Incredible Shrinking Boy
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Incredible Shrinking Boy

Chicago, Illinois, United States | INDIE

Chicago, Illinois, United States | INDIE
Band Rock Alternative

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"ISB has a sincere quality about them with a unique knack for songwriting."

-www.ecromper.com - www.ecromper.com


"ISB has a good college rock vocal and sense of fun..."

-www.hereandthere.net - www.hereandthere.net


When hearing ISB, it was a flashback for me to the style of music that got me started on this musical journey back six or seven years ago.

-www.loconotion.net - www.loconotion.net


Don’t let the name of this headlining band scare you, Fearless fans. They are quite incredible never shrinking and way more than a boy. And the name has nothing to do with shrinkage of a certain male body part either. This quaint group of men known as Incredible Shrinking Boy (named after the actual song) recently rocked out Bottom Lounge with a fantastic set. Comparing Paul and his original band back then to now, SouthSide honestly can say he has found the “something” that was missing. It’s not a complete 360 change from his former band but it was a better performance than before. It seems Paul tapped into emotional side of himself to bring out that passion while singing. During one point of the performance, he really let loose the demons and vocally fired up the audience. Yet as a whole band, they tapped into the creativity experimenting with different sounds and music. They were having fun rockin’ for the audience. This was definitely a brand “new” band performing on stage, Fearless fans.

Fans attending the show liked ISB’s alternative rock sound that had a slight pop twist to the songs. They weren’t flat and dull like but had more life because Paul and the band incorporate other genres. For example, the harmonics gave certain songs a touch of country rock though keeping alternative pop sound. SouthSide suggests listening to End of the Road in which Matt multitasks between keyboard and harmonics. She also suggests listening to Sex Drugs Rock n Roll. The song might sound like a downer though it does have a powerpop beat you can dance to. ISB thrilled the audience with an amazing instrumental for a climatic finish that included a hot Paul guitar solo. They rocked out Bottom Lounge with City of Lights. SouthSide enjoyed the subtle intro which draws you into the song gradually for that spectacular finale. It left the audience shouting for more.

There’s also a rock side to ISB, Fearless fans. Check out the song, Primitive, on their myspace page. The keyboard creates a creepy atmosphere while the guitars add some hardcore riffs. Paul on vocals shows his evil dark side that gave this reviewer a bad case of the shivers. SouthSide also recommends listening to Bodyparts – more creepiness. For more information about Incredible Shrinking Boy, visit them at www.myspace.com/incredibleshrinkingboy or www.incredibleshrinkingboy.com.

Until next time, Fearless fans, support local indie artists and music.

Peace
SouthSide
- Southside of Fearless Radio


Q&A with Chicago band Incredible Shrinking Boy

Local singer-songwriter Paul Taneja has been writing and recording music for years, and recently formed Incredible Shrinking Boy with his long-time friends and collaborators as a vehicle for his catchy, emotionally-driven pop/rock. The band's songs have already appeared on national TV shows such as MTV's "The Real World" and "Cribs," and they've been invited to play at famous music fests such as International Pop Overthrow and MOBfest.

As they gear up for their next show, set for Friday, May 15 at Quenchers, Taneja took some time to fill us in on more about the band:

First off, tell us about the history of Incredible Shrinking Boy. How and when did the band come together?

Well, for the longest time, I just performed out as Paul Taneja. But as the stars aligned and things all came together, I realized I finally had the band mates I've always wanted. I always wanted a band to be a true friendship as well as a hard working group. We definitely have both. Joe and I have been friends since we were kids, and Ivan and I have become great friends as well. Matt has been a friend for quite a few years; I didn't know he was a good keyboardist, and one day he just tried out for us and it worked. Ivan actually contacted me a few years ago, but I had another drummer, and he contacted me again the next year; we finally met and we clicked instantly because we both share a passion for beer. Joe has always dreamed of being in a band. He just never knew he'd be in a band with his best friend! He started off in the band playing acoustic guitar, but then we moved him to bass, and now he's a badass.

What's the story behind the band's name?

The band is actually named after the song from the Time Bomb EP. The only difference is there is no "the" in front of the band title, but people make that mistake all the time anyway. The song is the story a boy on a long journey to a distant castle located in some magical land; think Wizard of Oz, I suppose? He will eventually meet a wizard whose magical powers will grant him the life he has always dreamed of. Once he is granted a new life, his past is completely erased as he is born again. The song is a metaphor of the journey I feel I've been on in my life, and it's not over, so I felt it was an appropriate band name.

What does Incredible Shrinking Boy bring to the local rock scene that sets you apart from other Chicago bands?

Well, Joe now uses his cool little laser guns and sword at our shows. He likes to zap zap zap on certain songs. Ivan has one of those "That Was Easy" buttons that you buy at Staples. But his is in Spanish, and well, when he feels a song was a breeze, he pushes it with confidence. I have a brand new amp called "The Lunchbox 2". It just came out, and you can only order it from the Web site. It is the cutest little thing I've ever owned. It's literally the size of, and actually made from, a real lunchbox. It is ridiculously loud, too. It's definitely unreal. People see and hear it and become baffled. But maybe you were looking for a more serious answer...I mean, we really love to rock out up there. I tend to be an overly emotional person and songwriter, and since I generally don't show that side of me to people, I let it all out on stage and in music. So, you could say we're very animated and expressive. We find it extremely important for the emotion to come across as effectively as possible. When I see bands, no matter how great or tight they are, often times, I just don't understand what they're trying to convey. I guess I'm old school, and really appreciate artists and bands who aren't afraid to show their feelings and really let people see the sadness or frustrations in life...something that goes a bit beyond music. Maybe that makes us emo? Eww...

For someone unfamiliar with your music, which song do you recommend checking out first and why?

Well, here are three, because it's hard to choose just one: "Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll" - This is the 'hit' radio friendly type song that got us publishng deals for film and TV. So, I guess if you are a bubble gummy pop rock lover, take a listen to this. "A Vampire's Tale" - For those who love storytelling, this is the gothic tale of a character roaming the midnight city streets; he has lost his innocence and is eternally scarred by love. We have a blast playing this one live. "City Lights" - Our jam song that we close out the set with. It's mostly instrumental. Many people seem to go into a hypnotic trance during this one, and we love watching that!

From visiting the band's official site it's clear you do a lot to connect with fans in different ways, from regular blogging to posting videos on YouTube. Why do you feel this is so important and how has it helped you?

Well, blogging is important so that fans are reminded of what's going on on a regular basis. Twitter is really awesome actually, and I love watching how many great bands are using that site. Sending out regular emails to your mailing list with updates and free downloads has also shown helpful. And of course the consistency of MySpace and Facebook updates is pretty important to any band who takes their music seriously.

You've had some of your songs appear on MTV shows, including "The Real World" and "Cribs." How did that come about?

A few years back, I was at a music industry panel and the song "Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll" was played in front of a group of music supervisors. They were really impressed, and so was the audience. Right after that I was offered a number of publishing deals.

Is there any particular gig so far that stands out? Why?

Definitely Bottom Lounge. That place absolutely rocks. The sound guy was great and he was very kind and helpful. The energy of the crowd was wonderful. As Matt put it, "I haven't had that much fun since Disney World".

What have been the best and most challenging parts of being an indie band in Chicago?

Well, getting noticed is tough! We would absolutely love to open up for a bigger Chicago band who we love, like Smoking Popes, for instance. But hey, with persistence, you never know what may happen.

What's next for Incredible Shrinking Boy?

We are working on writing a new album. Ideally, we'd like to record the whole CD in my living room where we practice. That is, if I can get Nick, our producer/engineer, to move his gear out here for a while. I've always written as a singer/songwriter, so it's really cool to try something new, where everyone is a part of the writing process.

How can people find out more?

Currently people can download our albums for free on our Web site - just click on the "listen" tab and click "download album" and just like magic, a zip file of our album is downloaded to your computer, and you can dump it into iTunes. You can also purchase our CDs at our shows. Our next gig is at Quenchers on Friday, May 15th. It's seriously gonna rock and we're totally stoked. We're performing with some other really great bands, Blah Blah Blah and Berry. - www.examiner.com


Chattin it up with Incredible Shrinking Boy…
Posted by Jason Petros on April 27, 2009
Music Interview



I was hoping you could speak a little bit on “selling out” - I saw that you guys have had some of your songs on advertisements/tv shows - could you explain how this is a viable and great way to make some money/get massive exposure without being signed to a major label?

Yes, we have a few songs that were recently placed on MTV’s Real World and Cribs. This is a first placement, so I am not sure what kind of money to expect quite yet. We have this opportunity because a few years back, I was at a music industry convention in Hollywood, and I was sitting in a film/tv panel with a bunch of music supervisors explaining the film/tv aspect of the music industry. They were playing pieces of songs by various artists. At one point, they played “Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll”, and the panelists and audience were really impressed by it, so I was offered a number of publishing deals from that point on.


Also, I’d love if you could talk a little bit about your writing process - how you come up with ideas for songs or lyrics or even arrangements?

Well, the songs I’m proudest of are the ones I don’t really remember putting too much effort into writing. This is because my best songs are usually the ones written when I’m losing my mind. It’s more like I pick up the guitar or run to the piano because I HAVE to…I don’t necessarily want to. Ivan, my drummer, wonders why I don’t write happier songs; I just don’t really know how to do that. He’s a great songwriter himself, but he’s a much chipper chap than I am. Don’t get me wrong - I’m a happy person, but I definitely trap my dark side in music. I lock little parts of me away in their own personal jail cells. Recently though, I have had some recent experiences with bliss that spawned a good number of ecstatic songs. I didn’t know I could go there, but it was pretty cool, and I realized that I equate happiness with drugs, and I don’t even do drugs. My mom heard “Rise to the Clouds” and got pissed off, and I had to assure her I don’t need to go to rehab. Making music is just therapy, and often times, I’m so disconnected from reality I become a character in a story, which turns into a song. A lot of the “story” songs have involved vampires, demons, wizards, astronauts, superheroes, electric fields, magical peaches, and much more. As for song arrangements, sometimes I really don’t feel like putting the effort into being inventive or unique and trying to come up with some original chord progression. This is music, seriously. I don’t want to lose touch with what is most important to me, and that is the emotion and making sure it comes across. But sometimes, I’m impressed with how some songs are way more musically intricate than others.It just depends on my day or mood I guess, or how creative I’m feeling.


Is it a one guy writes, and the rest fill in? or a completely collaborative effort?

Up until now, it has been a “one guy writes” and the rest fill in situation. But , I know I have found very special people who have chosen to be a part of Incredible Shrinking Boy, and my goal at this point is to shed my singer/songwriter identity. I really want to share everything with these guys. We are recording a new album this year, and even though I’m so used to going into the studio to finalize a song with the help of my producer/engineer who has collaborated with me for years, this time I want to complete the songs in my living room, where we practice, with my band mates. I think everyone will feel that any new ideas will be a part of them if they are influential in how the songs end up on the record. - www.chimusicreview.com


Incredible Shrinking Boy - Time Bomb EP


Incredible Shrinking Boy took some notes from the Nirvana song-book, especially evident in the first song of their Timebomb EP, “Sex, Drugs, and Rock & Roll”. Alternative styled power chords and charging guitars provide the melodic backdrop for Paul’s unique voice. It prides me to listen to bands and singers that may lack in classical, “beautiful” tone - but more than make up for it in the feeling and tenacity in their lyrics and the recorded performance. This is an interesting EP instrumentally - the mixture of electronic pads and rhythmic beds with acoustic guitars and lightly effected vocals come together nicely and pulls it away from any Postal Service comparisons. The highlight of the EP is “Incapable of Love” - it has enough delay on the lead guitar to make it a ballad that pulls on the heart strings in that U2/Death Cab for Cutie kind of way and it’s anthemic chorus is a forlorn teens dream come true. “Made of Steel” has a sneaking synth popping in and out of it, giving the song - although this is also indicative of the entire EP - a cinematic quality - full of depth and density. It’s been said that a good song equals the sum of words and melody. A great song is the sum of those parts added with emotion. It is the emotive quality of Incredible Shrinking Boy’s music that pushes it over the edge. Check them out at www.incredibleshrinkingboy.com. - www.chimusicreview.com


Discography

ALBUMS & EPs

Recording a new album - 2009
Rollercoaster to the Stars EP - 2007
City Nights - 2006
Time Bomb EP - 2005
Escape to Sugarland - 2003
Variety Show (unreleased) - 2001

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SAMPLERS

Band Promote Sampler CD - May 2006
True Talent Management Sampler - June 2006

Photos

Bio

Incredible Shrinking Boy is the story of a young man coming to grips with the frightening reality of the world he was born into. Originally, a song written by singer/songwriter Paul Taneja on a hot summer afternoon in 2003, Incredible Shrinking Boy is about a journey and the road he continues to travel down today. What separates Incredible Shrinking Boy from many rock bands today is Paul’s willingness to wear his heart on his sleeve, combining clever lyrics with catchy pop music. Sometimes storyteller, other times impulsive thoughts turned into music, there is no denying a talent that spawns unforgettable modern pop/rock songs.

In 2003, several music industry pros recognized a unique ingredient in this songwriter’s music. From Hollywood A&R folks who have worked with bands such as Stone Temple Pilots, Queens of the Stone Age, Weezer and Maroon 5 to the president of ASCAP in Nashville, these people saw something that compelled them to contact Paul and mentor him.

In 2005, his song “Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll” was heard at an L.A. music conference during a film/TV panel. The crowd went wild and the panelists were impressed; Paul was offered a number of publishing deals and a record deal. To this day, songs have been considered for a number of television shows such as Kyle XY, Dirt, The Hills, Laguna Beach, Critic’s Choice and Parental Control.

During 2006-2007, Paul’s songs “Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll,” “Point of no Return” and “City Nights” were featured on a number of compilation CDs distributed to reputable labels and music supervisors throughout the music industry.

In 2007, Paul was recognized by administrators for his powerful songs and invited to record at Chicago’s prestigious Flashpoint Academy, in order to help instruct film/music students who will one day make their living in the entertainment industry. Recently, Flashpoint Academy has shown interest in shooting a music video for one of Paul’s songs.

In 2009, ISB's song "Primitive" was featured on MTV's Real World and the song "The World Through Different Eyes" was on Cribs.

The band performs at many venues throughout Chicago and is always ready for the next gig. Most recently, they were invited to perform at the International Pop Overthrow festival and Chicago’s famous MOBfest, which has launched many bands who have now secured their homes in the music industry. The Killers, Rachel Yamagata, Disturbed, Plaine White T’s and Kill Hannah have all performed at MOBfest.

Incredible Shrinking Boy, like the story behind it, is the adventure of a character in search of a home where loyal fans will connect and follow along on the journey.