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Pop / Rock 11/12/2015

The Riflery Readies Debut EP And January Tour, Mining An American Rock Sound That Evokes Jack's Mannequin, Augustana, Jimmy Eat World

The Riflery Readies Debut EP And January Tour, Mining An American Rock Sound That Evokes Jack's Mannequin, Augustana, Jimmy Eat World
New York, NY (Top40 Charts) "Beautiful songs that find hope in the not-so-beautiful moments in life" - "Powerful Rock and Roll"

The Riflery Readies Debut EP, Mining an American Rock Sound That Evokes Jack's Mannequin, Augustana, Jimmy Eat World

Lead Vocalist/Songwriter Shannon McArthur Recalls the Serendipity That Brought the Band Together

American rock band The Riflery looks forward to the release of their debut EP, 'Falcon'. With a sound that evokes Jack's Mannequin, Augustana, The Script and Jimmy Eat World, The Riflery aims to tackle life's 'big questions', as lead vocalist and songwriter Shannon McArthur shares this perspective via Elmore Magazine and AXS/Examiner exclusive premieres, below.

ELMORE EXCLUSIVE: Song Premiere From Nashville's the Riflery- "Getting There"

Singer-songwriter Shannon McArthur, of Nashville's the Riflery, considers Tom Petty and Third Eye Blind to be among his influences. His band also evokes Jack's Mannequin, Augustana, The Script and Jimmy Eat World. McArthur, now 28-years-old, has been in the music industry for several years. It was sheer serendipity, though, that brought him to fellow band member Sam Bowler two years ago in San Francisco. Together with Jordan Fitzsimmons, Jonny Riggs and Shanan Lau, they formed the Riflery.

Their upcoming EP includes "Getting There", a powerful rock and roll track referencing McArthur's struggles with faith. Instead of letting the struggle dominate and confuse him, McArthur instead decided to turn it into something beautiful. "That song is very largely about a struggle with God that I've experienced since my time in Nashville," he has said. "I wrote it with a good friend, Krista Angelucci. We were initially trying to write a song for her album, and then "Getting There" just kinda fell out into the artistic atmosphere."

The Riflery's debut, four-song EP, Falcon, will be out soon. For more info on upcoming tour dates (Jan 7th - The Vinyl - Atlanta, GA, Jan 9th - The Pour House- Raleigh, NC, Jan 13th - Pianos - New York, NY), visit the band's website .

Shannon McArthur comments:
"From a young age, I have struggled with restlessness. As a child, they attributed it to ADD, and maybe that is it, but I've always thought it was something more. I believe that every man struggles with the big questions of life... "Who are we?" "Why were we put on Earth?" "Is there a God?" "If so, what is his purpose for me?" I started seriously thinking about these things around age 18, and the struggle has not stopped. After 10 years of this wrestle, I finally came to the realization that I can take this struggle and choose to let it dominate and confuse me, or I can take it and make it into something beautiful. That is what The Riflery is for me. It is all my struggles and emotions converted into song. It originally started with me making an acoustic EP of songs, but by the time I was ready to release the record, I realized that I wanted a more band/rather than acoustic, sound. I wanted the sound of other musicians throwing themselves into the songs, so I decided to release the other songs as a solo record and then got to work on recording these other songs to make EP 1, "Falcon."

AXS/EXAMINER - Exclusive Interview, Song/Video Premiere By Laurie Fanelli 11//15
Exclusive video premiere and Q&A with Shannon McArthur of The Riflery

Video link:
Over the years, Shannon McArthur has gained a reputation for being a talented solo artist, but his latest project finds him collaborating with a collection of accomplished musicians for his new band, The Riflery . The group is gearing up for the release of their debut EP, Falcon, which is filled with beautiful songs that find hope in the not-so-beautiful moments in life.

The EP's new single "Either Way" is a great example of engaging, genuine emotions being captured perfectly in song by The Riflery. An exclusive premiere of the compelling track can be seen above.

AXS got the chance to pick McArthur's brain about his inspiration behind the project and the emotions behind the music.

Laurie Fanelli (AXS): Congrats on the upcoming release of your debut EP, Falcon. I got a chance to listen to a preview and the songs all sound very personal while highlighting various emotions, unanswered questions and hopes that we all experience. What would you say is the overall theme of the release?

Shannon McArthur: The Riflery is a story of redemption. We live in a broken world - where everyone experiences pain - but how we respond to the pain is what makes us who we are. Some of the songs on the record may sound dark, but it is my hope that each one of them has a flicker of light for the listener to move towards after listening. For me, a lot of those flickers came from moments when I finally faced and accepted some truths rather than running from them as if they weren't there. That's where a lot of the songs came from.

The production on Falcon is crisp and flawless. Can you share a bit about how the EP was recorded?

SM: The project started as what I thought would be just another "Shannon McArthur" solo artist album. Throughout college I had self-recorded multiple acoustic/pop solo artist records, but this time I really wanted to achieve a new sound, and I knew I'd need help. To make the record happen, I picked up a side job and used the money to hire a team for the recording process. Working with Thomas Doeve on "Either Way" and "Leaves" was cool because he introduced a lot of new sounds into the production. He's definitely the best Juno player I've ever met. I had a good time working with Josh Crosby on "Getting There" because we were able to communicate really well on the flow of the song, and he brought in rhythmic ideas that I wouldn't have thought of on my own. Aaron Sprinkle was one of the first people I met moving to Nashville, and we had actually worked together before but not in the context of me being the artist. Bringing him in on "You" was kind of a last minute thing, but it was incredible having him on board because his level of intensity really matched what the song needed. I had Jon Kaplan mix everything to help all the songs flow together well, and I was really happy with the turnout.

LF: The Riflery is a fairly new band. How did you all come together as a group?
Rounding the bend of closing out the record, I saw the path ahead of me for trying to go out and tour it by myself, and I immediately came to the decision that it would be more fun to do as a team. I considered having my buddy, Sam Bowler (piano, vocals) join the project. I had met him with Shanan Lau (lead guitar) playing music in the streets of San Francisco almost three years earlier, and we had always talked on the phone about starting a band, but nothing had come of it. I was in LA producing another artist's record around this same time, so I had Sam drive down from Santa Barbara and we played some songs to see how we sounded together. That one session was enough for us to know it was a good fit, so he moved to Nashville about a month and a half later. Two weeks after he had been in town, we met Jordan Fitzsimmons (drummer) at a coffee shop. He had a broken arm at the time, so we had him try out by letting him write a MIDI drum part to an acoustic demo. Then we had Jonny Riggs (bassist) write and record a bass part to that MIDI for his tryout. When Shanan heard of all this, he quit his job in Seattle and made the decision to move down to join the group.

LF: "Either Way" is the track that stuck with me the most from the EP. It's such a beautiful, bittersweet love song. Do you consider it to be a happy song, a sad song, or does it live somewhere in the middle?

SM: Yeah, "Either Way" is the song that sticks with me the most too. A lot of people would probably think of it as a sad song, but to me it's just a real song. The words needed to come out. I wrote it with Caitlin Linney shortly after leaving LA to move to Nashville. At the time I'd been doing all I could to convince myself and others that I wasn't hurting, and "Either Way" was that moment when I decided to stop doing that and just let people see me where I was.

LF: What are some of the emotions that you are feeling as you get closer to the EP's release? Have you already been thinking about a follow-up album?

SM: I feel excitement about the songs getting out and relief about being finished with all the pre-release coordinating. There will definitely be a follow-up album, and I look forward to being able to write it as a band.

LF: Will The Riflery be heading out on tour in support of Falcon?
SM: We will be touring a small run up the East Coast this winter - Jan 7 at The Vinyl in Atlanta, GA, Jan 9 at The Pour House in Raleigh, NC and Jan 13 at Pianos in New York, NY - and we will be keeping listeners updated on more dates at .

LF: Do you have anything else you would like to share with AXS readers?
SM: To AXS readers, I'd just say, if any of those songs can meet you where you are in life and make you feel understood, then the record has succeeded for me. Check out the brand new video for "Either Way," exclusively on AXS, above and click here to pick-up tickets to see The Riflery live in a city near you.

In addition to McArthur on lead vocals, The Riflery features musician/singer Sam Bowler, drummer Jordan Fitzsimmons, bassist Jonny Riggs, and lead guitarist Shanan Lau. Their four song EP is anchored by 'Getting There', a powerful rock track about McArthur's struggle with faith, as he references above. Another highlight, 'Either Way', chronicles a relationship in crisis. 'Leaves' and 'You' round out the band's debut - as McArthur comments,

"Every single one of the songs from "Falcon" has a deep place in my soul.
- "Either Way" - Listening to the lyrics, it's pretty obvious what this song is about… That was a tough time for me, and that song is very special to me.

- "Getting There" - That song is very largely about a struggle with God that I've experienced since my time in Nashville. I wrote it with a good friend, Krista Angelucci. We were initially trying to write a song for her album, and then "Getting There" just kinda fell out into the artistic atmosphere.

- "Leaves" - I wrote this song with my friends Nicole Johnson and Jeremy Lister. We all met at a writing camp, and to me, this song has been about the fight between who you've been told you're supposed to be and who you actually want to be.

- "You" is a song about someone coming back for you after it took so long to finally move on. I had a lot of personal experience with that, and I think it's relatable to a lot of people. This track was written with P.J. Pacifico.

Upcoming tour dates include:
Jan 7th - The Vinyl - Atlanta, GA
Jan 9th - The Pour House- Raleigh, NC
Jan 13th - Pianos - New York, NY
Shannon McArthur cites Third Eye Blind and Tom Petty among his influences, and is able to walk the line between understated acoustic tracks and full-band rock songs. For 'Falcon', a bit of serendipity was involved, and he talks about it here:

"I didn't actually have a single band member when I started this group. I just had the desire to make music in community, and I was fortunate enough to come across so many awesome guys. Shortly after finishing the record, I realized that I would rather embark on this endeavor with a friend, rather than by myself. Sam Bowler and I met in San Francisco at a group hang one night about 3 years ago, and we have stayed in touch ever since. Before about 3 months ago, we had only played together one time… However, we stayed in touch and regularly spoke on the phone in regard to music and our ambitions of what we would like to eventually do with it. Both of us feel that is something meant to be done in community and for a bigger purpose than our own entertainment. We both like a lot of the same groups too… U2, the Killers, Brandon Flowers, Coldplay. Anyway, I called him up to ask him if he wanted to join the project and so he asked his boss at Starbucks if they could transfer him to Nashville and they could so he did. Jordan - I met him at a coffee shop, mistaking him for another artist, and then got to conversation about how he would be a good drummer…Jonny Riggs - A friend referred me to him…Shanan Lau - I met him in San Francisco the same night I met Sam. They had been friends playing music before I knew either of them.

More about The Riflery:
Beyond the Nashville skyline and away from the bustle of Broadway, over the Cumberland River that splits the city in two, and into the East, Shannon McArthur sits across from a 24-year-old musician from Homer, Alaska - Sam Bowler. Two years of phone conversations about "Joshua Tree", "Battle Born", and God has finally materialized.

Shannon McArthur, now 28-years-old, has been around the industry for several years now. His experiences, for better and for worse, have revealed music to hold something completely different, but significantly more valuable than anything he was ever looking for.

Rewind two years, and in what can only be characterized as sheer serendipity, Sam and Shannon met each other in San Francisco, California. Neither had been acquainted, nor knew the other existed, but were nonetheless introduced at a mutual friend's party. "I thought he was either completely nuts or the most genuine person I had ever met," Sam laughs. "He had just had his credit card stolen and both of us were strapped for cash, so we just talked about music." Both cannot help but laugh at the absurdity of it all as they lean back and lose themselves in reminiscence. "I guess he was the latter."

"There's definitely a strength in numbers that has taken place, Sam brings only the purest elements to the table. He doesn't really know how to care about what people or the industry thinks, I'm definitely ok with that..." Shannon explains. "His perspective is different than mine, yet bizarrely the same, as if it's the same message, but written in a different language."

Together with Jordan Fitzsimmons, Jonny Riggs and Shanan Lau, they form The Riflery, a name that Shannon has been embracing for some time. "Every man struggles with the big questions of life… How did we end up here? For what purpose? You can choose to let questions like this weigh you down, or you can focus your thoughts into something beautiful that resonates with those in the same struggle. This is what the Riflery is for me."


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