Behind The Music with Black Cadillac Kings on Upside The Wall

Black Cadillac Kings  @AVALIVERADIO(1).png

Band Name: Black Cadillac Kings 
Shane Thornton -Lead Vocals /Rhythm Guitar
Chris Garrett -Drums/Lead Vocals
Otis Dean Oliver-Stand Up & Electric Bass
Vic Picks-Lead/Slide & Rhythm Guitars


Listen to this interview with the Black Cadillac Kings and host Jacqueline Jax from inside the car on the way through Colorado to perform at the ISSA AWARDS.

Person Interviewing: Shane Thornton

Song name: Upside The Wall

Music Genre: Americana Southern Rock

I live in... Klamath Falls, Oregon USA

Link to play::

This song 'Upside The Wall' is about the crazy times spent with the hot and unbridled passion of lovers that can’t get enough of each other told through articulate lyrics describing their adult escapades though race car sexual innuendos until the climax car crash at the end.

Black Cadillac Kings music is of many real true-life stories including topics of cars, women, sex, love, lost love, war, pain, happiness, friends & loved ones that have passed on, Native American history, tortured souls, cannabis, wonderful days of what’s in store for the future.

All of these topics and more have been real to all of us at one point in time. Even if it hasn’t happened to you yet, it’s bound to. These lyrics and melodies we write mostly come from a Blues based Foundation but also have influenced other forms of music like folk, bluegrass, rockabilly, rock n’ roll, classic rock, southern rock, gospel with old school country & western styles. We draw our influences out of a big pot of Americana music that holds all these styles mentioned above.“We’re rollin’ through your town with whiskey on our breath just like a tumbleweed...High On OCTANE!”-Black Cadillac Kings

This song 'Upside The Wall' fits into our style quite well even though it’s the hardest fastest single with a pop twist we’ve done so far, yet clever and well arranged at the same time. It feels a little more grown-up than our early releases do though. But you can’t deny the thunderous drum sound of Garrett and the ultra slippery slide guitar work by Vic Picks.

This combined with Oliver’s simple yet solid as a rock stand up bass and my (Shane Thornton) monster southern rock/rockabilly riffs, this tune fits perfectly into our style. Why did you say? “Because it is,” I say. This was a song I had written with different lyrics before that were very graphic and didn’t leave much to the imagination. Plus the lyrics sounded juvenile and low class. I kept the same vocal melody as before but then came up with the race car sex innuendos in the lyrics, it all fell together.

This release represents the current direction of the band very well. 'Upside The Wall' sounds like a Black Cadillac Kings’ song to me. It’s a bit faster and upbeat and has a harder edge sprinkled with harmonic melodies with hard yet tongue in cheek playfulness in the lyrics that fit with our fondness of motorized vehicles.

If you go back to our first album, “Baby Loves My Hotrod “ is definitely in the same vein as this song. It’s hard bluesy Rock n’ roll with lyrics that reflect cars and sex as almost being the same. Both songs are ‘Show stoppers and Panty droppers’. Meaning they bring a fun sexy mood with them and leave you satisfied but still wanting more. The harder guitar tones fit well with the be 4 On The Floor release because the record as a whole has a darker feel with other songs such as “Everlasting Pain” and “Tear Dust Blues”. 4 On The Floor is BCK’s darkest and heaviest sound to date.

I had the song done in my head and I showed it to Dean, Vic, and Chris on just a 12 string acoustic. They learned the chords and arrangement and then added their personal touches and flavor to finalize it into a Black Cadillac Kings tune. I had an idea that “Upside The Wall” would sound amazing with some Honky Tonk piano for a southern rock feel. I called our buddy Robert Harlow who sat in with us live many times and also laid down Hammond organ tracks on our previous release. I explained my vision to Robert and sent him off with the rhythm track. He came back with the perfect honky-tonk piano part and well. A song in perfect form and arrangement in the end.

I was two years old when I started performing. I would have a comb for a microphone and put on concerts for my parents and their friends. They were only 18 years old with a 2-year-old. My folks were just babies themselves. I somehow knew all the lyrics and vocals to every CCR and Neil Young song we had in the record collection. At 8 months, I could speak full sentences so speech and singing came quick and easy for me. I got hooked on the records my Dad would bring home like Steve Miller, Bad Company, Beatles, Rolling Stones, Boston and such.

It wasn’t till I heard Back In Black by AC⚡️DC when it all changed for me. That album lit a fire that has never gone out. The power that it had, the lyrics, the guitars and the vocals all mixed made an impressionable 12-year-old take notice. At this time I began to pick up my mom’s old Lyle six-string that had been leaning in a corner since their 3rd wedding anniversary. A gift from my Dad to her. She showed me my first chords and how she stunned the rhythm with her pick hand in unison with her left fingerboard hand. It took fairly fast and that was the first time I had looked at my mom as amazing.

From then I taught myself the Malcolm Young style of rhythm guitar and have prided myself as a solid rhythm player. My solo picking has never been my strong set and I know a few cool licks and can jam along with the best. It is the rhythm guitar that struck a chord in me. I create music because at an early age my purpose was presented to me by God and I grabbed ahold of it and embraced it because I knew it was a part of me that would always be here with me.

Music enriches my life in a few different ways. I love to be in the creative process and everything that comes with it. Writing, performance, and studio where these are all very satisfying. Seeing and hearing your ideas being played back to you with superior sound quality is exciting! It’s like building a house. The drums and bass are the foundation, the guitars, vocals and melodies, and the walls and roof. The feelings, messages, and emotions are what fill the inside that makes the house a home. 

I get massive amounts of joy from music. Performing live is an example, we play a song that we enjoy and get joy from that. We see people start to dance or start singing the lyrics with you, so now they are getting joy from dance and singing. This, in turn, sends joy back to me seeing the audience get joy.

My favorite instrument is the guitar (Big surprise). She was my first love and I will never leave her side.

“The music business and being a musician today for me means not what it used to be. The days of major labels controlling it all is almost to a close. Careers are now in the hands of the artists. Indie artists have the most control over their music these days more than ever. It is an exciting time to be an Indie musician. If one is open to learning the ins and outs of music promotion today, it is a great opportunity that wasn’t available before.

Surround yourself with great, passionate, hard-working, honest people to build a team with the same dream. I love helping other artists move forward in their careers. I love it when bands in town or community/scene completely support each other’s endeavors. This is happening in my small town right now and it’s wonderful. “ Shane Thornton Black Cadillac King’s

Website & social media links: