Shawn Foree, aka Digital Leather, wasn’t thinking of a career in music when he enrolled in the University of Arizona.
“I majored in literature and ended up with a minor in performance art,” says Foree, 28, who was raised on a Baha’i commune in southern Arizona and now resides in Omaha, Neb. “There was a girl; I noticed her going in and out of the art building, so I started taking these art classes, basically stalking her. Of course it didn’t work out; it ended horribly.
“But the performance art part got me performing in front of people, and it went forward from there. I just kind of fell into this thing, and I love it. I wouldn’t do anything else in the world.”
Foree’s mission these days is to simply do it better. His new Digital Leather album, “Warm Brother,” is his first for the Fat Possum label and is also his first proper “studio album” — meaning it was recorded in an actual studio rather than in his bedroom. The arrangement made him put a lot more care into the songs this time, he says.
“I tried to keep it still somewhat bedroom-sounding,” Foree says, “but I paid a lot more attention to the songwriting. On my other records, it’s mostly onetake kinds of things; this time I focused on lyrics and little things, details.
“It was like a new experience, scary but fun. I’m putting myself more out there, taking a risk. It’s a lot more than just another little punk album, you know?”
Digital Leather, the Boy Toys and Hotchacha perform at 8 p.m. Saturday (Sept. 12) at the Garden Bowl, 4120 Woodward Ave., Detroit. Admission is free. Call (313) 833-9700 or visit www.majesticdetroit.com.
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