The Shivas
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The Shivas

Portland, Oregon, United States | INDIE

Portland, Oregon, United States | INDIE
Band Rock Punk

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This band hasn't logged any future gigs

Jan
06
The Shivas @ Ike Box

Salem, Oregon, USA

Salem, Oregon, USA

Dec
22
The Shivas @ Backspace

Portland, Oregon, USA

Portland, Oregon, USA

Dec
11
The Shivas @ Doug Fir Lounge

Portland, Oregon, USA

Portland, Oregon, USA

Music

Press


“They peel layers off the Summer of Love sound, add a lacquer of Dandy Warhols and throw in some altar for good measure.” AUDRA SCHROEDER, The Austin Chronicle, August 2010 - Austin Chronicle


Landing somewhere between a bounding pop quirk akin to the Kinks and the lucid psychedelia so common with Portlandian trip-folk acts, the Shivas' identity crisis works to the local quartet's advantage. Even on the band's more sedate forays into off-kilter lullabies, there’s a rock animal ready to bare its teeth and slam forth with a feral intensity. Likewise, riff-driven pop bouncers seem ready to take a nap at any point. The duality allows the Shivas to sucker punch their audience, keeping listeners on guard at all times.Landing somewhere between a bounding pop quirk akin to the Kinks and the lucid psychedelia so common with Portlandian trip-folk acts, the Shivas' identity crisis works to the local quartet's advantage. Even on the band's more sedate forays into off-kilter lullabies, there’s a rock animal ready to bare its teeth and slam forth with a feral intensity. Likewise, riff-driven pop bouncers seem ready to take a nap at any point. The duality allows the Shivas to sucker punch their audience, keeping listeners on guard at all times. - Willamette Week


Here is a brief list of some of the things the Shivas—formed in 2006 by then-high schoolers Jared Wait-Molyneux and Eric Shanafelt, and currently joined by Rob Mannering and Kristin Leonard—have accomplished despite not yet being of legal drinking age: 1) They have performed over 300 shows throughout the West Coast. 2) They have released two albums with a third currently in the works. 3) They just completed a soon-to-be-viral music video. All these would be feats for any young band, but the Shivas are responsible for some of the most mesmerizing and interesting music in this town. With love for classic rock and roll, the Shivas' impressively polished tracks purposefully derail themselves from pop perfection with subtle, skewed nuances, making songs like "Gun in My Pocket" playful and thrilling. - Portland Mercury


The Shivas doesn’t need trendy mod gear or rocker leathers. The simple but lovely and exciting songs sound like Lenny Kaye’s classic Nuggets collection that championed unsung garage combos before the drugs took over completely. If The Shivas brings any particular ’60s group to mind, it’s Sacramento’s Public Nuisance before that band succumbed to the self-important “message” psychedelia. From Vancouver, The Shivas quietly came to town on a Tuesday night this July but didn’t leave quietly. A small, appreciative crowd made the combo feel welcome enough to promise a return to Albuquerque in March. Tasteful, fun and rockin’. - Alibi.com


Vancouver, WA-based psych band The Shivas harken back to the early garage-rock days of the 1960s, which is great since most of their contemporaries are still listening to Taylor Swift and Kanye West. This is because all but one of their members are under 21. In fact, Jared Wait-Molyneux, lead singer/guitarist, and Kristin Leonard, drummer, just graduated from high school and are only 19. While there are a ton of young bands out there, one of the interesting things about The Shivas is that they have been a band for almost three years and have played over 300 shows. They just returned from doing 38 shows in 40 days, a pretty impressive fete.

The Shivas played several cuts off their last LP, Freezing To Death, including "We Go On", "The Dead Land Man", and ending with rocker "Look So Good Be So Good". They threw a couple of new songs into the mix too, including "Thrill Yr Idols" and "Gun In My Pocket". Their energy and raw ear-splitting distortion fused with pretty melodies and jangly chords, creating a different sort of psychedelia than most of the drone-y psych bands in their scene. Imagine The Stone Roses meeting The Cramps in a dark alley and both bands coming out smiling.

- QRO Magazine


The hoppy, slingshot pace of this track, with nonstop conga backing and guitar riffs you can practically surf on, almost has me believe it lifted from a mid-century bootleg of Dick Dale jamming with Strawberry Alarm Clock. The Shivas mix classic styles of psychedelia as well as anyone I’ve heard, and this number from their album, “Where Have You Gone To?” shows off every bit of talent the kids have. - Vancouver Voice


That ’60s burn out, psychedelic, “Let’s throw a bunch of noise together and call it music” facet one first hears when listening to music by Vancouver band The Shivas is what makes the band. It has tings of surf rock and scattered garage, indie and punk influences mixed together into a wall of sound that is loose and easy to groove to — if you are hip enough to groove.

But, it’s everything else about the band that makes it great, or at least on the verge of greatness.

When asked by front man Jared Wait-Molyneux why his band should be considered for the cover, vanvoice photographer Annie Becker replied, “because you are the shit.”

To wit: That loose, lost in the moment vibe in their music is deceptive. Before entering the studio to record the band’s latest album, Freezing To Death (the band’s second full length release), each member of The Shivas had 12 pages with every musical ‘i’ dotted and every groovy ‘t’ crossed.

“It was a very ambitious schedule,” said Wait-Molyneux, 19, during a recent sit-down chat with the band at Tryckpress Galleri.

“When you are in the studio, every second you can count,” said bassist Eric Shanafelt, 19. “Before we went in, we knew we wanted to play on schedule. And we did.”

Each song was completed in three or four takes. A couple days after entering PermaPress Recording with producer Pat Kearns, the material was ready for mixing.

To wit: The Shivas are as homegrown a story as it gets. Shanafelt and Wait-Molyneux are products of the Vancouver School for Arts and Academics. They started the group while in high school with Wait-Molyneux’s younger brother, Colby, on drums and Jacob Gellman on bass. The band cycled through a few lineups with various young rockers from Vancouver (Griffin Taylor, Mike Ferguson, Pat Wait, Amara Sperber, Sam Hampton, Zach Whiton and Greg Uskoski). Along the way, Shanafelt moved from congas to bass (more on this later). The current line-up began to take shape in early summer of 2009 when Colby left the band to pursue cycling. The older Wait-Molyneux called up Kristin Leonard and told her, “you’re in the group.” Leonard, 18, entered as drummer. She had never been a drummer before.

Six months later, the group invited Rob Mannering to be its fourth member. Mannering, 24, had just finished college in his hometown of Dublin, Ireland, and moved to Vancouver where his mother lives. He was all set up to go to law school when he was asked to join the band. Mannering’s father is a lawyer back home, who spent 30 years as an Irish folk singer. The decision of which direction to go was in his blood.

“If my dad learned I had quit a rock band to go to law school, he would be pissed,” Mannering said.

To wit: The Shivas have two things no other band has: the singing style and voice of Wait-Molyneux and the bass playing of Shanafelt.

As an audience member, it’s easy to get lost in both. A sedated Jim Morrison may be the easiest description of Wait-Molyneux’s voice. After all, the first song the band played was “L.A. Woman” by The Doors. He said he is often compared to Tom Verlaine from Television. It’s a voice that becomes a fifth instrument that, like the rest, comes natural and flows without a hitch.

Shanafelt, on the other hand, at first seems like a prodigy. Then you learn he hardly knows how to play the bass. After the departure of a bassist in 2007, Wait-Molyneux decided his conga player could be used differently.

“We sat down one night, and I taught Eric to play the blues scales, and that was it, he was our new bassist,” Wait-Molyneux said. “Eric came at it as a percussionist. I think that’s what makes him stand out.”

“I think I fool a lot of people,” said Shanafelt, who admits he can’t read a lick of music.

That is how The Shivas roll. They learn instruments by playing their songs. They grow as musicians by always progressing, practicing and perfecting. It used to be that Wait-Molyneux would write a song and bring it to the band and would teach everyone their parts.

“That’s before any of us knew how to play our instruments,” Shanafelt joked.

But now the band is able to work collectively. When not playing, they love to argue about stupid shit. But when they are playing, they never argue.

“We’re all quick to realize if one is being an asshole,” Mannering said.

To wit: The Shivas debut album, Where Have You Gone To?, was a hit. From its all-to-fitting opening line — “There’s something happenin’ here, oh ya” — to the last note, it’s an album equal parts unique and flawless. It’s something meant to be stumbled upon, preferable in a dusty basement among thousands of old vinyl. Amazingly, Freezing To Death takes leaps and bounds over its predecessor. It’s more pop sensible, as Leonard put it. It’s craftier, with more theoretical tricks, Shanafelt said. Simply, it’s more mature, without losing any of their homegrown dynamic.

“There is always a consistent voice or thread in the music,” Mannering said. “It’s like a wall of sound in its truest form. To me, it sounds like two bands playing together under water.”

Their music fits in with a neo-psychedelic subset called shoegaze, the band said, taking after acts like My Bloody Valentine. They don’t mind wearing influences on their sleeves — Velvet Underground and The Stooges are the first place to start — because they know in the end it’ll sound like a Shivas song. Whatever the “it” is, the band has it.

To wit: The Shivas are soon to embark on their fourth tour, going down the West Coast starting with a gig in Santa Cruz opening for Spindrift on June 22. In August, they’ll break off of Interstate 5 for the first time. A month-long tour will take them through Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas and back. They play everything from bars to record stores to a Hot Topics. Wait-Molyneux does all the booking for the group. He said the best gigs are house parties. That’s where people go to have the most fun. None of the members are big partiers, but that’s where they have the most fun.

“There’s nothing like being in a crowded, hot basement playing for people,” Shanafelt said.

Album reviews of The Shivas two albums can be found at www.vanvoice.com. For more on The Shivas, visit www.theshivas.com or www.myspace.com/theshivas.

- Vancouver Voice


On its debut album, “Where Have You Gone To?,” The Shivas of Vancouver begin their journey riding a wave of psych-rock revival like a jacked-up Strawberry Alarm Clock. “There’s somethin’ happenin’ here, aaall right,” sings lead singer and guitarist Jared Wait-Molyneux on the title track opening, setting the scene as if the band was playing a party in the valley of the dolls. The band playing on the album is filled out by Eric Shanafelt on hand drums, Griffin Taylor on bass and Colby Wait-Molyneux on drum set.
The Shivas play with great control of the melodies they create. Their chord progressions and style transitions are effortless, in that “lost-in-the-groove” kind of way, but the level of musicianship on display has me believing the band knows exactly what it’s doing at all times.
The band is raw and energetic in opening tracks like a Southern California garage band in the ‘60s, occasionally bumping into retro surf rock territory. “The Ballad of Grant Whitney” sounds like Dylan jamming with The Seeds and offers a kind of wise-beyond-your-years songwriting not heard often from a group of high school kids.
The album opens up on “Butter Sun,” a Syd Barret-inspired track (one about as good as they come, at that), as the band catches a slow, meditative groove that transforms and progresses for the remaining six songs. “Ode To A Tea Set” balances sunshine pop with psychedelic, like something from a Harry Nilsson factory, while “Doctor, Doctor” pays a bit of homage to Jim Morrison and The Doors. The album ends far from where it began, with an introspective, ten-minute, sitar-led musical journey of uber Sergeant Peppers proportions.
A follow-up album to “Where Have You Gone To?” is recorded and will be out sometime this year, according to the band. - Vancouver Voice


The Shivas are a very young new band from Vancouver, Washington who live in the late 60’s! The CD features 13 tracks in 69 minutes. Pretty much all the songs are written by singer and guitarist Jarid. The CD begins with the title track, which is a really great song, just under 6 minutes with some nice jamming with guitar and djembe. Peele’s Parfume Garden is another over 6 minute track with a bit of a stoned surf kind of riff and some nice organ and a bit of Syd Barrett like guitar at times and some stoned vocals. The Ballad of Grant Whitney starts with some people talking first in German but then in Danish! Wow… This is a more organ based track and a really cool one as well. A lot of variety and styles on this CD and we are only on the third track. The vocal is very Dylan like. Big Man is a uptempo 60’s rocker with a cool groove. Love features the acoustic guitar and a heavy bass and those airy 60’s style psychedelic vocals. Mr. Marmalade has a stoney groove and laid back nature and Jarid has plenty of time and space for some nice guitar. Butter Sun is a laid back 8 minute track that reminds me of old Pink Floyd (69-71 era). Sunny Afternoon features some nice acoustic guitar picking. Flying High
and The War song and Ode to a Tea Set are all more acoustic laid back tracks but a nice mixture of Syd Barrett and Dylan. Doctor Doctor brings back the psychedelic rock and this one is totally like the Doors. The organ sound and playing as well as the guitar and the singing as well. A long lost Doors track from 1967? The CD ends with Sit Anywhere and is a 9 minute track with very basic sitar playing and a more psychedelic mix on the vocals than any other track. A long strange trip indeed. A great debut CD. If this record had been mixed in a more psychedelic fashion and had some really cool creative and not so boring artwork it could have turned out into an all time classic psychedelic rock record but it still is great stuff.

- Aural Innovations #39


The Shivas groove smooth with a rich mix of blues, funk and rock n roll. Not quite your meandering jam band, The Shivas work more around tight song spreads with lots of lead guitar and the occassional led bongo (I ain't shittin'!). Moreso, The Shivas are like a cool midnight ride, gliding down a fog shrpouded coutnry road with the sky filled with stars and the moon laughing at your ass, and you laughin' back. A couple of tiems I almost gonna grab the board, the babe and head for the surf as the retro organ pumps and Dick Dale style guitar takes center stage. I can visualize cool chicks twisting to the music, bead, barefeet and lots of pretty, swirling colors. A time or two, damn if it's not Dylan gone electric with a mad circus of soundscape flooding the senses - it's all going down man! Another amazing thing about this band is the guys are young cats, who sound like grizzled veterans! This disc by the Shivas is one of the more overall enjoyable ones I've gotten in the past few months, and gets my vote for one of the best of the year.



- Underground Sound Issue #39


To the bourgeois hipster elite, “throwback” is a dirty word. The argument is that throwback musicians are just glorified cover bands, trying in vain to “recapture the magic” of rock’s “glory days” at the expense of originality or innovation.

Fortunately, that label just doesn’t stick to Vancouver, Washington’s The Shivas. They sound more like they climbed out of the time machine at around 1968 and immediately started fucking shit up and creating a huge mess of alternate timelines. The band wears its influences (The Velvet Underground, The Stooges) on its sleeves, but they only use them as guidelines, and even then, they prefer connecting the dots out of order.

Freezing to Death is their sophomore LP (out now on Closet Trekkie records), and this is the title track from it. About two and a half minutes into the song, Jared Wait-Molyneux, the band’s lead guitarist and vocalist, sings “I know that you want to be far gone/I know I can’t be your favorite son,” and then something strange happens: the bass overtakes the drums and starts leading the rhythm section. It’s a phenomenon that they manage to repeat more than once on the record. Bassist Eric Shanafelt’s finger work brings a ton of energy to this band’s sound.

In between verses, “Freezing to Death” chugs along like a krautrock song, and the machine tightness of the band really shines then. It’s a fun track with a catchy chorus, but I must admit that picking a highlight from this record was a painful experience; there are so many more marvelous moments that I wish I could share with you.

According to the Closet Trekkie website, the album is out of stock. Post a message on their comments page and beg them for a copy if you know what’s good for you.
- Ten Silver Saxes Music Blog


The Vancouver School of Arts and Academics offers intensive programs in areas such as music, theater, visual arts, literary arts and many others, with the music program offering high school students the opportunity to become well-rounded instrumentally and in music theory.

What many may not have expected was for a successful rock band to develop from this kind of educational environment. Vancouver group The Shivas has a story, which is untraditional, yet an important reason that it stands out in a community with a high number of local bands.

Led by vocalist and guitarist Jared Wait-Molyneux, The Shivas has broken into the local scene by playing at local venues and house shows. The band started playing during the members' sophomore year at VSAA and hasn't stopped since.

With its musical and general artistic training in hand, The Shivas brings what some may see as pop melodies to a new depth and complexity.

"We all went to an arts school together…for high school in Vancouver and we all just met there," Wait-Molyneux said. "We had known each other for like six years or something and we just one summer started playing music together."

Wait-Molyneux is joined by Eric Shanafelt on bass and vocals, Rob Mannering on guitar and Kristin Leonard on drums and vocals. The band has released two albums, titled Where Have You Gone To? and Freezing To Death. The band's writing style has changed, as the members have put in more of a full-band effort on each track.

"On the first one it was more like I'd just write the songs," Wait-Molyneux said. "But on the second one and how it works now is more…we'll sort of work it out as a whole."

One aspect of performing that The Shivas has enjoyed has been house shows. These shows, according to Wait-Molyneux, create some of the "most fun" live environments.

"The house-shows scene…[is] great because I mean that's by far the most fun for musicians to play," Wait-Molyneux said. "Kids can't go see a lot of shows at the actual venues because they're too young and…while it is not necessarily the best thing, kids can go there and they can drink and they can basically do whatever they want. Which is good in the sense that it's how music is meant to be enjoyed."

Other than house shows, The Shivas has enjoyed shows at many local venues including Backspace in northwest Portland. Tonight the band plays at Ella Street Social Club, which has graced the Portland community with many solid lineups of late. The show is 21-and-over, but for those Portland State students under 21 who hope to catch The Shivas in action, you can find the band on Thursday as well as at The Artistery in southeast Portland off of Division Street.

The Shivas sound is sometimes light, but the band can't be classified due to its constant changes within tracks both rhythmically and dynamically. Whether it is at Ella Street Social Club or the Artistery, don't miss the chance to see a band whose music is melodically pleasing yet still musically stimulating-a combination not always grasped by local and national performers alike.


- The Daily Vanguard


What the fuck is this shit? Some lost radio hit from the ’60s that fell through the cracks before Nuggets could snatch it up? No, no, it’s brand new, a recent recording by Vancouver, Washington’s the Shivas. On their 2008 debut Where Have You Gone To?, the Shivas played a brand of garage rock that defied any genre. Then late last year the band went into the studio again, this time with Pat Kearns, the Blue Skies For Blackhearts leader and producer-about-town. The recordings that resulted are something you can sink your teeth into.
What works best about the songwriting of the Shivas is that they don’t just take influences from one generation of songwriters, but rather cherry pick what they will from various eras and add their own charm and skilled instrumentation. Stand out track “We Go On” could be mistaken not just for some ’60s throwback, but also perhaps for some shoegaze anthem. The track starts with a mini wall of feedback before drums and guitar come galloping in, followed quickly by a smoothly confident bassline. Can we isolate just the bass lines? Eric Shanafelt soothes and tames those wild four deep strings until they sound just like a symphony, and it’s more than likely the bass part that will get stuck in your head. Colby Wait-Molyneux ’s skilled tasteful drumming, meanwhile, powers the track, driving it forward, demonstrating strength and wisdom. Singer Jared Wait-Molyneux ’s sleepy hazy vocalizing matches the loose rhythm guitar while lead guitar cuts in and across every so often.
The video would be some kind of grainy color Super 8 reel shot at the beach with everybody in sunglasses and short shorts, maybe a few shots of some surfing. Hey, watch it with that beach ball. Keep this song around to soundtrack your spring and your summer and your fall. Heck, keep it around to accompany you anytime you’re driving around in the sunshine or thrashing around in the dining room. I just wish my computer had a “repeat forever” option. Don’t you? - Willamette Week


Freezing to Death, recently released second album by local phycies The Shivas, is tangible, tasteful and sets a copacetic atmosphere that makes for an easy listen. Their opening song, “Look So Good, Be So Good” sets an introduction to the 13-track album that makes you anticipate more. Atop creative beats and unique chord arrangements, lead singer Jared Wait-Molyneux sings, “I got a gushy taste of candy/ When I know she says she’s dandy,” introducing the simple lyrical sequences uncluttered by the usual bitter words of heartache found in most CDs.

While not choosing a specific genre, The Shivas have not only progressed from their first album musically, but their choice of lyrics reminds you that these local Vancouverites are no longer just high school collaborators — they are creative geniuses. “I Know Your Name” is a perfect example of how the group has moved from samplers of the band’s potential, to the peak of what their musical creativity has achieved. “It’s all such a drag/ Won’t you open up your legs?/ I know your name/” sings Jared, setting up a semi-controversial line that leaves you wondering, “Where did they come up with this stuff?”

The album’s title track is the core setting for the entire album that takes you back to the feel-good atmosphere of the '60s. The beginning three minutes of the song starts with a sleepy drum beat and clever guitar harmonies, which then progresses into energetic chord sequences that make you want to bounce in your seat. “Eyes, they are red, like dying/ Feel it all the way down to my shoes/ Leave me, please too, be. I am crying/ It helps me to scare away my blues,” stands out for its hint of an old soul peeking out of this nearly 20-year-old’s words.

While there has been a change of drummer, instruments and additional vocals, The Shivas have created an album worthy of a sequel that not only reflects their creative growth and their ability to progress into something more than just a local band, but a local favorite. Freezing to Death is a genre that doesn’t follow the Vantucky musical norm. It has originality that’s spread the news that Vancouver doesn’t produce only metal rockers, acoustic saps and bluegrass bobs, but that it isn’t too small to produce a fresh genre straight from the locals.

- Vancouver Voice


“If you like The Mystery Lights, maybe you’ll like us,” The Shivas’ lead singer/guitarist Jared Wait-Molyneux told Closet Trekkie Records after sharing a bill with the Salinas band – who’d already signed with the indie-music-savvy New York City label – at Jose’s in 2008.

“It turned out that they did,” Wait-Molyneux says.

Two years later, the young Vancouver, Wash., psych-punk garage rockers return to Monterey to promote Freezing to Death, the follow-up to the 13th-Floor-Elevators-esque Where Have You Gone To?

Wait-Molyneux says the band’s grown dramatically since its debut record.

“The songs on the first album were written when we were 14 and 15, and on [Freezing to Death] we were 16, 17 and 18,” he says. “The songs are better and were written in a more mature fashion: Instead of writing each song, teaching it to the band then recording it, I come up with an idea, bring it to the band and we hash it out and make it better.”

The Shivas have also expanded their influences beyond the psychedelic Nuggets of the ’60s to include elements of prog, punk and post-punk à la Television, Iggy and the Stooges and early Joy Division.

The leadoff batter on Freezing, “Look So Good, Be So Good,” may be one of the quartet’s best tunes yet. The final minutes of the surf-psych song sound like an instrumental interpretation of LSD: a culmination of guitar, bass and drums concentrated into fuzzy riffs and trailing tones leading to the come-down.

“Please Be Kind” is more evidence of the band’s exploration of new territories: It’s a crisp, flower-in-your-hair acoustic number that summons Donovan, and a definite departure from the unkempt, but unmistakably enjoyable, debut.

- Monterey County Weekly


Discography

WHITEOUT! - Due out March 2012 on Burger Records

Looking Good On The Street - Due out Spring 2012 on Gnar Tapes

Freezing To Death LP - 2010

Where Have You Gone To? LP - 2008

Photos

Bio

Having come together in 2006, The Shivas have made 3 full-length records, as well as toured almost a dozen times throughout the country since their formation in their teenage years. Taking the DIY approach as an holy method, they have taken pains to book their own tours, establish their own LLC for self-publication and have left labels behind in pursuit of something wholly unique. With eyes on the future, two tours and two new releases are set for the first half of 2012 in a furthering effort to bring rock and roll to America's youth.