Out of Cullman, AL - the guys from Shallow Side just released their third EP, titled, “I” (more on that later.) The group has built up a steady fan base in the world of alternative/mainstream rock over the past five years, and what’s surprising is that they’ve done it by themselves. Up until recently they didn’t have a booking agent, they didn’t have a manager, and they damn sure didn’t have a record label. What they’ve gotten since they started, they’ve earned. Alternative Addiction recently talked with Shallow Side frontman Eric Boatright about what it was like when the band started, deciding to work with management, and their new EP.
“It was awful, I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy,” said a laughing Boatright about the band’s early days touring. “The beginning years of any business, from what I’m told, is the hardest. It’s always an uphill battle, constantly. Not only is it an immediate learning curve, your passion is being stomped on day-in and day-out. Everything you think you know, you have no clue. We were stuffed inside of a suburban pulling a trailer, five of us. Four of us played music and then we had a tour manager. Our tour manager had no idea how to tour either, he just needed a title. He didn’t have a clue either. No one teaches you how to be in entertainment, the kids who go to college to do that, they don’t know how to do it and the professors don’t really know how they got there either. You learn by doing and we did that. Those early years weren’t easy.”
The band earned their stripes in their early years by touring. They played dive bars and clubs where they could and people kept coming back to the shows. As they went on the crowds got bigger. One day a party, became a concert, and that eventually turned into a club filled with people and that turned into an audience all over the country per Boatright. Now, they’ve established their audience to a large enough point to where they finally signed on with management.
“It’s a give and take relationship,” said the Shallow Side frontman on why the band finally had to start working with management. “If you build boxes and you’ve done well for yourself, that’s great. Eventually it gets to the point to where you can’t keep up though. Now, there’s not a 1000 people that want these boxes, there’s 50,000 people. To meet that quota, you need a bigger team. That’s when things go into somebody else’s hands and it’s a give and take relationship. You have to be smart and on your toes all of the time. Lucky for us, we have a wonderful team and everybody’s working towards meeting that audience.”
Read part two of the feature on Shallow Side