East Coast group has become as close as a family
emi music photo
The women of Shaye were once asked how they would manage a group of wild Cape Breton mountain chickens attacking them. Back then they each had different solutions, but here’s today’s answer:
“We’ve morphed into one person,” Tara MacLean says of the supergroup (a term they aren’t fond of). “We would probably take a vote to see who was equipped to deal with (the chickens) at the moment. It’s kind of like a marriage, when one person isn’t strong and the other person is and you sort of take turns, and we do that for each other. Like today, like right now,” motioning to co-member Damhnait Doyle, whose illness has kept her up all night.
What started as a joint venture some five years ago by the three East Coast singer-songwriters; Doyle, MacLean and Kim Stockwood, has turned into something more. As stars in their own right, the ladies were on friendly, but not intimate terms. After the success of 2003 debut The Bridge and motherhood for Stockwood and MacLean; being two for Kim, a second for Tara and an honourary aunthood for Damhnait, Shaye has become a family of sorts.
The band’s name even has a familial, though tragic tie. MacLean’s late sister, Shaye Martirano, was killed in a car accident, prompting the moniker.
The extension of said family did, however, hold up production of their current effort, Lake Of Fire. Stockwood puts the blame squarely, but not seriously, on MacLean.
“We could have planned to have our kids at the same time, but nooooo,” Stockwood smiles at MacLean. “So that kind of shut us down for a couple of months at either end. I think the toughest thing about being in a group is the three schedules, plus a band, plus a manager’s schedule. It’s a lot. … The things you do, you don’t know how, but you do it. My parents help. And Tequila (joking).”
That strong bond between the “sisters” is being developed into a four-episode documentary set to air on Global TV and CMT for the spring. The broadcast will include a performance at the Living Arts Centre in Mississauga on March 30 and an exclusive late -April concert at the CBC’s Glenn Gould Studio for patients waiting for organ transplants.
“It’s a look into the scary lives of female musicians trying to make it, struggling with solo careers, children, addictions to chocolate and tequila,” Stockwood jokes again. “We’ve already seen two clips. It’s pretty funny.”
A family-over-fame attitude may number Shaye’s days. MacLean says she’s “not going to be doing pop music in a couple of years,” and Stockwood says being a mom is a higher priority for her than a successful career, despite the record company’s possible displeasure. But that disinterest in the limelight coupled with their rapport, Doyle maintains, is the key to the trio’s triumphs.
“Something about this band is when you stop reaching for the specific goals of fame and fortune, that’s when stuff comes to you,” she says. “That’s when you can truly be yourself and create great art.”