By ERIC SCHELKOPF
For The Shams Band frontman Donnie Biggins, now was the right time to step outside the band and release his solo debut album, "Profiles."
"Profiles" will be released on Nov. 29. To celebrate the release of the album, Biggins will perform Dec. 2 and 3 at the Tonic Room, 2447 N. Halsted St., Chicago.
The shows start at 9 p.m. and tickets are available at www.ticketfly.com.
I had the chance to talk to Biggins about the new album.
Q - Great talking to you again. Of course, your solo debut album,"Profiles," will be released on Nov. 29. Was this just the right time to release a solo record? What is the meaning behind the album's title?
This was the perfect time for me to release the record. It's getting cold outside and people are gathering closer together.
I have been working on this for about a year and a half and winter always seems to be a better to listen to a record and pay close attention to the words and production.
"Profiles" was chosen as the title because this record is a profile of the last 10 years of my life. I have gone through a lot of life changes throughout my 20s and it seemed like a perfect way to sum it all up.
Q - Did you intentionally want the record to sound different than something the The Shams Band would put out? Was it hard transition to make, writing for yourself rather than for a band?
I worked with an entirely different crew of people outside of The Shams Band to capture what my "sound" would be. Ryan Joseph Anderson is a great producer and had a big hand in making the sound of this record.
I have been writing solo material for a very long time. I came into my first session with 27 songs to choose from and narrowed it down to eleven, “11” being my family's lucky number.
Q - "People Killing People" is one of the songs off the new album. Chicago has seen some 700 murders this year, which is the highest number of murders the city has seen since 1998. What inspired you to write the song and what do you want people to get out of the song?
I wrote the song the day the video of Laquan McDonald being murdered by the Chicago Police Department was released to the public. I loathe guns and gun violence and hope that Chicago can find a serious and realistic solution to decrease the murders, gun trade and hopefully eliminate it.
Q - You book bands through your own promotional business, Harmonica Dunn. What makes the Chicago music scene different from other music scenes across the country? Who are some Chicago artists or bands that you are excited about these days?
Chicago's music scenes are very tight. Like our neighborhoods, there are many of them.
Once you are in it, you tend to know everyone. I feel like Chicago works together a lot more than the other major music scenes across the country.
We support and build each other instead of competing. It's a very mid-west attitude to have.
Q - What is The Shams Band up to these days? Are you guys working on new music? When can we expect a new album from the band?
We are currently working on finishing another full length record and expect that to be out in 2017. Our last EP, "Dirty" was released in 2014.