Shawn Chiki / Lesionread

Years Active 10

Latest Release “2019 Forever” w/ Gabriel Wells

Album on Repeat Medusa’s “Boy of the Year”

Favorite Venue to Perform I miss Dreamland

Words of Wisdom DO Make art for the right reasons – self discovery, personal enjoyment, and expanding the universal sense of wonder.  DON’T compare yourself to other artists.

shawn 1

What does Buffalo have to offer aspiring musicians?

There’s more room to fail compared to bigger cities. Having room to fail is vital for artistic growth, if taken advantage of.

What do you think is the biggest lesson we can all take away from [COVID19]?

Reevaluation of what’s important to a society. You can see a wider acknowledgment that a big chunk of jobs aren’t essential to sustaining life, and the jobs that are deserve more respect. I’ve been saying for years that I see Nurses as the most important profession to society. They will literally be the last ones to be replaced by automation. When I first heard of cities doing nightly ‘applauses’ to healthcare workers, I cried.

Craziest memory from touring?

Feels like I have too many to remember, but the most recent one was last summer in Atlanta with you haha. Adam, you remember, but I’ll try to capture the scene for everybody else…

It was a really hot day like 95 degrees fahrenheit, and one of those shows where it was just the bands playing for each other – which would’ve been shit but it was Mothsweat, and I love that crew, their set was incredible. When the show ended, and everybody but me was chilling outside smoking, the manager of the club ran up to me screaming that the venue was about to re-open as a nightclub and I had 10 minutes to pack up everybody’s shit. He berated me asking where my bandmates were, and I told him that you were busy getting the van. The 10 minutes passed and there was still gear everywhere, suddenly this frazzled club manager was trying to help me pack everything up, and they spilled all of our merch over the floor. The club then opened to the public, and it just immediately fills up with a hundred drunk dancing bar folk. Now I’m picking up all the merch under everyone’s feet, and the gear is mostly stacked into a few piles but is totally in the way of everybody filling the dance floor. You had parked really far away, and we had probably 1,000+ lbs of gear on the second floor of this club.

I come downstairs and outside to see everybody hanging by the entrance smoking and goofing off, totally unaware of what was going on upstairs, the van still far away. There was some yelling, and then a game plan: we were to first get all the gear down to the street, and then you’d go get the van.  The staircase to this club was only one person wide, and now that the club was packed it was nearly impossible to get everything down as we’re pushing bar goers out of the way, but.. We did it. Then the rest of us waited in the street with this huge pile of gear, fending off drunk people while you went to get the van.

The area was so crowded with foot traffic that the street was closed off to cars. Now we didn’t realize the street was closed off to cars, but it explained why you weren’t able to pull up with the van. Eventually you call us saying you’re idling in a parking lot downhill from us and we had just a few minutes to pack up before we’d get a ticket from an angry parking lot clerk. Luckily we built our cases with wheels on them so we were able to roll our heavy ass gear down the street, practically chasing it as it gained speed and plowed through people.

After we finally got loaded up, we all met up with Mothsweat and friends in a parking lot and did aerobics and danced in the summer heat until 2am. That parking lot dance party was my favorite moment of the whole tour.

:::Video of the Atlanta parking lot dance party:::

Close second for recent crazy tour memories was 3 days later in Nashville, I had split off from you the night before to crash with Neil from Terror Pigeon at his sick Treehouse complex. The next morning I took an uber to the address of where you told me you were staying… Long story short I broke and entered into somebody’s house that you weren’t in lol. I went through that whole house searching for you, heard footsteps upstairs but then I found a note on the kitchen counter saying “Thanks for letting us stay! We left!” from you and Suz. Boy I ran out of that stand-your-ground house so quick my heads still spinnin🤠😵

What are the ingredients to a thriving music/art scene?

You definitely need a wide variety of artists, and a plurality of engaged patrons.  Too many similar working artists per capita and nobody comes to the shows because everyone is busy making their own art haha.

Strangest thing you’ve heard from someone at a concert?

“Too Spooky” — Stevie Boyar

How do you balance music with jobs, partners, children, etc.?

Shits tough. I have a tendency to get manic and obsessive with projects I get passionate about, and sometimes I lack the ability to recognize when I need to put the art down, and redirect focus towards the other vital parts of my life. It’s one of my biggest problems, LOL. I don’t have a single solution, but routines, and schedules help a bit. I’ve had some trial and error choosing jobs, partners, and friends that are flexible with my lifestyle. I’ve imagined having kids would mean the end of my art career, but I know that isn’t true for everybody.

What’s the next move?

I seem to be better suited at directing productions and crafting experiences than I am with any instrument, I’ve been feeling drawn towards integrating more theatre & acting with mixed media installations, and interactive online content.  I still want to integrate it all within a live music setting, but I feel like there’s a lot of unexplored territory and room for play.

I have a hefty handful of songs I was working on years ago that I dropped to join Space Cubs that I’d like to pick back up again and release properly.

I’ve also been casually recording material with Gabriel Wells, VR Sunset, Boy Jr, DenzelWorldPeace, $Bit¢h.99, and PrettyPillowPricess, and there’s lots of stuff that I’d like to put out in various fun ways.

What’s the biggest thing that your band could use help with?

Time and resources 😂😂😂


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