This is Jon from local indie rock outfit The Shake. We’re in the midst of recording our 4th LP, and Chris has graciously invited us to blog about the band and the creation of our still-untitled album.
The past year has brought a lot of positive change for us. Only two original members remain, and the reshuffling has brought about a new, more democratic method of songwriting, which has been not only fun, but really productive. No longer do individual members bring finished songs to the table, but now we collaborate on songs from their inception, tossing around ideas throughout the process. The new members, Dan Kirschen, who took over percussive duties last winter, and Mike Serman, who began playing guitar for us this past fall, are, fortunately, extremely good team players. They’re vocal dudes with really great ideas, and they’ve been immeasurably instrumental (pun half-intended) in creating a different, more collaborative air in the rehearsal room, recording studio, and on stage.
We’re currently tracking at Acme Studios in Mamaroneck – a beautiful drive, by the way – with Dan Stringer. He’s not only an awesome engineer and producer, but Mike’s roommate and now a very good friend of the band’s. Before ACME, we had the privilege and pleasure of tracking four songs with Geoff Sanoff at Stratosphere Studios (on someone else’s dime!), which ruled. These are the songs we’ll be writing more about in the future.
The first song we wrote for the album, which we released as a secret download for our fans, is our lead single “Debutante.” (You can stream it on our website.)
The hook for this song came to me sitting in a staff meeting at work last spring, so I did what any good employee would do, and ran out into the stairway and left myself a voicemail. “Debutante” is quite a bit different from the rest of the new material we’re working on, as most of the other songs are a lot heavier. So, of course, there was internal debate about whether or not to let people hear it, but in the end we thought it was just too damn catchy to keep to ourselves. Lucky for us, the response to the song was killer and whatever dissension there might have been was quickly dispelled once the track was named Song of the Month on The Peak.
Over the next few months we’ll be giving away free, secret downloads of some of the new stuff we’re working on and continuing to play our monthly party, The Shakedown, which might be the most fun thing we’ve ever done as a band. We’ll check back in with y’all soon.