keep her in the loop of what I was doing. Then she’s got me Facebook and she saw everything was happening, so, she was like “Hey, Tom love’s your song and we need to all get-together and talk,” and I was like, “This is great”. So, I went and met him and he was saying if you ever want to do stuff I wanna start getting back in the studio and I was like, “Yes!”
Concert Addicts: That is pretty crazy.
Amy Shark: It’s nuts! So, nothings come just yet because.
Concert Addicts: But there is talking and such.
Amy Shark: Yeah, yeah. It’s definitely not something that I wouldn’t do. [laughter]
Concert Addicts: Yeah [laughter]
Amy Shark: Obviously.
Concert Addicts: ‘Cause you’re a huge fan, it would be silly to pass it up.
Amy Shark: Yeah. It would be pretty cool.
Concert Addicts: So, you perform under the name Amy Shark but that’s not your same last name. Is there a story behind choosing the last name Shark.
Amy Shark: Yeah, it’s pretty simple. I’m just like a big shark fan. Like I watched…like Jaws is still my favourite movie even though it’s obviously got some really bad, sort of fake shark materials.
Concert Addicts: That’s the best part about it.
Amy Shark: [laughter] I think that kicked me off for my love for Steven Spielberg as well. I just love all his movies.
Concert Addicts: Bigger than life movies.
Amy Shark: Totally! And I used to have nightmares, that is another thing that kept me awake, shark nightmares. The same reoccurring dream over and over and over again. Yeah, then one day I was like…looks kinda cool written down.
Concert Addicts: It does. It looks good and it’s very catchy, but yeah, that is very cool. I wondered if it would be something simple like that. Jaws is a great movie.
Amy Shark: You wanted me to be like, “Hey, so this is my prosthetic leg.” [laughter]
Concert Addicts: [laughter] Maybe not so much that, but I just wondered.
Amy Shark: [laughter] I got my leg chopped off
Concert Addicts: I thought it may be deeper but I hoped it wasn’t something like that. [laughter]
Amy Shark: Or I was really good at pool.
Concert Addicts: Yeah! Yeah, some weird naming history. So, I just have a couple more questions for you. Are there any lesser-known or under-the-radar artists that you think people should be checking out? It doesn’t have to be a musician, it could be a painter or writer, just anybody that you sort of draw inspiration from, and you are like, “why aren’t people all over this?”
Amy Shark: Yeah, there’s a band… I dunno, you guys are pretty up to date with good music here but it’s called The Smith Street Band. You’re like, I dunno…you look like the type of guy who would really like them. They’re the…they are the typical Australian sounding…I guess, like, rock but his lyrics are bullshit. Like, he’s just such an amazing, amazing writer. Oh geez, I think I’ve nailed how to set a scene in song…he absolutely crushes it. His name’s Will Wagner, he’s the writer. Yeah, check him out, The Smith Street Band.
Concert Addicts: Okay, that sounds good. I’ve never heard of them, so this will be a good surprise.
Amy Shark: Good, awesome!
Concert Addicts: Alright, and the last question. As long as an answer or as short as an answer as you want, but what does music mean to you?
Amy Shark: What does music mean? I feel like this is one of those questions where every artist is like, “it’s my life.”
Concert Addicts: You’d be surprised. Some people are just like one-word answer; life, beauty, or whatever, and some people it’s like twenty minutes.
Amy Shark: I feel like, and this is going to sound probably worse than everyone else but if I lost everything, like if my marriage broke down or if my family hated me, if I could still write music, I feel like I have a relationship with it and I will always kinda be okay.
Concert Addicts: Okay.
Amy Shark: Because I feel like it’s pretty deep in me.
Concert Addicts: Well, that is a pretty strong connection.
Amy Shark: Mmmm, I’m married to it.
Concert Addicts: Yeah, you’re married to it. It’s a part of you, a part of who you are, part of your identity.
Amy Shark: Yeah, it’ll never stop.
Concert Addicts: That’s perfect.
Amy Shark: Cool, thanks.
Concert Addicts: Well, I think that is all that I have to ask you. So, thank you for your time, I really appreciate it.
Amy Shark: You are so welcome, thank you.
After our chat, I caught her opening set for Vance Joy at The Vogue Theatre. She was completely hypnotic and endearing. Check out our photos from the show – photos of Vance Joy + Amy Shark @ The Vogue Theatre – September 27th 2017.
I regret missing her show in June and can’t wait to see her come back this away again very soon.
Big things are on the horizon for this wonderfully talented musician.