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Art & Life with Natural Disaster

Today we’d like to introduce you to Natural Disaster.

Natural, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
Natural Disaster definitely has a unique backstory. The founding members David Smith and Jackson Shaffer actually met at a music school called Rock and Roll San Diego over in the Midway District. David ended up recruiting Jackson to play at a Junior High Social Event back in 2014 with another kid from his school. The two hit it off and decided to do the event again the next year with a few new members, Max Struthers and Ben Dancan. We’ve gone through only one permanent lineup change, and that was when Ben left the band to attend college in Washington State. After a few months of subs, we finally settled on our current drummer Riley Conway back in the summer of 2018. We used to switch instruments a lot, but Riley is definitely the best drummer, so we’ve settled down a bit on that point.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
Our art is born out of each members passion for music as an art form, despite our diverse musical inspirations. Our singer Jackson is a wonderful actor and show choir singer, which gives us a nice theatrical-storytelling vibe. David is the jack of all trades sound engineer, music theorist and audio geek who keeps the show running. Max is the shredder who happens to be a huge country fan. And of course, Riley is the clock that keeps our music in time. The point is that we strive to make good music not only that others enjoy, but we ourselves can be proud of. Our writing process happens organically with any member of the band bringing in a basic song-form or riff or lyric and us jamming it out in rehearsal. Our lyrical content is usually inspired by actual events that have happened in a particular lyricists life. So in a way, our music is a way to vent our frustrations, joys, trials, and experiences in a safe and fun way!

Artists rarely, if ever pursue art for the money. Nonetheless, we all have bills and responsibilities and many aspiring artists are discouraged from pursuing art due to financial reasons. Any advice or thoughts you’d like to share with prospective artists?
It really depends…. Ideally, you want to put yourself out there and find a job that fits your passion, but that isn’t always realistic as a musician or vocalist, or any artist for that matter. Our own David Smith works as a Sound Engineer on the weekends, an IT Assistant during the week, and goes to SDSU to study Recording Tech and Audio Design. It isn’t easy, but what makes it possible is his drive for his passion. To answer the question, regardless of financial situation, one must always keep a strong mind and not let economic struggle encroach upon and diminish the art you put out.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
Well, we just released a self-titled album on Spotify, iTunes, etc. in February. Self-produced and record by our very own David Smith in his garage/home-studio setup. We also shot a music video for our song “Getaway” you can find on our YouTube channel by searching “Natural Disaster Band” or “Natural Disaster” with the channel filter on. We also have a couple of gigs coming up – Del Mar Fair on June 19th, SOMA San Diego on June 28th, and Lestat’s West on July 5th.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Madi Thiel

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