Sharks in The Deep End–and indie/rock band from Austin, Texas–is a lot of fun. As cheesy as it is to say something like that, it’s true. We first got to hang with the guys at Middle of The Map Fest this spring, where they impressed us with their live performance. The crowd–who largely wasn’t all too familiar with them before the show started–had their hips swaying within moments of the band starting up. The ambience lent to the performances, as it was outside on a clear, beautiful night, surrounded by twinkling patio lights that we were first encapsulated by Sharks in The Deep End.
They recently performed “Make It With Me” live in their home base of Austin, Texas. To get an idea of how amazing their live performance is, check it out! Then, be sure to take a gander at our interview below. (If you like Waffle House, Star Wars, or concrete, you’ll love this.)
Give us a little run down about each of you, if you please!
Chris Konte (keys): I’m just a guy lookin’ for love. Austin found me and now I’m a full-time rock musician.
Clay Lillard (percussion, keys, aux): Born and raised in San Antonio, TX, I juggle sounds & light for SITDE.
Henry Schuler (bass): I was born in Austin! I like things and stuff. Juice, pizza, parakeets.
Matt Shearon (drums): I grew up in Houston playing drums and continued to do so when I moved out to Austin. It’s always been the only magic in my life. I play the drums in the band and make sure we all get the right amount of pasta in our diets.
Sam Thompson (lead guitar): I was born and raised in Austin and have been playing music since childhood. I toured the world with my first band during high school and afterward I received an engineering degree from the University of Texas. I worked as an engineer for almost a year and now I play guitar in Sharks In The Deep End.
Tucker Jameson (lead vocals, guitar): I sing and play rhythm guitar in the band (also dabble in a little bass synth). I grew up in a small town in Connecticut, not too far from NYC. Though I tried damn near every sport in existence, it was the arts and music that called to me and eventually lead me down to Austin.
You’ve been touring in support of your debut LP Killin’ Machine. What has the tour experience been like for you guys? (Do you even like each other anymore?)
Tucker: As far as interpersonal relationships, it has been a pretty smooth ride. I don’t think these things are ever perfect, but we’ve done a good job dealing with the bumps in the road. The album itself has struck a chord with our audience; even our most critical fans know that it’s something to be proud of. The best part of all is seeing folks respond to our performances and connecting with them after the shows – that’s what truly fuels us through all the difficult parts. On top of all that, we get to travel the country doing what we love, meeting new people, visiting new cities and eating great new food.
We grabbed the vinyl when you made your appearance at Middle of the Map Fest. “Love in Reverse” is one of our favs. Do you find that there is one song off the LP that people have responded best to during live performances?
Tucker: That’s one of our favorites too! But at the shows it really differs from city to city, venue to venue. Every audience has a different vibe and what moves them one night will be completely different on another night. What’s nice is that a lot of our songs really take on a new life during our performances. Lately we’ve been starting shows with “Make It With Me” and that seems to get folks moving right away.
When we last spoke, you described your tour as more of a “tour of American diners”. Did you have a favorite diner or dish that you enjoyed on your adventures?
Tucker: Haha yeah we’ve been eating at a lot of diners. What’s great is that they are usually cheap, consistent and they have a large variety of options on the menu.
Chris: Waffle House or bust. Large hash browns with everything on ’em and over easy eggs on top. It’s probably like $5. And there are always interesting people…
Clay: No favorites–just breakfast 24 hrs.
Henry: Breakfast quesadilla. So versatile, quesadillas are.
Matt: Diners keep the band alive, literally. I had this fluffy omelet in Panama City, FL that was great! But way to greasy so I didn’t finish it.
Sam: I change up what I order every time. Sometimes breakfast, sometimes burgers, sometimes salad. It just depends. Honestly, I’m somewhat sick of diners for now.
Tucker: I like to keep it classic with two eggs, bacon, hash browns, toast and tea (sometimes I’ll also go for the sausage).
Speaking of adventures, any crazy stories from the road?
Tucker: Overall we are pretty tame — no TV’s being thrown through hotel windows or anything, so, there aren’t too many “crazy” stories.
You were just featured in InStyle. How did that happen, and what was that experience like?
Tucker: Our badass PR team set it up! It was a very cool experience. Their office in a building near the freedom tower in NYC. Security was intense, X-raying our bags checking our IDs, taking our photos etc. Eventually they let us through to the elevators and up we went. Our interviewer Claire was super nice and very complimentary of the tunes. She asked us a lot about sharks, cause shark week was coming up, but beyond our name we didn’t have much to add to that topic other than Street Sharks (look it up). Then we went back downstairs for a quick little photoshoot which we think turned out pretty badass.
Any plans for an upcoming music video?
Tucker: There are plans but they are TOP SECRET! Let’s just say those plans will most likely involve stunts…
In an interview with MOSHERY, Sam ranted about how underappreciated concrete is. Sam, how do you intend to appreciate concrete more? Do you think there’s a cause to rally behind something like #CrazyForConcrete?
Sam: Concrete has been around for hundreds of years and will most likely always be the most common building material in the world (and other worlds, if we ever make it out there). And, like I mentioned in the MOSHERY interview, the abundance of concrete is overwhelming. For now, all I can hope to do is continue spreading the word and raising awareness. Perhaps in the future I’ll rejoin the engineering force and help design more concrete that contributes to the well-being of the nations infrastructure and community. I would love to see some sort of following like #CrazyForConcrete but I’ve only met a few people who give any fucks about it. Maybe we can get something started!
I’ll depart this response by leaving a tidbit.
Concrete is extremely susceptible to cracking when placed under tension (bending). When cracks occur, water is allowed to infiltrate and it starts to corrode the concrete and reinforcing steel within which could eventually lead to failure and even death(?). A smart person somewhere in the world designed a special type of concrete called bio-concrete that heals itself when it cracks. There are tiny capsules filled with a sealing agent that break open when the crack occurs. The sealing agent reacts with water via bacteria to form a bond which seals the crack and helps prevent propagation.
Thanks for staying with me through all that.
Who is your favorite Star Wars character and why? (Had to.)
Chris: Darth Vader
Clay: Spock (had to.)
Henry: My favorite Star Wars character is not Jar Jar Binks.
Matt: Darth Vader, cause the guy’s got swag.
Sam: R2D2. He’s always there to save the day. A jack of all trades. Starfighter pilots best friend.
Tucker: It’s probably a tie between Obi-wan, Han, and Mace Windu. Obi-Wan cause “These are not the droids you are looking for.” Han cause he’s a bad-boy/good-guy who shoots first. Mace Windu, cause Samuel Jackson with a purple lightsaber is pretty hard to beat.
What’s up next for SITDE?
Tucker: The rest of the summer we’ll be working on some new tunes, putting together a new music video and planning some touring/events for the Fall. We’ll also be playing in our hometown of Austin, TX on July 8 at Geraldine’s and again on August 20 at Pennyfest w/ Quiet Company and Riverboat Gamblers.
For more on the guys and upcoming events, check out SharksInTheDeepEnd.com.