Name: Shannon Farrell
Job Title and Description: Keyboard/Backup vocals for Aduro, an alternative rock band from Norfolk, Va.
College/Major: Graduated from NYIT with Bachelor of Graphic Arts & Advertising
Website: www.facebook.com/adurotheband and www.adurotheband.com
Twitter Handle: @dolceshan
Her Campus: What does your current gig entail? Is there such a thing as a typical day?
Shannon Farrell: There is no such thing as a “typical day” in a band. We are pretty consistent with our band practice schedule, but shows, venues, crowd, and weather always varies. We never know how any show will turn out and what to expect. There have been times we played in front of only a few people and it was the most fun we’ve ever had. One thing we’ve all learned is to throw out your expectations and have fun doing what you love because it can be just as fun to play in front of 5 people as it is to play in front of 500.
HC: What was your first entry-level job in your field and how did you get it?
SF: I have been playing piano and singing since I was a child. I was in select choir in high school and we traveled to Italy where I met some other musicians. I later visited Italy several times and played cover songs in pubs with my Italian friends. I decided to go off to college in NYC where I met a group of amazing friends and we formed the first original band I was in. We had so much fun but were not as serious about taking it very far. We eventually stopped playing and I moved to Virginia when I graduated. I had put music aside for a while and focused on getting a job in web design. We added the remaining members and formed Aduro — the first professional band that I’ve been in where everyone is focused and dedicated to making it a success. We definitely take time out for having fun and just jamming, but we also spend a great deal of time on perfecting songs, recording, mixing, promoting, and figuring out how to bring it to the next level.
HC: What is one thing you wish you knew about your industry when you first started out that you know now?
SF: You know that you are not supposed to trust everyone but it’s hard not to when labels and managers tell you what you want to hear. It’s sad to say, but I have learned to be very cautious of what people say.
HC: Who is one person who changed your professional life for the better?
SF: I would have to say my guitarist, Muj. Without him I would have never been involved with this group and would not have had the amazing opportunities I have experienced. He always keeps us focused and pushes us to work harder.
HC: What words of wisdom do you find most valuable?
SF: "If a man loses pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured, or far away." -Thoreau
HC: What is one mistake you made along the way and what did you learn from it?
SF: There aren’t many easily identified big mistakes, but we definitely missed out on some stuff when we were playing out in Napa for Live in the Vineyard. We were surrounded by label and radio executives and made a few contacts, but I think sometimes we became more focused on the food, wine, and the excitement of being there.
HC: What is the best part of your job?
SF: It feels amazing to be able to do something that you love and to be surrounded by people that love to see you do it. I get to share it some amazing musicians who are also like family to me. We have the best fans who would drive an hour and a half to stand in the pouring rain just to listen to us play a few songs. One of the best feelings in the world is being on stage and listening to the crowd sing your songs back to you.
HC: What qualities are important in a musician?
SF: When the band was looking for a new member to fill one of the positions, we looked for someone that was extremely dedicated and passionate about music. They needed to love music as much as we did and be willing to drop anything and everything for it. We wanted someone reliable, who could solve problems quickly and easily, and was focused on perfecting their instrument and helping the band grow as a whole.
HC: What advice would you give to a 20-something with similar aspirations?
SF: Do what you love: with enough dedication and determination you can make it work. Also, get to know people with similar interests and goals. You can share ideas and help each other along the way.
How She Got There: Shannon Farrell, Keyboarist for Aduro
Name: Shannon Farrell