david shaw interview
photo: Alysse Gafkjen / press

David Shaw

As part of the alternative rock band The Revivalists, frontman David Shaw has led the group towards several coveted achievements including a platinum breakout single, three Triple A #1s, and over 400 million streams of their music.  Now, David has decided to go it alone and take his first steps into solo artistry. We caught up with David to chat about how he’s coped during the pandemic, his wellness-inspired daily routine, and how he’s feeling very creatively inspired by going solo.

How have you fared so far during this crazy year?
It was a big hit, but it took me a while to really feel the weight of it all. I’m feeling hopeful that I’ll come out of this with deeper compassion and perspective on life in general. Gotta look for the silver linings.

Have you found that you’ve been more or less creative as a result of the pandemic?
When me and the band got yanked off the road in March I had a bit of a creative explosion in the midst of it all. Not sure what that was all about but I don’t question it and try to grab all I can when the inspiration comes. I’m thankful that it still comes.

Are you excited about stepping into solo artistry for the first time?
I’m excited to have the chance to grow in ways that a band culture doesn’t necessarily foster. It’s getting me out of my comfort zone that’s for sure, and I’m feeling very inspired by it all at the moment.

Has solo work always been something you’ve wanted to do?
I’ve long thought about it but never really took the thought seriously because the band was working so well and I didn’t want to draw any attention from that. But now that it’s got its own momentum I feel good about being able to handle both. I’m bringing things into this solo venture that I learned from being in the band and I’m sure I’ll bring things into the band that I learn from going solo as well. It’s a win-win I think.

What was the main inspiration behind your rollicking single “Shaken”?
“Rollicking aye, I like the sound of that!” (Laughs). To me “Shaken” is a song that can take on a bunch of different meanings depending on how you’re hearing it so I’m a bit hesitant to peg it into one but for me it certainly speaks to relying and trusting in the path that you’re on even though you might not be feeling so good about it. You’ve got to trust your gut even when it gives you a stomach ache.

Who came up with the idea for the video for the track (which is amazing, by the way)?
Thank you! The idea came from a conversion that I had with one of my managers about the song. We spitballed for a little while about what the video concept would be and then I went to bed only to wake up in the morning with the idea fully fleshed out. It was a true team effort and I’m grateful for the help from everyone involved to really bring it to life.

You also released “Promised Land” as a dual single. Was this inspired by recent events such as the BLM Movement?
It was written in response to what’s been going on in our country for a long time. It saddens me that movement is only just now beginning to really gain some steam but I’m certainly happy that it is. It’s despicable that we live in a world where our black and brown brothers and sisters have to walk around with a target on their backs simply because of the color of their skin. The systems in place have been built to serve those that benefit from it most and the rest are left to fend for the scraps. This must end. The hope is that this song can be an amplifier for the voice of change, the voice of justice, the voice of the people, the voice of LOVE. It starts with compassion and educating ourselves on how we got here and how we’re going to fix it. It ends with action towards a better world for each and every one of us. A world that’s being led from a place of LOVE, not fear.

Do you think that the pandemic has further exposed some of the injustices and inequities that are currently present in society?
Absolutely. There’s no question in my mind. I live in New Orleans and have seen it with my own two eyes.

How important is self-care and wellness in your day-to-day life?
I’ve learned the hard way over many years of trial and error, mostly error (laughs) that if I don’t keep a close eye on the way that I’m tending to my own needs that everything else including myself suffers. I have a few staples that I’ve inserted into my daily routine that have been serving me quite well. I exercise/run every day. I’ve been cutting back on the coffee when my anxiety levels start to get out of whack and I’ve been ending every hot shower with two minutes of freezing cold water. This might sound tortuous and it is to some degree but I can’t argue with the results. I’d encourage anyone to check out Wim Hof if they haven’t. That’s where I got the cold shower idea from. It’s been a blessing.

Can we hear more music from you any time soon?
Well, I sure hope so! But to answer your question, I’m not exactly sure about when I’ll release anything else new but it’s definitely coming!