THIS IS A SHAKEDOWN!
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THIS IS A SHAKEDOWN!

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"THIS IS A SHAKEDOWN! Chosen Band To Watch In 2009 By The Cleveland Scene"

When singer‐guitarist Brandon Zano, programmer/laptop maestro Justin Nyalis, bassist Daniel Lee and drummer Stephen Nicholson came together less than two years ago to form THIS IS A SHAKEDOWN!, they shook off the heavier influences that shaped most of their previous bands (including such noted local ensembles as Leo, Tender Blind Spot and a Dozen Dead Roses). Instead, they opted for booty‐shaking music ‐ "sexy music," says the garrulous Zano ‐ that doesn't just seethe and rage but sparks an outpouring of dance‐floor ecstasy. While walloping, electronica‐enhanced dance rock hasn't been in short supply in recent years, these guys really pack a punch, pumping up their prominent '80s influences to arenaesque proportions. Zano, a caroming ball of energy onstage, declaims his vocals as if he's trying to bridge the Grand Canyon, propelled by Nicholson's and Lee's rocket‐launcher of a rhythm section. Meanwhile, Nyalis's embellishments are the mirror ball revolving above the crowd: flickering, everywhere‐at-once starbursts that crank up the excitement level. The band's hard‐driving past gives tunes like "Love Kills" and "You Make Me Wanna" a heavy edge, but it's the relentless beats that make them so irresistible. Currently recording at Ante Up with producer Michael Seifert, they'll release their debut this year on Seifert's Reversed Image Unlimited label. – Pantsios

http://www.clevescene.com/stories/15/88/12-bands-to-watch

www.myspace.com/thisisashakedown

info@reversedimageunlimited.com
- Cleveland Scene Magazine


"This Is A Shakedown! Chosen Band To Watch In 2009"

Cleveland OH) When singer-guitarist Brandon Zano, programmer/laptop maestro Justin Nyalis, bassist Daniel Lee and drummer Stephen Nicholson came together less than two years ago to form This Is a Shakedown!, they shook off the heavier influences that shaped most of their previous bands (including such noted local ensembles as Leo, Tender Blind Spot and a Dozen Dead Roses). Instead, they opted for booty-shaking music - "sexy music," says the garrulous Zano - that doesn't just seethe and rage but sparks an outpouring of dance-floor ecstasy. While walloping, electronica-enhanced dance rock hasn't been in short supply in recent years, these guys really pack a punch, pumping up their prominent '80s influences to arena-esque proportions. Zano, a caroming ball of energy onstage, declaims his vocals as if he's trying to bridge the Grand Canyon, propelled by Nicholson's and Lee's rocket-launcher of a rhythm section. Meanwhile, Nyalis's embellishments are the mirror ball revolving above the crowd: flickering, everywhere-at-once starbursts that crank up the excitement level. The band's hard-driving past gives tunes like "Love Kills" and "You Make Me Wanna" a heavy edge, but it's the relentless beats that make them so irresistible.

Currently recording at Ante Up Audio in Cleveland, OH,with multi-platinum award winning producer, engineer, arranger, and composer Michael Seifert, they'll release their debut Album “SEX CELLS” May 5th of 2009
on Seifert's Reversed Image Unlimited label.

The album will be mixed by Sean Beaven who has produced the likes of Marilyn Manson, Nine Inch Nails, 8MM, No Doubt, Gun And Roses, Slayer and more. - www.Mi2N.com


"Cleveland's Magpies debut 'Eastern Standard Time': Local Beat"

Thursday November 20, 2008, 11:48 AM

Music to extort by: Formed less than a year ago, This is a Shakedown! -- Brandon Zano (vocals, guitar), Daniel Griffith (bass), Justin Nyilas (synth/programming) and Stephen Nicholson (drums) -- is exploring electronic rock that falls somewhere between The Faint, She Wants Revenge and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club.

"We're ex-members of a band called Dozen Dead Roses, which was like a fast-rock band, kind of like punk but not as simplistic," said Zano. "We just decided after awhile we wanted to do something different, so we started this project. It's a little bit more dance-y, but it still has a dark edge to it with a lot of grooving bass lines and dirty synths. It's really our own version of a dance rock band." While initially the quartet planned on moving away to pursue its dreams, the outfit decided to stay in Northeast Ohio after signing with Reverse Image Unlimited and subsequently recording its debut effort, due out in early 2009. This is a Shakedown! is playing a free show at 8 p.m. Sunday at the Beachland Tavern, 15711 Waterloo Road, Cleveland. Hot Rails is also on the bill. Call 216-383-1124. - Cleveland Plain Dealer/John Benson


"Sean Beavan to mix THIS IS A SHAKDOWN! debut"

Beavan started his career as a musician and engineer in his hometown of Cleveland, Ohio. He played bass and sang in various local bands and also played fretless bass with Clevelander Eric Carmen (of The Raspberries) on the song "Hungry Eyes"on the Dirty Dancing Soundtrack. While working as an engineer at The Right Track Studio in downtown Cleveland, Beavan met Trent Reznor who worked as the in-house programmer. Reznor also played keyboards in several local bands that Beavan mixed.
Reznor asked Beavan to mix the demos of what would eventually become Pretty Hate Machine, which had received multiple offers for record deals. Beavan mixed sound during Nine Inch Nails' live concerts for many years, eventually becoming an unofficial member of the live band, and even singing live backup vocals from his place at the mixing console. Reznor invited him to work on The Downward Spiral as well as mix several songs on Marilyn Manson's debut record Portrait of an American Family. After contributing to several Nine Inch Nails remix releases (including Closer to God), Beavan mixed and co-produced Marilyn Manson's Antichrist Superstar.
In 1996, after 8 years, Beavan left the Nine Inch Nails camp to mix front of house for the "Antichrist Superstar"world tour. In late 1997 Beavan and Manson moved into the Hollywood Hills and started production on Mechanical Animals.
Beavan went onto produce and mix records for artists as diverse as Guns N' Roses, God Lives Underwater, System of a Down, Depeche Mode, No Doubt, Slayer,Kill Hannah, HYDE, P.O.D., Paloalto, Thrice, Unwritten Law, MOTH,Kidneythieves, Tommy Stinson, Tiger Lou, Hypernova, and Chronic Future.He also returned to work with Manson, mixing Eat Me, Drink Me.
Beavan is currently involved in his own band with his wife Juliette Beavan,and Drummer Jon Nicholson, called 8mm. 8mm have an album entitled Songs to Love and Die By which was released in late 2006. Having supported Sean Lennon on the west coast leg of his North American tour the dynamic Trip hop band are currently regulars in the Los Angeles music scene and have toured the US and Great Britain. After recently producing and mixing Denver Colorado favorites Meese for Atlantic records, Beavan is working in the studio currently with Marilyn Manson on his forthcoming album with Chris Vrenna and Twiggy Ramirez.

Discography:

Pretty Hate Machine (1989) by Nine Inch Nails – Mixer
The Downward Spiral (1994) by Nine Inch Nails – Mixer
Portrait of an American Family (1994) by Marilyn Manson – assistant producer, programming, digital editing
Mechanical Animals (1998) by Marilyn Manson – Producer, programming, engineering, digital editing
Provisions, Fiction and Gear (2002) by MOTH – Producer
Up Off The Floor (2004) by God Lives Underwater - Producer, Programming, Bass, Guitar, Noises. - unknown


"THIS IS A SHAKEDOWN! RELEASES FIRST VIDEO CIRCLES"

New York, NY (May 5, 2009)On May 5, Cleveland-bred electro-rockers THIS IS A SHAKEDOWN! will release their debut studio album Love Kills on Reversed Image Unlimited. They recently released a music video for Circles.

At first glance of Circles, one might notice that the band is surrounded by the glow of laptops. The video was recorded via Apple Mac Books Photo Booth - the same program most users utilize to dilapidate their face for their MySpace page. This has created a whole new kind of artistic expression, courtesy of THIS IS A SHAKEDOWN!

Filmed at Ante Up Audio in Cleveland, it took 21 borrowed Mac Books to create this masterpiece, which was directed and edited by Bryan Porter of Enigma Digital Media. The result is nothing short of stunning. However, due to the intense strobe effects, this video would unlikely be played on television (it comes with a warning for those with epilepsy or vertigo).

With its sonic visuals, fast pace, and vibrant use of color, Circles is the perfect eclectic, creative complement to THIS IS A SHAKEDOWN!s unique music.

Check out the video at www.myspace.com/thisisashakedown <http://www.myspace.com/thisisashakedown> or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6GCGuP_EIww <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6GCGuP_EIww> .

Reversed Image Unlimited LLC is a non-traditional, highly innovative record label featuring indie, electronic, rock and pop artists. Keep an eye out for new releases from THIS IS A SHAKEDOWN!, Chuck Mosley (formerly of Faith No More), Adam Heart, Ghost Town Trio and more.

For more information, regarding this and other Reversed Image Unlimited releases, please contact Carol Kaye at Carol@Kayosproductions.com.
- Carol Kaye


"THIS IS A SHAKEDOWN! To Perform At Cleveland Indians Game!"

New York, NY—Cleveland-bred electro-rockers THIS IS A SHAKEDOWN! are holding it down for their hometown at an upcoming Cleveland Indians game. On Friday, May 29, the Indians will take on the New York Yankees, and TIAS! will be there to root them on with a special performance!

During the 7th inning stretch, the band will lead the Cleveland crowd in a sing-along of “Take Me Out To The Ballgame.” THIS IS A SHAKEDOWN! will perform the classic tune from the “party deck” of the arena.

Quickly developing a reputation as a band that gets the party going, the band is described as “danceable hetero-angst rock” by KEUL Radio (Arkansas). It is this distinctive sound that has earned the band recognition, as radio stations are blasting their tracks in heavy rotation. This is all riding on the recent release of their debut album Love Kills (released May 5 – Reversed Image, Unlimited).

This rousing event will take place at the Cleveland Indians home base of Progressive Field. Two of American’s greatest pastimes – baseball and live music – doesn’t get any better than that!

Reversed Image Unlimited LLC is a non-traditional, highly innovative record label featuring indie, electronic, rock and pop artists. Keep an eye out for new releases from THIS IS A SHAKEDOWN!, Chuck Mosley (formerly of Faith No More), Adam Heart, Ghost Town Trio and more.

For more information, regarding this and other Reversed Image Unlimited releases, please contact Carol Kaye at Carol@Kayosproductions.com.

- Carol Kaye


"Stephen Nicholson Of THIS IS A SHAKEDOWN!"

Hello, everybody, my name is Stephen Nicholson. I grew up in the city of Cleveland Heights, a suburb east of Cleveland, Ohio. I guess you can say that I became interested in drumming around the age of nine. It was a human’s ability to create rich and complex rhythmic textures—with the mind and the four limbs of the body—that intrigued me from the get-go.

To start off, my parents bought me a practice pad and drum lessons to see if drumming was something I would actually want to pursue. When they realized that I was swept away by the idea of playing a drumset, they bought me a snare drum (not exactly what I had in mind, but I guess they needed more proof). It was only after three years of urging and wreaking havoc on their Tupperware (setting it up around my snare drum to imitate a full set) that they purchased the real deal. It was the happiest day of my life (well, at least to a twelve-year-old).

Within the first year of high school I realized that developing my skills was a definite must. I was blown away and intimidated by the wealth of talent that lingered in the halls and classrooms of the Instrumental Music Department at Cleveland Heights High School. Luckily, I met Kurt Tietjen (my ex-brother-in-law) in that first year. Earlier, he had been involved with the Canton Blue Coats of Drum Corp International. I was immediately transfixed by the abilities he acquired from the long hours of practice that one must endure to perform at that level. I considered DCI to be the apex of potential for any young person interested in playing percussion instruments.

Following our chance meeting, Kurt apprehended my desire to improve my snare drum technique. So he pummeled me with a barrage of intense instruction and countless hours of practice, which catapulted my skills to new heights. (Anyone wanting to excel on the drumset should immerse themselves in snare drum studies to develop speed, strength, and technique. Trust me; it’s to your advantage.) Due to the drastic improvement in my playing, I was upgraded to snare drum in the school marching band by my sophomore year. In the two years that followed, I was appointed head percussionist (which was a painful experience, being in charge of a bunch of knucklehead teenagers), earned a position in the orchestra, and played for the school jazz band. I was exposed to a lot of really good drummers during that time, such as Dennis Chambers, Billy Cobham, Tony Williams, Dave Weckl, and Neil Peart. It was definitely a very stimulating period in my life that had a huge impact on shaping me as a performer heretofore.

Throughout my twenties I played in a number of bands, covering an assortment of musical genres like rock, hip-hop, freeform, metal, avant-garde, instrumental, and so forth and so on, but the sine qua non of that decade was when I discovered Meshuggah’s drummer Tomas Haake. His knack for polymetrics defied anything I had ever heard before. He seemed to reach beyond the instrument, forcing the evolution of drumming itself. A steady diet of Tomas was a powerful catalyst in expanding my horizons and altering my approach to drumming altogether. It was extremely liberating, dwelling in the moment, unchaining the soul, and allowing music to swirl around turbulently through my mind, body, and drumset. During that time I evolved on many levels, inculcating in myself a deeper and wider sense of direction, purpose, and capacity for creating music.

Today, I play in the band This Is A Shakedown! We’re a heavy-hitting, high-energy rock outfit that incorporates dance/electronica influences into our music. We’re signed to a label called Reversed Image Unlimited, which is based out of Cleveland, Ohio. Michael Seifert is our producer and also the man that signed us to the label. Tracking drums with Michael was definitely a unique experience. He decided to set up four completely different drumkits in Studio B of his recording studio, Ante Up Audio, miking all of them at once, so we could bounce around from one kit to another without the hassle of breaking down and setting up every time we wanted to get two different tones for each song. I think there were about thirty-eight tracks dedicated to recording drums for the album (yee-haw!). We proceeded to do some pretty wacky things, like layering multiple kits on songs, tracking the drum and cymbal parts separately to isolate the sounds and then manipulate them into drum-loops using whatever plug-ins were at our disposal, recording cymbal parts in half-time in order to speed them up over the course of the track, and recording drums in other rooms to capture ambient noise. So, I would say the drums have a lot of personality on this record! The CD is titled Love Kills. Y’all should check it out. Peace!

For more, go to www.myspace.com/thisisashakedown.

- Modern Drummer


"THIS IS A SHAKEDOWN! "Love Kills", CD Review"

THIS IS A SHAKEDOWN! "Love Kills," CD Review

4 ½ out of 5 stars
Reviewed by Jade Baird

The debut album from This Is A Shakedown! is a new mix of rock and industrial techno. Being a new band straight from Cleveland, Ohio, their sound is original compared to the mainstream bands with radio hits out there. Using keyboards and voice synthesizers, as well as their creative mixing of vocal tracks and programming, they create an electronic sound that that would work at both dance clubs and rock concerts. Brandon Zano's vocals are melodic and have a nice falsetto to reach higher notes that emphasize the trans-pop that stands on its own in a genre-bending way. The guitars also add a layer to the mix, creating a punk influence on the style of each song. With their jumpy, electro vibes and lyrics of girls, cravings, and clubs, this band is more teen and youth targeted. They have used the internet (myspace and facebook) as a way of getting their music to the audiences' ears. This new way of music marketing has a huge influence on the industry and has gotten many bands' sounds out there, including This Is A Shakedown!

On the CD, the song "Radio" has a message of lust and desire for an idol (and possibly musician) that he hears on the radio and can't get out of his mind. The song has an enchanting melody, with symbols, guitars, and a piano piece to top it off. The lyrics talk of how his "obsession starts to grow" and how it "just keeps getting more hard core." The last verse of the song breaks down and becomes aggressive, as if playing along this the singer's urge to forget his infatuation. Its ends with a calm piano bit that simulates peace, as he has dealt with his feelings and seems to have learned how to forget her. A more industrial sounding song, "Oh!" uses a lot of effects to create a more underground feel. A constant synthesizer pulsates throughout the piece, making a new electro rhythm that entrances the listener into a head-bobbing, foot-tapping reaction. The vocals are also remixed so they repeat themselves in the chorus. As the song tells of a boy getting a girl he wants, the music acts as the storyteller as it beats with the conviction the boy uses when speaking of the girl. The first single off the record, "Circles," has the same industrial, indie rock sound, with clanking noises and voice synthesizers.

The song "My Funny Valentine" has an instrumental hook of drums and string arrangements. With the whispering vocals overlapping the haunting music, it creates a spell-binding story of an overwhelming love and how a girl wants to change herself to be everything for the boy she loves. This song, as its sound, is different from the others because it’s slower, soothing, and more powerful with its message. For a band with a distinctly different style, this song sticks out as the most unique on the record.

This new band definitely has a premise and understanding of today's developing market for a techno-industrial style. Their sound can relate to more than one genre, and thus, be included in more scenes, bringing in more fans. Both rockers and radio-friendly music fans can enjoy the sounds of the keyboard, synthesizers, and steady drums as they listen to This Is A Shakedown! Teens, club-goers, and internet music junkies will be happy with this new taste of a different type of music experience



- Backstage Axxess


Discography

THIS IS A SHAKEDOWN! Debut Album "LOVE KILLS" was released on May 5th 2009 on Reversed Image Unlimited.

Photos

Bio

Leading its new generation of artists is a group that appropriately calls itself THIS IS A SHAKEDOWN! Fusing together influences drawn from playing in mostly punk, heavy rock acts and listening to an eclectic range of music from gospel to R&B to hip-hop and underground dance music, THIS IS A SHAKEDOWN! has created its own intoxicating blend of rock instruments and electronics. Its goal above all: to get your blood pumping and your body moving.

"It's music you can bang to," says vocalist/guitarist Brandon Zano. “It's very sexually driven.” Adds bassist Daniel Lee, "There's definitely a lot of adrenaline.”

Although THIS IS A SHAKEDOWN! is new to Cleveland's music scene, its members are veterans of bands that have enjoyed some local success. Zano, Lee and drummer Stephen Nicholson played together in Leo, which signed a development deal with Island in 2002, then went on to play in the well-regarded Dozen Dead Roses.

“I started to work on music of my own,” says Zano. “Daniel and Stephen were going that way too. I kind of coerced them into playing with me and we started writing songs together. We knew Justin through a previous band he was in and knew he would be a good asset as far as completion of what we needed.”

Keyboardist/programmer Justin Nyilas turned out to be the missing ingredient that transformed THIS IS A SHAKEDOWN!'s music from a collection of strong rock songs into a throbbing, sexually driven, music experience.

The band launched in early 2008 and quickly started looking for opportunities to get heard. They approached multi-platinum producer, engineer Michael Seifert of Cleveland's Ante Up Audio, whom Zano knew from working with in past projects. He caught the group live and immediately signed them as the first act on his new label Reversed Image Unlimited LLC. Their first full-length disc, "LOVE KILLS" was released May 5th 2009.

“He gets what we're doing,” says Lee. “It’s such a pleasure working with someone who is that unbelievably talented. He's creating a Cleveland uprising and we want to be part of that.”

Their first music video from the song “Circles” (Directed and edited by Bryan Porter of Enigma Digital Media) was filmed at Ante Up Audio using 21 borrowed Mac Books.

“Our emphasis is to prove that our live show is just as good as or better than the album,” says Zano. “We come from bands with punk and rock influences. We don't just stand there. We're ravenous about it. We want the live experience to be so intense that for the next week, after seeing THIS IS A SHAKEDOWN! your heart is still pounding and your body is still shaking.”