Schiavone McGee’s Secret
Schiavone McGee found himself in front of audiences around the world as the lead singer of Fighting Gravity. When the band – a Richmond music staple – came to an end, McGee stepped away from the spotlight to find inspiration.
Now back on the scene, he takes his modern pop sound solo. The former frontman celebrates his birthday and recent album My Only Secret, with a performance at Capital Ale House Downtown on Friday, April 29 at 10 p.m.
McGee took some time from the road to chat with GayRVA.com.
GayRVA: What can people expect from your current release?
McGee: All of the songs are about hope, turning the corner and staying true to who you are. Having been the lead singer for Fighting Gravity and touring for many years, I have the luxury of starting over, with a fan base in place and now making all of the decisions on the direction of where I choose to go musically. I am very happy with the message that the record conveys.
It was produced by Chip Johnson of Alpine Red Studios and he was also the former bass player for national recording artist The Alternate Route. We cowrote the songs together and I couldn’t be happier with the finished results.
Are you out professionally?
I am neither in nor out. No one has come out and asked me in any interview until now…I have done a million interviews over the years and I have been prepping myself for 20 years to answer the question and finally the time has come… lucky you!
Yes, I am GAY… and I have a fantastic partner of 8 years who is simply amazing and supportive. I just get on with my life and let my music and performance speak for itself. If anyone has an issue with it or has had an issue with it, no one has mentioned it to me because it is not something that I throw in faces or even focus on.
Were you out back in the Fighting Gravity days? Was it even an issue?
Yes I was out and no it was not an issue until “groupie time” after gigs and the groupies were tipped off by one person or another… I laughed, brushed it off of my shoulder and kept sipping on my drink. I never even let it get to me, and yes I have many gay supporters that come to my shows.
At my last show here in Richmond, a fan emailed me and wanted to get back with her ex partner and wanted a song dedicated to her and they came to the show together. I just wanted to help. No different than I would a straight couple. I just love people. I love meeting people and connecting with them through my music. It is an amazing feeling to know that I can positively affect people regardless whose hand they happen to be holding.
Do you feel that being out impacts your music or people’s perception of it at all?
It is 2011! (laughing) I would hope it has a positive impact. Out of all of the craziness going on in the world, one would think that there are other things to be concerned with then the whole “out” thing. I certainly can’t control people’s perception of anything however, I can control good lyrics, positive music and a dynamic live performance that can take you to an amazing place, if you allow yourself to receive the message and the vibe.
My CD is titled My Only Secret for a reason…
If you take away, the bling, the big cars, the fancy home etc…what is your secret to happiness? Life is fairly easy if you surround yourself with the tools to build. This is not a dress rehearsal. We have to make the most of what we have been given. I choose music…
“Words shape our atmosphere.”
Andrew Cothern is a music lover and media professional in Richmond, Va. specializing in photography and video production. Check out his music blog Richmond Playlist.
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