Shaun Frank Talks About His Spirit Animal And Being Held Hostage in New Music Video In iEDM Exclusive Interview
Electric Zoo was one for the books this past weekend; I mean, nothing says pure bliss like chowing down on some PHENOMENAL mozzarella sticks while grooving and letting my inner animal run free all over the gorgeous Randall's Island Park.
Right before he was about to throw down his set at the Riverside stage and make his very first Zoo debut, I got the pleasure to chat with Toronto-native Shaun Frank, as well as cool him off from the heat with my fan as pictured below. We discussed spirit animals, a new music video in which he was held hostage (you read that right, people) and hidden talents.
iEDM: Are you excited to play your very first Ezoo?
Shaun: Totally, yeah! My first Ezoo, and Ezoo is one of those festivals that you always hear about coming up and it's one of those special ones. I love New York, and the last time I played here, I played with KSHMR at Webster Hall, so I think this should be good!
iEDM: So the next couple of months are gonna be insane for you. You have the Getaway tour...
Shaun: It actually just started last night!
iEDM: And how was it?
Shaun: Opening the tour at Red Rocks with The Chainsmokers was crazy.
iEDM: I mean I can imagine, Red Rocks is legendary.
Shaun: I've wanted to play there since I was like 10 years old, when I was always watching my dad's rock n' roll DVDs of U2 and stuff. It's a very special place and I actually had an awesome set time where the sun came down halfway through it and the rocks light up, and it was crazy. So yeah it was great and now day two in New York!
iEDM: And you have your new single coming out "Let You Get Away."
Shaun: "Let You Get Away" comes out September 16th.
iEDM: Tell me about the process of making the track or the inspiration you had behind it.
Shaun: I had the chords or something, kind of a rough idea of it. I found the girl Ash on the internet; she was on another track and I really liked her voice, so I hit her up and found that not only is she a great singer but more of a songwriter as well, and I'm a songwriter too- so I was like let's get together and write some songs together.
So she came up to Toronto and we wrote like 10 songs together, and this was one of the one's that really stuck out to us, so I finished it up and it was my favorite of all the songs I have right now, so out it comes.
iEDM: What was that moment for you that you realized that you wanted to start producing music?
Shaun: I mean, I got a computer recording rig when I was 14, so I was always producing music since I was really young. I played in bands for a few years and I had other producers producing stuff but I always liked the stuff I would produce better, so that kind of just taught me to start doing it myself and I've been doing that ever since.
iEDM: So then what was that surreal moment where you realized "oh sh*t, I've made something of myself?"
Shaun: Last night was one of those moments for me. Red Rocks was legendary and the crowd was so insane and I was just like, "YES!" And when I started getting recognition on my tracks, like working with Oliver Heldens' on "Shades Of Grey" was a big turning point in my career where the song started to be on the radio all over the world.
I was getting invited to come play in Asia and I went with Delaney Jane last January and we're going back to Asia in 3 weeks. And going over there and playing songs like "Heaven" and having the crowd sing along with them and its all that stuff where you realize that it's international- it's special and I appreciate every minute of it.
iEDM: For sure, I feel like when people sing it back to you is when you get that warm fuzzy feeling inside.
Shaun: Oh definitely, I'm not even kidding like I had this kid in India requesting for me to play this remix that I did a while ago for this track called "You Don't Know Me" and it was a nothing remix, it hardly even came out. And this kid in India was requesting for me to play it and I was like, "how do you even know that!" So that's pretty special.
iEDM: What was it like working with Oliver on "Shades Of Grey" because the music video looked like it was so much fun to shoot.
Shaun: The video was my idea! I wrote it, and it was actually shot in my old house. We just lost the house last week though, but at least we have that video. But yeah it was great! Me and Delaney had written that song six or seven months before Oliver and I had gotten together. He was at my studio one day after a show and we're just listening to some music together, and I played him that and I actually sang on another track that he was gonna do.
Then when he got home, I remember him messaging me saying that he really liked that vocal. I worked on it for a really long time because I couldn't get anything that I liked, so I was just kinda sitting on it and he was like let's do something with it. So he wrote a bassline, I wrote the chords and we kept working on it for four or five months and it came out really great. And the video was so fun, but wait until you see the "Let You Get Away" video.
iEDM: Definitely looking forward to it!
Shaun: This is actually from the video. *Proceeds to show me the bruises, cuts and blisters all over his elbows*
iEDM: UHHH, what exactly were you doing in this video that caused these?!
Shaun: I was held hostage in the video.
iEDM: Oh wow, then I definitely need to see this.
Shaun: It's gonna be Shaun's acting debut. I kinda acted in that video (Shades Of Grey) but this one is really over the top.
iEDM: So essentially, acting is your next move. *laughs* Singer, songwriter, DJ, producer and now, actor!
Shaun: *laughs* I enjoyed the acting!
iEDM: Alright! So if you could play anywhere in the world- a pyramid, a boat, the Eiffel tower, your local supermarket, where would it be?
Shaun: I already played my dream venue, Red Rocks! But oh man, playing at the pyramids would be sick can you imagine? But to be honest, I would love to play Madison Square Garden too. But yeah Red Rocks again, like I literally played the venue I've been waiting to play my entire life at last night.
iEDM: That's awesome. In spirit of the whole Ezoo theme, what's your spirit animal?
Shaun: It would have to be a flying animal.
iEDM: Do you like flying?
Shaun: I actually have a crazy fear of heights to be honest, but yeah being an eagle or something would be sick. Flight in general is sick, it's kind of a superhero quality!
iEDM: Yeah and you'd be able to capture anything below you.
Shaun: Yeah, and I also feel like eagles and hawks don't have many predators. I feel like they're pretty safe.
iEDM: Honestly yeah, I feel like no one would wanna mess with an eagle.
Shaun: Yeah! I don't wanna be in the ocean, but I feel like a shark is pretty high in the food chain. So I'm gonna go with eagle.
(Very majestic choice, Shaun)
iEDM: Eagle- final answer! Alright, so what tracks or artists have you been listening to lately that you can't get enough of?
Shaun: I love that Bassnectar tune, "You And Me," it's not usually the type of thing I play but I love it, and I actually played it last night. And I also love that RÜFÜS DU SOL record "Innerbloom," so sick- it's probably one of my favorite songs of the year to be honest. I love what the Chainsmokers are doing; those guys are writing amazing songs.
iEDM: They're actually gonna play here on Sunday!
Shaun: Yeah it's really exciting. But I'm actually listening to a lot less house music than I used to listen to. Lately it's just been stuff that has a a feel-good vibe to it and that has heart.
iEDM: I feel that! So final question, do you have any hidden talents or guilty pleasures?
Shaun: I mean, I grew up snowboarding a lot so I would consider myself to be a pretty good snowboarder. I can also hold my breath under water for like two and a half minutes.
iEDM: Wow are you serious?
Shaun: Yeah! Me and my brother used to do it in the hot tub. I grew up in the mountains and my parents had a hot tub, so we would see how long we could do it for.
iEDM: Damn, but I feel like that could go downhill so quickly though.
Shaun: Yeah my mom would always be like, "you guys are so stupid, you're going to pass out."
iEDM: *laughs* That's awesome but snowboarding is impressive too! I'm literally the most uncoordinated person ever so that's just like "wow" for me.
Shaun: *laughs* I actually used to tear it up! I was actually much more interested in becoming a pro-snowboarder than I was a musician when I was 15. But I'd say that I definitely picked the right path to go down on.
Thanks for sitting down with us to chat, Shaun, and more importantly, thank you for throwing down a killer set at Ezoo!
Shaun showed me a sneak preview of some shots from his new music video, "Let You Get Away," and guys, he wasn't kidding when he said he was playing a hostage in the video. It's some seriously bad-ass stuff, but looks like you guys will just have to wait to see when the video comes out! But trust me, it'll be worth the wait.
"Let You Get Away" comes out September 16th, and snag your tickets to the Getaway Tour here!