The Riflery
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The Riflery

Nashville, Tennessee, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2015

Nashville, Tennessee, United States
Established on Jan, 2015
Band Alternative Rock




"Exclusive video premiere and Q&A with Shannon McArthur of The Riflery"

Over the years, Shannon McArthur has gained a reputation for being a talented solo artist, but his latest project finds him collaborating with a collection of accomplished musicians for his new band, The Riflery. The group is gearing up for the release of their debut EP, Falcon, which is filled with beautiful songs that find hope in the not-so-beautiful moments in life.

The EP's new single “Either Way” is a great example of engaging, genuine emotions being captured perfectly in song by The Riflery. An exclusive premiere of the compelling track can be seen above.

AXS got the chance to pick McArthur's brain about his inspiration behind the project and the emotions behind the music.

Laurie Fanelli (AXS): Congrats on the upcoming release of your debut EP, Falcon. I got a chance to listen to a preview and the songs all sound very personal while highlighting various emotions, unanswered questions and hopes that we all experience. What would you say is the overall theme of the release?

Shannon McArthur: The Riflery is a story of redemption. We live in a broken world – where everyone experiences pain – but how we respond to the pain is what makes us who we are. Some of the songs on the record may sound dark, but it is my hope that each one of them has a flicker of light for the listener to move towards after listening. For me, a lot of those flickers came from moments when I finally faced and accepted some truths rather than running from them as if they weren’t there. That’s where a lot of the songs came from.

The production on Falcon is crisp and flawless. Can you share a bit about how the EP was recorded?

SM: The project started as what I thought would be just another “Shannon McArthur” solo artist album. Throughout college I had self-recorded multiple acoustic/pop solo artist records, but this time I really wanted to achieve a new sound, and I knew I’d need help. To make the record happen, I picked up a side job and used the money to hire a team for the recording process. Working with Thomas Doeve on “Either Way” and “Leaves” was cool because he introduced a lot of new sounds into the production. He’s definitely the best Juno player I’ve ever met. I had a good time working with Josh Crosby on “Getting There” because we were able to communicate really well on the flow of the song, and he brought in rhythmic ideas that I wouldn’t have thought of on my own. Aaron Sprinkle was one of the first people I met moving to Nashville, and we had actually worked together before but not in the context of me being the artist. Bringing him in on “You” was kind of a last minute thing, but it was incredible having him on board because his level of intensity really matched what the song needed. I had Jon Kaplan mix everything to help all the songs flow together well, and I was really happy with the turnout.

LF: The Riflery is a fairly new band. How did you all come together as a group?

Rounding the bend of closing out the record, I saw the path ahead of me for trying to go out and tour it by myself, and I immediately came to the decision that it would be more fun to do as a team. I considered having my buddy, Sam Bowler (piano, vocals) join the project. I had met him with Shanan Lau (lead guitar) playing music in the streets of San Francisco almost three years earlier, and we had always talked on the phone about starting a band, but nothing had come of it. I was in LA producing another artist's record around this same time, so I had Sam drive down from Santa Barbara and we played some songs to see how we sounded together. That one session was enough for us to know it was a good fit, so he moved to Nashville about a month and a half later. Two weeks after he had been in town, we met Jordan Fitzsimmons (drummer) at a coffee shop. He had a broken arm at the time, so we had him try out by letting him write a MIDI drum part to an acoustic demo. Then we had Jonny Riggs (bassist) write and record a bass part to that MIDI for his tryout. When Shanan heard of all this, he quit his job in Seattle and made the decision to move down to join the group.

LF: “Either Way” is the track that stuck with me the most from the EP. It's such a beautiful, bittersweet love song. Do you consider it to be a happy song, a sad song, or does it live somewhere in the middle?

SM: Yeah, “Either Way” is the song that sticks with me the most too. A lot of people would probably think of it as a sad song, but to me it’s just a real song. The words needed to come out. I wrote it with Caitlin Linney shortly after leaving LA to move to Nashville. At the time I’d been doing all I could to convince myself and others that I wasn’t hurting, and “Either Way” was that moment when I decided to stop doing that and just let people see me where I was.

LF: What are some of the emotions that you are feeling as you get closer to the EP's release? Have you already been thinking about a follow-up album?

SM: I feel excitement about the songs getting out and relief about being finished with all the pre-release coordinating. There will definitely be a follow-up album, and I look forward to being able to write it as a band.

LF: Will The Riflery be heading out on tour in support of Falcon?

SM: We will be touring a small run up the East Coast this winter – Jan 7 at The Vinyl in Atlanta, GA, Jan 9 at The Pour House in Raleigh, NC and Jan 13 at Pianos in New York, NY – and we will be keeping listeners updated on more dates at

LF: Do you have anything else you would like to share with AXS readers?
SM: To AXS readers, I’d just say, if any of those songs can meet you where you are in life and make you feel understood, then the record has succeeded for me.


Check out the brand new video for “Either Way,” exclusively on AXS, above and click here to pick-up tickets to see The Riflery live in a city near you. Keep reading AXS for more music news, reviews and exclusive interviews. -

"EXCLUSIVE: Song Premiere From Nashville’s the Riflery- “Getting There”"

Singer-songwriter Shannon McArthur, of Nashville’s the Riflery, considers Tom Petty and Third Eye Blind to be among his influences. His band also evokes Jack’s Mannequin, Augustana, The Script and Jimmy Eat World. McArthur, now 28-years-old, has been in the music industry for several years. It was sheer serendipity, though, that brought him to fellow band member Sam Bowler two years ago in San Francisco. Together with Jordan Fitzsimmons, Jonny Riggs and Shanan Lau, they formed the Riflery.

Their upcoming EP includes “Getting There”, a powerful rock and roll track referencing McArthur’s struggles with faith. Instead of letting the struggle dominate and confuse him, McArthur instead decided to turn it into something beautiful. “That song is very largely about a struggle with God that I’ve experienced since my time in Nashville,” he has said. “I wrote it with a good friend, Krista Angelucci. We were initially trying to write a song for her album, and then “Getting There” just kinda fell out into the artistic atmosphere.”

The Riflery’s debut, four-song EP, Falcon, will be out soon. For more info on upcoming tour dates (Jan 7th – The Vinyl – Atlanta, GA, Jan 9th – The Pour House- Raleigh, NC, Jan 13th – Pianos – New York, NY), visit the band’s website. - Elmore Magazine

"INTERVIEW: The Riflery"

Hi Shannon, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?
Thanks! I’ve been very tired, but in a good way. After putting so much work into finishing these songs, it feels awesome to finally be getting them out into the world.

Can you tell us more about the story behind your track “You”?
I wrote it with my buddy P.J. Pacifico a little over a year ago. It was always fun to play in an acoustic setting, but I had trouble figuring out a good production arrangement for it. As a result, it just sat on the shelf until sometime last year when P.J. and I ended up in LA at the same time. I had flown in from Nashville to produce another artist’s record, and he had flown in from the east coast for co-writes. We ended up meeting at my buddy Andrew Dixon’s studio in Tarzana, and recorded rough acoustics and vocals to the song. Andrew took those rough recordings and demoed a completely new rendition of the song. It was the same chords and melody, but more rock. The new arrangement was based around an opening riff Andrew came up with, which injected a new-found energy into the song, and I loved it! It was very Gin Blossoms meets Anberlin… two bands I love. Then I brought the song to Aaron Sprinkle to produce the final version, which was an awesome experience. Having the combination of Andrew’s riff arrangement (we still used the original recording of the riff he played in the Tarzana Studio) and Aaron’s precision and energy, we were able to make it into what it now is.

Did any event in particular inspire the song?
I know it’s happened to me, and I think anyone can relate to the experience. You know the one when you’ve been trying to get over someone who didn’t want to be with you, and when you finally start making progress moving on, they start coming back. The song is a response to that particular situation, but it’s not meant to be a yelling-at-someone, angry type vibe. I’ve never really enjoyed that type of music. It’s supposed to be more along the lines of saying “This is really hard for me, what are you doing?”.

The single comes off your new EP Falcon – what´s the story behind the title?
About a week before band member, Sam Bowler, moved to Nashville to help me start the band, I was getting really hyped about finally getting to make a band happen. I had been working with Aaron as co-producer on albums for other artists that summer, and I had noticed how much thicker tones his guitars had. I have no idea whether I was right on this or not, but I attributed it to having thicker gauge strings. After this, I brought my guitar into Eastside Music Supply and said “Put the biggest strings possible on this guy”, and then I started calling the guitar “The Falcon”. After awhile, I started using the word “falcon” on tons of things. Then I was using it as a verb saying things like “I think we should ‘falcon’ this chorus right here”. Funny enough all band members usually know what I mean when I use the term, and a lot of them use it themselves. I think it just signifies a level of intensity we want the music to go to. There is a lot of “falcon” in this first record, so that’s what we named it.

How was the recording and writing process?
It was awesome! There were a lot of people involved, and everybody contributed something really special. I wrote “Getting There” with Krista Angelucci, “Either Way” with Caitlin Linney”, “Leaves” with Jeremy Lister and Nicole Johnson, and “You” with P.J. Pacifico and Andrew Dixon. It’s funny because all these songs came out of my first year in Nashville, trying to figure out if I could adapt to the songwriter scene. I never knew these tunes would be turned into a band project, but I am so glad that it happened that way. Production-wise, I recorded “Getting There” with Josh Crosby, “Either Way” and “Leaves” with Thomas Doeve, and “You” with Aaron Sprinkle and Andrew Dixon. Everyone brought a different element that the songs needed. One thing Aaron told me is that it’s often best to let the SONG tell YOU what it wants, and I feel like that was reflected very well throughout the record. Jon Kaplan mixed everything to help tie it all together, and I am so glad that I brought him on board for that because he did an incredible job.

What experiences and struggles were your focus on this album?
“You” and “Either Way” both paint pictures of relationship struggles, while “Leaves” illustrates a struggle of reaching for moments in the past that have already moved by. “Getting There’ is the response… Life is a battle, and it’s not easy, but we get to choose how to respond to that. That’s the main idea I want to get across with the album.

What role would you say Tom Petty and Third Eye Blind play on the band´s music?
I believe that the best art comes from vulnerability, and both of these artists have done that very well. In regard to Tom Petty, “Don’t Come Around Here No More” and “Learning to Fly” always stood out to me and inspired me to be honest with my lyrics. I have a lot of stories with Third Eye Blind. I got their self titled album in 5th grade, and it was my first album I ever had. I used to go on night bike rides back in college at Chapel Hill, listening to “Motorcycle Drive By” and “God of Wine”. One time I tried to crowd surf to “Motorcycle Drive By” at their concert, and I ended up getting dropped on a bottle and rushed out in an ambulance. Yeah, that wasn’t the best. Probably the most influential of their albums for me is “Out of the Vein”, again because of the honesty of it’s lyrics. As an artist, it’s your job to tell everyone the truth… not the thing you want them to believe is the truth. Stephan Jenkins does this really well.

How has the Nashville scene influenced the band?
I’m confident that there wouldn’t be a band, if I hadn’t moved to Nashville. I’ve been able to meet so many incredible mentors and members of bands that I grew up listening to here. As an artist, there are a lot of times when it’s hard to know why you’re still doing it. Then you get a pat on the back from someone you’ve looked up to since you were a kid, and it gives you that extra energy to get back at it. I feel incredibly blessed by the community I’ve experienced here.

Any plans to hit the road?
Definitely! We will be hitting the road in January 2016. We will be listing our final tour schedule at but, so far we have booked the following: ( Jan 7th – The Vinyl – Atlanta, GA, Jan 9th – The Pour House- Raleigh, NC, Jan 13th – Pianos – New York, NY)

What else is happening next in The Riflery´s world?
Album two is yet to be named, but I am pumped about getting to write it with the band. Each member is going to bring something new to the project. Both Jonny (bass) and Jordan (drums) write a lot, and it will be cool to have songs from different instrument perspectives. Shanan (lead guitar) and Sam (piano/vocals) have written together for a long time, and I believe that they are going to introduce a lot of new elements to the project. I’m pumped. - Vents Magazine

"An Interview with Producer Larry Klein, Chatting with Ben Lovett, Plus Clavvs, Aleko, The Riflery, Dan Lipton, Alex Dezen and Joe Lazo Exclusives"

According to The Riflery’s lead singer, Shannon McArthur...

“In my 29 years of life, I have learned that comparison is the the thief of all peace. ‘Getting There’ is a song for anyone who has ever fallen victim to this. Every person has a specific path, which may not always make sense to others, but it doesn’t need to. ‘Getting There’ is for the boys who were told they weren’t tough enough, the girls who were told they weren’t pretty enough, the parents who were told they didn’t make enough money, and anyone else who has ever felt like they aren’t enough. As John Milton states, ‘The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven.’ Nobody is ‘there’ and the sooner we recognize this, the sooner we can celebrate the moments we live in. In terms of how the song came about, I co-wrote it with my good friend, Krista Angelucci. We were originally trying to write a song for her to use on her upcoming album, but in the personal struggles I was dealing with at the time, the words and melody just kind of fell out and turned into what the song is now. Though I had originally planned on releasing it on my solo acoustic album, I later decided it would do the song more justice to release it as a full band song. I am so incredibly thankful for each and every member of The Riflery. We just got back from our first tour together, and we closed every show with ‘Getting There.’ The song wouldn’t have near the power it has now, if it was me playing it by myself on an acoustic guitar. I’m very happy with how things have gone with the band so far.” - The Huffington Post


Still working on that hot first release.



The Riflery is a Nashville based alternative rock band that formed in 2015. They will be touring the east coast of the United States in January of 2016 in support of their debut EP, Falcon. The EP was produced by Aaron Sprinkle (One Republic, Relient K, Anberlin) as well as Josh Crosby (Mat Kearney, Owl City). 

Band Members