THE SHOW OF SCHENK
Schenk represents a new aggressive form of the modern rock sound. The Nashville-based band is fronted by singer and keyboard player, Connor Schenk. Connor is known for his strong voice, extraordinary range, unique tone, and deliberate form of grit. The band’s upbeat “in your face” style and combination of serious, yet raucous approach to their music encourages fans to join their uprising rock movement.
Happy New Year! How did you start yours off musically? Hey! Happy New Year to you guys! I’ve tried my best to start with my best foot forward this year on a couple different levels. I started to pregame for 2022 around October, looking specifically for the job I have temporarily right now. As I’m answering this, I’m sitting on the deck of a cruise ship with the Caribbean wind whipping through my hair, listening to some Alice and Chains, waiting for my set time tonight, where I work playing and singing my show in the piano bar here on board. I decided I wanted to do this job back in October for a little while for two main reasons: one being that I felt I had reached a point of growth for Schenk in Nashville that could allow me to leave and come back without losing any momentum, but more importantly I’d hit a point of growth that I felt had reached a glass ceiling of sorts without a larger financial investment. So, while I’m out here I’m saving up money that I’ve already begun to put to use and plan ahead to be able to slam myself back into Nashville even harder than I had before I left. Secondly I did need a mental break. I had been feeling unmotivated and uninspired after we released our debut album “Afterthoughts” back in the fall, and I felt a change of pace might help (and spoiler alert-it definitely has). Since joining I’d also had the great fortune of being able to work with the Monsters of Rock Cruise that we played host for only last week. Obviously getting to meet (and even play with) people that I’ve looked up to for ages was not only kinda self gratifying, but also great for building some bridges. Like, shit, I worked with one of the members of Poison all week only to find out he lives down the street from me, and now someone I’d call a buddy of mine after this past week. Other than that it was kind of a surreal experience to have Kip, the lead singer of Winger asking me about my band and having that conversation. That was not something I saw happening this time last week. Anyways, I’m hoping to be back with the Monsters of Rock Cruise next year, only this time with Schenk playing, and without saying too much, that may be a real possibility that I’m staring at. Other than my job, I’ve been trying to rejuvenate in a couple other ways, for example I’ve been eating more healthy than I have in a while and exercising regularly, which honestly sucks ass, but I’m glad that I’m doing it, haha. What hot sounds in the city should fans be listening to of yours right now? Well, funnily enough, I have a playlist that tells you exactly who I think are some of the best fresh rock bands in Nashville at the moment that we ALL should be listening to. It’s titles “Schenks For Listening” and it’s on Spotify at the moment. Besides including some of my musical heroes, it includes some people and bands that I’m proud to call friends at this point. First and foremost, if you’re into sleazy grunge rock, you’re not going to get more fresh than my buddies in Junkhead Jane. Personally, I’m really into their song Muffinman, even though I have to be honest and tell you I have no idea wtf it’s about, I’ll have to text Rob or Luke after I’m done here haha. Downboy is one of the most musically talented groups I’ve ever seen live, and I’m blown away every time I see their show. Blues rock with Nathan’s crazy high voice is outstanding. “Send Me On” is playing in my earbuds right now, and honestly it’s such an earworm. It’s strange having friends songs get stuck in your head because sometimes I’ll just be lying down at night and I’m sitting their thinking “fuck, Nathan, get out of my head, I’m trying to sleep,'' haha. Also give a listen to some of Dusty’s new work in his band The Reveal, I’ve played alongside them multiple times and damn, if Dusty doesn’t remind me of Jim Morrison in his attitude, I don’t know who would. How has the reception been to new music? Rock is an interesting beast to tackle nowadays, being such a dormant genre in mainstream music, so I feel at the moment it can be an uphill battle, but there are predictions that there’s a change due within the next 5 years, which I’m excited to see. But with my own music, I was ecstatic at the response to the release show we put on back in April at Bowies in downtown Nash. I remember actually needing to take a moment by myself before the show just because so many people showed up in a quantity that I didn’t expect. Coming from doing a lot of smaller shows with more niche and rabid fans, I’d gotten to know each and every face in those bars, so playing to a crowd where I couldn’t name you half of the people there to see us was a great feeling. What are you looking forward to most when you perform in front of an audience this year? Oh this is the easiest question you’ve asked me by far. So the thing that excites me most about Schenk shows this year— I mentioned that I was in the middle of saving money to invest back into Schenk upon my return to Nashville this year, and while a lot of that is going into behind the scenes work, I have some very specific ideas for some ways to increase the actual production of our show. I’m not going to give away my secrets here completely, but aesthetically our whole show is getting a makeover. Props, sets- each show is going to be a series of moments, and it’ll be a spectacle like you won’t see from any other Nashville band. I have a running list of ideas in my phone notes that I’m very excited to implement. It’s not something you want to miss in person, but with these large Nashville shows, I will have a camera crew to immortalize what I’m planning to do. What was the intention set for your music? With what I write, my intentions are always just to bring light to less talked about sides of the human condition and their adjacent emotions. It helps me to process my own emotions and let them out in a productive way that may end up meaning something to someone else. That can be anything from a deep, introspective somber song to a fast and raucous “fuck you” song. What was the most important message to impart with your music? Life is a rollercoaster. You need both the highs and the lows for a good ride. How do you want your fans to treat themselves after listening to your music? I mean, like most music people listen to it as a form of escapism, so I don’t really think anyone should drastically treat themselves any different after listening to music, I just hope mine, like any others, can take a little bit of the edge off life What is a song of yours that you have on repeat right now to set the mood for 2022? The song of mine I’d say that is setting the mood for my 2022 is “Tax Evasion.” It’s full of determination and energy— and a little defiance —which encapsulates how I feel at the start of this new year.