DayShell: Sharing Is Caring
DayShell’s Shayley Bourget has found out firsthand that honesty is the best policy.
For Shayley Bourget, it’s coming to terms with himself that has led him to where he is today. His shock decision to stand down as bassist/clean vocalist of metalcore giants Of Mice & Men in early 2012 was explained only in vague terms by the band until Bourget posted a tell-all video explaining the true reasons for his departure.
“It was embarrassing, and I knew some people would talk shit but sometimes you’ve gotta say, ‘This is who I am. Depressed, anxiety, an alcoholic and I want to make a difference in my life.’”
For Bourget, making a difference meant taking some much needed time off, working on these personal difficulties and recouping with a bunch of faces from his past under the moniker DayShell (his own middle name). He recalls how the paths of his childhood friends diverged before fatefully reconvening.
“We were just young punks, kids in high school, and we got signed and toured somehow,” he says. “But things fell through, we became stagnant, and those guys got jobs and faced reality, while I said, ‘Fuck it, I’m gonna fight my way to the top.’ But when I hit these boys up again (to form DayShell), we said, ‘Let’s get the family back together.’ I’d rather be in a van with people I grew up with my whole life than in a bus with people I’d never met prior to joining the band.”
The world finally got its first taste of the band’s soulful, melody-driven rock sounds with the online release of the demo “Share With Me”. The track spread like wildfire thanks to Bourget’s own die-hard fan core, despite his fears about reactions to the musical direction (“I’m a little nervous and scared to be doing something besides metal or post-hardcore”). That same day, Sumerian Records made DayShell an offer they couldn’t refuse, giving Bourget a chance to break away from the Rise Records contract he still held from the OM&M days and ensure the band had an identity of its own.
“I wanted to prove that I did not need my old band to help me start over. And I don’t mean that as a ‘fuck you’ to them, I mean it in a personal way, I wanted to prove it to myself,” he says. “[Sumerian] have been backing us ever since, they’re willing to do everything. I was completely stoked and thankful.”
According to Bourget, making the transition from bassist-sharing-vocal-duties to full-time frontman with naught but a microphone is exactly as difficult as it sounds. Without the familiar safety of a guitar in front of him, there’s little time to rest or avoid the spotlight.
“I personally feel naked up there without an instrument. It’s so weird, I got so used to having that backbone and being able to breathe but now I’m singing and controlling the crowd and my insecurities get in the way,” he admits, “but the record just came out, so the more the crowd is getting into it, the more comfortable I am. I’m not there yet, maybe give me a year and I’ll have my shit together!”
Clearly the man isn’t afraid of the learning curve ahead of him. But having done the rounds bringing a band to the top once before, surely he must have already picked up some valuable lessons along the way?
“Don’t sacrifice your feelings for others if you feel they’re in the wrong. You may be wrong, but at the end of the day, who closes their eyes at night and goes home alone? If you’re not happy with what you’re doing, you need to fix that and start over. Starting over is tough and it sucks, it was a hard fucking road but I did it, and I’m so much happier than I’ve been in my life.”
DayShell is out now on Sumerian/Warner. Buy it online here.