Byron Shaw is one of Colorado’s most enduring musicians, with credits that include The Jonez, Byron Shaw Projex, and Winehouse (an Amy Winehouse tribute act), and he’s been fronting Judge Roughneck for 20 years. Here he talks about Roughneck’s new album Pick You Up (available on iTunes) — which includes guest appearances from Hazel Miller and Fishbone’s frontman Angelo Moore — and how it feels to be skanking for 20 years.
Yellow Scene: What makes the new album different than the last one?
Byron Shaw: Well seeing how we haven’t put out a record in 10 years — we have definitely given ourselves time to mature. We’ve matured as people, musicians, and songwriters… so we can now just relax and play our songs. The focus on this is definitely more towards reggae and dub and old-school ska.
YS: Feels like ska is seeing enough interest to call it another wave… what’s different this time?
BS: I have no idea, and I can’t speak for the rest of the world. But ska and reggae is alive and well and living in Colorado! We have a great scene and some great bands here!
YS: You’ve been doing this a really long time. How could Colorado better support its full time musicians?
BS: Honestly, I see more support for musicians more than ever before. We have a ton of people here and they’re supporting live music venues. But we could all work a little harder — the clubs, and the bands — at getting the fans involved. It’s all about marketing to the peeps who show an interest in what you’re doing. The biggest challenge for bands is not sucking. If you put out a quality product, people here will appreciate it.