Shadowman (2006)

Shadowman: Steve Overland's Jouney Up The AOR Ladder

Steve, nice to have the opportunity to throw some questions at one of Britain's most respected rock vocalists. Is it nice to be a busy man again after some time away from the scene...
Hi Andrew, it's nice to talk to you. In answer to your question it's always nice to be busy & although I guess I've been out of the public eye for a while. I've been busy with writing projects & sessions.
But it's nice that people can see that I'm still alive!

From where you sit now, Shadowman and The Ladder signify a new creative path for you after year's of work with FM. But neither is too far musically away from where your heart lies, correct?
Yes you're right about the direction of Shadowman & The Ladder being where my heart lies. I had a period where I wanted to move away from the blues rock kind of thing (i.e The S.O album) but it's what people know me for & I guess you always go back to what you do best.

Let's talk Shadowman first - you have obviously been in contact with Khalil of Escape for sometime. What convinced you to launch into this new project?
Khalil called me out of the blue one day to do a session (Tribute To Boston). I went to the studio & Steve Morris was producing the session, we got chatting & got on really well. Khalil asked if I would be interested on working on an album with Steve, he sent me some of his song ideas, and went on from there.

Tell us about working with Steve and the chemistry between you two.
Steve is a great guitar player and a good idea's man. He tends to get a backing track together, sends it to me & we write a song around it. We get along great. I have the same idea's on where we want each album to go

The debut was straight British AOR with a bluesy tinge, but this time around I think the roles are reversed. This is more soulful blues with an AOR twist. Would you agree?
I think the second Shadowman album has definitely moved on from the first. We've had more time to develop the direction of the band & it offers much more variation in the song writing. That's not to say the next album may not be different again.

And why the slight change of approach?
We didn't make a conscious change of approach on the second album, it was just the way the writing seemed to go.



You possibly couldn't get a better rhythm section than Thunder duo Harry James and Chris Childs - tell me about working with those guys...
Harry and Chris are two of the best rhythm section around. They are so solid and great guys to work with.

Is there any current music that influences your writing and singing, or is it all drawn from a lifetime of experience?
I listen to all different styles of music & although you draw influences from everything you listen to, a lot of the stuff you write is drawn from past experience

Would the more soulful style be a precursor for the future direction of Shadowman? I presume you would enjoy to continue the project?
The more soulful style on the second Shadowman album is just the way the album was written & performed. There will definitely be more Shadowman albums as long as people still want to listen to this kind of music.

Over to The Ladder. The debut was made up of old unreleased FM songs. Would you have used the FM name had Merv been interested at that stage?
I don't think we would have used FM name on the Ladder project even if Merv had been involved. We would never put out an FM album without it being one of the full original line ups of the band

And will you continue using up the archive of FM material in order to deliver more Ladder records, or will there be fresh material written for the second record - which I think could be out later this year right?
The second Ladder album is all brand new songs. The first album was basically for the fans, as most of the songs had only been heard at live gigs & had never been recorded properly or released before. The new album is different direction & we are really pleased with the way the songs have turned out.

Escape has worked on a couple of very nice FM re-issues - more proof there is a market there for the band.
The two FM re-issue albums have a great packaging & once again some materials that fans previously didn't have. I hope they have completed people's collections & thank you to everybody for sticking by us in everything we've done.

And I guess that question always permeates into the inevitable question of a possible FM reformation! Is that on the cards in any way, shape or form?
When FM parted we never said we wouldn't at the same point work together again. We are all still good mates, and although there are no plans at the moment, Never Say Never! If we did reform it would be because we wanted to and not because we had to.

Do you appreciate the strong desire by a great number of fans for a new FM record - even after all this time?
It's great that the Fans are still there for us after all this time. The problem we have is that if we did another album, we would want it to be FM at there best and the writing process would take time. At the moment everybody is very busy doing other projects.

I heard a whisper that you and Merv had collaborated for an American blues artist. Can that be spoke of at this date?
Merv and myself are working together on few things at the moment & it's great working with him again.

There is a lot of love out there for the band! Do you think the band has unfinished business?
As I said the support for FM after all this time away is fantastic & if we did get back together it would have to be the right time and with a great album. We'll have to wait & See.

Any chance of seeing Steve Overland performing live in 2006 - either as Shadowman, or even FM ;)
There are no dates planned at the moment but we have spoken about it. I would love to do some dates with the full Shadowman line up & various things have been offered, but to get the band in a rehearsal room all at the same time isn't easy, as everyone doe's so many different things!

Anything you would like to add Steve?
Thanks for the interview Andrew & I would just like to say once more THANK YOU to everyone that has stuck with us down the years & I'll do my best to keep making albums, hopefully that they'll enjoy!!

Thanks for taking the time to do this interview.
Thank you.




SHADOWMAN Expose 'Secrets And Lies' May 19

Friday, May 19, 2017
News Feed
Escape Music will release the brand new SHADOWMAN album on May 19.
Steve Overland (FM) -­ Lead Vocals
Steve Morris (Heartland) ­- Guitars & Keyboards
Chris Childs (Thunder) ­- Bass
Harry James (Thunder) -­ Drums
Special guest on keyboards: Didge Digital
Produced by: Steve Morris and Steve Overland
Mixed and Mastered by: Martin Kronlund
Executive Producer: Khalil Turk for Escape Music Ltd.
Track List: 1- Gravity 4:34 / 2-Automatic 4:19 / 3- Put It All On Love 4:45 / 4-Contagious 3:26 / 5-Broken Bones 3:53/ 6-Best Things In Life 4:09 / 7-Face The Night 4:23 / 8-No Smoke Without Fire 4:09 / 9-Good Times, Bad Times 2:58 / 10-Be True To yourself 4:21 / 11-Secrets And Lies 3:57 / 12-Stand Up And Be Counted 3:26
It has been almost 14 years since the debut album by Shadowman was released ('Land of the Living' ESM098). The album was warmly received by all who had a penchant for good old British melodic hard rock. As you would expect Shadowman had elements of both Heartland and FM deeply embedded in its grooves, yet it was highly original and was often touted as the best British melodic release of 2004.
Two years later in 2006 and the eagerly awaited follow up 'Different Angles' (ESM 127) became an important album for this quartet that also includes both Harry James and Chris Childs of Thunder. The unmistakable guitar trademark sound of Steve Morris and the vocals of Steve Overland will always shine through at a very early stage. Somehow they make their music sound effortless, and as we all very well know Steve Overland has a remarkable vocal range. His vocal range suits the classic melodic rock genre and he has a very bluesy side to his talent. His four solo releases on Escape Music are all fine examples of his work.
Shadowman are a band that is all about great rock music who will win you over with charm. Quality rock music is so hard to find these days and it is reassuring to know that it hasn't lost its way. 'Ghost in the Mirror' (ESM179), the band's third release in 2008 is an extension of the band's already established sound and the 2011 release 'Watching Over You' helped nurture the band's identity even further.
Another six years on and we are presented with the band’s fifth studio release, and it’s certainly been worth the wait. “Gravity” is a marvellous opener which shows fresh ideas and superb musicianship, and this pretty much paves the way for the rest of the album. Along the way we have Steve Morris and his ever present guitar prowess, and Steve Overland just effortlessly gives us brilliant vocal performances throughout. The solid rhythm of Thunder men Chris Childs and Harry James are faultless, and with classic touches from original FM keyboards player Didge Digital we are in for a real treat.
Discography: Land of the Living (2004), Different Angles (2006), Ghost in the Mirror (2008), Watching Over you (2011), Nowhere Bound (2017)


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