Shoes and Laces
Gig Seeker Pro

Shoes and Laces


Band Rock Jam




"Sitting Down with Shoes and Laces by Kayla Edgar"

Shoes and Laces is a concoction of blues, funk, jazz, and awesome. The boys use a combination of their love of classic rock, funk music, and simply good music as the guiding philosophies to their music experience. Shoes and Laces is Ben Attias on keyboard and vocals; Zachary Stevens on bass and vocals; Ben Luria on saxophone, guitar, and back-up vocals; Joshua Gendal on guitar; and Reo Morris on drums. When you go to one of their shows, be prepared for a psychedelic groovefest. Although they do play a lot of funk music, don't pigeonhole them just under one genre. In short, expect the unexpected.
I got to interview Zach and got his point of view on the band's background and music.

Photo via Shoes and Laces
So, tell me about Shoes and Laces. How did you guys start off?
We started off as a thought in Josh's mind during freshman year. He approached me in the Suwannee dining hall one day in the fall semester, asking if I'd play bass in his band. I told him of course, as Josh and I have been jamming together since middle school. A bit of time passed, and then in August of 2010, we all met up at a storage facility about eight miles from town. Josh had known Ben Attias and Reo previously, but had met Ben Luria through live music and festivals. Our love for live music, jamming, improvisation, and creativity drove our first jams. We practiced several times a week throughout September and October, and then decided to take to the stage. Our first gig was at a tailgate for the FSU Homecoming game, at Ben Luria's brother David's house. It was a triple kegger, and we played for about an hour. We had like, four original songs, and covered a bunch of Grateful Dead songs. At that point we didn't have a name, however, our loving and close friends David Luria and David Barnett went around the crowd shouting "Shoes and Laces", and asked people's opinions. Truly, I didn't know this until much later, but Ben Attias' nickname is Shoes. Maybe that's where the name came from.
Our genre is typically a little funk-oriented, although we touch several other genres like blues, possibly some jazz, some Latin, standard rock; overall, we are a "jam band" and fuel ourselves on our improvised, sometimes instrumental musical compositions. Most of our shows are about 50% improvised. We write songs, and have a set-list, but we improvise nearly every jam every time.

Photo via Shoes and Laces
What does Shoes and Laces usually cover? When you write music, how do you begin the process? What inspires you to write?
We cover a lot of tunes, but we most notably do covers of Grateful Dead, Phish, The Beatles, Steve Miller Band, and plenty of others. You may have even heard us cover a Cake song with Reo singing, or maybe a Stevie Wonder song.
When we write music... Well sometimes one of us shows up to practice with some music or chords and says, "Let's jam on this a while." Once we get somewhere we like, we may take that home and write lyrics, or in the case of Junk Food (by Ben Luria), Ben Attias might make up the whole set of lyrics right on the spot, and they stick. Other times, Ben, Josh, or I might have a song fully written with music or lyrics, and then we bring it to practice for tweaking. Typically, we work together on all our songs.
On a few occasions, we have come to practice with some ideas, and turned all of those ideas into one song, which I might nickname a "multi-part epic", which points out that the song is going to be long and will include several different musical sections and compositions.
We are inspired by each other, current events, places we've been, girls we've dated, and you name it. I wrote a song in my class yesterday that I went home and finished. It can happen at any time that any one of us has a surge of creativity.
What has been Shoes and Laces' most impressive achievement thus far?
We haven't achieved very many big things, which is why we are still kicking it. I would say, for me at least, the most impressive thing we have accomplished is having people show up to our gigs. For instance, some promoter saw us at a Silent Disco over the summer and had us play at Purple Hatters Ball during their silent disco. When a lot of people are watching, we get a huge boost of energy and we feed off of the crowd.
A big thing that we did on April Fools day, 2012, was taking one of those painted school buses, filling it with 40 of our friends, lots of beverages, and driving to Gainesville to open up for The Heavy Pets. We brought our closest friends and simply had a BLAST! Then we turned around and drove back home, obviously not the best bus ride back, haha.
We have lots of live music online available for free downloading, if you search for us on I also have many hours of recordings done in our storage unit that I would love to share. Feel free to contact me any time for that stuff! The best way for people to listen to your music is to post it for free. Some of our shows have a few hundred downloads!
What advice do you have for fellow Tallahassee bands and college bands?
Good luck! You need a lot of practice, determination, and heart. Don't do it for the money, that will probably never happen to you. But if you're like us, and you love playing music with your best friends, you will be successful.
A major problem with Tallahassee is the live music scene. Thousands of students go to the electronic dance music shows, which can be great, but there isn't a lot of support for local bands. Post fliers, tell your classmates, email your friends, post on Facebook. Self-promotion is great if you are dedicated and diligent. - Uloop News





Shoes and Laces formed in November of 2010 and from then on they have been creating high quality aural experiences for a variety of audiences, while promoting a fearless approach to musical exploration. Shoes and Laces are more than just your average funk band; during any given show, you are likely to spot genres such as jazz, rock, latin, and psychedelic jam come out from their repertoire. They are continually challenging themselves in exploring all corners of the vast musical globe, and luckily, bringing their listeners along for the ride.

Shoes and Laces has played alongside national touring acts such as The Heavy Pets, EP3, Cope, and J2K, as well as made appearances at Purple Hatter’s Ball, the Rez Fest, and the Barnett Freedom Festival.

I hope that you have yet to come to any solid conclusion; attempting to define this band is nearly a futile process, so it is up to you to witness the true Shoes and Laces experience by hearing them in the flesh.