Shawn Lee: "Computers are amazing, powerful machines, but they are kind of soulless"
Shawn Lee's music can be heard in everything from snowboard films and video games to documentaries and TV series. Over the course of his career, the Wichita, Kansas, native has released dozens of albums, both on his own and with Ping Pong Orchestra. Tonight, he stops by the Marquis with AM in support of their latest effort, La Musique Numerique. We recently spoke with Lee about his new music, how he balances fatherhood with being a touring musician and how he got into soundtracking.
Westword: You're in Dallas right now. How do you feel about touring?
Shawn Lee: I'm always glad, to be honest, that touring is over and I get to go home, but I'm also sad that it's over. It's good to go home and see my family, but I also miss playing out.
What's one of the things you do to unwind from touring when you get home?
I go straight into my family. I have two kids, you know. It's just straight back into the realities of my life -- taking care of business at home, getting back into the studio and just taking care of life. That sometimes means taking the kids to school and being around the house. It also means getting back in the studio and writing.
How old are your kids?
I have two. One is nine and the other is three.
Do you struggle with balancing family life with music life?
At home, when I'm home, it's fine. I have a very good balance. I am usually only in the studio a couple days out of the week, so I spend a lot of time around. When I'm out on the road, which is exactly three weeks, my oldest daughter is used to it, but my youngest is really missing me at the moment. She'll be glad when I get back.
Sometimes it's good to get away and come back and be focused... kind of have a different perspective on it. I've taken time to be caught up. Before you go on tour, there is a lot to sort out. When I come back, it's all about getting readjusted.
Do you schedule tours to balance your family life?
There are certain times of year that we like to tour. We like the spring and summer tour, and we like a fall tour. Every now and again, we do a winter thing, but mostly it's around the festival season. The best is when the album is out and supporting that.
Are you working on another album right now?
I have two albums coming out soon. One is called the Electric Peanut Butter Company. There is another I did for a video game coming out called Zombie Playground, and it's like a kind of early '80s style, Italian horror score. There are a lot of drum machines. Me and AM are working on another album, and I've got some other stuff going. I'm keeping up with the serious pace of making music. There are new things coming out in the same way I've been doing it over the years.