Liam Shy is a unique and electric performer who has inspired countless thousands in the international music and dance community. His solo work, along with his efforts in live electronic bands Glitterfinger and Dissølv have set him apart as a performer, musician and technology manipulator. In addition to performing, Liam Shy is a well established educator, teaching Music Production, DJ’ing and Live Performance at the esteemed Pyramind Institute for Digital Audio in San Francisco. When not on stage or in the studio, Liam Shy is often practicing Yoga or organizing music and yoga events to expand the body, mind and soul.
Interview Meikee Magnetic
Each of us have our own story of musical beginnings… How did you discover your relationship with music in the early days of Liam Shy?
My first ever music teacher was Bassnectar. he gave me lessons back in 2001 and really inspired me to follow my heart in music. I was 17 at the time and started DJ’ing the year before. My love of music went even further back though, my favorite memories as a child were dancing around to the Cure and going to a Beastie Boys concert with my dad when I was 6. Good times!
We are now in the modern day where we live side by side with gadgets and things that go bleep. Tell us about your relationship with music technology:
Yes I think Music+Technology is wonderful! I love the advancements that tech has brought to music hardware that interfaces with computers. Some of my favorite pieces of gear right now are the Ableton Push, Maschine and Kontrol Keyboards from Native Instruments. Ableton Push especially when combined with the Native Kontrol MIDI Remote Script, it’s unstoppable! On the flip side though I love the classics; I just picked up a Grand Piano last year and am absolutely in love with it!
You now teach at Pyramind Institute for Digital Audio, I’ve been to one of your classes and you are an excellent teacher. Did you ever imagine you’d be sharing your knowledge with people?
To be honest teaching was a profession that really chose me. It started with friends asking for tips and it blossomed into a whole side career for me. I discovered that I truly love teaching and folks seem to dig my teaching style! Sharing knowledge is one of the best ways to learn yourself and it’s the greatest feeling in the world to help your colleagues on their journey. I’m sure I will teach in some capacity or other for the rest of my life.
GLITTERFINGER! I really love this project and have seen you live when I opened for you at Masquerotica. It’s the pollination of you and Auberon Shull producing your own brand of eclectic Hip Hop, EDM, Sexy Bass and Glittery performance. How did the bonding of these two musical entities come together?
Yes Glitterfinger is amazing! It’s really the creative brainchild of Auberon, who has performed with Bassnectar, Beats Antique and LowRiderz. We have been friends for years and she approached me about getting on board with the project. I loved the idea so I came on to help with production support and live performances. We released 1 ep in 2014 and have plans to do lots more in 2015!
My 1st experience seeing you live I saw a coming together of fashion, bass, musical wizardry and beauty. Describe a Glitterfinger Live performance to our readers:
Glitterfinger is all out fun with amazing music and a heavy performance aspect. It’s really a whole show and a feast for the senses. “Dip your finger in it!!!”
What are the pros and cons you witness today in our Bay Area EDM Community? The good, the bad, the ugly?
Well the good, the bad and the ugly are a part of ALL aspects of society, EDM and otherwise. Personally I prefer to focus on the good. Stay positive, surround yourself with brilliant, beautiful, creative people and always do your best to support community and positive growth. I always believe it’s more constructive to focus on what you do want, rather than what you don’t. If what you want doesn’t exist, either find it or MAKE it baby!
What’s your role in the music project DISS0LV?
Someone has to be the awkward tall guy :)
If George Lucas asked you to build and format a Music R2D2 what would you pimp out on this musical robot?
It would need lots of lights and lasers! The whole bottom end would be a giant subwoofer, with tweeters for eyes. And it would dance like no one was watching!
We all have experiences that make us who we are, what one life changing experience has stuck with you til this day?
Hands down, moving to San Francisco back in 2000. I was 16 years old and living on my own for the first time. Some of the people I first met back then are still my closest friends to this day. They exposed me to electronic music, gave me opportunities to work and grow in the industry of my dreams and also provided me the foundation to learn about my ideals and morals. The people here are some of the greatest in the world and I’m proud to call the Bay Area my home.
Tell us about your passion for yoga and for those who’ve never tried it what would you say:
Yes! Yoga is life changing. It’s more than exercise, it’s a spiritual experience. It has helped me reduce stress, be more positive, feel more relaxed, connect with community and enhanced my music. For anyone who hasn’t tried it I would say give it a shot! Find a studio and teacher you feel comfortable with and explore your inner universe.
I predict more amazing things in the world of Liam Shy. Let’s look into the looking glass of the future and tell us what you see:
Honestly if I died today I would the happiest I could be. I’m so lucky to have amazing people in my life. I’m grateful to all my friends, family and supporters over the years who have shared this journey with me. Hopefully many more years to come of music, magic and mischief!
What does Dark Beauty mean to you?
Dark Beauty means loosing your fears. Not being afraid to explore rhythms, styles and cultures that are foreign or different from what you know. Accepting and appreciating the entire color spectrum and all the sonic vibrations that make up this beautiful and mysterious universe!!