Shana Cleveland plays with The Curious Mystery, our April live music residents at Ace Hotel New York. She also pays homage to old record covers, publicity shots and good wholesome fun from the likes of Stax, Motown and other old labels and bands. Read on for more about Shana, and come see she and her band this and every Sunday evening in April.
(You can also read a round robin interview with TCM and Lightyear here).
I’m from the midwest. My parents are both musicians, they met when my dad was on tour with a Texas Swing band. They were in a band together when I was a kid and they both still play in bands. I’m deeply influenced by musicians and bands in general, I was obsessed with the Monkees as a kid and I’ve watched Spinal Tap dozens of times. I like bands because they seem like small tribes or packs. Traveling with a band, going through the same highs and lows, feels really natural to me.
For the last 10 years of so I’ve been doing a lot of portraits of musicians and bands, mostly rock and soul groups from the 50s and 60s, the promo shots were so cool back then, lots of close-ups. I usually start out in pen and ink and then shade with black gauche. I’m also really into silhouettes lately and have been doing a bunch of hand shadow portraits. I have a dancing hot dog character.
Right now I’m working on a deck of trading cards with portraits of obscure guitar players for the Tompkins Square record label. I’m on tour with the Curious Mystery for the next couple months, so whenever we have a day off I camp out at a cafe with my paints and draw those dudes.
Now I live in Seattle, I love the people there but mostly I find the Northwest to be kinda boring. I’m thinking about moving to the Southwest, maybe Tucson, I like big skies and dramatic weather.