The Shakes, a four-piece indie pop-rock band from Huntington Beach, is ready to make waves. The band formed in 2015 when vocalist/guitarist Sean Perry met bassist Skyler Connell as juniors at Edison High School in music theory class; the rest fell into place when they were joined by guitarist Cameron Peinado and drummer Nicole Bandoquillo, an OCSA-trained musician they serendipitously found on Craigslist. After sharing a string of singles and a demo EP, the band is gearing up to release a six-track EP this summer, titled With Every Moment, produced by Young the Giant’s Francois Comtois as well as Jon O'Brien and Josh Brooks at Hybrid Studios.
With a full guitar-driven sound reminiscent of Walk the Moon and Young the Giant, Perry’s earnest vocal delivery acts as the centerpiece of the music. His lyrics, as showcased in recent singles “Somebody” and “Scrumptious,” are confessional and heartfelt — it’s fitting that some of his favorite lyricists include Bob Dylan, Morrissey, Bono and Pete Townsend.
This past January, nearly a year after their month-long residency at The Wayfarer in Costa Mesa, The Shakes made a big LA debut at the Troubadour as the opening act for Utah-based band The Strikes. Below, vocalist/guitarist Sean Perry and guitarist Cameron Peinado share their thoughts about riding out the trajectory, the ideas behind their forthcoming EP and why they enjoyed experimenting with StacksFX pedals in the studio.
Talk about some of the StacksFX pedals you used at Hybrid Studios.
Sean: We’re spoiled there. They have all the gear you could ever think of, some of the nicest amps you’ll ever see. We used the Fuzz Gazer on our song “Paralyzed," and it’s this booming bass for the chorus. And it fit in so well for that and we were so excited about that tone. We also dirtied up the bass tone with the Fuzz Gazer on “Scrumptious.” A lot of the songs on the EP used the Stacks pedalboard. You change the settings to the pedal to the whole vibe of the song, so there’s no set-in-stone way you wanna go about it. You plug it in, turn it on, and see what sounds good. It’s kind of by ear.
Cameron: With the tones I play with the Shakes, I try to keep it clean, but there’s a shoegaze twist to it. The Fuzz Gazer had a low setting where it’s very light fuzz, and it was just perfect. I know why it’s called Fuzz Gazer — I could literally play shoegaze on it all day (laughs).
How do your different influences shape the collective sound of The Shakes?
Sean: We all come from different inspirations. Me personally, I love Foals, Two Door Cinema Club … my dad turned me onto U2, The Who, Stones, Brian Eno. Nicole [drummer] listens to a lot of Chaka Khan…
Cam: She’s badass. She listens to Sonic Youth and is really into African drumming. And the new Black Panther score, she’s been having that on repeat. Skyler [bass] is into Dr. Dog, Dawes, Kings of Leon …I come from 90s indie rock like Jawbreaker, Dinosaur Jr., Superchunk … but I think it’s the new bands that are coming out that are inspiring us the most, like The Neighborhood and Hippocampus.
Let’s talk about your forthcoming EP With Every Moment. Is there an overarching theme tying the songs together?
Sean: Every song kind of has its own euphoria to it, but it all surrounds the idea of living in the moment. Because I feel like with our generation nowadays, people are worried about the future or something they did in the past and people aren’t focus on the now.
C: I think putting them together collectively in our debut EP, it’s kind of representing who we are. It all ties in well together and it makes us The Shakes. But it’s good for people to understand that we can take branches off of each of those songs and create other songs that sound like that and it’ll still make sense for us.
Be on the lookout for The Shakes' new single “Paralyzed (Everything’s Alright)” next month. For more information, visit itstheshakes.com.