Stars on the rise

The Shackeltons to perform homecoming concert at The Capitol Theatre

The Shackeltons to perform homecoming concert at The Capitol Theatre

July 31, 2008|By TIFFANY ARNOLD

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. -- Even with a record deal and some national exposure, The Shackeltons are still Chambersburg's homeboys.

The Shackeltons, a five-man rock band from the 'Burg, will perform at The Capitol Theatre on Friday. They'll be joined by Skeletonbreath, a Brooklyn trio of drums, guitar and violin.

The last time The Herald-Mail and The Shackeltons spoke, back in January, the band was geeked about write ups from Rolling Stone and praising the band's self-titled album, released Jan. 29.

Since then, it's been a flurry of cross-country tour dates and gigs at music festivals -- including South by Southwest in March. Bumbershoot, a music and arts festival in Seattle, is on the schedule for August. Beck, Stone Temple Pilots and Paramore are a few of the major acts on the Bumbershoot lineup.


Despite all the hustling, frontman Mark Redding says they've had plenty of time to work on new stuff. The band plans to start recording music for a second album.

The Shackeltons are signed with Loveless Records, an indie label in Seattle. The band formed in Chambersburg more than three years ago, though its current configuration has been around for the past two. They are named for an early 20th-century Antarctic explorer, Ernest Shackleton, though they've given themselves a slightly different spelling.

The Shackeltons have recorded eight albums. The most recent album, released in January, was the first to come from Loveless.

Redding says that even with all the success, it's not time to quit the day job -- in his case boxing goods for a crystal-ware company and working as a part-time flower delivery man.

In fact, you can catch Redding most mornings at On What Grounds coffee shop in Chambersburg, sipping his java, responding to business-related queries and coming up with new ideas. It's a routine he enjoys.

"Rappers tell people they're rich, and they end up rich," Redding says in a phone interview. "I tell people we're just getting by, and that's the truth."

But, also, the truth is that right now, The Shackeltons are more focused on making good music, Redding says.

"Even though we have critical success," Redding says. "We still are fans of the music. We will continue to do music for the love of good music.

"If we do bad music, maybe we don't deserve to be heard ever again," he says. "We want people to like us because we do good music."

About The Shackeltons

City: Chambersburg, Pa.

Vocals: Mark Redding

Guitar: Eric Fisak

Bass: Justin McDaniel

Guitar: Daniel Schuchman

Drums: Sean Hallock

Genre: Indie rock

Influences: Otis Redding, black gospel, Fugazi, Talking Heads and many others.

Upcoming show: 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 1, The Capitol Theatre, 159 S. Main St., Chambersburg, Pa. $10, plus a $2 service charge. Go to for ticket information.


Q&A with Mark Redding,
of The Shackeltons

So, career-wise, what's next for you guys?
Another U.S tour and negotiating with our record company on this next album. We have to decide the next best move for us. We don't know what the future holds for us.

How much time do you really have to work on new stuff?
We have time and then we don't have time. We aren't really big, where money is coming in and we can quit our day jobs. We go out and do all this stuff, but we're the same people. Some people, people I grew up with, have no idea we have a record deal.

You know, I talk to a lot of bands in this region and many of them mention you. They say they want to do what you guys did. What was it that you guys did?
You've got to look at your music. You have to question it. A lot of bands don't change. They don't take criticism. Once, someone told me I couldn't sing -- and this is before Shackeltons. So, I took voice lessons from this woman at my church.

You've got to be a servant. You have to make your own scene. That's what I did. ... I think bands want to be in the limelight so much that they forget their role is to teach the community about good music ... I think good music comes from people who constantly reshape art. A lot of bands are trying to copy somebody else.

So who would you say are your influences?
Otis Redding, Johnny Cash. A band called Make-Up from D.C., Sam Cooke, Joy Division, Black gospel music ... I really love the spirit of black gospel music -- the reaching out for hope, the urging of the crowd. I'm not into hedonism, the cliché things a rock band would want. I'm more into what Mr. Otis Redding would have been into -- hope amid the heartaches of life. ... A lot of yesterday's stars came from real poverty, so people grabbed onto art. That's kind of where I come from as the songwriter in the band.

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