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Los Angeles, California, United States | INDIE

Los Angeles, California, United States | INDIE
Band Alternative Indie




"Sandbox Is It"

True confession time: after listening to the first two tracks completely this writer/listener had to peak at Sandbox's Facebook page to read up on the band's influences. Where in the world did this unique sound draw from? Is this art in motion? Is this what people felt like when they heard the Beatles for the first time?

Okay, maybe that last one is a bit dramatic. Truth be told, listening to these tracks is like watching a pompador take form; it's like mashing Muse, The Faint, The Killers and Nirvana into one giant pudding.


Hipsterville Residents

"Tried and Tried" (track one) is almost as mesmerizing as track two ("Doesn't Really Matter"). Missing only the pop hooks, these indie rockers bring to life these enigmatic sounds and an endless array of authentic modern audio landscapes one is hard pressed to feel anything but moved. Vocalist Shane Sweet has this deep, mysterious voice that oozes in personality. He sounds like Elvis (that's where the afore mentioned pompador falls into place. Keep up people) and Duckie from Pretty in Pink. Only cooler and fits in with hipsterville residents.

Readers at this point, it is a guarantee this writer/listener will be giving Me & Him and Horse a solid A+ review. Please keep reading.

"Memories" starts a bit slow before this unrelenting burst of emotional guitar riffs and aggrivated percussion dance around with Sweet's charismatic vocals. One doesn't want this song to end.

"Leaving Now" has this 60s Animals feel going for it. This song really gets the heart pumping and fans of indie rock shouldn't live without this track.

"Pen & Guitar" has this tricky trumpet in the background. Suddenly a quick changeup erupts (think Panic at the Disco). The backing vocals are ghostly. "Holly Would" meanders in this sexy extended intro. Sweet spurts out in a hip-hop like rant. At this point, he sounds a bit like the boys from Fallout Boy but not as commercial. The murky guitar riffs are rich and polished.


"Streetlights" kidnaps the mind into this wrenching world. The tempo is fast, but Sweet's vocals call for slight anguish, yet at the same time, a bright spot on the horizon. "French Roast" is the least liked track of the bunch, but Sandbox finishes strong with "Everybody."

"Everybody" has this stunning orchestration mixed with raging guitar riffs and tight percussion. This song's prose and overall packaging is hard to fade from one's mind. Just when you think it's all solid rock, this quirkly electronic bridge takes center stage.

The listener is still reeling from the first track, but the bookend songs on Me & Him and Horse are nothing short of spectacular.

Read more at Suite101: Sandbox Is It | Suite101
Follow us: @suite101 on Twitter | Suite101 on Facebook - Suite 101-Melissa Kucirek

"Whatever "It" Is, Sandbox has "It.""

Most would agree most popular artists out there have something truly special to give to their fans. This goes above the typical attributes like raw talent, amazing songs, nice voice, or even a very marketable look, sound and image. There's something truly infectious at the core of these artists that simply makes us feel good when we listen to them. Whatever "it" is - they all seem to have "it".

Today I listened to the latest CD from Los Angeles based 7 member band Sandbox headed up by Singer/Songwriter Shane Sweet entitled Me & Him and Horse released in 2012. Venturing to their website I get the impression this is one group thats extremely determined and passionate about the songwriting craft. From start to finish this CD from Sandbox delivers and is a very entertaining musical experience altogether. It pushes hard intellectually and has a nice Earthy-Folksy-Alternative Rock quality to it, and even dabbles in Jam Band or Saloon Folk-Jazz. It also reminds me of Panic at the Disco, Ben Harper, Dave Matthews Band and The Animal Liberation Orchestra. Any fans of any of these musical styles or bands will enjoy this latest release. It's clearly marketed for those who like a male vocal front and playing and songwriting that never lets its down its guard. I get the impression this band are letting it all hang out via this compelling 10 track line up. In other words they hits the mark remarkably well by just by being who they are musically. Favorite tracks include (Memories) and (Doesnt Really Matter). All songs strike the perfect balance between rock, Alternative Rock and dramatics Earthy Folk. The songwriting is impressive and digs a bit deeper than the next independent band. Within each one of these pieces Sweet and company capture something special as they bares their soul and delivers what I would call pure musical mojo. It offers much in the way of passion and compelling-thought provoking lyrical content as well. The playing from all members is spot on and just makes the whole CD even more enjoyable. The vocal abilities from Sweet are to die for. The overall vibe of the production is very defiant, rebellious and a bit comical with pockets of hope shining through.

I see Sandbox as a diamond in the rough, with an amazing amount of potential. As time goes by he will no doubt hear more from them. I also would be surprised to hear their music featured on the Radio or even in a Video Game, Feature Film and Reality TV Series. Im also eager to see what the future holds for them. In close most famous artists out there have "it" I'm not so sure what it but Sandbox has whatever "it" is.

Michael Morrison
West Lothian, Scotland (UK)

Rating: 9/10 - Music Emissions- Michael Morrison

"Sandbox- Way too Much Precision and Clarity to Live in the Shadows of Pop Rock.""

I recently listened to the latest work from LA based 7 piece band “Sandbox” entitled “Me & Him and Horse” (2012).
Review: Sandbox is an exciting Alternative Rock Band from the Los Angeles who has been making quite a name for themselves regionally and nationally. They has received critical acclaim for their amazing songwriting and I think the quote on their URL says it best: The process of Sandbox is unique: “I write and play all the parts in the recordings. On the new record, I brought in a few specialists to play violins and horns, plus a tap dancer and a 16-person choir. But beyond all of that I play each part you hear, and live I am joined by my awesome band. Me & Him and Horse is their latest release and the result though far from a self-indulgent ego trip, rather a moving and elegiac artistic statement from start to finish. This is not your overly predictable Ramon Noodle Pop Rock band, no Sandbox goes much deeper than that. In-fact Sandbox could be classed as a 4 genera artist: Alternative Rock, Pop, Americana and even contemporary Folk. Sandbox has way too much precision and clarity to live in the shadows of overly-predictable Pop Rock. Indeed this is clearly evident in songs like “Doesn’t Really Matter”, “Everybody” and “Pen and Guitar” which methodically ups the ante to a very respectable level of catchy musical expression and craftsmanship that transcends typical pigeonholing. The music is also commercially viable with a fresh sound and an entertaining vibe that makes a real connection with the listener. All pieces within this album hold the attentions span of the listener perfectly.
Favorite Tracks: Doesn’t Really Matter, Everybody, Pen and Guitar
Criticism: None

Conclusion: In a nutshell this is Ben Gibbard meets Dashboard Confessional. The 10 song line-up appeals to many listeners with a wide variety of musical styles.
Final Rating: 5 Star Rating Average: This CD gets 4.0 Stars.
By Michael Rand edited by Drew Blackwell - Rock 'n Roll View- Drew Blackwell

"Sandbox Will Affirm Your Faith in Music Again"

Overall Rating: 4.5/5

Have you listed to the Radio lately? Is it me or is something horribly wrong with today’s music. Do you remember when music actually had really instruments in them with real people playing them? No kidding. How about good songwriting performed by artists that not only wrote the music but poured their heat and soul into performing them. Now when one listens to the radio what do you hear: a pretty face, cookie cutter songwriting, crafted via a microphone, some fancy sampling and a mix that sounds more like a commercial than a piece of music. Yes the magic is all but gone from modern-day music, and people are wondering why. Actually there are a few select artists out there that still believe in the power of music. Artists like Los Angeles based 7 piece Alt-Band Sandbox for example.

Their latest collection of 10 songs entitled Me & Him and Horse was released in 2012 and I have to say I was extremely impressed with the opening 3 tracks “Tried and Tried”, “Doesn’t Really Matter” and “Puzzles in the Pavement’ . They made quite the impression and each one possessed my full unadulterated attention. To be honest: I expected cheesy Sing Songy Pop that was extremely predictable and shallow in nature – very compatible for a mass audience. Well shame on me! What I discovered was actually quite the opposite. The whole CD is wonderfully conservative yet full of what I would call positive Psychedelic Folk-Rock energy with music that appeals to so many different senses on so many different levels. It reminds me of a darker version of Panic at the Disco, a touch of Pearl Jam, The Minus 5, Tom Petty. I can also hear the slight R&B influence in there as well. What I really like about Sandbox is there is no attempt to deliver what I call over the top pop. Cheezy music with a pretty face via top flight sampling, cookie cutter songwriting via a mix that sounds more like a commercial than a piece of music. It will also appeal to both advanced and novice listeners alike. Whatever kind of listening level you’re on – some will identify with things while others will not. Like a three layered cake “Me & Him and Horse” is one CD that has allot of depth and has so much to offer. Weather it’s musically, lyrically, inspirationally, emotionally, spiritually – if you feel like music is taking us in the wrong direction than rest assured Sandbox with Shane Sweet is taking us back in the right direction with Thankful.

Favorite Track: “Puzzles in the Pavement”

Final Word: Sandbox will affirm your faith in music again. She represents all that is good in music and her latest CD Me and Horse and Him delivers a highly passionate 13 track catalog via top flight musicianship, amazing songwriting and music that covers all the bases: Pop, Rock, even Psychedelic Country. - Independent Music Promotions- Michael Keith

"Sandbox on Jan Van Zee"

Mass Appeal_____12345678910
Might I spin this at a party_____NOT-LIKELY/LIKELY/YES/HELL YES
Might I recommend this to a friend_____NOT-LIKELY/LIKELY/YES/HELL YES
Most Fav_____Doesn’t Really Matter - Jan Van Zee Music Blog

"Sandbox- What does a band like Radiohead, The Young Veins and Patrick Stump have that Sandbox don’t have? Not much."

About the Artist: This is the latest release from Los Angeles based 7 member Alternative Rock band “Sandbox.” Band members include: Kaitlin Wolfberg and Morgan Paros (Violins), Dayna Richards (horns), Laureen Brown (Tap), Cooper Cowgill and Adam Hull (Marching Drums), Shane Sweet plays all other instrumentation and is the primary vocalist.
Review: What does a band like Radiohead, The Young Veins and Patrick Stump have that Sandbox don’t have? Not much if you ask me save the multi million dollar promotional machines and major record label support. In this overly saturated genera/market a plethora of artists coming out of the woodwork, armed with nothing more than a PC, Microphone, a guitar and nothing special to offer. They manage push their music out to the masses and much of it is substandard to say the least. Sandbox are the perfect band name for these 7. It defiantly has an Indie-Rock swagger to it with a deep seeded earthy-Folk aftertaste. Musical overtones that will remind you of acts from Radiohead, The Young Veins and Patrick Stump. But on the other end of the sonic spectrum I can even Neil young, Fleetwood Mac and even acoustic Pink Floyd. Musical styles presented: Folk, Alternative Coffee House Alternative Rock e Rock. All in all a well-rounded CD that has much to offer the listener.
My Top 3 tracks “Puzzles in the Pavement, Streetlights, Doesn’t Really Matter.
Song Samples from the CD: Available on AMAZON –
Conclusion: Me & Him and Horse buy Sandbox stands out from other Indie-Alt Bands within this saturated market. Their answer to mundane music is to deliver something unique with a superlative signature sound to call their own. The strong suit of Sandbox are their passion, solid musicianship and thought provoking melodies. One would be wise to keep a watchful eye on Shane Sweet and these cats over the years to come.
Rory Richardson - SKOPE Magazine- Rory Richardson

"Sandbox- I’ve Never Heard an Artist so Skillfully Combine so many Genre’s into One Unique Sound"

Sandbox – Me & Him and Horse

By Mindy McCall edited by Michael Rand

Overall Rating: 8/10

From Southern California comes a fresh new band known as Sandbox who just released their latest release “Me & Him and Horse” (2012). I always listen to the opening track extremely carefully. It’s the opening track the artists has selected to hit your ears first and foremost. The opening track “Tried and Tried” sets the stage rather well for a CD like this. It was a great intro piece that stuck in my head and had me eager for what lied ahead. All in all the whole CD is brilliantly delivered with a richly woven Alternative-Rock texture with songs that have serious popish staying power. Music will remind you of Live, Death Cab for Cutie and Band New. To be honest I can’t say enough about Sandbox’s appeal and overall signature sound. Their bio describes it best: Our music and art are fun, thoughtful, diverse, insightful…and masked,” Shane concludes. “I want people to get a real human experience out of my music, the recordings in specific. I want people to see and experience environments from them and experience real humanness in the songs, people lie, they say things they don’t mean, they don’t say things they DO mean, people are coy, people say they’re happy when they aren’t, and all the characters in the songs are very much human in that regard, you don’t find much shooting from the hip from the characters’ perspectives and I hope that people see that and can connect to that sense of realness. ”Me & Him and Horse” captures a very pure and genuine sound that grabs the listener right from the get go. Sandbox has a sound that favors many folk-pop artists in the late 90’s yet with a modern feel. I’ve never heard an artist so skillfully combine so many genera’s into one unique sound. Weather this is by design or simply by accident it’s amazing. The songs that stuck with me the most were “Streetlights” and “Does’nt Really Matter”.

My only negative comment – I felt the CD attempts to be too many things at one time, to many people. There are melodic poppy moments, hard rock moments, sing songy moments and Alternative Rock moments. I would advise Sweet slightly narrow their overall sound a bit within the fairway. This doesn’t mean the CD isn’t impressive – because it is.

If there was one word I would use to describe Shane Sweet and Sandbox it would be diversified. This CD will simply make your day more entertaining, but there is an undeniable passion beneath all this. Sandbox is a capable songwriter but it’s obvious to me his primary goal as an artist is to blow your mind one song at a time. This CD spoke to me personally and inspired me on so many different levels. - All What's Rock- Michael Rand

"Sandbox: Upbeat, Funny, Interesting, Thought Provoking, Melodic and Highly Entertaining"

The Artist I recently checked out the latest CD from Alternative Folk/Rock band Sandbox entitled Me & him and Horse released in 2012. Band members include: Kaitlin Wolfberg and Morgan Paros (Violins), Dayna Richards (Horns), Laureen Brown (Tap), Cooper Cowgill and Adam Hull (Marching Drums), Shane Sweet plays all other instrumentation and is the lead singer. .

The band The playing abilities of Shane Sweet and his 6 piece band are pretty solid across the board. I would say they possess intermediate playing abilities and above average writing abilities. Timing seems to be spot on within the indie-alternative rock grooves. Sweet's voice is effective as he delivers many solid vocal performances that match the indie style of music perfectly. The music Upbeat, funny, interesting, thought provoking, melodic and highly entertaining. Musical textures reminiscent of Jack Johnson, Matchbox 20, Rob Thomas and even Kenny Loggins – anything indie and melancholy but fun. If you like those kinds of artists you will no doubt get a kick out of this CD. The songs Above average songs. Very simple yet effective, conservative, highly original, and passionate It strikes the prefect balance between alternative and just a dash of Indie folk. Sweet and company are clearly being themselves as songwriters and performers and this is what emerges. My favorite song on the CD is the "Puzzles in the Pavement" The vibe Great vibe. Perfect for late night college parties, coffeehouses, or even magazine shops. The production delivers a lot of earthy musical variety. Honorable mentions go out to amazing musicianship of Shane Sweet. He is no doubt the Musical Mastermind. I give him high marks for not being afraid to let it all hang out musically. Sweet is not trying to be some popish artist striving for mass appeal – he’s just being himself. The CD refuses to try to hard – that’s what makes it so amazing The good Very likeable, marketable record – amazing songs, fun to listen to. The bad Nothing to report. The ugly Nothing to report.

The verdict Me & Horse and Me by Sandbox is a rock solid CD. The songwriting is clearly above average. The production gets it’s point across. Again the most amazing thing about this CD is Sweet's vocals and impressive production virtuoso. He’s clearly a premier talent. Fans of carefree Alternative-College Rock will love this CD no doubt. - Indie Shark- Markus Druery

"Sandbox: The Wake Up Call to Modern Music"

SANDBOX – Me & Him and Horse (CD)
By Heather Savage edited by Devin McAlister

Sandbox featuring Singer/Songwriter Shane Sweet hails from Southern California and has received many impressive accolade s o far during their tenure as an artist down in the LA Area. including: Sweet, whose “Speakeasy” project has recreated ’20's era clubs, here affects a strangled, nasally vocal persona on his mildly hooky material. “Tried and Tried” reminds us of a stripped down Arcade Fire. “Doesn’t Really Matter” employs a plinking piano in another low-key arrangement that allows the drama to build. While Sweet’s voice is not for everyone, his alt-vision is consistently intriguing. ”

Me & Him and Horse”(2012) is their latest release and it has much to commend it. Admittedly, there is a whole lot of variety to these arrangements and performances. First: Sweet’s impressive band delivers rock solid playing like a well oiled machine. This is testament to hundreds of hours of rehearsal time no doubt. Second: Sweet’s voice and overall circa 1920’s look hit the mark remarkably well. He has the attributes required of an effective Singer/Songwriter. Third: his sound and amazing songwriting touch are as good as it gets. All songs are a skillful combination of modern pop rock yet with a slight Old Type Folk aftertaste that will remind you of Paul Simon, Counting Crows, Bob Dylan and The John Butler Trio. Sweet has the creativity and songwriting prowess to be extremely dangerous. There is also a unique quality to this catalogue that breaks the mold when compared to the mundane pop-rock that’s been filling the airwaves lately. What am I trying to say – well let m start by saying there is nothing fake and superficial about Sandbox. Not every square inch is filled with musical ambience delivered under duress – but musical space this allows the music to breathe on its own with passion that cannot be faked. Equally as impressive is how marketable this 10 song catalogue truly is to a cult fan base. It covers so much ground and despite this it manages to not spread itself to thin across to many lines – nice touch. I’ve always said if you can play it a party, then it’s marketable. The music is extremely marketable – with a fresh sound that is passionate and entertaining very much like, well Sandbox themselves. All 10 tracks will genuinely lift your spirits but intrigue the mid as well unlike most music you hear on the radio these days.


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Let me go on record by stating Sandbox has no weaknesses that I can see and hear. They have everything! Their latest release “Me & Him and Horse” is an endearing album limited by nothing. I would imagine in time we will hear more from this unit from Los Angeles as the years unfold. Time will tell but I can honestly say this is one artist that is set up for marketable success down the road with her musical personality and fresh sound that gives modern music a well needed wake up call. - This is Vibes

"Live Review at The Bootleg-Los Angeles"

The Bootleg Theater

Material: By day Shane Sweet is a voice actor, by night he writes all the music for two guitars, a bass, keyboard, and a violin for his band Sandbox... AND sings the vocals. Sandbox is multi-instrumental indie pop, shoegaze all grown up. Its sound is reminiscent of Modest Mouse... if you only listen to “Puzzles In Pavement.” By the end of the night, you’ll be reminded of The Beatles, the Cars, Matt and Kim and The Killers. Dallas locals will hear echoes of Andrew Tinker and his early experiments.

Musicianship: Just by looking at the band’s equipment, it’s clear that Sandbox have sunk some serious money into their setup. It isn’t just for show-well, it is for a show-these musicians know what they’re doing. Paros and McPherson play off each other so that nothing is smothered or over powdered. The keyboards and drums are tasteful. As if they didn’t have enough instruments on stage already, Thornberry uses the keyboard to mimic other sounds, like an accordion. Vocals alternate between young and slightly nasally to a projected bass sound. Their original, “Pen & Guitar,” is a favorite.

Performance: A snob might dismiss Sandbox’s set at The Bootleg for being everything people love to hate about hipsters-Sweet in a cardigan; fans wearing suspenders, saddle shoes and vintage prints; obscure alcohol everywhere; the band’s British sound engineer doing adjustments from an app on an iPad, etc. You know what, though? It’s OK to love hipsters, because Sandbox were good and their sound guy amazingly didn’t suck. The band couldn’t move much with six members crowded on a small stage, though, which didn’t give the audience much of a visual. However, people were bobbing their heads, and the band received cheers after the set.

Summary: What is intriguing about Sandbox is that their sound suggests they’re a group of passionate 20 something’s who recorded music in a garage full of thrift store equipment. But their stage presence reveals that it’s a professional sound specifically crafted to conjure thoughts of indie-film romance run through Instagram filters. They make you want to go home and watch Big Fish. Again. Also, Sandbox score decorum points for taking the stage on time, playing efficiently, and thanking the other bands playing that night.
-Jessica Aves
MUSIC CONNECTION - Music Connection-Jessica Aves

""Me & Him and Horse" Reviewed in Indie Music Digest"

Artist: Sandbox
Album: Me & Him And Horse
Label: Independent Artist
Genre: Alternative Rock, Alternative Folk, Celtic
Sounds Like: Stan Ridgeway, R.EM. Dexy’s Midnight Runners
Technical Grade: 9/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 9/10
Commercial Value: 8/10
Overall Talent Level: 8/10
Songwriting Skills: 10/10
Performance Skill: 10/10
Best Songs: Memories, Doesn’t Really Matter, Streetlights
Weakness: A Few Winded Songs

Los Angeles based 7 piece band Sandbox featuring Shane Sweet just released their debut CD entitled Me & Him & Horse in 2012. Band members include: Kaitlin Wolfberg and Morgan Paros (Violins), Dayna Richards (horns), Laureen Brown (Tap), Cooper Cowgill and Adam Hull (Marching Drums), Shane Sweet plays all other instrumentation and is the primary vocalist.

The CD kicks things off with “Tried and Tried” a slow moving acoustical ballad that serves up a peaceful methodical intro melody by Sweet accompanied by inviting fretwork, dynamic rhythm and impressive harmonies. Track 2 “Doesn’t Really Matter” shifts gears a bit with its methodical intro dishing out melancholy Piano, driving rhythms against a grand slam chorus. Track 3 “Puzzles in the Pavement” offers up soothing melody against heartfelt vocals from Sweet and well placed Celtic fretwork that flows and ebbs its way though to emotional fruition. The CD makes a great first impression, providing 3 solid musical experiences in a row. As the CD slowly unfolds you will notice most of the songs are very conservative in nature, with lush layers of musical instrumentation layered everywhere. I would classify this music as Alternative Celtic Folk Rock that goes down smooth and fills the sonic space with what I would describe as peaceful tranquility. The musicianship provides a lot of musical variety behind Sweet. Besides the 4 piece standard you will also notice brief splashes of Horns, Piano, Violins, Marching Drums, Impressive vocal Harmonies and thick as a brick rhythm section. All in all the CD has some truly impressive moments, showcasing impressive lyrical content, soothing vocal melodies all built upon a unique signature sound. Now turning our attention over to Sweet, as for his vocal abilities it works extremely well across the board as he crosses many musical boundaries effectively and successfully. This is not easy to do. Weather it's R&B, Folk, Celtic, Rock, Sweet seems comfortable within each one. His vocal style reminds me a lot of Kevin Rowland (Dexy’s Midnight Runners), Bob Dylan and even Stan Ridgeway. The songwriting offers a brilliant perspective and the lyrical content is very thought provoking and very compelling. From dynamic Memories” to rocking “Leaving Now” and “Pen & Guitar” to psychedelic “Holly Would” to melodic “Streetlights” to thought provoking French Roast” this CD has something for just about everyone. The CD ends with Track 10 “Everybody” the perfect finale statement for a CD of this caliber.

All songs over 3.5 minutes tend to drag you to the finish line. I don’t get the CD cover art concept or CD title as both miss the mark for me. The 1 panel insert offers little in the way of liner notes about the overall production. Though adequate the mix sounds a bit erratic and lacks continuity track to track. Many of the aforementioned issues are not typical of Gold Standard CD releases. Finally I wish Sweet would spike the punch a bit more with his overall vocal emotions and even be a bit more aggressive vocally on some of the songs.

After spending some quality time with Sandbox featuring Shane Sweet - Me & Him and Horse it’s hard to find any real weaknesses. Instead as the CD progressed I became more and more impressed with it. The musicianship is first rate, the songs are short and sweet musical experiences. Each one possessing a unique personality, flair, and signature groove. What I like most about Sandbox besides the unique signature sound is there is no attempt to sugar coat the truth anywhere on the CD. I really admire artists out there who are themselves and just let the chips fall where they may. Praise goes out to artists that can show us something genuine beneath their veil of vanity - Sandbox featuring Shane Sweet is one of these artists. - Indie Music Digest

"Sandbox Interview/Review in Indie Music Digest"

After spending some quality time with Sandbox featuring Shane Sweet - Me & Him and Horse it’s hard to find any real weaknesses. Instead as the CD progressed I became more and more impressed with it. The musicianship is first rate, the songs are short and sweet musical experiences. Each one possessing a unique personality, flair, and signature groove. What I like most about Sandbox besides the unique signature sound is there is no attempt to sugar coat the truth anywhere on the CD. I really admire artists out there who are themselves and just let the chips fall where they may. Praise goes out to artists that can show us something genuine beneath their veil of vanity - Sandbox featuring Shane Sweet is one of these artists.

IMD What do you want fans to take from your music?

SS There are a few things I'd love for fans to take from the music to be honest. I'd love the music to be something that travels with them and becomes a trigger of memories of their good times, I'd hope that the songs are just a little piece of a great road trip or night out or special, individual moment that years from now if they hear the song, it will enable them to be transported to that time and place and really give the song the power to move them. Along with that I really always hope that the songs are tools for people to learn things about themselves, some sort of medium for self revelation. More than any other art form I feel music has the interpretative freedom for the listener for the song to mean whatever they want it to mean.

IMD Who are some of your top musical influences?

SS Growing up I really loved country and singer/songwriter types like Garth Brooks, Johnny Cash, and Leonard Cohen. In my later teens my eyes were opened to the Vast world outside of that by bands like Nirvana, Led Zeppelin, The Beatles (my fav band, haha cliche I know), The Doors, Rage Against the Machine, etc. And now I am in love with indie, especially indie with a dance flavoring like Arcade Fire, Dirty Projectors, Silversun Pickups, Wilco, Beirut, and my fav living band LCD Soundsystem. Without James Murphy and LCD I would have never thought to make a record recording/performing all the parts myself and then bringing in people for special performances on the violins/horns/tap dancing, etc.

IMD What was the best concert you have ever been to?

SS I answer though fear sounding redundant, I saw LCD Soundsystem on their final tour play at the Hollywood Bowl and it was an absolute experience. I'd seen them before but never at the Bowl, which could make your neighborhood garage band at their 2nd rehearsal sound amazing, and it was just an experience. Smoke filled the chilly Summer evening sky, people danced in the aisles, on the lawn, on stage, everywhere. And the sense of fun and play really emitted from the stage and the band came across as truly grateful, gracious, humble people who you'd just love to have a beer with. There was no sense of being put on it distance between the band and audience. It was just a huge shared experience and to me that defines what makes a great show.

IMD Tell us about your latest work “Me & Him and Horse” and what inspired the CD title?

SS "Me & Him and Horse" is my second full length album under the Sandbox moniker, the first being "Songs for Friends, Family, & the Times," and I wanted to make a completely "real" record for the second go round. On "Songs for..." I played all the parts myself as I did on "Me & Him...," but with "Me & Him..." I didn't want to use an MIDI, any sound fx, anything. And so I brought in people to play horns and violins, our regular live violinst Morgan Paros can be heard on the album, I brought in tap dancer Lauren Brown from "He's my Brother She's my Sister," and also brought in a marching band, a 16 person choir and really just went for it. The title "Me & Him and Horse" is actually something I said to my girlfriend, LA visual artist Hollis Hart, in reference to her brother Dylan and I. See I live in a warehouse/event space in the Downtown LA Arts District and parties and shows are kind of the norm at my house, and they generally end with a game of Horse (I have a basketball hoop inside) and as she and I were walking to my home from the Hard Rave in LA, we were chatting about a party and I blurted out that "you know the party is almost over when the usual end of night when it gets down to "Me & Him and Horse," referencing Dylan and I and how we seem to always be the last two players left standing. I just loved the way it sounded, the phonetics of it. And it stuck. I've always loved the sounds of words more than what they might mean. I'm a weirdo like that haha.

IMD What’s the best and worst things about being an Independent Artist in Los Angeles?

SS The best and worst parts are kind of rolled into one. It's a highly saturated market which means there are tons of bands and shows and people to go to them, but in the same breath everyone is in a band and it - Indie Music Digest

"Sandbox Featured in Vents Magazine"

Who’s Sandbox?

Sandbox began as my (Shane Sweet) personal recording project. On the first record “Song’s for Friends, Family and the Times” I recorded and performed all the parts myself, and on the follow up record “Me & Him and Horse” I did much the same except for adding a 16 person choir, some real string and horn sections, a tap dancer for percussion, and a marching band. I’d imagine though that on the next Sandbox record me and my terrific live band will be performing together in a more live and conventional way. Originally I’d thought I’d just be a studio geek and never really have to perform the songs live, which has certainly not been the case since SHP Records/Universal picked up the record and has sent us on 3 US Tours already this year.

How you guys all met?

Well Daniel Rodriguez, drummer of Sandbox, is my best friend and we have known each other for over 5 years now and played in bands together from the time we were teenagers. I met Morgan Paros, our terrific violinist and glockenspiel player through an online musician database and she’s been an invaluable asset both as a player and as a person. She really keeps all of us boys polite and in line on the road haha. Kevin Crimi, playing lead guitar, had been a member in my friends’ band Wires In the Walls and through that social circle he made his way over to Sandbox. He’s by far the biggest brain in the band and the highest IQ. He classes the joint up. Kevin McPherson is our bassist and really acts as our veteran field general on the road. He joined Sandbox after an introduction from Kaitlin Wolfberg, a great violinist who plays our art installations with us and is a regular in the LA band Seasons. And finally Chris Thornberry joined the band, acting as our keys player predominately but also picking up the uke, percussion interments, harmonies, and anything else that is called for. Without him the musical pieces of flair to the live show would be totally missing.

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

Well when the band was more of a project I gave it the title “Sandbox Rebel,” seeing that I thought it would just be my little home recording project. Well as fate would have it, as the solo project became a band a local clothing company named “Sandbox Rebel” sent a cease and desist letter because they already owned the name, and with that, the Rebel was dropped and Sandbox was born.

What’s your music influences?

Arcade Fire, Neutral Milk Hotel, The Beatles, Nirvana, Elliot Smith, Silversun Pickups, Franz Ferdinand, The Strokes, Led Zeppelin, Queen, The Mars Volta, and Alexander to name a few.

How was it to performed on SXSW?

It was an amazing time. The amount of people packed into such a small area and completely primed for a good time really made for a hopefully more than once in lifetime experience haha. But even if we are never invited back, to have performed in that environment was remarkable. I mean, it got so hot on stage we were close to passing out, dripping sweat, pouring our hearts out after a 25 hour drive from Los Angeles. Moments and shows like that, things like the drive, being crammed in a van for literally a day each way, they seem like such a small price for the memory of having had performed. To quote James Murphy, “It’s lights, and sounds, and stories, the music’s just a part.”

How would you describe your sound?

Very eclectic. I’ve never been one to try and play to a genre or style. And I mean that from record to record, song to song, and oftentimes from verse to chorus. A Sandbox record will feature everything from indie dance rock, to acoustic driven introspective tunes, to hip hop, to vintage tones to instrumentals. I would describe it as music without rules.

How was it to work with Dave Cooley?

For lack of a better term: F***ing AMAZING! The guy is brilliant, he has great instincts and knows how to blend them with the drive and aim of the songs and the record as a whole. I was - Vents Magazine

"Me & Him and Horse Reviewed at Music Connection"

Fringe Fest vet Shane Sweet spearheads Sandbox, playing most of the instruments, and he cleverly gets the most out of basic musicianship. Sweet, whose "Speakeasy" project has recreated '20's era clubs, here affects a strangled, nasally vocal persona on his mildly hooky material. "Tried and Tried" reminds us of a stripped down Arcade Fire. "Doesn't Really Matter" employs a plinking piano in another low-key arrangement that allows the drama to build. While Sweet's voice is not for everyone, his alt-vision is consistently intriguing. - Music Connection

"Shane on Rock Over America"

This is a live interview, follow the URL! - Rock Over America

"Everybody by Sandbox"

"Everybody" in reminiscent and foretelling. It paints a film-esque picture of transitory emotions. "That we know what our faults are and somehow can't seem to kick them is frustrating. But we'll still try." The vocal delivery is honest and sincere while the blend of strings with a staccato feel creates a bittersweet mood. The orchestration of the song is unique and very well designed however, the vocal tracks could sit more up front. Having said that, they dynamics of the band are fantastic. It's obvious that they are familiar with each other's place and time. Overall, this is a fantastic track worthy of many listens! - LA Song Review


Still working on that hot first release.



Los Angeles band Sandbox blends vintage tones with indie dance rock rhythms and dabbles in hip-hop, country, and acoustic driven songs to add a few pieces of flare. Sandbox signed with Shp Records/Universal Media Group in 2011 and in March 2012 their second full length record, "Me & Him and Horse," produced by Dave Cooley (Silversun Pickups) was released. Sandbox began in 2009 as the recording project of Shane Sweet, but since has been joined by Daniel Rodriguez on drums, Kevin Crimi on guitar/vocals, Nick Tracz on bass, with Morgan Paros violins and glockenspiel and Chris Thornberry playing the keys/uke/mandolin/percussion.

"Songs for Friends, Family and the Times," the first full length release (then under the moniker Sandbox Rebel, which had to be changed due to legal reasons in 2011) led to a West Coast tour as well as performances in the UK for BBC Radio 1, The Glasgow Green Festival and The Fringe. In the same year "Sandbox Presents" was born. "Sandbox Presents" shows are art installations where the band books the other acts and creates different environments and worlds to stage the show in. A Night In the Woods was the 2010 installation and saw a Los Angeles warehouse turned into a forest complete with butterflies, fireflies, owls, snow, aerialists and more. The 2012 installation March entitled The Speakeasy was set in Prohibition Era Griffith Park and coincided with the released of "Me & Him and Horse."

Sandbox had 4 US Tours in 2012 and already has 4 US Tours booked for 2013 including 4 showcases at this year's SXSW. In 2012 they performed at such highlights as:SXSW, CMJ, Worldfest, the Indie Music Fest of Las Vegas, the Indie Film and Music Summit, and the Brooklyn Film Festival.

Sounds like: Wilco, The Killers, Cold War Kids, Beck, LCD Soundsystem, The Black Keys, the Beatles, Arcade Fire, Timber Timbre, Neutral Milk Hotel, Modest Mouse, Death Cab.

Band Members