Gig Seeker Pro


Madison, Wisconsin, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2013 | SELF

Madison, Wisconsin, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2013
Band Rock Folk


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"SHESHE Interview"

SHESHE is one hard-working band, and quickly becoming popular due to the unique talents the three women-members bring to the group. Julia McConahay plays fiddle and sings, Dana Perry is on guitar and vocals, and Shannon Callaway covers the drums and also sings. They all have different styles and musical interests, and it’s what is getting SHESHE attention from around the Midwest. I recently had the chance to talk with them about the upcoming release of their first album together, and how they are already planning for the future:

Maximum Ink: What is making SHESHE, and the band’s new music, work for you?
Julia McConahay: Music is what makes sense to me. I’ve never known life without it, so it’s never really been a choice, more like a way of being. It’s how I’m identified most of the time. People have always asked me to come jam with them, or sit in for a set, record on their album, or join their tour. It’s an honor and a joy, all at the same time.
Dana Perry: I really can’t see myself doing anything else with my life other than making music. I love how SHESHE has come together to make such bitchin’ noises together! I’m proud of the gigs and festivals we’ve played (Steel Bridge Song Festival, Ragged Roots Festival, Atwood Fest, the Bubble Festival, to name a few), and I’m proud of how we consistently have fun, but especially proud of us for working together to get this album out.
Shannon Callaway: I feel as though music has been my back bone through everything. It’s more than a purpose, it’s just there. I pretty much consider my stylings to be hand in hand with my emotions. If I’m pissed off, I’ll drop that E string down and rage. If I feel light as a feather and have a smile on my face, I’ll tap dance on my drumset.
MI: How did SHESHE get started?
JM: I started SHESHE as an acoustic duo with Leah Brooke Conway (now of Elk’s Teeth and Rabbit’s Feet) whom I love dearly! After a few months, Dana Perry and Amada Marquez (Inferno Nightclub) caught the SHESHE fever and we grew into a four-piece band. Life happened and both Leah and Amada moved out of town, so Dana and I pressed on with our bad selves as a duo. Soon after, we saw a little glimmer from behind a closet door and we learned her name was Shannon Callaway! She’d been writing music with Meghan Rose and was interested in developing her drumming skills, so we busted that door open and ka-pow! The SHESHE three-piece was born.
MI: But SHESHE isn’t all you do?
JM: My natural wellness hair and body studio (Chrysalis Hair and Body) has been open for a year. Chrysalis is available by appointment, which makes it a win-win for me and my clients because the schedule is really flexible. This makes it possible for me to book live gigs and keep things running at my Deerwood Studios. I can even book tours now which is something I could never do when I was working for someone else! It seems like all of the big life pieces are finally sliding into place!
DP: Besides playing with SHESHE and throwing down the occasional solo performace, I teach guitar and coach bands for Madison Girls/Ladies Rock Camp (wahoo!!), and I teach private in-home guitar lessons. I’m also the Music Director for the Froth House (I do all the booking, promotions, host the open mics, etc). Personally, my own music-making (solo and with SHESHE), will always be at the forefront of my life, it will always be given the biggest focus. As long as I stay true to my music and what I want out of this life, everything else will just sort of naturally balance itself out.
SC: The balancing act is definitely real. Mom always said life gets tough so choose wisely what you’re willing to burn yourself out for. Plus, other obligations come and go. SHESHE is a choice I have not once regretted.

MI: You are working on the first SHESHE album. Can you tell me about the process, and what we can expect from it?
JM: Three words… the SHESHE sleepover. We love the process. It is amazing to have our own recording studio because we can block off a couple of days in a row and record straight through the night. We take the time to spend together as people, not just musicians. We have become sisters in the process and we relate as such. There are so many moments of joy and celebration, and equally important times of needing support from each other. We’re not afraid to be honest, and it helps us thrive together. This album is a true reflection of the three of us as humans. Its not a chick-singer album, its not a girl-power project. We come from very different personal backgrounds, and have individually been through lots of learning experiences. Our songs explore it in a way listeners can relate and perhaps find some inspiration or solace. It’s kind of like a tool-box for the soul.
DP: I have felt a little bit of stress during the recording process, but it’s natural. Every musician wants their album to be the best it can possibly be, and when you’re working together with your band mates and throwing all of your creativity into one pot, it can feel overwhelming sometimes - like there simply isn’t enough time and space in the world to fit in EVERY idea we come up with. It’s been a lot of fun though, and we’re really excited to finally have something to share with people who want to take our music home with them. It’s being recorded at Julia’s in-home studio (Deerwood Studios), and we’re doing all of the recording/producing ourselves, I’m really proud of how the new album is shaping up. We’ve got songs on there written by each of us, and all together it’s going to make one sweet CD!
SC: The recording process is motivation enough. WE are doing it completely by ourselves. It’s the most stressful and powerful freedom I’ve had in awhile. Cause girls are awesome. Duh.

MI: And with your new CD set to be released, what’s next for SHESHE?
JM: Even though SHESHE is a fairly young band, the energy surrounding it feels like a buzz, and we can’t get enough! We are going to start recording our next album as soon as TEXTBOOK DELUSIONAL is complete, and are excited about booking tours with other amazing artists from Madison to take the SHESHE show on the road!
DP: We’re also talking about the potential of having another member or two join us (we have a select couple of righteous gals in mind, already). We’re going to be working on new songs, and we’re working on tightening our sound and our flow as a band. I would definitely like to tour, collaborate with other bands, and generally just see what could happen if we keep up our momentum.

MI: What is something people may be surprised to learn about you?
JM: I LOVE to play Euchre. I could stay up all night laughing and playing cards.
DP: I once met Ron Jeremy. He grabbed my boobs, autographed them with a sharpie, then slapped me on the ass as I walked away, making me contemplate what I was even doing here in this life to begin with…
SC: Roast beef gives me night terrors. Seriously, I’m not even joking.

Follow SHESHE:

SHESHE plays November 9, 2014 at High Noon Saloon with Eli August and the Abandoned Buildings.
SHESHE new CD release party is December 5, 2014 at the Inferno and includes Lazydeadpoet, Meghan Rose, Annabel Lee, plus burlesque and comedy performances by La Bomba Waters and Sarah Connor of Les Cougars. $10 cover (pay $15 and get a CD at the door!). - Maximum Ink music magazine


This has been a big year for local favorites SHESHE. They played a run of festivals all summer and are now ramping up for the release of their debut album “Textbook Delusional” on December 5th. SHESHE has had various members come and go over the last few years but have hit their stride with the current trio of Julia McConahay (violin, vocals), Dana Perry (guitar, vocals), and Shannon Callaway (drums, vocals). The collaborative energy between these three is contagious and keeps fans coming back for more.
SHESHE was formed in early 2013 as a duo of McConahay and Leah Brooke Conway. Shortly after, they added Perry and Amada Marquez. Marquez and Conway both moved in different directions, but Perry says “Julia and I decided to wing it as a duo, due to our obvious chemistry.” In February they added Callaway and had a full drum set for the first time.
SHESHE is the quintessential DIY band: they put their shows together, do their own promotions and artwork, and even record their album themselves at McConahay’s Deerwood Studios. Callaway, an MMI graduate, and McConahay tag-team on the engineering and production, and Perry gets her hands in it every once in a while and lends her ears. I dropped in on them while they were working on their album and got to see their creative process in action. They shared some of their thoughts with me on what it’s like to be in SHESHE, who wears the pants, and even poutine.

What genre do you consider SHESHE, if you had to pick one?
DP: That’s a tough question. Folk rock? We have elements of this and that. It’s hard to pick a genre.
SC: Yes, gross question! How about the ADD genre?
JM: Contemporary acoustic rock.

Where did the name come from?
JM: I started this endeavor with Leah Brook Conway as an acoustic duo. The name SHESHE suited us. We are not those “she-she” kind of girls, so it’s ironic. It was easy to make into a logo; it looks good on a shirt. It appeals to diverse groups of people. Plus it sounds cool when people say it.

What are your individual influences?
DP: Unfortunately I was raised on 90’s country so my vocal influences are people like Reba, Garth Brooks, and then pop divas like Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey. My mom’s side of the family listened to awesome shit like Skynyrd, the Doobies, BB King. My guitar influences include Ani DiFranco, and percussive players like Andy McKee, Don Ross, Kaki King. For songwriting influences, it is DiFranco, Lady Lamb the Beekeeper, Xavier Rudd, Anna fucking Vogelzang!!
JM: BB King, Susan Tedeschi, Nina Simone, Floyd, Doobies. Any band with a destination name – Journey, Boston, Alabama, Kansas, Foreigner, Chicago. Ides of March [this launched us all into a rousing chorus of “Vehicle”], Heart. Any music that is done well. Every shade of genre is important, because different people fit in to each one, and they are really good in their particular pocket.
SC: Tom Waits. All those weird bands, like Modest Mouse, Man Man, Tim Fite.

How did you all meet?
JM: They fell into the “Julia vortex.” For a while we had four members – Julia, Leah, Dana and Amada. Leah and Amada moved away so Dana and I continued as a duo. The duo was great, but Dana wanted a drummer and convinced me. I felt like I could reach my musical potential with Dana. I didn’t really feel that before in other groups. I always wanted to play in a band like this. No one else in Madison could help me do what we need to do for that song we just recorded – “Release.” A studio drummer can hammer out a part but the connection with each other matters for the treatment of each song. It works out really well. When you have personally created something and have an attachment to it, you get to steer the ship. And then you get to take a step back when it’s someone else song, which is also a good exercise.
DP: I met Julia when I first moved to Madison at an open mic. The chic running it said “Hey, you need to meet Julia.” So I met Julia and she said “Here, have some shows. Join a band with me. Here’s a job. Come hang out at my house. Need a ride? Are you hungry? Let’s hug.” I noticed when I first joined SHESHE Julia and I really liked to rock out a little harder than the other two. We really connected. Shannon and I had jammed a little before she joined SHESHE.
SC: Julia was my customer at guitar center. I worked there for far too fucking long. I said, “I hate my job.” Julia said, “Want a job?” We went to the Old Fashioned and Julia asked how would I like to dominate the world with her? And we rode off into the sunset holding hands. I was playing in the band Turbo Loogie at the time.

You have all worked on other projects. What is it about SHESHE that keeps you guys here?
DP: Because it’s fucking awesome! The people I work with are fucking insane and awesome. Julia has been shredding for over 30 years. Shannon? Insane! Wails on the drums and shreds on guitar. Great voice. Writes great songs.
SC: I can play drums again. I drummed when I was a teenager, you know – feelings… My period! I hadn’t drummed for about seven years. SHESHE is too much fun to leave it. I wouldn’t oppose working on other projects too, but this is what matters.
JM: This band helps me fulfill my potential as a musician. All three of us have a lot to contribute to the musical world and are excited to support each other doing that. It’s a magical trifecta of collaboration.

How do you write songs as a band?
DP: We pretty much each write songs independently and bring them in. Or Shannon might come in with lyrics and a riff, and I will help write a melody. We influence each other’s songs. The whole band makes suggestions.
SC: I’m not good with words and such…
DP: Shannon is great with words.
JM: We throw the SHESHE blanket over each other’s songs. Each of us writes in different styles, so when you bring us all together it’s like gravy. We are like poutine. I am the gravy. Shannon is the French fries or cheese curds.
DP: I want to be the fucking cheese curds! But will be fries if no one else will.
JM: I am consistently the gravy in all the projects I do. It holds things together.

What are your goals as a group? Where would you like to be in the next few years?
SC: Umm, acquiring a drug habit, going into rehab, getting on a reality TV show, and then saving the pigeons.
DP: I can’t top that. I’ll watch Shannon do all of that, watch her spiral out of control and pick herself back up. I would like to just keep playing bigger and bigger shows. Keep growing, record more, write more songs. Keep doing what we are doing but amp it up. Turn it up to 11. It’s all about playing the music. I want to be playing all the time.
JM: I’d like to tour, play bigger festivals, possibly play all the women’s music festivals we can. Five years from now I see us being more solid. I’d love to be in a position to pay other people do to some of the things that need to be done, so we don’t have to focus on that. So we could focus on the music.

The band has evolved over time both in sound and in membership. What new evolutions do you see on the horizon?
DP: Maybe add an awesome chic or two!
JM: We’d love to do instrument rotation. Once we add the new members, we’ll have five guitar players, one-ish bass player, three drummers, three piano players? Three or four vocalists… I’d like to try touring overseas. We deserve to be paid for the music we are making and the work we are doing.
SC: Touring would be amazing. Not like a money making thing, but for the experience.

If you could open for anyone in the world, or have anyone open for you, who would it be?
DP: Someone with a screaming guitar. Like Stevie Ray Vaughan – someone who will make me weak at the knees with their guitar. Heart would be fun. We played with Old Soul Society, the other band of SoapBox Project’s lead singer, and would like to open for SoapBox Project too.
SC: No one. We shall play alone!
JM: We played with a jam band at the Shangri-La Festival that was awesome, I can’t remember their name. Living Statues should open for us!

What else would you like people to know about SHESHE?
DP: We want people to know we are here. I just want to play. People want to see that shit. You start with passion, and it spreads out, and then the audience gradually gathers. They see this and say, “Holy shit, what is going on here?” And then they bring their friends.
JM: We are really fucking good. If we had the right trajectory and support we could do seriously awesome shows and have fun. We are not a “chic band.” We just play as awesome as we are.
SC: I actually don’t care anymore what people think. I’m at the first time in like, ever, where musically I don’t fucking care who’s out there. As the drummer I have zero contact with audience so I can’t tell if there are five people or 500. I’m in my own little world; I don’t know you are there until after the show! I won’t notice if you throw rubber chickens at me. Don’t do that though. Now people are going to start throwing rubber chickens at our shows.
SHESHE’s CD Release Show will be Friday, December 5th at 8pm at the Inferno, with Lazydeadpoet, Meghan Rose, Annabel Lee, and Les Cougars. The album will be available online, on CD, and maybe even flash drives. However you get it, know that they made it themselves. Catch this local band while you still can, things are getting bigger and better for SHESHE. - Project Famous


Still working on that hot first release.


Feeling a bit camera shy