How do you write an intro for an artist like Amy Shark? Chances are, if you’re on this article you’ve already succumbed to her tales of heartbreak, drama and tragedy; her innate ability to find magic in the mundane; the way her offerings exhume the big meanings in the smallest of moments. After all, there’s nothing quite as big as the little things.
Since the release of 2018’s Love Monster, and to be fair well before that, Amy Shark has risen to the highest peak of Mt. Music, collaborating with rock stars, dining with Hollywood’s finest and taking the stage in front of national audiences. It’s from this dizzying height that Amy releases ‘C’mon’, featuring Travis Barker, the latest glimpse into her forthcoming new album.
If you think all of this would amount to pressure, anxiety or stress – well, it might – and if so, we would no doubt hear about it in a future song, but Blunt Magazine would learn Amy is just thankful to be here, quietly confident in her ability to write and release quality.
These stories you tell, they’re so personal and so raw. How do you make sure you’re not oversharing, and at the end of the day, you can unplug from being Amy Shark to just be Amy?
It’s a really weird balance that I’ve had to learn over the years. It’s something that you can’t really do until you’ve had all the experiences. I just have to trust my gut as to what feels right. I usually know when I’m oversharing. Then again, I try really hard to not filter too much and edit too much, because I know that’s my brand. That’s why people like my music, I usually do try and tell it how it is and use it as a real therapy session.
I’m trying now for this next album to let the music do a lot of the talking. I feel like I really went all out with Love Monster. I was talking a lot about songs that have real-life characters in them, and they’re about real stories that I lived through. For this next one, I’m not going to hold everyone’s hand and tell them what exactly it’s about. There has to be some mystery, otherwise you’re right, my whole life is just out in albums, and it’s too much.
There seems to be this kind of theme, that you want to go twelve rounds with yourself. When’s the song going to come that’s basically, “I’m a rad person. I make rad music.” Where’s that one?
I tell you what, man, if I was in a good mood, I’m not in a room, writing songs, I’m being happy and doing cartwheels. The times that I do turn to music are usually when I’m feeling pretty melancholy and maybe confused or disappointed. Every now and then, I might be in a session with someone, and maybe it’ll change by vibe; I’ll get a quirky song, like ‘Everybody Rise’, that still is kind of dark and moody, but it’s kind of cheeky as well. So, I don’t know if I’ll ever have a song that’s like, “Hey, check me out. I’m awesome.” Because one, that’s not who I am. I don’t turn to music for that. I turn to it to digest stuff.
I’m just talking shit out with myself, and that’s why some of my songs are a little bit bipolar is because I’m trying to really work out what happened, what went wrong with us, or what did I do wrong, or stuff you for screwing me around. It’s usually got a bit of a backhand in every song. Even the love songs have a little element of “fuck you.” You know?
To your point, do you figure yourself out and then write, or do you write and then figure yourself out?
It’s all happening at once, and I think that’s what’s so awesome. That’s why I’m so addicted to songwriting. I just have a brain that seems to focus on really intense situations or dramatic things that have happened. I think I am actually just working myself out during the songwriting process and praying that it just falls into a really pretty melody with some nice guitar chords to match.
Travis Barker is but one of many amazing musicians that you’ve had the chance to collab with. What’s it like when push comes to shove and you sit down and work with these huge identities? I understand it’s professional. But at the end of the day, we’re all just kind of shitty humans. I imagine ego must kind of come into it a little bit.
I definitely know that I’m a shitty human in there. I’m like, “Look, I’m the shittiest human, but right now I need to step up. Otherwise this opportunity is not going to be used to its full potential. I want this too much to fuck this up. So I need to snap into gear right now.”
I give myself maybe five to 10 minutes, maybe being like, “Holy shit, that’s Ed Sheeran.” Then I’m like, “Okay, I have to work now.” And I have to show him that I’m meant to be here and why he should want to work with me.
They always say, don’t meet your idols. But I find that it’s often it can go the other way. You let them down.
You have to step up, otherwise, you will just walk away feeling shit and being like, “Oh, yeah. Nothing came down to that amazing opportunity, because I didn’t respect it, and I wasn’t prepared.”
I don’t really go in without anything up my sleeve. Unless it’s a personality trait. Then you can’t help that. You can’t help when someone is just a dick, and there’s plenty of them out there. You know? I’ve definitely been in sessions where I’m like sending a text to my manager saying, “Can you get me out of here? Because this guy is a dick.” I haven’t had too many of them. And all my idols have just lived up to what I wanted them to be.
You’re about to release your second album to this massive audience. What’s that like? Knowing that there are millions of people waiting for this album?
It excites me, because I feel like I skipped the second album syndrome. I didn’t stop writing. I kept writing all the way through touring Love Monster, and I kept documenting all the things that I felt bad about or felt good about or felt weird about. I just kept documenting these feelings in songs. When the time came to put together the next album, I was really ready for it. And I guess I’m just quietly confident, but I’m also not going to not hold anyone’s hand.
I’m just going to put songs out and put the album out, and just let it do its own thing.