Shannon Walden of the American Pop Punk band He Said recently talked to ai love music via email about her musical history, influences, and the behind-the-scenes look at the band’s debut single “Waste Your Youth”. He Said is a pop-rock band based out of New York featuring rock vocalist Shannon Walden. They are premiering their brand new project and single on July 30th, 2021. Shannon created this band as she felt there was a need for female vocals in the rock space. She grew up listening to 2000’s pop-punk and the rebellion their songs came with inspired her to create the sound of her new band.
How does the lyrics of “Waste Your Youth” connect with relationships? Check out Walden’s answers below. Also, check out He Said’s debut single down below, and let me know what you think!
First of all, please introduce yourself. How did the band come to be?
I am Shannon Walden, founder and lead singer of “He Said”. Music has always been an important part of my life and something I was always involved in. It was not until a few years ago when my voice coach encouraged me to sing publicly and to start songwriting.
I didn’t even think having a band was a possibility. I have always loved writing and with the encouragement of my coach, I started taking it seriously. I wanted to form the band “He Said” to give a voice to women who might not feel like they should be heard or even silenced throughout their life. “He Said” is about being honest and having a voice. Regardless of your gender, that is what every human being deserves.
What artists or musical genres influence you?
Pop-punk has always been one of my favorite genres and is something I grew up listening to. I have noticed there is still a huge opening for female artists in this genre. Of course, the amazingly talented Hayley Williams inspires me, no one can do vocals as she can. I listen to a lot of the same bands I did in High School such as Blink-182, Four Year Strong, Taking Back Sunday, and emerging bands like Stand Atlantic and Rematch. I am happy that this genre is becoming more and more popular again.
Your mission statement is pretty empowering (“I want to give my audience the comfort of nostalgia but the discomfort of a bold female and something they can bang their heads to along the way”). How did that come to be?
I think it makes a lot of people uncomfortable when a woman voices her strong opinions. It is something I have experienced my entire life! It wasn’t until recently, in the process of starting this band, that I realized it doesn’t matter who you make uncomfortable. What is important is staying true to what you believe, regardless of gender, or age, or what you look like. I wish this was something I learned and believed when I was younger. I hope it is something my audience can take away from “He Said”. That being said, the music I hope to make is going to be fun, make you want to dance around, and bang your head!
Congrats on your first single. What is “Waste Your Youth” about?
Thank you! “Waste Your Youth” is about young relationships when you are not ready to commit. It is the honest side of stringing someone along because you simply like having them around. The other person goes along with it because they feel the same. So maybe, just for a night, you waste your youth with this person. For one night only you want to feel good knowing tomorrow this relationship or lack thereof is going nowhere.
What inspired you to write this song?
When writing this song I wanted to stay honest about the experiences I have had. Not all love stories end happily ever after. I think there is something brutally honest in admitting that you want someone to just waste their time with you. I think those types of relationships are okay and are important to have. Not everything needs to end in marriage, sometimes you just have to enjoy the moments you do have.
What was it like to produce this song? What were your favorite parts of the process?
What was so exciting to me was hearing lyrics that were so personal to me turn into a song that I would genuinely rock out to. Since this is my first single, it was the first time I got to see the ideas in my head actualized. It really gave me the feeling that anything is possible if you put hard work into it.
Shannon Walden, lead vocalist of He Said
You describe the song as “The sound is like if Blink 182 and Four Year Strong made an album together today but from a female perspective.” Could you explain this a little bit more?
I really wanted to bring the essence of early 2000’s punk to today. There is something so fun and light-hearted about the music but the lyrics can say so much more. The music was about rebellion and the awful truths of growing pains and I think those types of themes can really shape someone. There was a tour New Found Glory headlined, “Pop Punks Not Dead”, and I truly don’t think it is. I think it is a genre that will last for ages, and I think teens today agree.
What do you want listeners to listen for in “Waste Your Youth”?
I want my listeners to hear the honesty in my lyrics but I also want them to hear the enjoyment in the song. I want it to be the song they blast in their car with their friends or dance around their living room like no one is watching. It is a song that is fun to sing! Especially the chorus!
Any future plans?
Yes! I plan on continuing to write and release music this year and to continue to encourage women to use their voices!
Any encouraging messages for the readers?
I think it is important to remember that your voice matters and should be heard no matter what anyone has told you. If you want to sing, then sing or if you want to write, then write. Do what you want to do, because you want to do it. I sing for me and if other people enjoy it then that’s the cherry on top. I hope my audience does the same thing and goes after what brings them happiness!