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Shannon Frid, Cloud Cult

How would you describe your music?

"A mix of indie rock and chamber pop. Sarah Young plays cello in the band. Craig writes music that includes a unique mix of instruments like trombone, trumpet, accordion, and glockenspiel. In one of Craig's new songs Sarah hits a cookie sheet with a drum mallet. It is such a great sound effect!"

What is your role in your band? In the studio? In business or marketing decisions?

My role in the band is solely violinist and back-up vocals. It's funny because I went to school and have a degree in Music Business. I wanted to manage bands. After being on the other side of things (the performing side) I would not want to have it any other way. Luckily my degree has helped me find other jobs involving music when I'm not touring with the band.

Describe your gear.

I have a Realist pick-up on my violin and I use the LR Baggs preamp. These give my violin a really warm tone. A lot of times venues don't have the greatest equipment and has made my instrument sound really tinny, so this has been a great combo.

Related Themes: Gear

Do you think being a woman and a musician is different from being a man and a musician? If so, how? Was there a moment that made a difference clear to you?

"I think it's definitely more unique to be a woman playing a band. You just don't run across it as much. I'd say the only major difference is it's harder to load the heavy gear in and out of venues. It became clear to me on my first big tour with Cloud Cult. I remember one gig where Craig and Scott (he is one of the band's visual artists) were carrying a super heavy speaker and I was just carrying some really light merch. They looked at me like I was insane. I try to lift the heavier stuff. It's a great way to stay in shape on the road!!"

Related Themes: Cashing In

Do you see differences between generations of women musicians?

I think nowadays you see women in bands who can play a wider variety of instruments, in other words do more than just sing. For instance Ra Ra Riot, who also has two string players or local band Roma di Luna. Channy Moon Casselle is lead vocalist and plays the violin as well. Both groups are a great representation of what a talented woman can add to a band.....

Related Themes: Off The Clock

Did anyone ever give you any valuable advice about making your way in the music industry? What advice would you give to a woman musician just starting out?

"My parents played huge roles. There was a time when I stopped playing the violin for awhile and they were still so supportive of what I wanted to do with my life. They were never pushy or forced me to practice....it was never a chore. I'd tell any woman musician starting out in the music industry that patience is important. It might take awhile to get to where you want to be but it will happen. Also, that they are capable of doing anything they set their mind to. Even lifting heavy gear!! : )"

Related Themes: Advice

Why did you choose to play the instrument you play?

I remember the day when my elementary school brought in all of the different instruments that the kids could choose to play. Someone demonstrated the violin and it really stood out to me. The tone was so beautiful. I almost picked the flute, I think if I did I never would have had the opportunity to play in bands. I most likely would have stayed in the realm of classical music.