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Afresh: What is your name, and name your group/band/act?

Backlash: Shawn Ames / Backlash

Afresh: Where are the artists from?  What is their talent in the group?

Backlash: Originally from Topeka Kansas.

The band is:

Shawn Ames – guitar, vocals (also the writer of this bio)

Brian McGuire – guitar, vocals

Chris Nicklay – bass

Ron Prothe – drums, vocals

Afresh: How did the band get the name?

Backlash: It was a name chosen by original bassist Steve Miller (not the famous guitarist).

Afresh: What (who) does your act/art consist of?

Backlash: The band plays original music from 4 cd releases – “Dressed For Success (2003). “No Quarter No Mercy” (2004), “Tattooed Nation” (2006), “Backlash” (2009). We also play classic covers, and occasionally we perform Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” in its entirety, including lasers, animation, and construction of the wall.

Afresh: How would you describe your music/art/entertainment for the public audience if they have never seen you before?

Backlash: Rock and roll like mom used to make…emphasis on songwriting and crafting, good music to either make you dance or think (or both), and the music sounds like something you know you’ve heard somewhere before but just can’t put your finger on it..

Afresh: Give me some details about the group/act/art?

Backlash: The band has been performing in the 4 state Midwest area since 1992. The band is eligible to be nominated for the Kansas Music Hall Of Fame in 7 years.

Afresh: How long have you been performing live or making art?

Backlash: Personally, I have been performing live since 1980.

Afresh: Where did you meet your group and how long have you been together now?

Backlash: I joined the group in the summer of 1992 in North Topeka, it was a country band then. I’m the only original member from 1992 to still be performing in the band.

Afresh: What has been the biggest challenge for you or the group?

Backlash: To get people to listen the music and support us as fans. People always like the new “shiny things” that take away their attention..

Afresh: You’ve heard of the term “starving artists” before, how do you cope with major obstacles?

Backlash: We stick together and tough it out as a team.

Afresh:  Do you feel the economic crunch has hurt the industry, or do you have some other promotional tips to help support your music?

Backlash: Its hurt the local music scene and the extra cash for people to come out and support the live local music scene.

Afresh: Art & Music has an impact on both young and old.  Everyone loves a celebrity, so what advice do you have for the youth of today?

Backlash: Learn to PLAY music, not create it for the thrill of pretending to be something you’re not (a musician).

Afresh: What does your family think of your performance and do they support you?

Backlash: Apart from wives, not too much of our families make the time to see or hear us.

Afresh: What is your stance on how to get the public to support “live music” and see the shows?  Any ideas???

Backlash: Unless its basketball, stock car racing, or setting yourself on fire after each performance, no one is interested in supporting live music.

Afresh: Thinking back, did your family carry on the same musical/artistic interests?

Backlash: I had a grandfather who played saxophone and clarinet for Tommy and Lee Dorsey’s orchestra, was also in General Nimitz’s personal navy band in WWII, and was also a featured player on WIBW radio in the ’50’s. My songwriting talents and an ear for musical arrangements might be a direct result from listening to him and his stories.

Afresh: Do you have your own favorite type of music and is it any different from what you play now?

Backlash: Yes

Afresh: Do you have other interests or talents you would like to share with us?

Backlash: Not only does the band write, arrange, record, mix, produce, market, manufacture, and advertise our own music, we perform it live as well.

Afresh: What has been your strong influence to continue performing?

Backlash: To prove everyone wrong and to still be performing when “the next big thing” has sputtered and died…18 years in the same band is a LONG time..

Afresh: Does anyone in particular influence your artistic/musical talent?

Backlash: Too many to mention, but let’s start with The Who, Alice Cooper, Marillion, The Beatles, just to name a few..

Afresh: Who does most of the song writing/art/literature?

Backlash: The most would be Mr. McGuire and myself.

Afresh: If you had to change one thing about your music/group what do you feel would be the best change to benefit the group overall and why?

Backlash: To get the band the management to take us to the next level.

Afresh: Have you ever had any strange or stalker type fans that you are aware of?

Backlash: Yes.

Afresh: While getting ready to perform have you ever been interrupted by fans who snuck in to the dressing room/rehearsal?

Backlash: No.

Afresh: What has been the most bizarre thing (thrown) on the stage with you?  How did you react?

Backlash: A $100 bill to play a song, we were shocked but played the song.

Afresh: What is your wildest story with the group?

Backlash: Too many to mention, not legal to discuss most of them. We have been fortunate enough to open for big acts such as Alice Cooper, Cheap Trick, Eddie Money, Doro Pesch, Stephen Piercy (Ratt singer), Artimus Pyle (original Lynard Skynard drummer), Canned Heat,

White Lion.

Afresh: What has been the worst nightmare for the group?  How did you get through it all?

Backlash: The death of 4 band mates and 1 band wife. The deaths were original bassist Steve Miller, original guitarist “Toad” Tornedon, sound man and mentor Mark Haines, sound man Ira Farr, and the band wife was Ashley Tallent, wife of bassist Danny Tallent. They were both involved in a car accident that killed Ashley and left Danny paralyzed on his left side.

I can’t think of another local band that has had to endure what we’ve had to go through. We got through it all by sticking together and trying to come back strong each time.

Afresh: What are your up-to-date performance plans?  New releases?  Tours? News?

Backlash: We’re considering writing Backlash cd #5 for a 2011 release, we have some big shows lined up for the remainder of 2010, we try to stay busy.

Afresh: What is the furthest show from your home that you have done?
Backlash: At this writing it’d be York, Nebraska.

Afresh:  How do you feel about file swapping?

Backlash: That’s how most people get there music these days, no matter how cheap the artists have the single tracks available.

Afresh: Have you been involved in any benefit performances?  What was it and how did you become involved?

Backlash: We’ve done hundreds of benefit performances…all were okey dokey, all helped raise money.

Afresh: Do you currently have an agent, endorsement, record label, sponsor, etc.?

Backlash: We don’t have an agent, endorsement, or sponsors. Our label is Mad Dog Records in Topeka, Kansas.

Afresh: Is this your first interview or do you have some other articles/stories about you posted somewhere for public viewing?

Backlash: This is not our first fact this is the 4th time we’ve filled this out so we hope it gets seen and possibly edited and posted by somebody..we’ve been interviewed by the Topeka Capital Journal, WIBW t.v., V100 FM, KSNT t.v., 785 magazine, Firecracker magazine (U.K.)

Afresh: Do you have any video links where people can see you?


Afresh: Do you have a website of any type?  (Name all options)


the first three cd release, “Dressed For Success” (2003), “No Quarter No Mercy” (2004), “Tattooed Nation” (2006)
“Backlash” (2009)

I have all of their cds and they are quite unique.  They are a cool party band and really awesome people to get to know.  Check them out at a show near you.

Anne Shiever

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