May 31, 2012

Making Noise: Heart Shaped Rock takes its music in many directions

Singer Sheridan Giordano answers questions about the band's history, music and radio airplay.

By Aimsel Ponti aponti@pressherald.com
News Assistant

click image to enlarge

Heart Shaped Rock: singer Sheridan Giordano, drummer Sonny Robinson, guitarists/vocalists Pete Giordano and Tom Hall, and bassist Pete Chaisson.

Courtesy photo

HEART SHAPED ROCK

WHEN: 8 p.m. June 15

WHERE: Harmony Hall, 383 Gray Road, Yarmouth

HOW MUCH: $12; BYOB (21-plus)

INFO: showclix.com

WHAT ELSE: Sinfist, Dust n' Bones, Breakthrough and 13 High are also on the bill.

WHAT'S ON HSR'S iPOD

"Call Off Your Dogs," Southern Backtones

"Drive By," Train

"I Would Have Waited Forever," Yes

"Lake Tahoe," Kate Bush

"Rainbow in the Dark," Dio  

"I Want You," Kiss

"The Assassin," Whitcomb

"Stronger Than the Flesh," Twisted Roots

TURN YOUR RADIO DIAL to 102.9 WBLM every Friday at 8:30 a.m. to hear Aimsel Ponti wax poetic about her top live music picks for the week with the Captain and Celeste.

Heart Shaped Rock is a melodic Portland rock band driven by some serious guitars and the you-better-believe-it vocals from singer Sheridan Giordano. They've been at it for the past seven years, and a new CD is scheduled for a summer release. GO tossed some questions out about their history, their music and radio airplay, among other things. Here's what came back from Sheridan, along with one response from husband Pete about his other band, Twisted Roots. 

How did Heart Shaped Rock come to be?

Heart Shaped Rock is more about seeing who fit in the family. It took some time to develop, but when Sonny Robinson joined the lineup, the music started to evolve; he is a shaman on the drums. He plays drums in my husband Pete Giordano's band Twisted Roots, so he has been family for a long time. Then Tom Hall joined the band; he is an amazing guitarist/guru who is a staple to the local music scene. My husband, Pete, joined the band, and when he and Tom stand on each side of me with their power harmonies, it is an honor, to say the least.

Pete Chaisson (bass) came into the project last. He left a pilot job in one of the most beautiful parts of Florida to come back and rock. He was an original member of my first local band, Tribal Iris. The music evolved as the members joined, and the final result were people who love and respect each other and who play music that either makes you feel good or think -- or feel good about thinking. 

Can you give us the lowdown on HSR's recording history?

Sean Slaughter recorded our CD "10-10-10" at V69 studios. Those songs got us noticed by ZenHill Records out of Houston, Texas. They mastered "Karma" and "Dream Sequence" at Sugar Hill Studios and released them via computer. "Brought It On" was recorded by my husband Pete (and) mastered by Dan Workman at Sugar Hill Recording Studios; he is also co-owner of ZenHill Records with W. Ross Wells, the man who "discovered" us. It was released last December, and will be on a CD by the same title to be released very soon. 

When did you start singing, and when did you come to realize that a hard rock sound best suits your powerful pipes?

I started singing at a very young age. My mother shared her love of music with us very early on, and my stepfather would play his acoustic while my sister and I sang Neil Diamond songs.

My high school music instructor, Elaine Fire, was my inspiration. The South Portland Auditorium was built in her honor. At the time I sang with her, the chorus room was in a boiler room, and we stood on old bleachers. My first "real" concert was at Merrill Auditorium in front of a packed audience of teachers, students and parents doing a solo of a very beautiful song that she talked me into for my graduation.

As far as my singing now, our music goes in many directions. We are a melodic rock band who play with heart, including love songs, ha-ha. 

Heart Shaped Rock has gotten some decent radio airplay on traditional and online stations. Is it hard to make this happen? How does this work? For example, how did you get an online station in Mexico turned onto HSR?

There is a lot of work to getting your music out there. Pete Chaisson sends our links to music stations and follows up. Sonny is great with the people who run the local stations, and they are very supportive, and we are grateful when they do support us. The Internet has really helped us grow, and we have made a lot of friends from all over who like Heart Shaped Rock because they have listened to the music. It's a real compliment. 

(To guitarist Pete Giordano): So, do you split your time between HSR and Twisted Roots?

Yes, Twisted Roots is still playing. We are at The Asylum (in Portland) July 6 with 6Gig. I love playing with HSR, because it is a different style of music than Roots. I sing a little less, and that gives me the ability to really develop my guitar playing, which was my original passion. When I met Sheridan, we wrote songs all the time (songs you may never hear); it was only natural that someday we would play in a band together.  

Staff Writer Aimsel Ponti can be contacted at 791-6455 or at:

aponti@pressherald.com

 

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