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Shakin Stevens Interview


Platinum-selling Shakin’ Stevens will release his twelfth studio album, Echoes Of Our Times, on September 16. Known as an entertainer and performer, with 33 hit singles and 4 UK number 1's to his name, this new record clearly marks Shakin’ Stevens out as an artist, songwriter and storyteller.
Echoes Of Our Times grew from Shaky’s realization that, like most of us, he knew so very little about the background of his family, the stories of his ancestors’ loves and lives lost, and their struggles to survive. Research revealed tales of poverty and strife in the Cornish copper mines, of bravery and loss in war, of philanthropic preachers and stoic Salvationists, of children suffering and of family secrets and feuds.

W&W: Hi Shaky, how are you?

Shaky: I'm good, really good. Been very busy with the album release. Doing lots of press and very excited to see it get released.

W&W: So tell us, what was the inspiration behind your new album Echoes Of Our Time? Probably the most autobiographical work you've done to date.

Shaky: Well, I realised I didn't really know a lot about my ancestors so we started doing a family tree. I discovered that my ancestors were tin miners from Cornwall. They worked in the most horrific conditions, they would take two hours to vertically enter the mine, work up to eight hour shifts then take another two hours to exit the mines, often people were so tired they would fall back into the mine. These stories from my past then became the inspiration for the tracks on the album. Echoes Of Our Time is about my uncle who went to fight in World War 1 as a young man and got badly hurt in an attack. It took him eight days to die after the attack and eleven days after he died his son was born. These stories were so touching and inspiring that they set the theme for the album. The track Secrets And Lies is basically about the secrets and lies which are in every family. It gets dark but I believe most families have kept secrets. Fire In The Blood is about my family especially my gran and their involvement with the Salvation Army and she played instruments and was very musical so that track was inspired by that. Last Man Alive is about mans destruction of the planet and the planet hitting back hence floods, fires, pollution and global warming. So it's certainly the most personal album I've done, it's about my ancestors and family which is something I haven't done before. I'm sure a lot of people will relate to these songs.

W&W: Back in 2005 you appeared on a show called Hit Me Baby One More Time and you went on to win the show, there has always been this love for Shakin Stevens in the U.K.

Shaky: Thank you very much. I've been very lucky and very grateful to my fans here in the U.K.

W&W: And you was at the top of your game when the music scene was so exciting, playing shows like Top Of The Pops in the early eighties must have been so much fun.

Shaky: It was a great time, Top Of The Pops was the show to do and I certainly got my fair share of being in the show. It's sad that those shows aren't there anymore but times change and so much is done on the internet today. There are more opportunities today for people to get their music heard outside the U.K. And advertise their work. I think it's great that vinyl is getting popular again tho, the thing about the vinyl is you felt an ownership, you could hold it and look at it unlike a download. And hopefully at some point we will release this new album on vinyl.


W&W: Amazing and maybe a tour?

Shaky: Yes! Looking forward to doing some shows. Hopefully we will be on tour April/May next year. It be great to play the new tracks to a live audience. We got a great band and really looking forward to it.

W&W: Now I have to ask.. what was behind the green door?

Shaky: Haha.. a piano!

W&W: And how does it feel every year when you do your Christmas shopping and you hear your song in every store and on the radio?

Shaky: Ha.. it's great, it's become one of those songs. We re-recorded it last year and changed a few things and put it out to commemorate the Salvation Army. But you can't escape it, every year it comes out along with all those other classics.

W&W: Well Shaky it's been great to meet you, best of luck with the album, catch you at the gigs!

Shaky: Cheers guys, thanks for the support!

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