Take 5: Shawn Roddy

Shawn Roddy, local artist and bassist for the popular southern Louisiana band Category 6, has been entertaining audiences in south Louisiana and beyond for nearly 25 years. The multi-talented Schriever-native—who first picked up the drumsticks at 15 years old and learned guitar and piano along the way—sat down with The Times to discuss his musical journey, solo debut original album and more. 

Describe your sound. 

“I probably most sound like someone who wasn’t taught properly how to play the instrument but has a lot of enthusiasm. Rather I’m on drums or bass, I tend to have a more aggressive or overdriven sound. Growing up listening to heavy metal and hard rock certainly had an influence.”

Tell me about your musical journey here in the Bayou Region.

“I started out playing drums in cover bands in the mid 90s. At the time, we mostly played alternative rock. Soon, I started writing and recording original material with friends, and I was part of many original bands over the years: Klonopin, Shakespeare In Hell, The Surf Thugs, Drysocket, Cyanide Smile and others. About 10 years ago, I picked up bass simply because a lot of local bands needed a bassist, and I wanted to work. That eventually became my main instrument, simply out of demand, and is currently what I play live most of the time.”

What are some of your favorite local venues to play at? 

“Currently we host a jam night at The Boxer and The Barrel in Houma every other Wednesday, and it is one of my favorite places to play. Other great venues I enjoy are Venue 182 in Raceland and Intracoastal Club in Houma.”

Describe the music scene down here. 

“The music scene down here has always been very rich. Many people from larger cities, like New Orleans, are blown away by the talent and versatility in the musicians. The Houma scene has always hosted a large amount of both cover and original bands and musicians. For the better part of the twenty years I’ve been active; there’s been large crowds that appreciated musicianship and original work. The scene goes up and down of course, but on any given night, you can usually find somebody playing their heart out at a local bar, restaurant or venue.” 

What was the inspiration for your project “Galaxy”? 

“As someone just having gotten into his forties and having a lot of changes in life personally, I began reflecting on the last 10 years of my life. In my spare time, I had begun writing little bits and pieces here and there. I began thinking they could become songs and ultimately, an album that tells a story. While the subject matter was very personal, I thought of using a story about a sci-fi space mission to find the end of the galaxy as the concept…The “Galaxy” concept was just to help give a setting and mood. At the time of writing, I was thinking of a lot of 80’s sci-fi kids’ movies I watched as a kid. The end result is a very human album, complete with mistakes and heartfelt emotion.”

Bonus Question: In the event of a Zombie Apocalypse, what instrument would save your life and why? 

“The drums of course! After years of playing metal, I should be able to double bass to death any and all zombies.”

Roddy recently released “Galaxy”—which he performed and wrote all of the music for—under his alias, Music To Drive To. The album is streaming on all major platforms, including Spotify, Tidal, Apple Music, YouTube and more. Category 6’s next show in the area is at the Harang Jr. Municipal Auditorium for the Krewe of Ambrosia Ball on Feb. 6; tickets are open to the public.