Hey there, My name is Britton Shrum and I play guitar and sing in the band Smoke Signals.
How and when did you guys become a band?
I guess about 3 years ago technically, I had just left Bermuda (MediaSkare Records) and this band started as a studio project that I was going to do with Jerry Roush (GlassCloud). But due to GC being so busy Jerry couldn’t do it so I decided to turn it into an live band. Jerry helped me find a vocalist and Rob Bollig left Bermuda and joined Smoke Signals as our bassist. After about 6 months we relocated to Little Rock, AR and long story short our we fell into the members that we have today. There have been a couple of changes here and there but I feel that there is a chemistry between the line up we have now that we just didn’t have before.
Means To An End has been out for almost a year what song was your favorite to record?
Probably Track 1 “More Questions Than Answers” The beginning felt really chaotic and then when that first groove hits everyone in the room couldn’t help but to head bang haha. Going from listening to my terrible Pre Production that I had tracked using FL Studio, to hearing the riffs in that quality was an eye opener. Not to mention we actually had no intentions of singing on that album. Our good buddy Steve from Exotype was there and he mentioned having me try to sing on the chorus. So after we got a melody figured out I went in and tracked it, and when we heard it back that was another eye opener. I’ll always remember the last high note that I sang in the chorus almost made me pass out haha
In the beginning of Means to an End is that the horn in every Attack on Titan episode?
To be 100% honest with you, I have no idea haha. That was one of the production ideas that the producer pitched to us last minute. None of us had seen that show but we all thought it sounded really cool. We get asked this question a lot actually.
You guys have a new EP coming out pretty soon what was the writing process like?
Well this will be a full length album but writing this album was much different than the writing process with the Means E.P. On the Means To An End E.P, I wrote all of those songs one after another in the span of a week. With this full length I wrote about 29 songs in total over the span of a few months and then we picked our favorite ones. We are still deciding on if it will be 12 or 13 tracks. We are still in the process of tracking all of the vocals but we’re expecting to wrap within the next month.
How long have you been playing guitar?
I got my first guitar when was 11 as a Christmas gift. I remember it was a tiny yellow guitar with built in speaker and trying to play Metallica and Iron Maiden riffs on it haha. A few of years later I started taking it more seriously and started a grind core (I use this term lightly) band with some friends. So all together I guess I’ve been playing guitar about 15 years or so.
What bands growing up gave you inspiration to write music?
Oh man, I was a huge music nerd when I was a kid and this list could have probably hit the 200 mark. But I would have to say my top 10 from then was something like this.
What advice can you give new bands wanting to play shows?
Practice. Practice. Practice. Find a group of people that you know are going to be dedicated. Write material that you love and get it recorded. Go to your local promoters and ask to open shows. Be diligent and never give up!
When can we expect you guys to hit the road?
I can’t say who with yet, but we will be going out in January with another band. We will be hitting places around Chicago, Albuquerque, Shreveport, El Paso, Dallas, and a whole lot of places in between. I think we are officially announcing the tour at the end of October.
What is your dream tour with you guys on the bill?
World Tour W/ Meshuggah, Deftones, Killswitch Engage, Soilwork, Slipknot, Korn, Smoke Signals I know, It’d be a long show haha
When not writing music or playing shows what do you like to do on your spare time?
Well, I’m a freelance Graphic Designer so that takes up a lot of my time. Other then that play a lot of video games and watch a lot of movies haha. If you know me you’ll know that I’m borderline obsessed with the FALLOUT series.
Hard copies or digital copies?
Hard copies for sure, but always have digital backups.
Anything else you would like to tell the readers before we go?
Thank you to everyone who has stood with us these past few years, We hope to meet each and every one of you soon! We have been working extremely hard on this album and we cannot wait to show it to you. Check out our new single dropping this Tuesday! 10/20/15
To any of you who don’t know us. Follow us and join the family!