A Conversation with The Shift

The Shift

This is a conversation with Arrie Oliver of The Shift by mathmanmrt.

mathmanmrt--I notice that the gig you have up on your artist page is going to be in Georgia. Are you guys originally from Georgia? If not where are you guys from?

Arrie Oliver--Absolutely! We were all born and raised in Atlanta, and have pretty much lived here all of our lives. That being said, we've done I think just about everything there is to do in this wonderful city though, so it's wearing on us a bit, haha. If anyone reading this lives in Atlanta, shoot us some ideas for a great Saturday night, because even an insane pack of guys like us can't find anything fun to do!

How did you get together as a band?

Well, it's actually an epic tale of love, betrayal, loss, fortune, and fame. But in a nutshell, Seyt and I (Arrie) have been best friends since we were 3 years old. We've been practically inseparable our whole lives. We were at Summer camp one year, I think as we were going into 11th grade, and we wrote our first song. It felt really good to create, and everyone we showed (even though it was DEFINITELY a juvenile attempt, haha) really liked our song. To be able to affect and inspire people with just an experience you've had turned audio, is the absolute most amazing feeling in the world. I started learning guitar, and he learned drums, and here we are today. We added Chad and Ben, our amazing guitarist and bass player, respectively, and even though the core of the band really consists of Seyt and myself, we'd love to find really permanent members who are as dedicated as we are.

How did you come up with the name of your band? Does it have significance?

Seyt and I were sitting around one day, and came to the realization that we really needed a name for our musical ventures. We chose "The Shift" for various reasons. First off, pursuing music was quite literally a huge "shift" for us out of a lot of our previously defined comfort zones. This band was in our minds a sure harbinger for greater musical horizons, in addition to new life experiences. It's something we've decided to stick with till the end... and while musical pursuits, and such a long commitment might sound very fickle to some, to us it's everything we love, and what we feel like we're here to do. Not only that, but we've been best friends our whole lives, so I don't think we could even escape being in some sort of musical group if we had to. Second, it was a huge stylistic change for us from what we had previously been playing (the hardcore scene wasn't really our thing, haha) so we just felt it fit. Mainly it's the first part of the answer though :-P

What kind of musical experiences did you guys have before you got together? What kind of music were you listening to when you were growing up?

Well I really was raised on Folk and Country music, so I was naturally a child of the pop scene in every sense of the term. I like powerhouse choruses, vocal harmony, and the songs "Empty Apartment" by Yellowcard and "I'm With You" by Avril Lavigne (I'm prepared to get thrashed about this, haha) totally shaped my mind as far as what an ideal song should sound like, haha. Seyt was raised by wolves (Finnish people) on Speed Metal. He's extremely technical if I don't bash him into a pop mold, but never fails to impress me with his unique blend of stylistic flair. On the recordings, naturally, he has to hold back a bit, but when people see us live, they're really impressed by the raw energy he brings to performance. As far as experiences we had together, we were always in bands together and/or with mutual friends, and about 10 people in our immediate lives sort of all grew as musicians together. We were the only ones that took it to the next level and actually decided to pursue anything musically related though.

How do you go about writing your songs? Is there a collaborative process or is there a member or members more responsible for song writing than others?

It's definitely a little bit of both; let me clarify. Essentially, I end up writing all of the songs, be it music and lyrics, but as far as shaping the song after that skeleton is formed, some of the best hooks in our songs are not even often added by me. Seyt definitely has a huge influence over the sound of the songs, if not just as much as I do in initially shaping them. They're usually my experiences, and he helps me express them accordingly.

What do you think are the biggest influences on your sound? And how long did it take you guys to develop your sound?

Well, it took a very long time to develop our sound. It took 4 years of pretty much just trying every style of music and learning everything we could about music to narrow things down. We spent time in hardcore, metal, rock, country, punk, ska bands and even a jazz group before we really found what we wanted. Our biggest influences I'd have to say would be the bands Blink-182 and Stratovarius. A VERY odd combination indeed, but they really influenced our individual style of playing even though there aren't so many direct stylistic similarities. But yeah, so one day I came to Seyt with an idea (a song now called "Innocence" ) and he loved it. So we ran with what we had; a pop-rock group that was going to forge amazingly melodic, somewhat technical, and extremely moving music.

Your website, heartheshift.net, says you have an album on the way. Is it available for purchase yet?

Although it's not available for purchase, it is DEFINITELY in the works, and it sounds really good so far. I wish there was a preview I could offer you, but unfortunately it would violate some agreements with our producer. Keep checking the website, and you're bound to see something soon. The interesting thing about the website is that it's really only there as a quick reference. See, websites are very impersonal, and they provide little if any actual interactive content. We much prefer websites like T61 just due to the fact that there's so much more opportunity for communication with the people who actually listen to our music rather than just sending them aimlessly to a place on the web.

All of your songs are currently downloadble for free. That's a great way to treat your fans. What went into that decision?

It was literally not much of a decision. In fact, it was just a no-brainer for us. We want people to hear and be inspired by our music. And if it means them downloading them for free, then so be it. Plus if it weren't for people spreading music, then we wouldn't be anywhere. Fans are just as crucial in the process as we are. We don't look at it as a way to treat them, as much as we look at it as something they deserve.

I believe you are going to college. Are any of the other band members? And what are you all studying?

We are all in school at the time of this interview. Seyt is studying to be a chef, Chad is studying to be an engineer, Ben is studying to be a teacher, and I'm studying to be an English major. We don't really know what we want to do with any of that other than support the music we make. Music, music, music. After we graduate from school, well, more music. College is great for spreading the musical word though, for sure. It's opened a lot of doors for us.

What do you mean by that last bit about opening doors for you?

School opened a lot of doors, and was a great move. We met TONS of new people, which gave us more honest feedback on our music, and caused us to be even more critical of ourselves. It also opened doors for us socially, which increased our networking and communication skills with not only individuals but also more massive audiences. We also met a lot of very wise people in the music program that taught us a lot about the actual musical side of things, and even though neither Seyt or I are classically trained, it was definitely a great learning experience.

Over on your myspace page you have a cool song called "Springtime." Any plans to put that up on the sixtyone?

We might, it's definitely a bit of a stylistic deviation from our usual sound, but who knows. It's definitely a good song, and I encourage everyone to go check it out. It was one of the first songs we actually ever recorded, and it's definitely more upbeat. Although we've moved away from that sound a bit, it's still a great and energetic song to play, and the absolute best sound-check song ever, haha.

Are there any songs you like to cover? If so, what?

Well, we all have our personal favorites. And even though we don t usually throw in covers, a couple songs we've played in the past couple months include: "Crazy for This Girl" by Evan and Jaron, "Hemorrhage" by Fuel, "Kokomo" by The Beach Boys, "Enlightened by The Cold" by Shadows Fall (that was a one time thing, haha), and "7 Things I Hate About You" by Miley Cyrus. Yes, a very diverse group of covers, but we like to throw it up a bit. It's always fun to do stuff like that, and if anyone has any suggestions, we ll play whatever you can throw at us. ;-)

Of course no interview for maxbumps would be complete without this question, so let me ask you how you heard about the sixtyone and what you think about it so far?

Well, to be honest, I heard about it completely by fluke. I was literally really bored one night when I started clicking random links off of a couple of music-related websites, and I don't really know how, but I ended up at the T61 homepage. I created a profile, uploaded a song, and people really gave us a positive response, so I stuck around. T61 is an AMAZING community of listeners and artists, and it 's constantly growing into an even better environment for everything music. It's built off of a very unique system and a very fun idea. Props to the creators!

Your drummer is listed as Seyt, son of Jorg. What's up with that?

Well, his real name is Tzvi Weinreich . Try pronouncing that :-) So we gave him a stage name after his favorite drummer, Jorg Michaels of Stratovarius, and it just sorta stuck. The name Seyt honestly came from someone slurring his real name, and for some reason that stuck too. Kind of an odd background, but that s exactly what happened.

Have you been putting together any songs for another album?

Absolutely! In fact, we never stop writing, and it sometimes turns into a problem. We keep writing better and better music, and can't ever decide what to actually track on the record. I have nearly 200 songs written on my computer, some of which I have demos of, but when we went into the studio we had a list of about 50 songs that we had to narrow down to 12. Talk about your all-time hard decisions.

With respect to the last questions, what are your plans for The Shift for future?

We want to pursue music. We're currently looking for a manager/management team so we can take the next necessary steps in our musical career, but that proves to be hard. Any fingers in the right direction would be great. Long term though, we love music. It's absolutely everything in the world to us, and it's everything we want to do for the rest of our lives. So what the future has in store, we have no clue, but what we will be doing is taking this as far as we can for as long as we have the will within us. We have such a drive and passion for all of this, that nothing ever stops us from taking the next step, and we can't be slowed down. I don't mean to sound conceited, honestly, but we just love what we do so much, that we can't afford to let anything get in the way.

What have I missed? Tell me anything you think we need to know about you that I haven't thought to cover.

Well, we pretty much summed up everything that has needed to be said. Thanks so much for the interview, and I really hope that I didn't leave anything out, haha. All I really want is for people to listen to our music and try to take it for what it is. We've put so much into this and it's what we love doing more than anything else in the world. Tell your friends, family, loved ones, or whoever, so that maybe just one other person can get what we do from these songs and all that we do. And if you live in the Atlanta area, come see us live. We promise not to disappoint. And talk to us if you'd like! We're goofy, fun loving guys, and we're gonna throw our contact information up on our profile page in a couple days.

A Group Directory - Updated 10/22/08

Alright, an updated list. There are actually a load more that I found but this is kind of hard work and I'm currently on bed rest. For those of you who don't know, my appendix blew up and I had surgery a few days ago. Very painful. I don't recommend it.

I found these just by clicking around and I'm sure there are loads more out there and loads more that will be started in the next few weeks. I'll keep a running list here. You can email me at batface89 [at] gmail.com or post a comment below and I'll keep the list going.

Bagel Bites

Hello you crazy 61 ers'
I can't believe how many of us (you) have hung in with James and Sam. It's been a while for me so I am just getting back into the swing of inhabiting the site and listening to good music again. So what has everyone been up to? I myself had to take a break as I was spending way to much time refreshing the less than ten bumps page (trying to play the game.) I'm over that now and just looking for some good tunes. Here is what I found when I came back.

Seriously. I really thought we were trying to avoid groupthink. Bah, I'll skip this one as I'll probably just get angry. I did join the MaxBumps group though.

Still Underrated:

if:then:goto has been one of my favorite artists on the site since I have arrived and these tracks continue to stand out for me amidst all of the other artists. I highly recommend checking them out.
This next track is just bad ass.

New Favorites:
I have known of Bobby Conn for a long time and this song has always cracked me up. The borrowed Jackson 5 sounds and the lyrics about giving head the man are the spotlights. Since I just wanted to get my feet wet after being away for a while I will leave you with this song.

Hasta la pasta!

The Max Bumps Listener Awards For T61

November will be the anniversary of The Sixtyone first going public. To mark the occasion, a group of listeners got together at Max Bumps to plan the first Max Bumps Listener Awards For T61. Voting is what we do best at t61. For a year, we've bumped our favourite songs to the homepage, and then replaced them with new favourites. What better way to celebrate than to choose and record definitive favourites for this past inaugural year of the sixtyone?

We will have 22 categories:
  • Best Song personally uploaded by the artist themselves in each of the 16 genres (You know--the genres listed down the left panel of the homepage)
  • Greatest Overall Artist
  • Best Cover Song
  • Best Non-English Language Song
  • Most Listener-Oriented Artist
  • Most Underrated Song
  • Artist's Artist (chosen only by artists)
Not to be outdone by the Oscars, we have also chosen an appropriate nickname for our awards: Max. Winners will receive a badge to post on their profile and other websites. All nominees will receive increased attention as listeners vote on songs. We hope that this contest will reward artists for their music, as well as promote t61 to the wider online community.

As most of you are aware, some of the music we enjoy on t61 is actually scraped from blogs and other online sources, rather than being posted by the individual artists themselves. In light of this, the Best Song by genre awards will only be open to songs personally uploaded by artists, but the Best Overall Artist, and Best Cover Song will be open to any artist or song on the site, whether the artist is actually involved there or not.

The Nomination Process

From October 11 to October 25, you have the opportunity to offer nominations in two categories, if you're a listener, and one other category if you're an artist.

  1. Listeners can nominate the artist that they feel is most oriented to listeners with this special Submission form
  2. Listeners can nominate one song with less than 50 bumps for the Most Underrated Song award by sending it in a tunebox to Evonity or Ganglyblueheron. The song should also have been uploaded at least 2 months ago. Please indicate that you are sending this song as a nomination in the tunebox text. We will confirm receipt of your nomination by posting your name on our wall, so please check back to see it. A Jury will select 5 songs from all that are sent to us as nominations.
  1. Artists can nominate the artist that they feel exemplifies the best of what it means to be a t61 artist in their support of other artists, attention to their fans, and quality of their music, regardless of genre, by tuneboxing their nominations from their artist accounts to Evonity or Ganglyblueheron. The text portion of the tunebox should state that they are making a nomination and which artist they are nominating. Receipt of the tuneboxes will be made daily on our walls, so please check back to look for it.

Artists with listener accounts are free to offer nominations for Most Listener-Oriented Artist, and Most Under-rated Song using their listener account, but we ask that you refrain from nominating yourself.

Max Bumps Listener Awards For T61 Special Forum

We've set up a special Max Bumps Listener Awards For T61 forum to make announcements, troubleshoot any difficulties that arise in nominating or voting, and answer any other questions you might have. You can find it on the Max Bumps forums page. If you are new to Max Bumps, we hope you take the opportunity to look around the various conversations and join this extension of t61 community.

Help Us Get The Word Out

With all the spam prevention measures in place on t61, we can't personally contact everyone about our awards. We need your help to make this project to a success. Here's what you can do:

  1. Display our trademark - a hitchhikers thumb or thumbs up on your profile page. Select the code below, copy it and then paste it in your About Me (listeners) or News (artists) section. What the code does, is render a so called ascii drawing, which are drawings that exists solely from keyboard characters.

    <br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;_<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; ( ((<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;\ =\<br />&nbsp;&nbsp; __\_ `-\ <br />&nbsp;&nbsp;(____))( \---- <br />&nbsp;&nbsp;(____)) _ <br />&nbsp;&nbsp;(____))<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;(____))____/----<br />

  2. Use big words to link your profile page to this post. You can do that by copying and pasting the next code.

    <h2><a target="_blank" href="http://www.maxbumps.net/2008/10/max-bumps-listener-awards-for-t61.html">HITCH A RIDE TO THE MAX BUMPS LISTENER AWARDS FOR T61. CLICK THIS LINK</a></h2>

  3. Send subscribers a tunebox about the awards. Use your own words, or this quote:
    From Oct 10 to Nov 21 maxbumps.net is hosting the Max Bumps T61 Listener Awards. There will be awards for artists and songs in several different categories. We - the t61 audience - are going to pick the winners. For two categories - Most Underrated Song and Most Listener oriented Artist - listeners can submit their own favorite nominees. For more details visit maxbumps.net asap. Pass this message or something similar on to your subscribers if you want to support this initiative, but before you do, check if they are not involved already.

    Please check their wall to make sure they're not already involved before sending them anything. We don't want to annoy anyone!

  4. Edit your own avatar to display our project logo - a hitchhikers thumb. Visit the Awards project forum to find out how.

  5. Publish a quote on your own Comment Wall. Write your own, or pick one of these...
    • Love the sixtyone? Let's award the best artists of the past year with the Max Bumps Listener Awards For T61! See www.maxbumps.net for the whole story.
    • When max bumps aren't enough, there are the Max Bumps Listener Awards For T61. Vote for the best artists of the past year. Find out more at www.maxbumps.net
    • T61 turns one this November! At www.maxbumps.net, we're celebrating with the Max Bumps Listener Awards For T61. Click for more details
    • Love a song no one else has noticed? Nominate it for Most Under-rated Song in the Max Bumps Listener Awards For T61. See www.maxbumps.net for more.
    • Which artist seems to care the most about you, the listener? Nominate him or her for Most Listener-Oriented Artist Award in the Max Bumps Listener Awards For T61 (www.maxbumps.net).
    • You're an artist, but this person is the artist on T61 who supports you the most. Nominate them for the Artist's Artist Award in the Max Bumps Listener Awards For T61(www.maxbumps.net)
    • Is there an artist that takes your interests to the max? Nominate them for Most Listener-Oriented Artist Award in the Max Bumps Listener Awards For T61 (that's max for short). See www.maxbumps.net for more.

On November 4, we'll announce the nominations and explain how to vote. Voting will take place from November 5 to November 15. Winners will be announced on November 21.

Help us choose the best nominations so that in November you can vote for the best of the best.


Evonity, Mathmanmrt, SallySilvera, Iyzie, and Ganglyblueheron

A Conversation with Sunday Radio

So, first, I'd like to thank you for your time. And, as an arbitrary place to begin--Where'd the name Sunday Radio come from?

Haha, my friend JUST asked me this. most of my music was created on lazy Sundays in the spring and summer.
and also, it was a really cool synth sound in Reason (one of the programs I use)

To get the compulsory question out of the way: What brought you to the SixtyOne?

I went down to visit a friend in Raleigh, NC. We got back from the bars at 2 in the morning one night and her fiance brought up this website – thesixtyone.com. He stole a bunch of my songs off of my phone and asked if he could make me an artist account. I said sure! and that was it. Ironically, I didn't even sign myself up, haha.

Well, your music has certainly been warmly received. Did it surprise you to make as many fans as you have?

I was quite surprised - T61 is one of the best places to dwell as an artist in my opinion. People here really care about the MUSIC. To everyone who's brought my songs to the homepage - thank you so much.

How long had you been making music before having it hijacked from your phone and shared with the world? And what got you started in the first place?

Well, it wasn't really hi-jacked per say - I was just as excited as he (Matt) was to share my music. But back to the original question... I started playing guitar freshman year of high school and almost immediately started writing and recording music on a cruddy little 4-track! I hope the few people who have heard those songs will never talk about, share, or breathe a word about them, haha. I'd have to thank my mother for starting me on the piano at age 4. She is incredibly musically inclined and was an accomplished pianist herself.

At what point did Sunday Radio come into being? Have you had--or do you have--any other musical projects?

I was in a bunch of bands in the past and played everything from metal to indie-rock. I was actually playing bass for a band and sprained my left wrist quite badly.
I decided to pick up a MIDI controller and software for the couple months I was incapacitated so I could keep making music. And it just kind of took off from there.

What was the first song you would attribute to "Sunday Radio"?

The first song wasn't ever released! It's a little tune called "Radio Track" that only a few people have heard.

Well, let's get to the fun stuff. I have noticed that there seems to be a range of techniques and inspirations across the songs you've uploaded to TheSixtyOne, where you have something like California, upbeat and playful; and then something like The Break-In, where you seem much more careful and focused. Do you see your music heading in either of those directions, or will you try to keep a mix of the two?

I've always been a fan of artists who write a spectrum of music - it keeps things fresh and unpredictable. Who wants to listen to an entire CD of the same type of song?
I think I'll try to keep a mix of the two.

Have you written anything since your arrival on TheSixtyOne? And if so, would you say there were any artists on there who influenced you in any way?

Death Cab for Cutie is on T61 - but they have been a longtime influence. Owl City just recently joined too - Adam was another one of my early influences.

Moving on from influences--I'd like to talk about your lyrics. They quickly became one of my favorite parts about your music—can you give us some idea of what inspires you to write a song?

To put it vaguely - Everything. I love photography and trying to see things in a different and new perspective. I love sitting down to analyze exactly how I would feel, or other people would feel, about a certain situation. I was really angry at the pharmaceutical industry at pushing happy pills all over the fucking place so I wrote Pharmacists and Anarchists.
I often dream about moving out to the west coast and sunbathing and surfing all day long so I wrote California. I guess my inspiration comes from desires and complaints about different aspects of life. Is that cliche?

I'm not sure what is considered a songwriting cliche, but I think your music certainly speaks for itself as far as originality goes. I know you've got an EP coming out—I believe it's available on iTunes now—called Building Seascapes. Would you say the songs flowed from that idea, or was the name an attempt to unify the songs afterwards?

Definitely an attempt to unify the songs afterward. Actually, my good friend Andrew, who's helped me in many different ways during the last 6 months of recording this EP, came up with "Building Seascapes." I think he said that the music sounded very fluid and oceanic. I loved the title as soon as I heard it.

For various legal reasons, I understand that your cover of Transatlanticism--to date your most successful song--could not appear on the EP. I suppose that's got to be somewhat of a bittersweet feeling--but do you have any more cover songs planned?

One of my favorite songs of all time is "Never Meant" by American Football. I might take a shot at that. And actually, this idea was Andrew's. So was covering Transatlanticism.
The kid has a lot of good ideas.

Well, that's all I've got. I'd like to conclude by thanking you again for your time, and by tipping my hat to Andrew. Any final thoughts you'd like to share?

Not really. I'd just like to thank the listeners again - many people say this but I really do appreciate my listeners and their feedback. So thank you.

The Rosebuds

Speaking of labels earlier, I was surfing around stereogum at the beginning of the week and clicked on a link to Merge Records. Apparently this label has brought us Arcade Fire, Camera Obscura, Spoon, Wye Oak, She and Him, Shout Out Louds, and many many others. They even have their own "Merge Radio" that randomly streams songs from their catalog. I haven't had that much of a chance to really dig through the site, but I like it. Anyway, I found myself streaming Life Like by The Rosebuds in its entirety, and I recommend checking it out while you still can. The album will be released next week on October 7th.

The Rosebuds - Life Like

P.S. There are also tracks (from what I can tell so far, "Nice Fox" and "In the Backyard") that feature Justin Vernon of Bon Iver, who also appeared on the track below which was part of the remixed version of the previous album, Night of Furies.

The Rosebuds - Get Up Get Out (Bon Iver Remix)

Adventures Close to Home

Within the hour that it took for someone to first bump Holy Hail "Samo Son (Ghost Note Ltd. Remix)", this is what I found. I got curious as to what else this group had going for them since the track was intriguing. I ended up stumbling on other things from their label, Adventures Close to Home, via myspace. Maybe not the greatest videos or anything, but these tracks have quite a bit of spunk that caught my ear and I thought I'd share some of my music explorations just from a single track that came to t61 via a blog.

I like the colors in the video and this track reminded me of The Ting Tings a bit.
Holy Hail 'Cool Town Rock'

This song has some great percussions.
Free Blood "The Royal Family"

And this poppy tune has some handclapping and cool female vocals.
Stricken CIty - Tak o Tak

Anyway, this is one example of how I utilize t61 and why I like it.

Holy Hail
Free Blood
Stricken City