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The Absent Mind

Read the The Absent Mind Interview below and share it on social media.

Please tell our readers who you are and what you do?

I work under the title of The Absent Mind, but most know me as Kris Sheehan irl.
The Absent Mind came from when I was in 2nd grade, a teacher called me The Absent Minded Professor, because of my forgetful habits, she shared the same last name ironically(no relation), & I always cop flak from my fiancee primarily & close friends for letting my mind drift from living in the moment & going ghost.
I come from South West Sydney, in NSW of Australia originally, now residing on the outskirts of Philadelphia, PA in West Chester in the USA. I was a part of a band originally that brought me over here called Capture The Crown, now goes by Capture. Joined as a bass player & quickly transitioned into the guitarist role. I started playing guitar around the age of 12 after my brother got one for Xmas.
My uncle was always with a guitar in hand & singing songs. I was always surrounded by music from a young age, so I started on an inflatable guitar when I as super young (age 4 or so), but as soon as I kinda' could grasp the instrument properly, I dove in head first & done the whole play 'til your fingers bleed thing, literally. I work with the mentality if you're going to be sub-par, don't do it.
I'd spend time with my uncle every day before I left to come here, just talking & playing & dissecting the art of it all. I have him to thank heavily. My parents never went further than listening for leisure, but were supportive of my paths & choices when they seen how far I could take it.
I played in various bands throughout my High School years, & I ended up getting expelled from High School because I was a textbook shit-head student.
All I wanted to do was play music, so I did just that. A teacher laughed when I said I'm going to travel the world because of a guitar, & I did just that. I hope he's well.
Regarding the Capture The Crown induction, I played in a band previously with vocalist Jeffrey Wellfare, called Curse at 27. That disbanded shortly after a European tour offer fell through which was a shame, I've got mad love for each of those boys, as I do with the members that ran through the CTC ringer. Music builds life bonds & brings people together. But basically I didn't touch the guitar for a solid year after that fell through & focused more so heavily on Hip-Hop.
I always wrote lyrics & poetry, didn't half-arse that either. I came across acts like Resin Dogs, Koolism, Lyrical Commission, The Herd & Downsyde & realized there was a presence of homegrown acts within the genre & when I seen a doco one night on tv called 'Aussie Battlers', I had this "oh shit, there are people my age out here actually doing this on a level also” moment, then that kinda encouraged me to express & focus on it more so because of my one man army approach.
Then one day, it was after the Eminem & Lil Wayne show in Sydney I think, I get a phone call from Jeff, with an offer to join a band, the plan was always to relocate to the US & go from there, so naturally because of my no half-arse attitude, I listened to the offer & stewed on it for few days & thought "fuck it", learnt the songs & met up with the guys to see if it'd all gel. It did & we came over & done some shit. Around that time I put hip-hop on the back-burner to shift focus & accommodate where my time would be spent, but always kept writing & freestyling.
It's not easy packing your life up, with no expected return date to your to everything & everyone, but I had to do it & they all knew that. Glad I did too.
After touring for sometime with CTC, I developed some issues of my own, health, mental & substance, so continuing down that path wasn't a viable option for me to feel like it was where I was meant to, let-alone deserved to be at. I wasn't happy or healthy on a few levels, so I decided to part-ways.
The one silver lining is that, I met my now fiancee, Kristen, through all of this & she kinda held me together from the get-go & stuck with me through the best & worst of it all. We've been together going on 6 years & are also proud parents of a little beauty we named Annabelle, born in Oct, 2016.
Those girls are my world, I never thought anything could rival my passion for music, but I was wrong.
I miss performing to an extent, but I couldn't fathom missing the my girls.
I enjoy writing & production a lot more than performing though for sure, there's something about creation that just fucks you in the face in the best way, putting the puzzle together & then stepping back from it to appreciate the accumulation of it all.
Music is my legacy, it's my forte & is responsible for everything, good & bad that I've endured.
I didn't start playing music for anyone else but myself, & I still don't, but I genuinely appreciate those who connect on a level with what I've done & continue to do & share it about.
Once it's out there it belongs to the listener, the feelings, vibes, thoughts, everything.
I'm also working with a few other artists/friends with development & engineering/mixing.
I enjoy good songs & helping them get to where I hear them being at.

How would you describe your influences and how have they changed over the years?

I listen to everything as cliche as that shit sounds. But anything that resonates with me, anything that's clever, anything that's moving, A list of what i don't like would probably be shorter, but then again it could be different tomorrow.
I heard Megadeth when I was 4 on a Super Mario brothers soundtrack, so I was open to metal at a very young age. Breakpoint was the track, first song I heard with swearing, so naturally it got replay value & just the way it was compiled had an essence to it, that was the first thing I was exposed to of that nature, before that all I knew was like Elvis, Roy Orbison, ABBA, BB King, Neil Diamond, Patti LaBelle, from my folks & their record collections. Also the Australia pub-rock scene was quite prevalent in my upbringing, acts such as INXS, AC/DC Screaming Jets, Cold Chisel & all that stuff that would just generally be around me as background noise from the radio & shit. My Uncle would just smoke cigarettes outside for hours singing Elvis jams also, so I got quite used to his timbre. I went through phases of discovery, same with every genre really, & I dove in deep. There is so much music in the world, & tomorrow there will be even more.
My go to genre's are grime, ambient &/or instrumental stuff, deep house, alternative, nu-wave, grind/death/sludge/black/prog/djenty/slam/nu/core metal stuff, golden-era/boom-bap/underground/lo-fi/conscience hip-hop, pop varieties, blues/soul wax, some trap stuff, early dubstep when it was just dirty 32 bar loops without the lazers, soapbox indie, progressive edm, old mate 'what it is & what it was' rock n roll & jazz/fusion also.
I fucked that answer up.
Sometimes I go without & just listen to podcasts, or just listen to my own stuff, or even silence.
Having my daughter also helps me get out of the musical mind state & just appreciate it for what it is sometimes too, & I think that's something I've really had to work on over the years, I get too analytical & robot like. I forget to live in the moment.
Also, I used to love the shred-fest guitar orientated stuff & writing over the top technical riffs that only other guitarists would half-appreciate, but I've became a sucker for large hooks, simple is just as good.
I still love the tech-riffs, but the riffs that crowds sing back at you move mountains.
Same goes with words, I like to bend them so letters align up & there's entendre play going on that only I'll probably ever know is there, because that's what I listen for when I listen, those hidden subliminals, but sometimes you don't need to bend time to say one thing or the other, I like to keep shit completely honest though. It's all a puzzle, but the picture still looks the same at the end of it all.

What´s new right now?

I'm coming up to 2 years sober & I just put my time into my family & music. Time is one of the greatest things you can give another, & I have all the time in the world for my girls.
I'm at a point now, I feel comfortable enough with the production quality, I can churn out what I need to, when I need to, to push my life's work into the public eye.
I spent a few years low-key just learning & studying the production aspects & it's where I feel like I belong, I wish I got into it earlier, but you could spend your life on something like that & still learn something the next day.
I generally like doing everything myself for the most part, but also have close connections with familiar (to me), honest souls, alike minds & that.
I've got a few things that are just sitting in folders, & close friends who I fuck with, from my journey's from Australia to the US, that deserve to have their music heard on a platform & I just want to help them get it there.
Some I'm on, some I've done work & contributed to & some are just ideas at the moment.
I'm not really genre specific, I just write what I feel, when I feel & if I feel it, you'll feel it too.
I might drop something tomorrow, I might not.
Depends what the weather's like.
If you want something, let me know.
Expect more Metal stuff though, I'm not done with that.
But you'll hear more hip-hop before that happens.

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Are you a superfan of anyone? How did you become a superfan? Do you remember how you become a fan and what turned you into super fan? Have you ever thought about why you´re such a fan?


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What was the biggest mistake you made when you started making music and what would be the number one tip you could give to a newcomer musician?

There's a few; Not diving into production earlier & focusing on being in a band to get my own vision & art out there or finding the right people to surround myself with, with like minded goals, approach & priorities. Also, growing up getting drunk as fuck & playing guitar may have been sick at the time, but it's not worth your health, sanity or wallets sake.
Time is against you, it's the most valuable thing we can waste, so use it wisely other wise it will use you.
Find a balance, don't force anything, set goals & work towards them, never blame others, check your circle & don't jack other artists shit to pass it off as your own genius, you'll get called on it quick & it'll end up fucking you & your reputation, which can be everything in this 'industry'.
Everyone is influenced by something or another, but the one's I've found worth listening to are the ones who are themselves.
Real recognize real, not just in this field either & don't waste your time on time wasters.
Oh, & if you're making it to 'make it', or impress people, this isn't for you, there's plenty of other paths out there that will be just fine for you.


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How do you get gigs? Can you share any tips?

Well, for one, go to shows, network & reach out to promoters & other artists, & when you are ready to actually be booked, ask. It's that simple.
Don't get shit-faced drunk & be like 'I'm way better than "insert name here", entitlement isn't going to get you anywhere, no matter how 'talented' or 'how much you 'think' you deserve it'.
Never pay to play though, I will say that, regardless of what 'exposure' you may or may not get, it might sound cool, but you shouldn't $pay$ for your dues.


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Do you have good promotion tips for other musicians?


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Do you have insights on how to grow your audience on soundcloud that you want to share with our audience?


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What has been your biggest challenge right now? Have you been able to overcome that challenge? If so, how?

Honestly, time is the enemy. There are not enough hours in a day to accomplish everything to the point of complete satisfaction. Sleep is for the weak willed & my family comes first, so when they're asleep I grind until I'm drained & rendered useless, but it's all good, I love the trials & tribulations. My family are my priority, which in turn gives me more motivation.


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How do you personally discover new music?

Soundcloud, Random online radio, Spotify & iTunes, Youtube, Blogs & Trusted sources


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Once you discovered new music, do you tell others about the new music/artist you discovered? If yes, how exactly?

“Absolutely, I don't get behind anything I don't personally feel or want to back for the "look at what someone I know did", or "scratch my back & I'll scratch yours" aspect or for ANY form of gain or social points, if I fuck with it, I fuck with it for a reason & if I don't, then I don't, but that shouldn't discourage anyone. Music is a really subjective & emotive playing field, I've done my 10,000 hours & sacrificed everything to be where I am today, but I'm far from satisfied & have a lot of catching up to do with myself.
I'll repost on social platforms, or show someone something & reach out personally via DM or email if I feel the listener/consumer NEEDS to hear it.
Back in Australia, I was THAT dude who carried his cd case around & later with an iPod & speaker box, stood next to it during 16 hour binge sessions & played dj.


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What is your number one tip to improve your music production or songwriting skills?

Listen to everything & then listen to nothing.


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What is your best tip for those who struggle with finishing their tracks?

Honestly, sometimes taking a break & doing something else is the best way to finish something. Don't just abandon your work & obsess over the fact you didn't reach your expectations either, sometimes an another set of ears could either fill the blanks or assure you that you're already finished.
One thing I've had to work on though, & still do to my dismay, is not put things out when they're finished.
But we all have our vices & nothing is ever really finished now, is it?


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We meet again in one year. What has changed?

I hope to be surrounded with good-hearted, honest, hard-working & talented individuals, whilst being the best man/father/partner I can be to my family. Nothing is a sure thing, so as long as I am happy, healthy & my family are the same, we're halfway there.
As for music, that's inevitable, I'll always be doing something. I hope to have multiplied the catalogue of my own works & continue to work with & for other artists I respect, admire & align with sonically & on a personal level.


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