20 Questions with Shane Lawlor

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Executive Director of LKLD Live, Shane Lawlor hails from Manchester, England and moved to Lakeland with his wife shortly after the birth of his son. Shane created LKLD Live as a full-service artistic venue where he offers full audio/visual equipment that allows artists and organizations to broadcast, podcast, and more.

1. How did you get to Lakeland? Family. My wife’s family is here. And we had a baby. We were living in Austin, Texas and we came here for the summer to get a little help…learn what it’s like to be new parents, from the masters that came before. Then four months turned to four years.

2. What did you do before coming to Lakeland? I was a musician, really. For years, that’s what brought me to America. I was a singer in a band.

 3. Where did your interest in music com from? My dad was a drummer. That’s what brought me from Ireland to England. He was a drummer in the sixties and seventies. He did it until I was born. My brother was really into music too. He was older than me, but my dad really got me to love it. I didn’t start playing until I was a little bit older. I was strumming the tennis racquet in the bedroom…I was really proficient at that. Then later on, I picked up a guitar.

 4. When did you develop an interest in helping other musiciansI’d learned a lot while I was on the road with record labels for thirteen years. I made a lot of mistakes…you learn the hard way sometimes. With experience, you learn that you don’t always have to make those mistakes, as a learner you can just listen to someone who’s already done them. I just think that I naturally want to help other musicians because I got a lot of help from other musicians. I got a lot of help from other people. If I didn’t get that help I wouldn’t have done anything. You don’t want to keep that knowledge, you want to share it. You want to put it out in the universe.

5.  How many musical instruments can you play?  I play loads. All. I play the guitar, the bass guitar, piano, and the drums…pretty badly.

6. Most influential artist? Chuck Berry was really influential to me when I was younger because it was the first record I ever bought. And that was the roots of rock and roll music…a lot of it is blues and stuff. So starting out, it was easy stuff to copy because you could just move the fingers up and down and change the key. I think the Beatles are really influential to me. And the Stones. That kind of classic British sixties kind of era was the most influential to me.

7. Where’s the furthest you have traveled for music?  From my home, probably Los Angeles. From England to Los Angeles. Because we did a lot of work in America and a lot of work in Europe. But we never went to Japan, so the farthest must have been Los Angeles.

8. Which groups did you perform in?  I had a couple groups I played in. The most recent was The Touch. And before that I had Nic Armstrong and the Thieves. We signed with an American label called New West. Then I started a band with some very talented American guys and we signed to Island Records, Universal. And that was one of my dreams, to do that.

9. Coolest person/band you’ve played withBecause of my English roots, I’m going to say Oasis. They were really nice guys and really helped us a lot when we were trying to break through. And they gave us some really big shows. It was like talking to your mates outside the pub and they were really really great.

10. What is your favorite thing about Lakeland? To do in Lakeland?  Well right now, it’s being here. But I really like the parks. I really like to be outside here. I really like the food here. It’s different…crikey! I like the coffee shops here. I like the vibe here. I like my back garden. No complaints here. We really did get caught up in the place, there is so much about Lakeland that I love.

11. Favorite word or phrase?  Fantastic. I say it way too much.

12. Last song you listened to? “I Want to be Your Driver” by Chuck Berry.

13. Biggest pet peeve?  Honestly, biggest pet peeve is texting and driving. It’s so dangerous. That and not using your blinkers when you switch lanes.

14. Best show you’ve ever been to?  The Kinks at the Theatre Royal in Nottingham.

15. Live or recorded?  I’m gonna say live.

16. Favorite place on earth? I don’t want to sound cheesy, but home. It’s honestly home.

17. Baseball or Hockey? Baseball. My kid is in tee-ball now.

18. Best team in the English Premier league? Manchester United.

19. Beatles or Stones? Beatles. Yep, Beatles. I’ve thought about that a lot and I have to go with the Beatles. Honestly I have. Stones have got more material, I think they’re cooler. They’re more of what I’d gravitate towards now. They’re really cool and bluesy. But I have to go with Beatles. They’re a complete game changer. No Beatles, no Stones.

20. And Most Importantly – Why Did You Choose Lakeland? I think it’s nice to be a part of something that I can influence a little bit or help a little bit of it grow and participate in that. I’ve lived in big cities where it’s all sewn up. There’s a lot more gatekeepers, so it’s harder to do something you want to do. It’s all sewn up. In Lakeland I think there’s a great deal of opportunity. And it’s also great for families. I have a young family now, and that’s really important to me. It’s also close to great beaches and family attractions. It’s honestly the best of everything that I’ve experience since coming to America. I sometimes miss some of the things the big cities have, but it really doesn’t compare to the good things Lakeland has for me. I’ve been on a journey as well and I’ve come back to it so I can really appreciate it. You don’t always know what you have until you come back to it. It’s great to have adventure, but what I’ve noticed that so many people do come back to Lakeland. And I speak to people that are from Lakeland and are looking forward to coming back to Lakeland. So, all things considered, I chose Lakeland because it really has the best of everything that I’m looking for in my life.