Shaimus
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Shaimus

Los Angeles, California, United States | SELF

Los Angeles, California, United States | SELF
Band Rock Alternative

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"Review: Paper Sun"

Aside from physics, I'm not real good with the sciences - trust me on this one. I'm pretty sure I set a chemistry department record in high school by having 100% error in three of my labs. It ultimately didn't matter in the end because the teacher cared more about if the calculations were accurate than the results, and since I'm good at math, chemistry was a cakewalk for yours truly. I've taken manifold science courses throughout my schooling career, from geology to botany to chemistry, but no matter what type of science course you take, one of the first things you learn is how to write a good hypothesis statement.

My guess is that 99% of my readers who have heard of Shaimus have only heard of the Los Angeles-based quintet via the exemplary Guitar Hero video game series, in which one of their songs, All of This, is an unlockable track that's insanely catchy and sports a rockin' solo. So, a very simple hypothesis statement here could be: If you, the reader, have played the first Guitar Hero video game and unlocked all of the bonus tracks, then you have heard a fraction of Shaimus' material. Completely ignoring the rest of the scientific method and operationally defining variables, one might hypothesize that Paper Sun is comprised of ten songs in a similar vein to All of This; however, this is not entirely the case. Instead, Paper Sun delivers extremely mellow, soulful tracks akin to Guster, Phantom Planet, and Rooney, while still distancing itself from these artists to a fascinating degree.

Take for instance the gorgeous album opener Left to Dry, which best exemplifies the sensational Shaimus sound. Beginning with a swift drum fill from Cameron Brousseau, followed by an exquisite main riff that's complemented by a steady rhythm section, the instruments drop off in silence. In their place, frontman Phil Beaudreau - who serves double duty as the band's vocalist and ivory-key-tickler - enters with a delicate piano progression and an opening line of "She was left alone to dry to contemplate the things that her other half denied." As the verse continues, the aforementioned splendid clean guitar riff returns, and the other instruments filter in to provide an incredibly rich sound, continuing for the duration of the track. One of the most haunting and beautiful lines on the track is "All's fair in love and war, but it's an ugly price to pay." Wonderful album opener.

This sauntering, mellow vibe that percolates throughout the track is one of Shaimus' numerous strengths on Paper Sun as a whole. This is attributed to the mixing and production of the album, which is surprisingly near-flawless. To illustrate, bassist Johannes Raassina's warm, fervent bass lines are never drowned out, as is an unfortunate norm in some pop-rock outfits, but instead bolsters the band's soothing sound. Guitarists Evan Brown and Dave Middleton, who are the vital crux to the harder-hitting Shaimus tracks, never tyrannize, and even Beaudreau's piano and vocals - as well as Brown's back-up vocals - are mixed with impeccable clarity. Ultimately, the mixing and production of the album serves as one of the major reasons why Paper Sun has a phenomenally high rate of playback longevity.

However, the biggest reason why Paper Sun has loads of playback value is in Shaimus' ability to consistently write catchy pop-rock tracks laden with addictive instrumental and vocal hooks. Two representative examples include the sensational piano-driven Run My Spirit Down and the dainty Slow Down. The opening piano progression in the former track, while sounding relatively simple, serves as a stellar introduction while the rhythm section filters in with ease. "The Earth went spinning 'round the sun today a little faster than it did yesterday," sings Beaudreau, accompanied by his delicate piano and graceful guitars. In the latter track, a moderately-paced, strolling number, whose seemingly-apropos title is perfect tunes for an aimless road trip with no set destination. Beaudreau particularly shines on Slow Down, arguably offering his best vocal performance on the album, singing, "You live a thousand miles away, it doesn't really seem so long since we've been eager to be where we are now, and now we're here, and now we want to slow down, slow down..." The chorus is the song's, and possibly Paper Sun's, biggest highlight, and the mollifying guitar solo adds to the beauty of the track.

Of course, I wouldn't feel justified in discussing Paper Sun without mentioning the chipper All of This, which is a bit different on the album than the version heard in Guitar Hero. Beginning with a slick chord progression complemented by drumstick clicks, the song's opening verse builds a subtle crescendo before Brosseau's snare shots are a straightforward segue into a hard rockin' chorus. Beaudreau's "Hey, hoo, you should know - all of this makes me love you more" precedes Brown's astounding guitar solo, which probably yielded a few "Song Failed!" messages for many wanna-be rock stars in Guitar Hero. Further, the Paper Sun version of the track is a worthwhile listen simply for the subtle nuances it contains in contrast to the version on the popular video game. While All of This is much unlike the album's typically moderate and mellow vibe, it is nevertheless an extraordinary track.

In summary, Paper Sun is a surprising listen, but it's also an outstanding one, too. While reminiscent of bands like Phantom Planet and Rooney, Shaimus do a masterful job in distancing themselves from other similar artists by regularly writing and arranging captivating and insanely catchy hooks throughout the album. Overall, the album's mellow vibe is near-perfect chill music, but there are a couple bouncy tracks included for good measure. Filled with attractive piano progressions, fetching guitarlines and superb solos, strong vocals, and a consistently rock-solid rhythm section, Shaimus deliver an incredibly exceptional album with Paper Sun. Purchasing the album also gives those interested a chance to show their support for independent music, and few will be disappointed in Shaimus' pop-rock tunes. - Sputnikmusic


"Ears Wide Open: Shaimus"

Bands such as Shaimus are hardly a threat to become hipster favorites — purveyors of by-the-diagrams pop-rock, they are almost ridiculously competent, and largely irony-free. Indie it isn’t. Commercially viable and hookier than hell it is. This quintet honed their chops at Boston’s Berklee School of Music before heading west, and its sophomore album, “The Sad Thing Is, We Like It Here,” features music in “Rock Band 2? (they’ve also had music in “Guitar Hero”). Here’s one of those unfailingly catchy tracks:

||| Download: “Turn the Other Way” - BuzzBands.la


"Review: The Sad Thing Is, We Like It Here"

Shaimus’ second album has been labeled alternative Rock, garage rock, indie rock and probably a dozen other labels — and I honestly can’t say which one is right. What I can tell you is that it’s a joy to listen to.

The trained ear will probably find Shaimus’ pop-y offerings familiar — reminiscent of the Killers or Franz Ferdinand perhaps, but songs like “Like a Fool” are somehow cleaner and smoother. They get to the core of what makes these songs stick in your head for days, filling car rides and showers with endless amateur renditions.

Overall: 9 / 10

Indeed, it was these catchy songs (and no available Torrent) that spurred me to purchase the album. I was pleasantly surprised to find that all 10 of the tracks were worth listening to. I’ve fallen asleep to the mellow seven-minute “While We’re Young” many times. Tempo and genre are played with, sometimes subtly and sometimes not, but the album as a whole manages to maintain a unique identity.

In what may be the greatest accomplishment of the album, I even found myself caring about the lyrics of the second track “Turn the Other Way” (which can be seen on YouTube.com). It’s like listening to a Dilbert cartoon, only more suburban middle-class and less depressingly nerdy. The tune and the lyrics together brought back striking memories of my summers stuck in a cubicle pretending to care about financial planning. Maybe that’s a bad thing, but I have to give them credit for painting such a vivid picture.

If I can criticize anything, it’s the order of the tracks — it starts up then oscillates between high-energy tracks and chilled ditties with no apparent rhyme or reason. However, given that it’s only available on iTunes and through their website (Shaimus.com) switching the order of songs should be no problem. - The Manitoban


"Shaimus Kicks Ass at Hotel Cafe"

It’s not news that others here at MMM are big Shaimus fans *cough* thekerp *cough*. So I went to see Shaimus for the first time on Thursday night at the Hotel Café with a mind to nay-say. And they rocked it. Straight-up rocked it.

The song “Like A Fool” stuck with me for its’ infectious lilt and spontaneous metal riffage. Feels like they’re channeling Ok Go most of the time until Van Halen style finger-tapping leads us to the Muse-like breakdown (“Knights of Cydonia” anyone?).

What I had heard of Shaimus before Thursday night was pretty standard pop-rock fare: catchy hooks, tight harmonies and prominent piano balanced by bright guitars and competent drum and bass backing. I told Kerp they reminded me a little of Motion City Soundtrack due to the wry lyrics and self-deprecating sense of humor.
See everyone’s favorite, “Turn the Other Way” as an example of said wryness.

However, after this show, I am pleased to say Shaimus has written and honed a slew of new songs that more closely resemble Vampire Weekend and Police (think Zenyatta Mondatta) than the aforementioned emo outfit. But what was most inspiring was the band’s integration of influences from across the pedigree of rock n’ roll.
Their set was inventive and sonically diverse in that I was routinely surprised by the next offering. Say what you will about pop music, when it’s served right, it’s oh so delicious.

Shaimus displayed a great sense of pace and Phil proved himself a consummate bandleader; his command of the stage reminded one of a young Jerry Lee Lewis. In fact, for all their sheen, a couple of the new numbers felt a little dirty and could easily be seen as 2010’s translation of “Great Balls ‘o Fire.”

Despite the occasional Ben Folds “pity me” moments (wryness, remember?), the songwriting has gotten increasingly mature but no less accessible. There are envelope-pushing phrases of rockabilly and prog-jazz where there used to be Maroon 5 repetition. This is not to say the hooks aren’t catchy, they just catch a little you off-guard; we think that’s a good thing. And there’s plenty of balance in the rocking department. Bass and both guitars play even more integral roles in these new tracks, which is saying something since they’ve already had two songs featured on Rock Band 2.

Bottom Line: Go see Shaimus as soon as possible. Take a date. You won’t regret it. Neither will she.

If Shaimus continues to write and perform with the tenacity they displayed at Hotel Café, their days playing venues of this size are quickly drawing to a close. Phil’s vocals alone are worth the price of admission, and the band provides scintillating accompaniment to his lounge-lizard-on-speed persona. Am I the only one who wants to see them kick Michael Bublé’s ass five ways from Friday? - MoviesMusicMayhem.com


"Review: The Sad Thing Is, We Like It Here"

Originally formed in Boston, Massachusetts, now LA based band, Shaimus, is best known for their songs that appeared on both Guitar Hero and Rock Band 2. On the band’s debut, Paper Sun, The song All of This of Guitar Hero fame was more or less the black sheep of the album, contrasting the rest of the album’s cleaner and more mellow sound with an upbeat rocker of a song. Like most people, this song was my first sample of the band’s material.

After four of five play-throughs of the song on Guitar Hero, I was sold. I decided to check out itunes to purchase the full album. Upon starting the album, I was expecting to hear ten jaunty rock songs in the vein of All of This, but was instead treated to a very clean and moderate guitar riff to start off Left to Dry, which would prove to be a very good representation of the chill, restrained sound that made up ninety percent of what the album had to offer. On the band’s follow up, Shaimus expands their sound with a poppy, upbeat, and much more varied outing that shows an improvement in the band’s abilities and their knack for clever songwriting.

The song Interview starts off with some crackly static and another clean guitar riff that, with its difference in mood and tone from the beginning of Left to Dry on Paper Sun, immediately shows a completely new side of Shaimus. The second time through the riff, Phil pounds out some low octaves on the piano and sings, “In our lives, how do we perceive? Do we know what’s right or do we just believe?” the song builds into a fantastic instrumental fill and picks up the tempo for the remainder of the excellent, hook-filled pop rock opener. This time around the band plays with much more energy than their previous effort using catchy, intertwining guitar and piano riffs instead of the clean transparent arrangements of the songs on Paper Sun.

Shaimus’ best quality is their raw ability. While still sounding very original, the band offers fairly little as far as musical innovation goes. They just do it all better than just about any other band you could think of in their chosen style of music. The band members’ playing ability is extremely impressive and absolutely shines throughout the album. The album has virtually no weak link. The incredible guitar and piano lines complement each other splendidly along with very strong vocals that are even better than on Paper Sun. The up-tempo and high energy The Sad Thing is, We Like It Here gives Phil a chance to really cut loose vocally. On Paper Sun his vocals fit in well with the restrained, mellow sound the album presented, but here he really cranks up the intensity on the more energetic of the album’s songs. Even on All of This Phil didn’t approach the level of energy and emotion he does on this album. Songs like Tie You Down and Interview, specifically, show the progression he’s made, though his vocal performance is first-rate on every last song on the album.

The moderate All The Good Ways is the album’s softer side’s first showing, beginning with some smooth vocals by Phil that are sharply contrasted by the almost yelled vocals of the very next song Tie You Down. Tie You Down is another great example of the bands ability. The guitar and especially the piano absolutely rip it up on this song. The band shifts back down again for Heads or Tails that has a very chill relaxed vibe. However, instead of harkening back to the sound of Paper Sun, the song has somewhat of a reggae feel to it. Despite the fact that the song may be the album’s weakest, it’s still a very enjoyable listen and adds to the albums overall diversity.

One of Sad Thing’s strengths is in its structure. It’s set up almost perfectly so that you never get sick of one type of song. Every slower song has an upbeat one right after it, so the listener is never allowed to get bored. Also, clocking in at only ten songs, the album feels very focused and has no excess filler songs. The ending of the album is set up nicely as well. While We’re Young is the longest song on the album and feels like the epic conclusion the album deserves. While not musically the strongest song on the album, the song is a definite highlight and is great lyrically. Comparatively much more somber than the rest of the album, we hear Phil sing about being blind to the world around us and being afraid to take responsibility:

Still we cannot see. We'd rather just be numb,
and it's only just begun.
A lock without a key, a mouth without a tongue.
They get us while we're young.

“It’s only just begun.” The song makes us wonder if our complacency is a never ending cycle, especially on the songs final verse:

Oh and when we step into the room
where our baby sleeps,
will we think to let her walk or be
afraid to let her use her own two feet?

Despite the somber feel and thought provoking lyrics, the song still has a more light-hearted chorus. Shaimus wouldn’t be Shaimus without at least some of their fun, light-hearted feel left intact. The song does a great job of bringing the album to a close.

The actual album closer, Stuck Around, feels more like the bow on top of the wonderful gift the band has given us with this album. It starts with some claps and a simple piano part and Phil’s vocals. After the first two verses, the drums join the party and stay around for the remainder of the song. The song picks up with an awesome guitar solo and leaves us feeling happy and satisfied.

On Sad Thing, Shaimus slightly changes things up and produces another pop rock gem that’s even stronger than their debut release. While some might yearn for the sound of the relaxing Paper Sun, it’s hard to find a pop rock album that’s much better than this one. Shaimus has undoubtedly proven themselves as a band to watch in the coming years. Highly recommended.

Recommended Tracks:
Interview
Tie You Down
I Don’t Want the Story
Like a Fool
While We’re Young
Stuck Around - Sputnikmusic


"Interview: Shaimus"

Shaimus is a band born out of Harmonix, featuring former employees Phil Beaudreau and Johannes "Rash" Raasina, and has been lucky enough to have songs in both Guitar Hero ("All Of This") and Rock Band 2 ("Like a Fool'). They recently launched a new album, and we caught up with them at one of their Los Angeles shows to see what it's like being a rock band in a video game about ... rock bands.

How did the band form?

Phil got a bunch of guys from college together to start playing some rock songs he had written. It was really fun, and after making Paper Sun we all realized this was a very good idea ... and it still is, so we're still playing.

When did you first find out about Guitar Hero and what it was, and that you'd have a song in it?

Phil and Johannes were working at Harmonix in Cambridge, Massachusetts doing video game testing for the Karaoke Revolution game in 2005 when Guitar Hero was being developed. Harmonix was a tiny company with a very small budget for the game, and they were looking for local Boston artists and bands with Harmonix employees in them to fill out their bonus track selection for the game. We had just recorded a not-quite-finished version of "All Of This," which we gave them figuring it might be fun to play because it had a guitar solo in it. They liked it and decided to include it.

Was the feedback from having the song in the game immediate?

It was pretty immediate in that it created some demand for our first CD months before it even came out. It took a little time for Guitar Hero to blow up into the phenomenon it did, but hints that it was going to become very popular were there right from the beginning. It was fun reading message boards with people who loved "All Of This," and it made us realize we had to get the album finished and pressed as soon as we could to capitalize on the exposure.

Two of the guys in the band worked at Harmonix, would the song have gotten in the game otherwise?

Probably not. So many of the bonus bands had Harmonix employee members, and our band was so new when the game was being developed, we wouldn't have had much pull to say "Hey, put us in your game. No one's ever heard of us, but we're totally awesome."

How did having a song in the game impact the band? Do people still recognize you from Guitar Hero?

It impacted us in the sense that it gave us instant international exposure. The Internet allows every band to be heard worldwide these days, but getting people to listen to you in the first place is the real challenge, particularly considering most people are pretty skeptical of unknown bands. Being in a game, specifically a game where people are "playing" our song, had tons of people listening to our music about as intently as they could.

By the time Guitar Hero and Rock Band exploded, you guys found out you'd have a song in Rock Band 2, how did that come about?

We've always continued our relationship with Harmonix, even after we moved to the West coast. Anytime they would work on a new game, we'd ask them if we could be in it again. But with the games' exploding popularity, and without Phil and Johannes working for the company, it was harder to get a song in. Not to mention, we hadn't come out with any new CDs since Paper Sun. Luckily by the time Rock Band 2 came along, we were working on our new CD and they were cool enough to include "Like a Fool" as one of the free downloads.

Is it weird playing your own songs in the games?

The first time we ever played "All Of This" in Guitar Hero, I think it blew our minds a little, but now it's more cool than weird. It's really fun to know that we are a part of the music game phenomenon, even if it was only a small "bonus" part.

Have the music games started changing the face of music? Are people exposed to more music through games than through iTunes?

Video games were already exposing a lot of people to new music, but music games took it to a whole other level. They've probably also gotten people to like bands and genres of music that they may never have even liked if they never got the chance to play along with them. Playing along to a song gives people a much stronger connection to the music. It's hard to say what exposes fans to music the most, but people are certainly going straight from the music games to iTunes and buying the songs that they like.

How did you have to prepare the songs for the games?

For Guitar Hero it was pretty simple -- Harmonix asked for each guitar track separated, and one stereo track of the rest of the instruments and vocals. For Rock Band it was a bit more complicated -- since players can perform vocals, drums, bass and guitars, we needed to split up all these instruments and send a special file containing the separate parts. Having made the record on our own definitely made this process easy. We just opened up the song and made the necessary changes.

Has having a song in the games made you change anything about your music?

We haven't consciously written or arranged songs to fit into a video game, but we definitely joked that "Like A Fool" was Guitar Hero ready when we finished it!

What do you think the next step is for music + video games?

Guitar Hero and Rock Band come with pre-packaged material. The Internet allows for downloading hundreds of additional tracks that wouldn't fit on the original disc so this was certainly a good start ... but the song still has to exist somewhere. The next step might be something where you can connect the game directly to your music library, and download whichever song strikes you at the moment directly into the game. If the game had the ability to determine different parts intelligently, and convert it into a playable format, this would be very cool. Although we can't imagine how the technology would be that smart!

What game systems do you guys play on and what do you like playing?

We all agree that Mario Kart 64 is one of the greatest games ever created. Other than that we play a variety of games on PS2 and 360 - racing games, GTA, first-person shooters. Not too many sports games though. Cam and Johannes prefer playing each others instruments on Rock Band. Evan would probably stumble through his guitar solo on "All Of This" on medium.

What's next for the band?

Promoting our new album and music in all ways we can think of! For example, blogs (like Joystiq) help further the Shaimus online buzz. Touring exposes more people to the [hopefully] memorable connection that happens between an audience and a band at a live show. Licensing our music to movies and TV spread our sound to a wide audience and adds to the important subconscious feeling of "Oh, I think I've heard this song somewhere".

Of course, the reason we play music is to have fun, so we'll be sure to make plenty of entertaining and silly videos for our YouTube channel as well. Tune in some time! - Joystiq


"An Interview with Shaimus"

We’re excited that killer Los Angeles-based rock band Shaimus will be gracing our music experience when earbits launches in a couple months. We caught up with Shaimus to learn more about how they’re getting their name out there and making big things happen. They’ve been featured in Rock Band, Guitar Hero, across the FM airwaves, and much more. So, check out this interview with Phil Beaudreau. And, if you are in Los Angeles, check out Shaimus tonight at the world famous Whiskey A Go-Go on Sunset.

Shaimus
Saturday, May 1st, 2010 – 8pm
The Whiskey A Go-Go
8901 Sunset Blvd
West Hollywood, CA
The Interview:

Hey Phil, thanks for taking the time to chat with us. Our site is mostly about promoting music and getting bands real value for their time and money. Shaimus seem to be doing really well, with everything from being featured in Rock Band to playing on Pandora and mainstream radio. Let’s jump right into the things that have worked well for you guys.

earbits: When did you get started as a band and how long did it take to get traction like you’re getting now?

Phil Beaudreau: Shaimus was officially born in September of 2005 in Boston, MA. The original lineup included me (vocals, piano), Johannes Raassina (bass, audio engineer), Evan Brown (guitarist, vocals), Cam Brousseau (drums) and Dave Middleton (guitarist, vocals). We started recording our first album Paper Sun shortly after we formed, which was essentially a scrap-book of songs I had written up until that point. We were lucky enough to have had a relationship with the video game developer Harmonix at that time, and when we heard that they were looking for local bands to be in their newest game Guitar Hero, we jumped at the opportunity. We just happened to have an unfinished, but presentable, demo of All of This, and submitted it for their critique. They liked it and it put it in the game as a bonus track. So we really owe our first wave of success to Harmonix.

Harmonix was a great jumping off point, and since then we’ve gotten busy. We moved out to LA, recorded another album, The Sad Thing is, We Like it Here, and gigged all over southern California. We made sure to stay in touch with Harmonix, and other contacts. This yielded another placement in Rock Band 2. The track they included in their 20 free downloads (upon purchase of the game) is called Like a Fool.

As a fledgling band, we really had no money, so we recorded and produced the records ourselves. We made and continue to maintain our website: www.shaimus.com. We had friends help us out with music videos, and we’ve made some ourselves too. We slowly made new fans through our shows, internet presence, Guitar Hero/Rock Band friends, and our persistence to be loved… we just chugged away and never lost sight of our objective.

earbits: What in terms of promoting your music has generated the best results, and how did you secure those opportunities?

Phil Beaudreau: Our friends have been the number one supporting factor in our growth of popularity as a band, so I feel that falls under the category of promotion. Some of the most important promotions have been a product of our friends’ enthusiasm for Shaimus. For example, it was our friends at Harmonix who helped us place our song Like a Fool in Rock Band 2. Our friend, a director and video editor, also made the music video for Like a Fool for a small fraction of what it would have cost at base rates. One of Evan’s friends works for a company that puts music on radio, tv and film. He hooked us up by putting our video on Comcast’s music A-Z channel. And so the stone skips.

On another level, our friends have shared our music with their other friends, and brought more people to shows. Those people have brought other people to shows. So we need and rely upon our friends to get it done for us.

I would say it’s less about securing opportunities and more about just being open to them as they come along.

earbits: What do you think about the Los Angeles music scene? Is there any strategy you use here that you think is different than what you would do if you lived somewhere else?

Phil Beaudreau: The truth is that Los Angeles is over-saturated with music and the creative arts in general. It’s daunting to be a part of, but at the same time, it offers a clean creative slate. It’s not like Nashville where you have mainly your songwriters, country artists and storytellers. Not like Miami with it’s Latin core or growing hip-hop scene, or Seattle with it’s alternative nature. And not like NYC, which prides itself on it’s elegance and intellectualism. LA is more like a free-for-all. You can do anything you want… but it just better be hot. The scene here is an amalgamate of many different cultures and is a hugely competitive arena. It’s like advertising, where all the agencies try to out-create their constituents with cooler and wackier ideas. Similarly, the music scene is mixing genres and cultures to create hybrid sounds that still retain something genuine and poppy. For Shaimus, it’s really the only place we felt we could surround ourselves with as much competition as is available in one place. The strategy to stay relevant in LA is to not to get lost in the thought that there are so many other bands are trying to do what you’re doing. You have narrow the scope to what’s happening right now… What do I want to do with what I have right now? Actually I think that applies anywhere. You know, just keeping ourselves open to new ideas, and making music that we think is great…. and then hustle that shit. haha.

earbits: What’s next on Shaimus’s agenda? Any big news ahead?

Phil Beaudreau: We’ve got some new songs that we’re working on right now. It’s the first time we’ve written with this lineup (with Lou in the band), and so far we’re loving the process. To get content to our fans as soon as possible, we plan on releasing these tracks as singles through our website, www.shaimus.com. Also, in January or February of 2011, we will have our music featured in the Sony Screen Gems horror film, The Roommate starring Leighton Meester, and Minka Kelly. Some of the members of Shaimus actually make an appearance in the movie (shhhh)!

earbits: That’s awesome. Anything else you want to share with independent artists or people who like independent music?

Phil Beaudreau: Positivity, enthusiasm and love are your best resources. They never run out, so don’t worry about using them up. There are any number of reasons to not do something… but none of them matter because if you don’t go for what you want, you’ll be in the same place forever. Thats why trying to stay positive is so important, because it makes it easier to put yourself in uncomfortable places, and learn from them. Also, these qualities are infectious and will open up the door for people to help you. Expand the team!

There are a lot of peaks and valleys in the life of a musician, but hard work is always hard work… and believe it or not, it’s the only thing that actually does works on a consistent basis. Without any real monetary resources, it can be very tempting to blame a lack of success on bad luck, or not getting “picked up” or not getting the “big break” yet. Here’s some truth: The “big break” won’t come unless you do all the work to prepare for it. You have to set the table before the food can come out. In our career, I wouldn’t say there has been a “big break,” but instead, a bunch of small ones. They’ve gotten us to where we are today, but they have only come because we’ve pursued them.

You’ve gotta start with the right team too. We’ve lost one of our original guitarists (Dave joined the Navy) because he realized that this wasn’t how he wanted to spend his life. So we auditioned a bunch of guys and ended up choosing my brother, Lou, because he’s in it to win it. As a team we’ve been calling/contacting venues, radio stations, newspapers, bloggers, agents, lawyers, publishers, and friends in our attempt to keep the ball rolling and the dream alive. We’ve had our hopes lifted, and crushed. We’ve been best friends and worst enemies. We write new music, we rehearse 3-4 times a week. We go out to see shows and meet new friends together. We party. We study. We are on the lookout for and open to new opportunities. And we’re going to keep on doing all of this stuff, because it all works… It’s lots of work, but it’s joyful work, especially when wer’e all going for the same thing.

earbits: Thanks, Phil. Have a great show tonight and we look forward to hearing you on earbits very soon. - Earbits


"Shaimus at Stanford"

I got an email from Chrissy earlier this week inviting me to a small gig that a band she knows (ie, she knows the lead singer as a friend-of-a-friend) would be playing at Stanford on Friday. I had never heard of the band before — Shaimus — but they would be playing just a stone’s throw away from my Stanford apartment and it would be a fun way to end this busy week. It also turns out that an early Shaimus song is on Guitar Hero and Rock Band, the video games.

And boy am I glad I went! The graduate student council brought the (free) beer, and Shaimus brought the rock. The music was great and the band performed admirably playing to a bunch of grad students in a hall where yoga lessons are usually held. During the mid-show break, we spoke to the guitarist and he said that some of the band members knew Harmonix, the makers of Guitar Hero, back when they were in Boston and heard about the call for local indie acts to include in the game. They submitted a song they had recently finished, and it was included in the game. Shaimus isn’t signed to a record label yet, but they have a publisher to get their stuff featured in various medium. Genre is indie alt rock, and I’m not sure if it was just the result of seeing them perform up close in a small room, but honestly they sounded better and more polished than more semi-famous acts I’ve seen featured on late night shows.

They played up the crowd too, with the guitarist shouting “#@% the Bears!” and “Toby for Heisman!”, and then some of the students even started a mosh pit (not sure it was really warranted though…) near the end. They came back for one more song, doing a cover of the Beatles’ “Something” by George Harrison that got the whole room singing along to.

I picked up their two CDs to show my support, and a big tip of the hat to Chrissy for the heads up on this fun show. - Saket Vora


"Shaimus Searches For Toehold in Music Biz Through Unorthodox Means"

It’s no secret that the world of music is changing. Where once album and single sales were important, today’s artists have to be truly creative to get their songs heard by an increasingly fragmented audience. And although hard to break into, the obvious place for bands to take their songs is film and video game work.

For a fortunate few who get swept along by the current mania for Rock Band and Guitar Hero, it can be a lucrative and fame-inducing stepping stone to bigger things. Such is the case with independent rockers Shaimus, which performs at Winston’s on Nov. 24.

Formed in 2005, the Los Angeles-based Ben Folds-, Beatles- and Muse-inspired quartet is still looking for a major label deal. Still, the band has managed to get into millions of homes nationwide with its song “All of This” into Guitar Hero, as well as the tune “Like a Fool” into Rock Band 2. Upcoming projects include an appearance in the Sony/Screen Gems film “The Roommate” — due in Sept. 2010. But in the interim, the band is touring to promote its most recent album, “The Sad Thing Is, We Like It Here.”

Shaimus originally came together at Boston’s Berklee College of Music, where the band’s five members all attended music school together.

“We started as a casual project,” said guitarist Evan Brown. “Our singer, Phil (Beaudreau), wanted to record some demos of his songs and began recruiting friends to help. It snowballed from there.”

Realizing they were on to something, the band decided to head west to Los Angeles, where they might make more connections in the entertainment industry.

While the band (which also includes drummer Cam Brousseau, bassist Per Johannes Raassina and guitarist Lou Beaudreau) generally plays all original music, Brown said Shaimus’ Winston’s show will contain a few surprise covers.

“We’ll be doing two sets, so that’s a long gig,” Brown said. “We like to shake the set list up for something like that.”

Although the set list will likely include the popular cover of the Foo Fighters’ “Everlong,” any others will remain secret until show time.

This performance will be Shaimus’s first local appearance in more than three years. Brown is at a loss for the delayed return, but promises return visits will be more frequent from now on.

“We love San Diego,” Brown said. “There really is no one reason why it’s taken us so long to play there again. Last year, for example, we spent a lot of time recording the new album. It just seems like something else always came up, but now we’re hoping to be back on a regular basis, at least once every couple of months.”

While the music business is less attractive to many in this age of free online music, Brown considers Shaimus to be just hitting their stride. Either way, he said he’s in it for the long haul.

“We have a really strong work ethic,” Brown said. “This is all we want to do and all we want to think about. We’ve been at it for a few years now and if you had told me a couple of years ago that I’d have to keep waiting, I’d say, ‘No, I want it now.’ But it takes patience and a bit of luck.”

For Brown, the best part of being in Shaimus is the band’s camaraderie.

“I love music, but there are a lot of different ways that you can play music,” Brown said. “I can play it every day for fun, work on solo projects, or compose film scores. But when you’re in a band, you’re no longer friends. You become a family because you are working so closely together all the time.”

Brown said it is not only the creativity with his bandmates that he enjoys.

“[It’s] fun and inspiring but it is also personal, so it’s easy to get into minor arguments over parts, etc.,” Brown said. “But in the end this song that you’ve created is no longer about ‘me.’ It’s something that the band has created as a unit.”

As a result, Brown said the band is greater than the sum of its parts.

“It’s really cool to be a part of something like this, especially when you have really good chemistry with people,” he said. “It’s something that you don’t want to let go of.” - SDNews.com


"Shaimus and Waffle Tactics Rock the Amphitheatre"

People are slamming against each other in a mosh pit and jumping around as Shaimus proceeds to rock out in front of the students. The band Shaimus, currently without a label, played on Friday night in the amphitheater of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. The Shaimus concert also included a beer garden, allowing ERAU students to legally drink on campus at an event for the first time in years.

Students received free food near the side of the library while more began to take seats on the amphitheatre steps. Waffle Tactics, a band composed of ERAU students, opened for Shaimus and performed for nearly 45 minutes. This surprised Graham Stoddard, the lead vocalist of Waffle Tactics. "I didn't think my voice would hold out that long," he explained, smiling with excitement from the show.

What was probably the most surprising moment was when some members of the audience began calling out requests. "Free Bird" by Lynyrd Skynyrd was the song most frequently called out to the young band. Graham almost tried negotiating with the one in the beer garden calling it out. "How are we going to play that song?" he asked into the microphone. He cited the guitar as a very difficult part and asked the question who would play that hard piece of music.

The band began playing the opening notes of the song and some cheers of happiness arose from the viewers. Graham's question was answered in the musical performance of Siddharth Kedare. The other members of Waffle Tactics, Eric Linvill, Graham Stoddard, Jesse Creason, Dominic Metcalf, and Shane Brouillette all backed up Siddharth in his playing as the band performed the whole nine minutes of "Free Bird." The band definitely earned its applause that night.

Shaimus was next after the audience was warmed up by Waffle Tactics. The five-person band from Los Angeles immediately made their opinion about the weather known.

"We're from L.A., we don't like cold wind," Phil Beaudreau said to the audience. ERAU students listened to the band from the beer garden and the steps of the amphitheatre until Shaimus called them out to the pit. A small group of people rose from the grass and stood less than 10 feet from the band wrapped in jackets and hats. Shaimus soon made some forget about the cold as people jumped around and even moshed for a bit to the songs Shaimus was playing.

It was a good show that deserved a bigger audience. Stickers and posters were free, while shirts and CDs were for sale. «Paper Sun,» their first album, and their newest CD, «The Sad Thing Is, We Like It Here» were both available for sale. Afterwards, Shaimus was taken to Denny's for dinner and enjoyed their stay at ERAU.

The official website of Shaimus is [www.shaimus.com], and some of their songs are available for download. They are also on Facebook, Myspace, iTunes, and Youtube. - Embry-Riddle University Horizons


"Up and Coming: Shaimus"

For as much praise—and nervous you-are-ruining-music-forever handwringing—heaped upon videogames like Guitar Hero and Rock Band, little is mentioned about how these interactive games incorporate music from unsigned acts in their libraries. One such baby band hanging to the digital coattails of this new promotional avenue is Shaimus, a melodic rock act from Los Angeles. With a pair of self-released albums under their belt that follow in the hook-heavy tradition of Rooney, Ozma, or Weezer (back before they spiraled into the most embarrassing musical act on the planet), Shaimus is exactly the type of band that would get lost in the shuffle—too indie for the major labels, too commercial for the indies—had it not been for plastic guitars with brightly colored buttons. Feel free to bring your entire Rock Band setup to tonight's show, but don't be surprised if the band passes on jamming with you. They're a band, not a game. - Portland Mercury


Discography

The Sad Thing Is, We Like It Here (2009)
Paper Sun (2006)

Photos

Bio

Shaimus is a band from Los Angeles, whose up-tempo alternative rock has been melting both hearts and faces since 2005. They have been compared to the likes of Ben Folds, Vampire Weekend, Foo Fighters and the Police, with singer Phil navigating a dual guitar attack backed by thumping bass and high-energy drums. Since launching their career when a song from their debut album was featured on the smash hit video game Guitar Hero, Shaimus has landed three more songs in the Rock Band games, had several TV placements (including One Tree Hill), and filmed scenes for an on-screen appearance in the Sony/Screen Gems film The Roommate (featuring two of the band's original songs). They've also graced the FM airwaves and are currently in regular rotation on college radio stations across the country.

Shaimus' wildly energetic live performances tend to convert even the most skeptical of listeners, who can't help but get caught up in the band's emotional ride. "I don't normally listen to this type of music," said one such fan, "but now I love Shaimus!" The band has been spreading that enthusiasm all around the West Coast over the course of hundreds of shows and years of touring, building loyal fan bases in California, Washington, Oregon, Arizona and Montana.

With two full-length albums under their belt, the members of Shaimus continue to hone their songwriting chops and continue to avidly write and record whenever possible. "It's all about intent and presentation," says Cam. "The intent of the song must be honest, and the presentation needs to fully support the intent." Lou adds, "With two guitars and a keyboard, we have a lot of harmonic possibilities. The goal is to use this power wisely--always enhance, and never over-complicate.“

The five members of Shaimus--Phil (lead vocals, keys), Evan (guitars, vocals), Lou (guitars, vocals), Johannes (bass), and Cam (drums)--Met at BerkleeCollege of Music in Boston, MA. "We just wanted to have fun and rock out together, but we quickly realized that we had something special," reminisces Phil. "We recorded our debut album within a few months of our first gig." Soon after, the band moved to Los Angeles. "LA gives us opportunities that we couldn't have found anywhere else, " explains Johannes. "We also like to think of our music as generally positive, so sunshine, beaches and palm trees make for an inspiring environment to be creative in."

Shaimus is currently touring, writing a new EP, and interacting with their fans online.