Shades of Fame are a Chicago based duo with an extensive musical background. Jarrett Michael and Greg Hale both bring their individual talents and experience to form a match made in musical heaven. Their first single “Staying Away” features Blind Melon’s Brad Smith and Souljunky’s Chris Hess and is a beautiful blend of toe tapping American style music and relevant lyrics. I can’t wait to hear what comes next!
MAG: Can you give us a little background on your musical careers?
Jarrett: Greg and I have been in and out of the music industry since the late 90s. We both found radio success in the early 2000s with some of the bands we worked in and for. To name a couple, “Searching 4 Charlie” (Jarrett) “Almost Rosario” (Greg). After both of our bands separated we decided to team up and see where it goes.
MAG: How long have you two been working together?
Jarrett: Greg and I started working together in 2009. Been going strong ever since. We work weekly in the studio on new song ideas and arrangements
MAG: What does the name “Shades of Fame” mean?
Jarrett: “Shades of Fame” Is a name that represents our music careers as a whole. Kind of like the journey we have both been on while working in the industry. It started off as a joke name at first. We were going to pretend to be 2 English guys with bad accents and wear sunglasses, No joke! We act like that in the studio from time to time. Gotta have fun with what you do, you know? But it stuck and we love it.
MAG: Tell us about your song “Staying Away” How did you get involved with Blind Melon’s Brad Smith?
Greg: Our song Staying Away first came together in 2010. Jarrett came up with a song idea and brought it to me in 2009. We worked on it for over a year before really finding the sound we were looking for, in the mean while, still working on other ideas. One night in the studio we came up with a banjo riff and Boom!!! We had a hook… it was catchy too!
Jarrett: Later that week I remember Greg texting me his idea for the chorus: “He staying away ‘cause I never found this dream in a life that’s so low”. I knew then it was a hit. It was something honest and real. We were both working hard on music and hadn’t really caught a break yet. We feel the same way about the song now as we did finding that first Hook.
Greg: Chris Hess is a long time friend of Jarrett’s family, a truly talented musician. When he heard our track he asked if he could sing with us on that tune. We both said sure…come on now, lol. It would be stupid not to let him, he’s so talented. He is the lead singer of a band named Souljunky. All very talented and incredible people. They are in Cinnamon Sound Studio as we speak recording a new album.
Jarrett: My personal favorite of theirs is “Suggestive Magic” A very catchy tune. As for Brad Smith, I was on tour with Revis in mid 2010 into 2011 while Brad was filling in on bass for a couple of shows. Brad and I hit it off and stayed in touch over the years. Greg and I went through numerous bass players before calling Brad. After contacting Brad we didn’t have to look any further. Growing up listening to Blind Melon and having 90s music be such an inspiration to us both, we feel very blessed to have him collaborate with us. He is now playing and recording in his new group Abandon Jalopy. We all work in and out of so many different bands. People come and go but the music keeps flowing.
MAG: Is there an album in the future from Shades of Fame?
Greg: Jarrett and I decided to release our songs in singles. Staying Away is our first song, which was released on April 8th with Garden House Records. Our follow up song is called “Radio Up”. We are finishing up a couple vocal tracks then it’s off to be mastered. We do have a music video for Staying Away coming out very very soon:) We are both looking forward to the video shoot and release date. Should be a good time. Stay in touch for more info
MAG: Do you play live or are you strictly a studio band?
Greg: Right now we strictly work in the studio honing our crafts as a singer songwriter, producers, and engineers
MAG: What drives your creativity?
Jarrett: True life experiences, digging deep finding out more about who we are, as writers, living in the moment, love and heartbreak.
MAG: If you could collaborate with any musician, living or dead, who would it be and why?
Greg: Carter Beauford- (Dave Matthews Band Drummer) He’s the man! An incredible drummer. His dexterity is amazing.
Jarrett: Stevie Ray Vaughn- He changed the sound of the blues. If you watch him on video, he never gets lost when improvising, he just goes… That guy was a blues machine. People like that only come around once in a lifetime. If ever. He is one of the reasons I love the blues the way I do.
MAG: What are your plans and dreams for Shades of Fame going forward?
Jarrett: We are building a song catalog for Licensing and Publishing, We are having fun with it as songwriters, enjoying the ride and looking forward to what the future brings