Singer-guitarist Dennis Sheridan was a fan of punk music while attending high school in Louisville, Kentucky, later deciding the genre could use the talents of a trumpet player.
“I had a friend at the time who played in the marching band. She left a trumpet at our house. I never knew how to play an instrument before then and the trumpet that she left there was all beat up and no one cared about it — so it just stayed there. I made some sounds out of it, and one day, on a whim, I was probably 19 years old at the time, I decided I was going to learn to play the trumpet. I went into a local music shop and I accidentally met the chair of the Louisville orchestra who taught there. He gave me lessons.”
After being offered a stipend to become a member of Bellarmine University’s pep band, he joined Skam Impaired and then switched to guitar, playing in the experimental Blue Goat War, and the shoegaze-inclined Follow That Train. The latter opened shows for My Morning Jacket in 2007 (Sheridan was friends in high school with Jim James) but ended up splitting, leaving Sheridan to pursue a day job as a freelance software developer.
He moved to Oceanside and in 2017 formed EndCastle, a classically futuristic and sometimes psychedelic rock band. As that band prepared to take a hiatus in the latter half of 2019, he put together his first solo release, Midwestern Pacific, featuring songs he'd done over the past 14 years. All the one-word-named tracks are stripped down acoustic recordings. “When you’re playing in a bar, most people aren’t really listening to the words that you are singing,” he says. “That’s the coolest opportunity that making a record like this gives you. If you’re someone who likes to spend a lot of time crafting lyrics, you have a chance to put out some poetry and put to music.”
By the end of 2019, Sheridan had debuted a new trio, Space Motor. “It’s a little surfy. It’s a little bit post-rocky,” Sheridan explained. “I think we sound like Broken Social Scene a little, but maybe surfier. Maybe some American Analog Set mixed in there. There’s probably a little bit of Sebadoh influence. For me, my guitar playing influence is always going to be J. Mascis. A lot of effects. I think people will dig it.”