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Dying Scene Presents – Artists Beyond the Chords: Chris Shary

When art and music collide! “Artists Beyond the Chords” is a Dying Scene series highlighting stories from various visual artists in the scene. Our first installment showcases the work and wisdom of Chris Shary. Chris Shary is one of the hardest working artists, who’s been a hard hitting staple in the punk community for decades. […]

When art and music collide! “Artists Beyond the Chords” is a Dying Scene series highlighting stories from various visual artists in the scene. Our first installment showcases the work and wisdom of Chris Shary.

Chris Shary is one of the hardest working artists, who’s been a hard hitting staple in the punk community for decades. Based out of Stockton, California, Shary is also a dedicated drama teacher, father, husband, and self-proclaimed dork. He truly does it ALL (pun intended). Best known for his depiction of “Milo” (Descenedents), his works have also supported the likes of ALL, The Damned, Devo, Blink-182, The Meatmen, Circle Jerks, 7 Seconds, The Dead Milkmen, Agent Orange, Melvins, The Lillingtons, Chemical People, Masked Intruder, and so many more. His output ranges from album art, concert flyers, t-shirts, specialized merch items, and even action figures. With such an impressive resume, one might think it’s all done for notoriety, but deep down he’s just a huge fan expressing his undying love for music. 

Shary’s artistic journey began when he was first able to hold a crayon and pencil, but really became serious at the tender age of 6. At 17 years old, he started creating pieces for different bands and has been going strong ever since. He often teeters between different portraiture styles such as vibrant pop-art induced color blocking and black and white sketch realism. His current art-weapons-of-choice are pen and ink, mainly sharpies, but he recently started working with acrylic paints again. Consistently creating is key to his process.

“I try and draw every day, but I do a lot of thinking prior to starting commissioned work, or if I am getting ideas together for a band I want to work with. I walk my dog for a half hour every morning right when I wake up and that’s time I devote to thinking of ideas of what I might create,” said Shary.

Another way he searches for ideas is by experiencing live music. Oftentimes you can catch him at some of the biggest shows snapping shots for his latest creations. Not many can rock a phone camera in the photo pit without getting a boot from security, but he has clout, and for good reason. 

“I use the photos as reference when I’m working,” Shary explained, “but it also connects me with bands on a much closer level.”

As far as his true artistic motivation, Shary does not look outside of his own home. Family comes first, and it lives in the heart of each piece he creates. 

“My family is the thing that inspires me the most. My wife Lori is also an amazing artist and she is constantly making incredible pieces and kinda pushes me because of that. My son is also a big fan of the work we do, so I always want to impress him.”

Like a machine, Shary regularly posts new works on his social media accounts. Whether it’s commissioned or perfectly juxtaposed doodles for his own pleasure. Music aside, subjects range from pop culture references, memes, movies, television, and comic books. He never lets himself falter or take long breaks away from art, and strongly believes no creative person should. 

“I think the idea of an artist’s block is kind of a self-fulfilling prophecy. People tend to psych themselves out and then can’t get out of it. It just seems like an easy way to not work. I’m all about making things and hitting headlines. Just keep doing work and there is no need to slow down.” 

For those who want to break into the music art industry, Shary preaches the importance of repetition while remaining open and to your true self. 

“Do the work. Draw everyday and be happy to do it for yourself. No one owes you anything so be happy for whatever happens. It’s not always a quick process so do the work,” he advised. 

When asking Shary what he would like to leave Dying Scene readers with he offered a pure sentiment of kindness. 

“Be nice to each other, and try seeing things from other people’s point of view.”

View and support Chris Shary’s artwork at: 

Chrisshary.bigcartel.com

Instagram

Facebook 

Chris Shary’s Liner Notes

Do you have a favorite concert memory? 
One of my biggest thrills was singing “Bloodstains” with DESCENDENTS in 97. I guess one of my all time favorite shows was one with Kevin Seconds, Steve Soto and Alyson Seconds in an acoustic setting. It was insanely beautiful. 

What bands are you listening to now? 
The Linda Lindas have been an obsession lately. Just saw Bleached and fell for them. Kinda been listening to the Lemonheads a lot lately and always Jawbreaker, and DESCENDENTS of course. Saw HoleHog in Sacramento the other night and they were rad!

What song best describes you as a person? 
The theme from Shaft. At least that’s what I hear in my head a lot.

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Dying Scene Record Radar: New punk vinyl releases & reissues (Mr. T Experience, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater soundtracks & more)

Hello, and welcome to this week’s installment of the Dying Scene Record Radar! This is a weekly round up of all things punk rock vinyl, highlighting new releases and all those ultra limited reissues that get the collector nerds’ hearts racing. So, let’s get into it… Now that all the new and upcoming releases have […]

Hello, and welcome to this week’s installment of the Dying Scene Record Radar! This is a weekly round up of all things punk rock vinyl, highlighting new releases and all those ultra limited reissues that get the collector nerds’ hearts racing. So, let’s get into it…

Wake up, sleepy heads! 1-2-3-4 Go! Records has a new exclusive pressing of an East Bay punk classic going up Friday, July 8th (that’s today!) at 8am PST/11am EST. Limited to 500 hand numbered copies on fiery red vinyl, it’s Jawbreaker‘s 24 Hour Revenge Therapy! Make sure to join their mailing list to be notified when this goes up.

Save the date! The Mr. T Experience is finally reissuing their 1997 LP Revenge Is Sweet, And So Are You. Preorders for this one start Monday, July 11th at Noon Eastern time. To gain access to the preorder, you need to join this mailing list. This pop-punk classic has been out of print since its initial release on Lookout! Records 25 years ago. Don’t miss out!

Speaking of Lookout! Records, Sewer Trout‘s full discography is getting reissued as a compilation LP. This is a collaborative effort between Lavasocks Records and Dead Broke Rekerds. You can preorder it here.

Epitaph Records is reissuing Down By Law‘s 1994 LP Punkrockacademyfightsong on purple vinyl. This is another one that’s limited to 500 copies. US preorders are already sold out, but the label’s European store still has some in stock if you can stomach the extra shipping cost. Or hey, maybe you live in Europe!

Canadian punks Trashed Ambulance just put out a new album called Future Considerations. It’s available to stream right now, but Thousand Islands Records doesn’t expect the LPs to be in hand for a few months. Listen to the album on the below, and preorder it here (North America) or here (UK).

Attention, all skate punk fans! I implore you to check out the new record from Australia’s No Quarter. If you like fast, melodic punk in the vein of Satanic Surfers, you’ll like these guys. You can listen to Fear and Loathing on the Pacific Highway below, and order the LP here.

Feeling nostalgic for the days when you played Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater late into the night, chugging Mountain Dew and getting Cheeto dust on your Mad Catz controller? Then maybe these vinyl bootlegs of the THPS 1 and 2 soundtracks will interest you. If so, you’ll wanna hurry up and grab one here, because these have nearly sold out in just two days.

People of Punk Rock Records will be giving two Rufio albums their first-ever vinyl releases. Head to their website Monday, July 11th at 11am Eastern to get your hands on these beautiful new pressings of MCMLXXXV and The Comfort of Home.

Garageland has exclusive reissues of three – count ’em, three! – Agnostic Front records. Something’s Gotta Give, Riot Riot Upstart, and Dead Yuppies are all available on limited splatter colored vinyl. Head over to their store and get ’em while the gettin’s good.

European friends! If you’re looking for a deal on some great punk records, I suggest you head over to SBÄM Records‘ webstore, where you can save 25% on everything through July 29th. Just enter the code “SBAMFEST” at checkout and you’re ready to roll. They have a bunch of good shit from Pulley, Frenzal Rhomb, Chaser, Guttermouth, and many more. You name it, they’ve probably got it!

Mom’s Basement Records just replenished their pop-punk arsenal with some killer records! New additions to their distro include LPs by the Hawaiians, Beatnik Termites, Lillingtons, and Methadones. Lots of good stuff for my fellow pop-punk enjoyers to munch on.

Now that all the new and upcoming releases have been covered, I thought I’d show you the records I picked up this week, because I’m sure you really care! Anywho, I was in Ocala, FL visiting my parents for the 4th of July and I decided to stop by the only local record store in town, which is appropriately named Vinyl Oasis. I was very happy to find the RamonesIt’s Alive II, a 2020 Record Store Day title that I had been in search of for the last two years, and I was even happier it was only $30 (suck it, resellers!). I also snatched up a brand new 3xLP copy of The Clash‘s notoriously bloated Sandinista (I like it!), and a few CDs including the very interesting Misfits / Nutley Brass crossover album Fiend Club Lounge.

Well, it’s getting late, so I’ll wrap things up there. If you’re still reading this for some reason, thank you again for tuning in to this week’s edition of the Dying Scene Record Radar! Is there a new record you think should be highlighted in next week’s column? Suggestions are always welcome – send us a message on Facebook or Instagram and we’ll look into it!

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Friendly Fire

Formed in 2016 in Jacksonville, FL as an excuse to play around guitarist and song writer, Josh Sanders’ neighborhood bars and ‘temporarily’ named after a jawbreaker song on the eve of the first of those very bar shows. The band started taking things a little more seriously with the addition of guitarist and recording engineer, Chad O’Quinn, Now being able to record and release music the band decided to record a full length. Tragically, O’Quinn passed away unexpectedly before vocals were recorded and 3 weeks before the band was set to play FEST in Gainesville. Luckily, a few of Sanders’ friends came to the rescue including Ben Bennett of Kid You Not and Warren Cooke of local friends Flag on Fire, and the show was able to go on and serve as a memorial for friends in the scene to pay their respects to Chad. After a few months of inactivity and a couple of members moving on ,the band was able to acquire the the tracks for the album they’d been working on and finish it, around the same time new drummer/ singer and songwriter, Cheyenne Lefaivre entered the fold and the band began writing and recording again, as well as playing shows all around the southern states. The ‘terminal wanderlust’ LP was released on vinyl one year after O’Quinn’s passing in October 2019.

Jawbreaker

East Bay punk veterans. Do you still hate me?