Homeless Rockstars with Screaming At Demons

TFRR: We’re here to talk about the new project Screaming at Demons. First off- one of the most kickass names I’ve ever seen…it’s just awesome. Shim Moore: Fuckin right man! Thanks. TFRR: Tell me a little bit about how this project came together because it’s a very, very cool project. Working with Homeless Rockstars, can you give me a little bit of background about how it got started? Shim Moore: The band? The band got started when Chris [Clemence] joined two months ago but Russell [Ali] and I have known each other for ten years. When I first rolled in to LA which was the first week, Russell was the first guy that took me out one of the first nights I was here. We had a mutual friend who said, “hey I know this guy, he just rolled in to town, he’s a great guitar player, go out and see a gig.” So he took me out to this gig and I met a couple of his friends and we kicked it for the night and at the end of the night he hadn’t heard me sing and I hadn’t heard him play and he just said, “We’re going to do something one day, I can feel it” and I’ll never forget it because I thought it was fucking insane, like “who the hell is this guy? I’ve already got a band, he’s already producing” but he’s like “we’re going to do something” and it’s like “alright, cool.” So we became fast friends and I went off on tour and he’s producing and doing his thing and we catch up every time I was back in town and then we lost touch for a little while and then I came back one time and he’d moved studios to a place much closer and we started working on some new songs in between my tours with Sick Puppies and we just kind of wrote songs and didn’t think much of it and then once Sick Puppies finished we were just like “oh, let’s see if we can turn this in to something” so we wrote a lot more songs. It wasn’t until this year that Nigel Skeet came to me and said I think I’ve found this Homeless Rockstars thing and he asked me if we’d write a song to be the theme song for the Homeless Rockstars movement and I said “of course” and we wrote and put it together and then I said, “I’ve sort of got a band and we’re kind of figuring out what we’re going to do first can I come up to Redding and film the Homeless Rockstars event and then turn it into a video like what I did with the Free Hugs video?” because I launched the first band with the Free Hugs video I thought “well, I’ll just launch the new band with a viral video because I know how to do that.” So I went up and cut the video and it was around that time that I met with Chris and we just met each other at a party and we both love the same bands and then we got together and hung out and jammed and wrote a few songs and we needed a bass player and it just happened very karmically and I was like “Do you want to join the band?” And he said sure and that was it. TFRR: What was it about Homeless Rockstars that interested you the most in getting involved in all of this and connecting the two? Shim Moore: The main thing was Nigel. Nigel is an old friend of mine. The same way I met Russell I met Nigel the first year I was in LA and he photographed us for free. I don’t think we’ve ever actually paid for the photo shoot, we’ve always just been friends and he shoots, he just takes pictures. So he called me and said, “Can you do me a favor?” and I said “of course” and he said I’m like dressing the homeless people up and taking photos of them and I was like “This sounds weird, man. What the fuck is this?” I was on the other side of the country. I was back in Australia for a while taking care of some family stuff and I didn’t really get it and I think that was one of the reasons why I was intrigued I was like “Well, he says it’s amazing and I don’t get it but I trust him” so I went “I don’t get this” and I talked to him for a long time about it and I said “Really explain it to me” He told me that what he was doing was using the hair and makeup process of a rock and roll photo shoot to extract their humanity and revitalize their confidence and then using that platform because rock and roll is such an exclusive place that everyone wants to be involved in something that’s rock and roll. Nigel’s photographed some of the biggest rockstars in the world. And he was like “A lot of people know you, I’d love you to be involved and sort of bring the rock and roll side of it to the equation” and then he connects members of the homeless community to members of the community who are like the Mayor of the city or the police chief or the business owners and sort of reintroduces these people into society at the ground level using rock and roll and music as the conduit, so to speak. So once he told me that I was like “well I’m in.” I wrote the song based off our conversation. The song is a direct result- it’s a theme song for Homeless Rockstars. Screaming at Demons is a band that’s going to tour and make records and release more songs, and we’re working on all new stuff as we speak, but this is really a theme song for Homeless Rockstars and a singular marriage of the two where we’re donating the song to them to promote it and then Homeless Rockstars will hopefully become much more popular and be able to effect more peoples lives and the band will go off and people will then know the band as a result of it. TFRR: You guys have all been involved in so many other things, obviously Sick Puppies and all of that. Going and starting over with something new, is that tough, is it refreshing, how is it? Shim Moore: It’s not tough at all at the moment. Tell me, have you heard the song? TFRR: Yea, bits and pieces. Shim Moore: Have you seen the video? TFRR: I have not see the video yet, unfortunately. Shim Moore: Right. And yet here we are doing an interview about a band that doesn’t have a song released, that doesn’t have an album released, that doesn’t have a video released. So no, it’s not hard at all, man. Shit is coming together very amazingly. It feels like all three of us have been in projects that for different reasons didn’t work out and didn’t provide what we wanted from them and now we’ve got this band that’s almost too good to be true, and this amazing first single and this opportunity. Labels sit around and have fucking board meetings about “how do we make a viral video to break our new band?”, and we just went and did this thing out of love and it became huge. TFRR: Obviously you’ve got experience with viral videos, you talked about it earlier with Free Hugs. To make a video that’s so special that it’s going to go viral, how much extra time and effort does it take to do that? Shim Moore: None. None. Fuckin none. It takes nothing. It takes no money and no effort- that’s why it works. That’s why it works. When the Free Hugs video happened I was like a punk rock kid- I’m still a punk rock kid, I’m just a couple years older, but back then I was a punk rock who made a video for a friend. That’s all this video is. I made a video for a friend to help him out and it was born of love between a dear friend of mine and myself and that’s the same thing here with Nigel except the difference is Free Hugs was just an idea, Homeless Rockstars is consciously building itself to help people consistently and over and over again. It’s a movement that’s actually changing people’s lives. But no, it doesn’t take anything. If you’re trying too hard, it’s not working. When it’s coming from the right place it doesn’t take any energy. TFRR: Right. If you’re trying to make a video to go viral, it’s probably not going to go viral- it’s got to be organic. Yea, I’ve seen a lot of viral videos that their parents did or something. Viral is in the hand of the continuum. You don’t make a viral video, the audience does. TFRR: I know this is a long-term band, not just a one and done thing. As far as the writing and everything goes how is it going putting an album together? Are we looking at something fairly soon? Chris: Right now we’re really focusing on songs and singles, that way the audience is going to get the most out of each song rather than putting out a record and everything is sort of lost in the salt. We’re focusing we’re starting with just Rockstar- the main focus is just on that so we can help as many people possible with how we’re releasing it, which is actually going to be in a really cool way because we’re not doing it through iTunes, we’re not doing it through Spotify or anything like that- the only way you’re going to be able to get the song is once you watch the video there’s going to be instructions at the end and you’re going to text ‘Rockstar’ to a phone number and that’s going to take you to a page where you can donate to the Homeless Rockstars charity and once you donate and help them we’ll give you the song in exchange for making a donation. It’s kind of a totally different way to do it, but this way ensures that we help the most people possible and it’s a cool different way to put it out. But in terms of an album or anything like that we definitely have some follow up singles but I think in today’s day and age it’s more of a singles market so we’re going to be focusing on that that will lead up to an ep eventually. TFRR: Seems like a lot of artists are going strictly to the singles. Spotify, YouTube, those mediums. Do you think it’s more important to focus on it that way? Shim Moore: Recording is expensive. You can spend a lot of money on something but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s going to work. You can make this big expensive record and try to push it but at the end of the day most people are going to like the one or two songs and that’s what they’re going to get. So I think it’s good to put out one at a time and it’s like this is the song and hopefully you’ll like it and you’ll get it. TFRR: So where can people go to check out the video and donate? Shim Moore: The main place is the video channel that’s where the video is …that’s going to be the only place that you can view the video. People might rip it but for the most part it’s exclusively on the stream so that it directs traffic to that and then as Chris was saying the only way you can get the video is via direct download from the band so at the end of the video there’s going to be a very simple set of instructions, so the audience that just watched the video will be able to text ‘rockstar’ to 91999 and then they’re going to get a text back with instructions on how to donate very simply to Homeless Rockstars and when they donate the minimum donation to Homeless Rockstars then they’ll get the song.