Nashville based Pop band, The Shadowboxers, have been busy for the past months on their ‘TIMEZONE TOUR’. Recently I had the incredible opportunity to chat with the talented trio about their beginnings, music and touring.

The Shadowboxers’ Origins

The Shadowboxers are best known for their brilliant music covers found on their Youtube channel. Over the years, the band has garnered a tight knit fanbase but it’s only a matter of time before the rest of the world catches up. The Shadowboxers’ Adam Hoffman gives me some important facts we all need to know about them,”We are a band. We started in ATL in 2008. We are currently based out of Nashville. There are 3 of us but we tour with an amazing rhythm section. We all really enjoy that Volvo commercial from a few years ago where JCVD does the splits between two moving semis.”

The band’s story begins when they met in Atlanta in college and began writing and singing together. They immediately discovered their voice, Hoffman explains, “We discovered very early on that our 3-part harmony had this very unique blend and sort of took on a voice of its own. We like to think of that blend as the lead singer of this band.”

The Shadowboxers went on tour and landed an opportunity to open for the Indigo Girls. By 2013, they met their rhythm section. What occurred next was an unexpected surprise for the band. In 2014, The Shadowboxers uploaded their own live rendition of Pop singer, Justin Timberlake’s “Pusher Love Girl” which not only landed them on Timberlake’s radar but also got the band signed to his Villa 40 artist development label. Since then, Hoffman shares, they moved to Nashville, and “have been honing our sound, our show, and our records ever since.”

“Pusher Love Girl” Fame

“We started doing those cover videos as a way to reach our immediate fans since we weren’t putting any new music out.” Scott Schwartz further describes their initial shock; “We were shocked by the reaction to the video. We had finished a show in Nashville and were getting ready to go to bed when one of us saw his tweet. We were freaking out with toothbrushes hanging out of our mouths wondering how this happened, and the views kept rolling in and our social media numbers kept climbing.”

Schwartz shares they were pleasantly surprised “that he (Timberlake) saw it and the exposure we gained from it. Not because we thought we weren’t deserving. We’ve been singing and playing together since college and have felt since day one that something special happens when we put our voices together.”

The exposure brought in many new fans. The cover resonated with everyone who listened to it because the live rendition fully displayed their unique talents. Schwartz explains the filming of the rendition didn’t feel any different than their other covers due to their various live covers when performing on many frat parties and school events. “We were just doing what we always do. And that’s the most validating part of the whole experience. ” Schwartz adds, “Justin reacted to us completely being ourselves, in our element, doing our thing. To this day, if we ever feel lost creatively, we remind ourselves to keep it simple since Justin, and many others, responded to the part of us that comes most natural.”

Recording Sessions

Over a year ago, The Shadowboxers released the thumping, uptempo soulful tracks, “Build The Beat” and “Woman Through the Wall” in which both shared unique soundscapes the band had yet to explore. I asked them if the recording sessions were any different than their previous sessions of past tracks, Matt Lipkins tells me; “Well, besides the amazing horn parts that our friend Rashawn Ross was able to record in what I’m assuming was a legit studio in LA, “Build the Beat” was just demoed in our house in Nashville while we piddled around in athletic shorts and played Tetris. So that was a very different recording session in that it couldn’t have been more low-pressure and low-key.” Lipkins further adds, “I guess the lesson learned is that sometimes just trying to get the song right in your boxers at 2pm in your living room is what a song really needs.”

Lipkins describes that the latter song was a collaborative back and forth process, “‘Woman’ resulted from a back and forth of demoing we had with the friend we co-wrote the tune with, Gabe Simon.” He also tells me this is was the first time “we felt comfortable enough releasing material we’d done piecemeal at home.”

Photo Credit: Austin Lord

Inspirations

Every artist or musician has many inspirations which include fellow artists and musicians, I asked the talented trio who has been their biggest influences. Lipkins describes their list as “an ever expanding scroll that flopped down to the floor and rolled across the room a long time ago.” The list is filled with a colorful mixture of artists and bands such as “Earth, Wind & Fire, Michael Jackson, Bee Gee’s, Anderson Paak, and the whole Jai Paul scene in the UK with NAO,” in addition to Ben Khan, Jungle, Parcels, Justin Timberlake and LCD Soundsystem.

However, the band has a vast admiration for pop singer, Bruno Mars. “That guy works his ass off writing and co-writing his own material, playing the parts, working on the performance, making sure every aspect of his experience is tip top quality.” Lipkins further adds, “we respect that he kinda is now just taking all that success and doing what he really wants…which is of course to become the next Morris Day & The Time.”

Challenges and Fan Interactions

From the outside looking in, musicians have an exciting life filled with boundless fame and money. The truth is, there is another hidden side we don’t hear about too often, their challenges. Hoffman shares that the most challenging aspect is having a career filled with uncertainty and travel. “It’s a crazy career and a crazy business where absolutely nothing is guaranteed. So you take it all as it comes. And you gotta learn to be comfortable just riding that wave. But it can be really hard on family and friends and personal relationships. But it’s the dream. And we gotta chase it.”

Being on the road must bring memorable fan encounters, Lipkins recalls a very recent one. “We’ve been blessed with many but recently we had a fan reach out to us in Louisville asking if she could propose to her girlfriend at our show. Of course we obliged, she said yes, and it was awesome.”

TOUR

I asked the band if concert goers can expect new music being played at their shows this tour and Hoffman responds with a resounding “Yes, Yes, Yes. That’s the whole idea, we spent a month in NYC in June and finally recorded our music exactly the way we wanted. We didn’t cut any corners. Hoffman further adds, “And we are so excited about this new material. We’ll be playing ALL of it on the road this fall. So if you want to come hear it before it comes out, this is the perfect chance.”

Advice and The Future

There are many people out there who aspire to be an artist and/or musician, what advice would The Shadowboxers have for those aspiring to create their own art? Schwartz provides honest straightforward advice, “Get good first. And then after you’re good, get better. And then, after that, find your voice in all of it. Find what makes you you, whats unique about your approach. THEN, lift your head up and see if anyone’s listening.”

As our interview concludes I asked them what they have in store next for their fans, Schwartz exclaims excitedly, “Putting out new music! And playing it live for you people!” While Lipkins adds, “Going on another leg of our “Timezone” tour in some of our favorite cities! Hopefully in between we can get some more recording done, but we’ll have to wait and see!” and Hoffman offers the promise of endless amounts of music. “Releasing this music to the world. We’ve spent 3 years fine tuning and writing and recording and re-recording and re-recording and we couldn’t be more proud of the final result. So get your ears ready. It’s coming.”

Catch all the latest news and tour dates of The Shadowboxers on their official Website

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