Buckle your seat belts and get ready for the ride of your life. High energy, quick witted, charming, and undeniably talented LA based musical act ‘The Shakers’ prepares as they get ready to hit the stage once again for an exhilarating performance. If you have never heard of them, where have you been hibernating? Often compared to where’ ACDC meets the Supremes’, The Shakers are anything but ‘ordinary’. The band consists of: Jodie Schell (lead singer), Chris Lee (guitarist), Nick Woods (drummer), and Kyle Kozlowski (bassist) all having that remarkable charm and incredible talent. Do yourself a favor, set your sights high as this will be a show you won’t want to miss.
Splash Magazines had the pleasure of speaking with Jodie Schell of ‘The Shakers’ to discuss: their latest album, their quirks, and just why everyone is in love with The Shakers.
The following has been edited for continuity purposes.
Meagan Sargent: How did the band originate
Jodie Schell: Chris Lee was a philly musician who packed up and moved to LA in 2009. Our mutual friends had already started grooming me to step up my own music-career choices (write more, be a LEAD singer instead of a back up singer) when they brought Chris to my punk band's show at The Roxy. The story goes that when he saw me smash my tambourine onstage, he immediately decided I'd be the lead singer of his project THE SHAKERS.
Sargent: Meaning behind the band name
Schell: It was a suggestion from the early stages of the band back on the east coast. Chris loved how it evoked so much excitement and movement. We worried the name was used before but he promised to trademark it - which finalized in 2011. Also, there are spooky coincidences, I have found, between our band and other organizations called 'shakers'. I think it's an omen.
Sargent: Describe your sound and how are 'The Shakers' different from similar musical acts?
I can explain why I ‘think’ we started to be described as ACDC meets the Supremes. Well Chris Lee's melodic rock background is also rooted in the soulful music history of Philly. And though I felt like I graduated from punk rock bootcamp in my first steps as an LA musician, my roots are in Detroit's motown sensibilities. I think Nick Woods' style of drumming has taken that hybrid into an even tastier and unique direction, since his roots are jazz and progressive rock. I guess what make us different from other musical acts is because we create this ruckus in the most simple/basic form. We fit all four of us in a Honda Element, with gear, merch, and pajamas, and we travel the NATION with JUST. Maybe that's where the classic rock mentality comes in, because we're road warriors and there's no other noise except guitar, drums, bass, and voice.
Sargent: Your newest album is called 'Rescue Team', what is the album about?
Schell: Rescue Team encapsulates everything the band has gone through since our 2011 release OH SO LOUD. OH SO LOUD was such a celebration of finding eachother and feeling inpenetrable. RESCUE TEAM is what happened when we went out to take on the world. It got messy, and challenging, and scary at times. But we were there for eachother so we made it. I think we even pushed eachother further creatively, and I'm BEYOND excited by the results.
Sargent: If you could do a future collaboration with anyone/band who would it be
Schell: We have a few heroes. I think Queens of the Stone Age, Foo Fighters, Rush, and Heart are our living icons. Meeting them, opening up for them, collaborating, ...even massaging their feet would be fine for us. Couple mimosas... a lil pool party... I think I'd give Ann Wilson a wicked good foot massage. Maybe a bonus hair braiding sesh'
Sargent: What's it like being on stage and performing in front of a crowd that is rocking out and yelling the words right back at you.
Schell: It's everything I'll ever want or need in my lifetime. It's better than money. Especially when the words are lyrics from my own poems and confessions. It will just never ever get old.
Sargent: To me, I think it is really important for a band/artist to connect with it's audience. Would you agree? How so? And how do you feel you guys as a group do this?
Schell: Audiences are smart. You can't force it. They connect with you, and when you've earned that, it's your responsibility to keep it. You have to go to their hometown, you have to give them an EXPERIENCE. As our audience continues to expand in number and in the amount of states, it gets harder and harder to do this as a 4 man team. I can't wait for help. But in the meantime, the internet allows you to reach any fan at any time, and they can reach you. That's not a burden. That's a gift.
Sargent:Describe the relationship with your band mates
Schell: I am very lucky. We have to work really hard together to maintain the momentum building since 2009, but we each juggle day jobs on top of it. Barely anyone gets any sleep. So once we are all in the car on our way to a show, it's such a fantastic relief!!!! We don't talk too much about road shenanigans because they're just kinda dorky. I love it, though. I wouldn't have it any other way.
Sargent: Character traits? (ie: jodie is the silly one, nick is the serious one, etc)
Schell: Chris Lee is the ringleader. Even when he isn't trying to command, we all look to him quite a bit. Nick Woods is the friendliest. He'll complain the least, but he's also insatiable which earned him the nick name: The Honey Mustard Badger. Kyle Kozlowski is my back seat buddy. He's unapologetically diplomatic, and he'll either be bouncing off the walls in the car or sitting quietly with a book. There's no in-between. We're so grateful he joined the band last fall. As for me, they sarcastically accuse me of being high-maintanence - because I'm really not. I'm low key and pretty comfortable as a whipping post. But they started calling me Tallcock last year. I think it's because I've been pushed too far on a couple of occasions, and my bandmates know the other side of my politeness ;)
Sargent: What's the writing process like? Do you all write together?
Schell: Some songs are written front to back by Chris Lee, but the majority of the songs start at rehearsal. The guys will let out some steam during a break by just playing with a hook or riff or fill. If something catches, we record it and email it out so everyone can brainstorm directions for the song to go. It's very collaborative.
Sargent: Most touching thing a fan has done, thus far?
Schell: We recently had an indiegogo campaign called "Join The Rescue Team" for help funding the recording, production, and marketing fo the album. The outpouring of support was overwhelming and we'll never forget it.
Sargent: Upcoming shows?
Schell: The record release party for RESCUE TEAM will be August 31st at Troubadour, along with friends Audra Mae, Sad Robot, and Boost.
Sargent: Any traditions you all have before taking the stage
Schell: I like the shows where we have a group irish car-bomb. Haha. Those have become more and more rare as the shows grow. But if it's a big show we huddle and bring as much energy towards eachother as possible. We also have to remind eachother of all the special quirks we added to the set.
Sargent: Random fact no one knows about the band?
Schell: Nick Woods was in a Sunny D commercial as a kid!! How cute is THAT?
Sargent: What’s next?
Schell: Travelling!!! Once Rescue Team is in our hands, we're distributing it ourselves! Going to all our favorite places in Cali, Utah, AZ, the east coast and BEYOND! We've also already started writing new songs for the next album. Every new song breathes life into another facet of the band's talent and history, and it's so incredible. I can't wait for what happens next, too.
Be sure to catch them live in action next Saturday, August 31st as they hit the stage at The Troubadour along with: Audra Rae, Sad Robot, and Boost!
For more information please visit: www.ilovetheshakers.com
Here's a sample of what you can expect!