By Will Brown
This Friday August 19th, sees the release of Shakes sophomore EP Strange Tides. The 4-piece band consisting of Chris Miller, Alex Wildwood, Adam McNeilly and Patch Patrick, Shakes fuse together fuzzy guitars and rock ‘n roll drums with their trademark sharp lyricism. A bit psychedelic with a throwback 70s vibe, Shakes have created a collection of tunes that are both instantly recognisable and equally danceable.
We fired some questions to Alex Wildwood ahead of the release tomorrow.
How did Shakes form?
I had been writing a bunch of songs in bewteen other projects for a few months and Chris and I had been in a band called BLIM, but Chris was playing drums not bass. About the time I wanted to take these songs from the studio out to the world, Patch moved back up from Wellington so we got together and jammed. A couple of days before our first show the guitarist we were jamming with bailed on us so I called up Adam and he’s been around since.
Is there a story behind the name?
When we were thinking of a name I wanted something that feels a little uncertain, or like seeing a polar bear in the amazon or something. We were actually thinking to spell it phonetically as /'ʃeɪk/ but then thought that would be way to confusing and we’d be continually explaining what the name was.
Your sophomore EP Strange Tides is out this Friday. Where did you record it?
The EP was recorded between a house overlooking Manu Bay, Raglan and my home studio in Mount Maunganui. Covering all our basis with coast to coast recording.
How long did the process take?
I guess if we had actually lodged the studio time it’s probably not that long and I suppose with the amount of songs that were culled it was a productive time. There were about 10 or 11 songs to choose from for these four and once we set them as the EP it was probably about week. But there’s a decent amount of stuff in there that we kept from the demos because it had a great vibe we didn’t want to lose – or maybe that’s what we told ourselves and subconsciously we’re actually just too lazy to re-record it.
How does it differ from your first EP?
On the previous EP we recorded a lot of it live with some overdubs and we were more going for a ‘band in a room’ type thing. This time around I wanted to utilize a lot more of the studio and layer sounds in a George Martin kinda way – making sounds by stacking them. We still didn’t want to get too Phil Spector on it but it was really liberating to have the freedom to do. I also wanted to focus a lot more on the rhythm section than previously which is something I think we’ll explore a little further next time around.
Are you planning some shows or a tour in the near future?
Definitely will be out & about playing shows and hoping to tour soon. We’re playing Going Global next month which should be really fun.
Any plans for a full length album?
Although we’ve got more than enough material for a full length sitting there we’re keen to concentrate on regularly releasing EPs at this stage. But a full length will definitely happen one day!
What does the rest of 2016 have in store for Shakes?
That’s the million-dollar question, isn’t it? Shows. Our video for Strange Tides is coming out, we’re pretty excited about that. It was a really fun day & is a chance to show people a little bit more of who we are. A few other cool things but we’ll just have to wait and see!