The Shreds
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The Shreds

Nevada City, California, United States

Nevada City, California, United States
Band Rock Alternative

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They're hot. They're young. And they are very good. That's the collective assessment of The Shreds, a band of three local teenagers that is starting to make waves in the world of indie music.

Praise comes fast and furious - from teachers: "They rip it up," says Loren Brown, Nevada Union High School.

"Extremely talented, well beyond their years," says guitar teacher Rick Kirkpatrick.

"Incredibly talented," says Carol Melendez, co-owner of the Rhythm Music Cafe in Grass Valley.

But perhaps the best recommendation of all is that they are finalists in the Sacramento News & Review's 2008 Jammies competition and will perform at a final "battle of the bands" concert on Jan. 25, 8 p.m., at The Underground in Roseville (2401 Olympus Drive). The winners will play at the Crest Theatre on Feb. 23.

The band is led by 15-year-old singer, songwriter and guitarist Dylan Rodrigue from Ananda Village. He started early. At the age of 7 he began a career as a street musician, playing hammered dulcimer at Nevada City's Victorian Christmas. He has been writing and performing his own songs since he was 10. He attends Forest Charter School.

Bass player Blake Severn, 14, from Grass Valley, has been playing bass since he was 10. Also a talented guitar player and singer, he's known for his high-energy stage presence. He attends Nevada Union High School.


The Shreds' sound is anchored by the rock-solid drumming of Griffin Meyer, 13, from Chicago Park. He received his first drum set when he was only 4, a good move on his parents' part. Meyer attends Twin Ridges Home Study.

It's not easy pinning them down to a specific genre of music. Severn calls their sound "alternative indie grunge folk." Teacher Kirkpatrick defines it as "improvisational rock style."

Rodrigue says, "I think it's a relief that we don't sound like 99 percent of the bands our age. We're not 'screamo' or 'death metal.' We have a sound that is original. It is an expression of ourselves and the music we listen to, but is not like anyone else's."

Better yet is a description of the band performing at "NU Unplugged," a rock show put on every March at Nevada Union High School in Grass Valley. Says the director of the show, Loren Brown, "(they) stole the show. Led by guitarist Dylan Rodrigue, who opened the show with a Jimi Hendrix version of the 'Star Spangled Banner' (and did the song justice), they finished their set by strutting up and down the aisle before ending on stage in an Angus Young style, spinning on the stage while playing. The Shreds have their own sound, style, and presence which separates them from other contemporary bands. They rip it up! They will definitely be a huge portion of "NU Unplugged" next March. The amazing thing . . . The Shreds are just 'teenagers' with professional potential."

Where did The Shreds come from? All three found themselves in the pop rock program, the13 - run by Rick Kirkpatrick at The Center for the Arts in Grass Valley - at the same time, serendipitous, as they might never have met otherwise, having been in different schools.


Kirkpatrick - a local performer and teacher of music for the past 35 years - said of the band: "Especially for their age, they are really good, better than they know they are. Individually they're intuitive about their instruments and the music they play. At 13 to 15 (years old) that's remarkable. I wish I had a tape of me playing when I was 15 - no comparison." Kirkpatrick said he started the13 program because he knows how much it would have helped him to have had it when he was in junior high.

About the future? The first thing in the band's sights is winning a certain competition - the Sacramento News & Reviews' 2008 Jammies' final battle of the bands. The Shreds as a band and Rodrigue as solo performer are finalists.

Says Rodrigue, "The winner of the Jammies gets a lot of free recording time, which would help us with our goal of finishing a CD. We would also get a lot more exposure in Sacramento, which would help us get gigs outside of the local area. Berkeley and the Bay Area would be cool."

We think this band is definitely going places, helping, along with other great young talent, to put this town on the map in the world of indie music.
- The Union (December 13, 2007)


They may be young in years and short in size, but winning a recent Sacramento music competition and an opportunity to record their own music could be a welcome growth spurt for members of the Nevada City band The Shreds.

The musicians who dub their music a cross between folk and grunge rock are set to perform at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Crest Theatre in Sacramento, along with 11 other bands and one soloist.

They'll have a chance to win 25 hours of recording time if they win a popular vote of the show's attendees or they catch the eye of a local producer.

"If we get the recording time, then we could make a CD or at least get a good start on it," said the group's guitarist and lead vocalist, Dylan Rodrigue, 15.

The Shreds, which includes Rodrigue, Blake Severn, 14, who plays bass, and Griffin Meyer, 13, on drums, already have six original songs featured on their MySpace page.

The group formed out of a larger area rock band known as The 13 and has been together for nearly two years.

As with most teens, it's hard to pin the laid-back group members down about what in their daily life inspires them to write songs or be part of a band or what they want to accomplish.

"I just write whatever comes to mind at the time," Rodrigue said.

That free flow of expression has led to songs titled "Oggy March," "Saturday Flowers 1," "Drop D" and "Melon."

But it's easier for them to cite musical influences as varied as 60s icons Jimi Hendrix and The Beatles, and more modern acts Nirvana and The Shins.

Like any young group, their cover songs, including John Lennon's "Cold Turkey," Jimi Hendrix's "Hey Joe" and Nirvana's "Serve the Servants," back up those influences.

"It's just fun," Meyer said of the whole band experience.

Severn, who also sings some of the group's songs, would be thrilled if their efforts could lead to a concert tour.

But with none of the band members old enough to drive, their parents end up chauffeuring The Shreds to area gigs.

"They're really supportive, even though they think it's the devil's work," Rodrigue said jokingly.

That parental support system drove them to the SN&R Jammies competition, a two-day concert series showcasing Sacramento area high school musicians.

Jammies winners have 10 minutes to perform their songs at Saturday's show, Rodrigue said.

Tickets are $8 in advance and $10 on the day of the show. To get tickets, contact Rodrigue at 478-7789.

For more information on the group, visit myspace.com/theshreds1.
- The Union Sunday Express (February 17, 2008)


". . . The Shreds played a ferocious set of alternative grunge with a classic rock influence. . . . The Shreds have the angst-filled grunge of Smashing Pumpkins and Nirvana accentuated by the shredding guitar licks of Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix. The Shreds are talented beyond their years, and I can't wait to see how this band will mature with more experience." - Examiner.com - San Francisco (July 23, 2009)


The Shreds, a local teen band, has won the John Lennon Educational Bus battle of the bands in Sacramento.

The John Lennon Bus is a project initiated and funded by Yoko Ono and a few corporate sponsors. It is a state-of-the-art mobile recording and video studio that travels around the program doing programs to support young musicians.

The Shred were among seven bands invited to perform at a "battle of the bands," according to Richard Rodrigue, and were chosen the winners by a panel of judges on Feb. 28.

The Shreds also won last year’s Jammies competition in Sacramento.

Dylan Rodrigue, guitarist and singer with the band said, “It was a very exciting event. I was pleasantly surprised that The Shreds won because there were many amazing bands there and it could have gone to any of them.”

Blake Severn, bass player and singer, and Griffin Meyer, drums, are the other two members of the band.

Griffin said, “The John Lennon bus guys were really cool. We made a whole music video in one day.” See the video on the John Lennon Bus youtube channel: www.youtube.com/johnlennonbus; also view www.youtube.com/theshredsrock.

The Shreds also won a guitar, two amps and ipods, as well as 1000 CDs with full-color printed covers from Discmakers, just in time for the band’s first album, which is being produced in L.A. by Michael Herbick, a movie sound engineer with five Academy Award nominations. The CD should be available for sale in April or early May.

The Shreds will perform at St. Joseph's Cultural Center in Grass Valley on Mar. 20 with sBACH, Casual Fog and Blue Tuesday, starting at 7 p.m.

- The Union (March 13, 2009)


The Shreds are a powerful indie rock trio, consisting of band members Dylan Rodrigue, vocals and guitar; Blake Severn, vocals and bass; and Griffin Meyer, drums. Reverbnation.com states “Imagine a creative collision between the raw power and intensity of Nirvana, the beautiful melodic and lyrical sense of Elliott Smith, and the kick-ass guitar jams of Phish — all in the same song — and you have a sense of The Shreds.”

The Shreds debut album, "Stranger", released in July 2009, was produced by five-time Academy Award nominated motion picture sound editor and engineer Michael Herbick.

The Shreds have won both the 2009 John Lennon Educational Bus Battle of the Bands, where they recorded the song and video, “A Very Dark Green”, and the 2008 Sacramento News & Review Jammies competition. They were also nominated for a 2009 SN&R Sammies Award in the Outstanding Teen Band category.

Many of the songs on their album, “Stranger” were recorded at David Houston Studios in Sacramento, a 25 hour recording project resulting from their win of the previous year's Jammies.

Along with their performance with The 13 at Sierra Coffee Roasters on Saturday, the band will perform an acoustic set at the Miners Foundry for the Day of Giving in December. They will also hold a benefit concert for St. Joseph's Cultural Center in January.

Visit their Web site at www.theshreds.com where you can hear tracks from “Stranger,” see video and check out upcoming gigs. - The Union (November 12, 2009)


I hear there was standing room only at the Rhythms Music Cafe Friday for the SYRCL benefit. Organizer of it, Dylan Rodrigue, sent me an email this week saying it made some good money for the nonprofit. He also said, regarding the band he is in (The Shreds), "We got some great news yesterday. The Shreds won the Jammies' 25 hours of recording time with producer David Houston (producer of Jackie Green's "Sweet Somewhere Bound"). He viewed the concert footage from the Jammies concert at the Crest Theatre and chose one band for the project - The Shreds! We are really excited about it!" Way to go, I say! - The Union (April 24, 2008)


Discography

Stranger - released in 2009 - available on iTunes, Rhapsody and CD Baby.

Photos

Bio

Imagine a creative collision between the raw power and intensity of Nirvana, the beautiful melodic and lyrical sense of Elliott Smith, and the kick-ass guitar jams of Phish. . . . Now you have a sense of wide-ranging musical expression of The Shreds. And, oh yes . . . they’re all under the age of 18.

This young power trio from the foothills of the Sierras has created a big stir in the Sacramento area music scene. The Shreds won both the 2009 John Lennon Bus Battle for the Bus and the 2008 Sacramento News & Reviews Jammies competition, and were nominees for a 2009 Sammies Award. Their recently-released debut CD, "Stranger," was produced by five-time Academy Award nominee sound editor, Michael Herbick & Sacramento's David Houston.

"I've heard a lot of bands over the years and when I was given the opportunity to work with The Shreds, I jumped at it."
(Michael Herbick, 5-time Academy Award nominated motion picture sound editor)

". . . When the power trio from Nevada City known as the The Shreds took the stage they amazed the crowd, Bus staff, and the judges with their enormous sound and catchy songs. . . "
(John Lennon Bus director comments)