“Shelter” are a UK based Pop music writing /production team consisting of Rob Bradley and Mark R Bebb . The EDM inspired duo released an album in April named Ipop collaborating with Erasure front man Andy Bell with the first single from the album “Beautiful” being released as a Hi NRG electro remix that proved to be very popular with the “Erasure” fraternity. “Shelter” have now released the second single from Ipop, “Friend” and it is being released to coincide with International Friendship day on 30th July. The band have been actively encouraging fans on their Twitter and Facebook accounts to copy, share and email an exclusive remix of the track with their friends and to rally them to do likewise in support of this event. We at XSNoize.com were fortunate enough to catch up with “Shelter” and had an interesting Q&A with the boys on their musical beginnings through to their current projects and aspirations for the future
How did you guys come together to form Shelter?
We’ve been working together writing and performing electronic songs for our own band since around 1999 and we decided to start writing Pop for other people in 2010 under a new name Shelter. Celebrity Big brother winner Alex Reid was our first official Shelter collaboration and we’ve not looked back since then.
How did the collaboration with Andy Bell come about and whose idea was it?
We’ve both been huge Erasure fans since forever and there’s a lot of Erasure influence in our music so we wrote ‘Beautiful’ for Andy and crossed our fingers that he’d like it and that we could land the collaboration. Never in a million years did we think we would actually pull it off! We think ‘Beautiful’ sold itself to Andy at the time we first sent it as he messaged back to say he loved it and that he wanted to come record it. That was the magic moment for us, when the wardrobe door to Andy’s Narnia swung open!
The 2nd track on iPop “Lift me Up” features both Vince Clarke and Andy. What did Vince bring to the track in terms of sound design?
We were shocked and thrilled when we heard how Vince had interpreted the song. He totally gave it his early Vince Clarke signature sound with a killer bass and lead and some jaw dropping build ups at the intersection of the bridge chorus and verse. It was so simple yet blisteringly effective. His input on Lift Me Up gave us both the confidence to produce the whole album in a different way, the way that we wanted it to sound as Erasure fans rather than focusing too much on the latest chart sound.
Have you any plans to do any other work with Erasure or Andy in the future?
We really hope we get the opportunity to do something with them in the future, but right now are so proud (and busy) to be supporting Erasure on their Violet Flame tour but no other plans made as yet. Michael Pagnotta (Erasure) mailed us to say he has been liaising with Daniel Miller (Mute) and has very kindly put our name on the Mute records list of potential remixers for the Violet Flame and naturally we would be thrilled to work with them any time we’re needed, but no official request from them to remix as yet.
Did it come as a surprise when Erasure named you as one of the support acts for their forthcoming The Violet Flame Tour?
Surprise! We had to read the e-mail from Michael about 5 times until it sunk in! Totally! This is such an amazing opportunity for us and we still can’t believe this is happening! We’re just two normal guys with normal everyday lives and our music has finally become more than just an aspiration / hobby. We are so grateful to everyone who has believed in us enough to make this happen, Andy, Vince, Michael Pagnotta and of course all of the wonderful Erasure fans and Erasure fan clubs who have taken us into their hearts. .
Who would you say are your musical influences?
Erasure of course and all things electronic and 80’s. As producers and songwriters we listen to pretty much everything that’s going on in the charts to keep our finger on the pulse. For our tracks we try to put strong lyrics and melodies into all our music which we guess is retro & reminiscent for many of the 80’s sound. We believe though that a great song can transcend any style of instrumentation & production so we mostly write with just a piano and produce the music later.
Had you any previous experience in the music industry prior to forming Shelter?
A few contracts with small independent labels in Germany & the UK, but nothing really came of them. We realised that we would have to ‘go it alone’ and grow organically to achieve our goals so we formed Shelter and set up our own independent record label ‘Ministry of Pop’ to help make it happen. We’d love to just concentrate on making music for ourselves and writing & producing for others but we have to do all the business end stuff too, at least for the time being until we find a savvy manager / management company to take us on…offers on a postcard please.
You have previously collaborated with Alex Reid and now Andy Bell. Are there any other collaborations on the cards?
Yes, we have just announced our forthcoming collaboration with Alignment North and we’re close to announcing our next collaboration very soon, but as we have quite a transparent Social Network presence, many would have already seen our photos with Frankmusik, so that’s all we’re giving you for now, but we can tell you we are very very excited about our pipeline of collaborations, It’s gonna be a pop paradiso! We plan well ahead and have at least five other exciting collaborations lined up. Unlike many collaborators, we don’t just work with established artists, we love to branch out and experiment with a few curve balls too so that we keep evolving.
What have we got to expect musically from Shelter in the future?
Our next release is ‘trouble with u’, out on 11th August and it’s our collaboration with Berlin electro artist Alignment North aka Bjorn Schulze.
We’re also working so hard to prepare a killer set to support Erasure’s Violet Flame tour and our debut album ‘emerge’ will be released in advance of the tour. It’s brimming with Pop and only our best stuff is going in.”All killer, no filler”. It’ll also include a bonus section of exclusive remixes of our collaborations to date. We’re releasing it digitally but also planning a kickstarter campaign for fans who want a physical copy.
And….we’re also planning a kickstarter campaign for a deluxe edition CD of iPop to make sure we cater for the many die hard Erasure collector fans and also to make sure we order the right amount to minimise the carbon footprint and waste. We’ve got some incredible exclusive remixes for it!
We’re pretty much home-grown and there is so much home-grown EDM talent out there right now and much of it unsigned and unmanaged like us. With time, we’ll hopefully get to collaborate and team-up with some of those guys too. Music should always be enjoyable and fun to make, when it stops being enjoyable, that’s when it’s time to stop. As most emerging artists know, staying motivated is difficult when there’s very little real return such as financial rewards. Most things you do are done gratis in order to get yourself out there. The industry has depleted & become more fragmented with the growth of the internet and digital platforms so it remains paramount that artists make music that they want to and really believe in. When you’re passionate and true to your own identity, whatever that is, there will be people who organically connect with you. We just feel so very lucky that people hear something in us that they like and that they feel is worthy of investing a listen or two, that’s something money can’t buy!
“Shelter” will be supporting Erasure on their Violet Flame tour in the Uk and Europe this Autumn and the album featuring Andy Bell, “iPop” and new release “Friend” are currently available on iTunes.
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