Interview: Garrett Shider

I recently had the chance to chop it up with one of the musicians featured on Funkadelic’s new album (review here) – Garrett Shider. Shider is a vocalist / guitarist / producer dabbling in everything from funk to hip-hop. For those that don’t know, he’s also son to legendary Parliament-Funkadelic member Garry Shider. While Garry may be gone, the funk lives on through Garrett aka Starchild Jr.

Garrett is a busy dude currently working on a clothing line, a comic book, as well as his musical duties. Peep the interview to learn about his work on the new Funkadelic album, what it was like having Diaper Man as a dad, and his current views on music.

1. You were recently featured on Funkadelic’s new album. Can you give some insight into the tracks and how they came together?

I wrote/co-wrote 2 songs on the album – “Talking to the Wall“, which I’m featured on and “Where Would I Go“, to which I wrote the music and some of lyrics. This song features George himself along with Sidney Barnes.

Talking to the Wall” was a song that I had for awhile and I decided to record it for this record. As for “Where Would I Go“, I was actually writing the music for someone else. George heard it and proceeded to record his lyrics to it. I was trying to find a way to tell him that this wasn’t for him. I heard what he was doing, but realized that he was ignoring me anyways lol. What other choice did I have but to go with it? I mean its George! lol

2. When we spoke before the interview, you mentioned you weren’t really involved in the final mix downs of the songs that appeared on the album. What would you have done different?

If I were involved in the mixing of these songs, I would have definitely done less looping of tracks on “Talking to the Wall“, a lot of instrumentation and genuinality was lost in the current mix. I liked the mix for “Where Would I Go“.

3. What was it like growing up with the Diaper Man as a father?

It was pretty cool growing up with Diaper Man as a dad. We lived an overall normal life though. My dad was a very cool, humble, down to earth person. He supported everything that I did. He groomed me for this, from the time that I could walk I was on the road with him. He would even pull me put of school for weeks to roll with him if he could get away with it. lol

4. A few years back, Westbound released the work of your dad’s band United Soul. We all know Westbound isn’t known for being the most honorable company. Did your family support that release?

We really have no say so in what is done with those records. We have never owned the rights to that stuff.

5. Are there any other unreleased projects of your father that you’re trying to put out?

I’m trying to round up what I can for some kind of release, but as I said – we don’t own the rights to any of his past material. His more current stuff is not really release quality. I would like to do it correctly as opposed to just releasing anything you know?

6. Can you talk about and what you’re trying to accomplish with it?

Forever Starchild is my brand – named to commemorate my dad’s legacy. I’m starting a Forever Starchild apparel and novelty line. I’m working on a comic book and some music as well.

Visit the site to keep current on P funk and Forever Starchild news, tour dates and visit the store if you need to do some Christmas shopping for your favorite funkateer! I just introduced some cool Forever Starchild varsity jackets!

7. Being an indy artist, how do you feel about the current landscape of the music industry?

I’m disappointed with the quality of music these days, but the business of music has shifted momentum to the unsigned artist which I think is a great thing. Labels have always been nothing but middle men, I don’t think that it’s so bad to see them go extinct. We collect 100% of our music now!

8. Besides the industry, how do you feel about the actual music?

I’m disappointed with the quality of today’s music, but the industry is always changing, so what can you do besides keep pushing right? Thank goodness its the age of the independent artist! I can find my fan base, stay true to them, and still make a living.

9. Can fans ever expect to see you on stage in a diaper?

Lol… No, I will not put on the diaper. I think i have to have my own identity as well. Plus, I think that it becomes cheapened and cheesy if I went for all of that. It was HIS thing, and it should go to the grave with him and live in funk lore.

For anyone looking to keep up with all of Garrett Shider’s latest endeavors, check him out at the below links:

Facebook: Garret Shider | Starchild Jr. Fan Page
Twitter: @TheRealHGreen
Instagram: @starchildjr