Chris Shinn has reincarnated himself a third time with Everything is Energy, coming to Merlin’s on Friday, Nov. 9.
“Most of the artists selling records at the time had Mickey Mouse Club pedigrees,” Shinn said of his music not fitting into the mainstream cookie cutter. “I’m a skater, for Christsake… Being able to play music with people I love and make the sort of records we want is success… I’ve felt compelled to make records that placed originality and beauty over bottom line, and it’s kicked my ass some.”
It’s been a long and bumpy journey, one that has finally ended and begun anew with Everything is Energy.
The Charlotte native started in L.A. in 1995 with his first band, Celia Green, but he became best known for his work with Unified Theory, which surfaced three years later. Unified Theory was made up of Shinn and former members of Blind Melon and Pearl Jam. The band broke up and Shinn carried on his musical quest that started at five years old when his mother asked him if he wanted to be a rock star.
“I didn’t know that I could choose anything besides being a policeman or fireman,” he recounted.
Rock star he became as he fronted his third identity: Everything is Energy, which was formed in 2003 with Kirke Jan of Ours and Thomas Froggatt of She Wants Revenge. Perry Farrell of The Rolling Stones fame produced the album, which was later put on hold while Shinn decided to confront his alcohol addiction.
“All I hoped was to never again feel the way I did going into rehab,” he said. “I wanted my voice back.”
The majority of Everything Is Energy was written and completed before treatment, so Shinn wasn’t sure what the project would look like afterwards. With the help of Krish Sharma, the album was completed and Shinn once again went searching for like-minded musical troubadours.
He found drummer David Brotherton and former Celia Green guitarist Noah Lebenzon who had just finished a stint with Hedwig and the Angry Inch.
Now the trio only needed a bassist. However, after two tours with for-hire bass players, the trio decided to be just that, adapting their writing to accommodate a three-piece concept — and it worked.
The owner of his own indie label, Nest Records, Shinn moved forward with his raw music, finding his voice once again.