UVU students have hidden super powers—mad drawing skills, guitar shredding, academic prowess, the ability to just eat a lot. There are plenty of talented students at this school. I was fortunate enough to spontaneously interview one such UVU student, Stefania Barr, singer/songwriter for rock band Shrink the Giant. She revealed her own personal super power.
What is Shrink the Giant?
Hmm…Shrink the Giant is quirky indie alternative rock. We started out as a studio band; before playing a single show we wrote and recorded a twelve-song original album. We released it worldwide May, 2012.
We’ve opened for Imagine Dragons, Neon Tress, Grouplove, AWOLNATION—alternative bands like that. We’re currently working in the studio on our second album, which has an approximate release date of Spring 2014 and we have a couple of music videos coming out soon.
Is it fun to be in a band?
Being in a band is probably the most fun, difficult thing you could ever choose to do, but it’s my life and I love it.
Tell us a story about a day in your life. How do you prepare for shows?
A lot of it is mental preparation. Being prepared for the music, but also the biggest part of preparation, for me at least, is preparing to connect with people. It’s like you’re the host of this big awesome party and you have to really make people feel comfortable and at ease. It’s a big responsibility, but it’s really worth it.
Who are your musical and non-musical influences?
My favorite band in the world is Radiohead. I also really love Jack White, both for his music and for who he is. My biggest vocal influence is definitely Hayley Williams. Non-musical [influences]…um… I follow the Dalai Lama on twitter (laughs). I don’t know. I love what Bill Nye said, “Every person you meet knows something you don’t know.” I try to learn something from everyone.
What are your dreams and goals?
In truth, I would like to be very successful as both a musician and an actor, just in entertainment in general. I always want to stay a clean influence and show people, especially young girls, that it’s worth it to work hard and to earn your worth based on your work and who you are.
Who writes the songs, what are they about?
Our song writing process is absolutely collaborative. Ultimately, each song is its own different story or it has its own message. You listen to the lyrics and there’s always something hidden in there. We almost always have either a story or message or some kind of motivational something hidden in our lyrics.
What’s your claim to fame?
I believe it was the bassist of Imagine Dragons told us they had listened to our album on repeat all the way from Las Vegas when they were coming to Salt Lake. He said they were big fans of Shrink the Giant. That felt pretty good.
What inspires you to do what you do?
The natural human need to create, and a passion for doing what I do. Anything can be an inspiration. It all comes back to ultimately giving people an experience.
What advice would you give to fellow bands?
Number one, you have to get outside of yourself, forget your ego. Secondly, you’ve got to work hard and persevere. And third, whatever you do, do it so well that spectators won’t be able to resist telling other people about you.
What are some of your pet peeves?
I hate sneezing while driving. It’s the scariest thing in the world cause I have to close my eyes and it’s terrifying.
Tell us how we can follow Shrink the Giant
You can get CDs, downloads and merch on shrinkthegiant.com. You can also download or stream our music from iTunes, Amazon, Rhapsody, Spotify, etc. If you want to stay updated with what we’re doing—new music, concerts, and such—like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and subscribe to our YouTube channel. We love using social media to stay connected with our fans, so send us a message. Tell us your favorite songs, songs you’d like us to cover, or just say “hi.”
Shrink the Giant’s second album will be available in 2014 Spring, in the meantime look up their self-titled debut album and get a feel for Shrink the Giant with their song “Push on Through” below.