By Sheena Barnett/NEMS Daily Journal
For Busted Screen Door, it keeps getting better. For years, members Tatum Shappley, Jesse Steward, Greg Dillard and Tim Warren toiled in various cover bands in Tupelo and across the region, having fun but never finding serious success.
In early 2009, the guys decided to stop playing covers and start writing original songs. Finally, success – in the form of opening up for big-name musicians and finding a steady, faithful audience – has found Busted Screen Door.
Now, the band best known for its live show is releasing its debut album, “Southern Belles & Shotgun Shells.”
In the studio
“Southern Belles & Shotgun Shells” was recorded over the spring and summer at the Lodge Studios in Rienzi .
The guys logged in long, 10- to 12-hour days, and each of those hours was spent working with little distraction.
“In Rienzi, there was no cell phone service, and there was one bar (of service) in the studio,” Steward said, laughing.
That turned out to be a good thing, since the guys learned they had to be in top form in the studio.
“The studio catches every mistake,” Warren said. “If you’re on stage and you’re in the moment and you miss a note, you can get away with that. The studio is not so forgiving.”
“You almost have to learn to play your own stuff,” he said. “We didn’t want to have anything we couldn’t replicate live.”
What makes a Busted Screen Door show is the band’s personality, and that shows up on the album.
“(Our music) is about how we do things in the South,” Warren said. “It’s about small-town, Southern life, how we live life, I guess.”
That’s evident on songs like “Southern Thang” and “That’s Just My Country Comin’ Out.”
“TUI” – which stands for “Texting Under the Influence” – is the album’s most fun track.
Warren said “Southern Belles & Shotgun Shells” is another step forward for Busted Screen Door.
“It’s still a learning experience,” he said. “We’re a better band because of it.”
“Southern Belles & Shotgun Shells” is new, but Busted Screen Door is ready to make a new album.
“We’re always writing,” Shappley said. “It’s a lot of work, but it’s worth it.”
Going original was the best decision the guys ever made.
“Any musician will say that they want to play what they wrote,” Shappley said.
Dillard added, “And even better is seeing people enjoy it, and seeing people sing it back to you.”
Here’s where you can catch Busted Screen Door live this month:
– Hard Rock Cafe, Memhis – Friday
– The Lyric Oxford – Wednesday (opening for Easton Corbin)
– Cowbells, Starkville – Oct. 16.