Wayne Hindson caught up with Shawn Cavallo from Manic Drive! 

A lot has happened since we last had a chat with you! Manic Drive has released a new album, you’ve gotten married, and I’m sure there’s a lot more! Let’s start with the new album ‘Into The Wild’. How are you guys feeling now that it’s finally out there for people to hear?

It’s a huge relief! It’s been way to long and was a huge process! But we poured our hearts into it and wanted to take our time, not rushing anything. It’s a huge relief that people are listening to it and we are excited with the response! We think that people are digging it…

Up Close & Personal With Manic Drive 1

Well I know that I am! Tell me about the journey if you can – where do you get to the point with your brother and yourself where you decide it’s time to start working on a record? Is there a moment, or how is that process that unfolds itself overtime?

We know that within a period of two years we should always be releasing something. So this album has spanned over two years of song writing, which is a bit long. So right after our release of ‘VIP’ we took about three months off, and then started writing a couple of tracks that actually made it on our recent release.

Can you tell us about your single ‘Easier’? What’s the heart behind this song?

When we were song writing we just wanted to share our hearts, and how we felt. That was a stressful environment and gave me anxiety as a song writer. I was really feeling the pressure – you don’t know if 6 months from now if you’re going to have a career. Writing this CD is a crucial point, to see if we have longevity over the next couple of years, and I really didn’t want to screw it up!

In that moment of pressure and strain, I wanted to be honest and authentic, so I thought that I should write about how I was feeling. And I was in a moment of defeat – I felt like I was crippled at the time. I was in my studio at the keyboard, and all I could mumble was that ‘it doesn’t get easier’.  All my life, if I overcame an obstacle, there was always another mountain I’d have to climb. I was so discouraged and just thought ‘why can’t life be easy?’

I think it’s important as Christian artists to express that we’ve got the same human emotions – that we go through anxiety and stress. So I started writing ‘Easier’. It wasn’t completed yet, so the next morning I went to critique what I wrote overnight, and I was sharing it with my wife and asked ‘hey what do you think of this?’. She said that she liked it, but that I wasn’t finished with it yet. I was like ‘oh man – I just need to hear some good news!’ So she said ‘Go back to the studio and finish it, and even though you’re stressed, God has given you strength for moments like these.’

And that message that she said sunk with me and I completely absorbed it. Everything clued in and came together.

Because you know what? Life isn’t always easy, and that’s why we need to ask for God’s strength. I literally used that song as a prayer crying out to God and saying ‘Hey we all need this, I need this right now. I some strength. Help me out here. Help me finish this track. ’

Literally I wrote a song about the stresses of being an artist and writing music. I think that a lot of people can relate to that – especially people in the Christian music industry.

Listening to ‘Into The Wild’, there’s a rawness that wasn’t there with your album ‘VIP’. Lyrically it’s like you’ve removed the veil and really shared yourself and where you’re at?

Yeah and it was very scary to do that too. You know the climate of Christian music right now seems to be leaning towards the safe end of things. Which is cool, there’s a lot of great Christian music out of there. But I felt kind of convicted to focus on how I was feeling, and not to just write music that people are going to like. How was I going to express myself? So I wanted to step away from the pressures of radio industry, what the critics are going to think, and go back to the basics of asking myself what I like and wanted to say… and forget about everything else.

I feel like we accomplished that with our new album, but at the same time it’s really nerve wrecking putting yourself out there – you don’t know what’s going to happen or what the response will be. And so that was pretty stressful and played a role in us stalling for so long and dragging our feet wondering if we really wanted to say these things, and if people were going to get mad at us. But at the end of the day I think we got to share our hearts, and were honest and authentic. 

Is the album called ‘Into the Wild’ because it’s like you were thrown into the wild?

Oh definitely, the song writing process was the most uncomfortable I’ve ever been as a Christian and Christian musician…. moving forward I want to keep that mindset.


Thanks for chatting and being so honest with us Shawn! Listen to the FULL interview and learn more about the journey behind ‘Into The Wild’ here at rhemacatchup.com.