Kyle Shutt has been a staple in the stoner rock industry for many years now. The Sword and Doom Side of the Moon guitarist has paved a road with epic guitar riffs and killer musical compositions that drive straight to the hearts of many stoner rock fans. In 2018, he decided to go on an individual quest and attempt his first solo project. Shutt utilized Kickstarter for his album campaign, and was thankfully supported by enough fans to make this eponymous album a reality. I interviewed him last year while he was “kickstarting his art,” to gain some insight into his decision to make this solo record. After five albums with The Sword, the band went on hiatus, but Shutt was not wanting to slow down. As his debut solo album gets closer to release, Kyle was kind enough to let me throw some more questions his way about his solo journey, and what fans can expect from the album.
Your Kickstarter was quickly funded and you were able to make this solo album happen! Was there a time you did not think it was going to work out for you? Did you have other plans lined up?
“Actually the Kickstarter wasn’t fully funded until there were only four days left to go, it was pretty stressful. But that’s what gave me the drive to promote the hell out of the record, because I never have a plan B. If you have a plan B, you’ll never completely commit to the art. It’s a pretty terrifying way to live, but for me, it beats the hell out of the alternative.”
You advertised the Kickstarter pretty creatively and consistently, which was highly entertaining. Are you a genuinely goofy guy in your everyday life? Or would you say you are more grounded?
“While I do work hard and take my craft seriously, I am a pretty ridiculous and laid back person. I try not to take life as seriously as my art because we’re all just hanging out on a rock that’s flying through an infinite void at around 67,000 mph. All we have is time and happiness, so if you’re not spending your time doing something that makes you happy then you got some rearranging to do. Part of the fun of putting out records for me is coming up with totally face-palm inducing promo or parody pics. Some really good friends of mine have been helping me create all the promo you’ve been seeing, Deano Robertson from Calgary and Austin ‘The Beard’ Buchanan from Tampa.”
The album is finished and coming out on May 6th, your birthday! On a scale from one to ten, how excited are you?
“I’m very excited! Solid 10. I’ve never had a record come out on my birthday before, I think I’ll throw a big party in Austin.”
“Big City” has already been released and seems to be getting some great feedback. Is this song pretty indicative of the rest of the record?
“The album is relatively brief and pretty diverse. It’s got every kind of rock, from punk to industrial to campfire and more. I wanted to keep my solo output diverse so that I’m able to craft different kinds of sets for different kinds of shows eventually. I’ll be able to play a dirty rock club or a coffee shop or a giant festival without having to try to make the same set fit all those environments.”
Talk a bit about the style and direction of the record.
“I had no intention of making a stoner-doom bible, a showcase of heavy metal acrobatics, or a severe departure from everything I’m know for. I’ve done all that. I wanted to make a record that’s so in your face that it can’t be ignored. A record that’s honest and not trying to be anything other than a reflection of who I am at this point in my life. I feel like that is what I achieved. I hope people enjoy it and come see me play these songs when I take them on the road.”
Tell me about your lyrical writing style. This is something you have not had the chance to do in any of your projects, if I am not mistaken.
“I used to write lyrics for grindcore and punk bands I was in when I was a teenager, but you’re are right, that JD was the sole lyricist for The Sword (and a damn good one at that), and Doom Side of the Moon was just a Pink Floyd extravaganza. Usually if I think of a clever little quip or some funny sounding phrase, I’ll write it down in a lyric bank for eventual use. I’d say about half the lyrics on the solo album were pieced together from snippets like that, and the other half was made up on the spot. My lyrical style is pretty straightforward, if I feel like I’ve got something to say I’m going to say it as well as I can. If I have nothing to say, I just want it to sound as cool as possible, like the chorus to ‘Big City’.”
You are back to the insanely funny advertising. I always look forward to your posts. How did you come up with this idea of hilarious album covers featuring you?
“I mentioned my buddies helping me create these things, they’ve been a huge help. I think it started with Deano putting me into the cover of the first ZZ Top album and it just snowballed from there.”
Outside of music, is there something you are particularly passionate about?
“I do really enjoy scuba diving, but haven’t been able to go on a dive in forever. Being a father now has given me a pretty long list of priorities, and hanging out at the bottom of the Caribbean isn’t really one of them. But I love spending time with my daughter and showing her how this crazy world works. She’s already smarter and cooler than me. She’s gonna be just fine. I also love cooking, and have forever been toying with the idea of filming recipe shorts. The internet is flooded with them, but I may do it anyway just for my own entertainment. I love film projects.”
What are the plans now? Tour? Finally Relax?
“I play music for a living, ain’t no time to relax. I’ll be on tour until I’m dead most likely, our nation can’t take care of its citizens, much less its artists. It’s the only thing I’m good at really, so I’ll be making music one way or another for a long time. I have recently joined forces with a band called Mountain of Smoke and will be recording an album with them in April. It will destroy you.
Where can people pick up your new album?
“My new album can be pre-ordered directly from me at www.indiemerch.com/kyleshutt or pre-ordered on iTunes: http://itunes.apple.com/album/id1455883525?ls=1&app=itunes
Any insightful thoughts you want to share with the metal world?
“Stop leaving shitty comments and start making art. Every time you complain, it’s time wasted that could have been spent writing a song or honing a recipe or drawing up plans for an epic mural. ANYTHING but just saying “this sucks.”. You’re not making the world any better, it’s already bad enough. Do something that brings light into people’s lives. It’ll make you feel good.”
Kyle was kind enough to also send me a sneak peak of the album, so you all can look forward to my review of that as well. He is a transparent and wonderful human, as you can tell by his last statement. Musicians don’t have it easy these days. They have to work their asses off to continue to make music for our listening enjoyment, and quite honestly, for our sanity. It is important for us to continue to support the music we love, so it does not go extinct. Make sure you check out Shutt’s solo album and send him all your support. He sincerely loves what he does and you can hear that through his music. Also, he has a little rocker princess to support. He keeps us sane, we keep food on the table for his family. That seems fair to me.