Geek rock is taking over Los Angeles, and it goes by the name Shaimus. But LA isn’t all they’re taking over; Shaimus has had music on Guitar Hero and Rock Band 2, and you may have caught some of their music in your favorite TV shows and films. Read on as COREnered gets down with Evan Brown, Shaimus’s guitarist, and feel free to let out your own inner geek.
- What is your first musical memory?
My very first musical memory was listening to Raffi tapes over and over as a pre-schooler. I used to play the album all the way through, turn it back over to side A, and start right over again. I’m pretty sure I drove my family crazy.
- What was the first concert you ever went to?
My first concert was Billy Joel on the River of Dreams tour when I was about 10 years old. My parents took me, and I was amazed by his showmanship and was privileged to see a set full of classic songs. That was a great introduction to live music.
- What or whom do you go to for musical inspiration?
In my immediate vicinity, I go to my bandmates. They always have really original, creative ideas and always impress me with how seriously they take the craft of songwriting. And when all else fails, I just hit ‘play’ on albums from my mainstay artists: Clapton, Radiohead, Ben Folds, Elliott Smith, Chris Cornell, Pink Floyd, Supergrass… There are so many bands that inspire me in such different ways.
- Without using the words “alternative,” “pop,” or “rock,” describe your sound.
Bouncy Geekcore. We have some bouncy songs and a lot of our music appeals to music and video game geeks (we were in Guitar Hero and Rock Band 2 after all), plus I’d like to think there’s a bit of edge to our sound, which can particularly be heard during our live show.
- Stones or Beatles?
I am personally a big Beatles guy. I was raised on them⎯ I’ve been listening to them since I was a baby. I saw Paul McCartney live in 2005, and it was easily in the top 3 best concerts I’ve ever seen… Incredible stage spectacle, plus a setlist of over 30 classic songs that I swear was tailored to my personal tastes. There were tunes in that set that I didn’t even dream of hoping for (like “I Got A Feeling” from Let It Be) and when he played them it felt like it was just me and him in the arena together.
- What’s your dream collaboration?
I would love to write an album with Andy Sturmer from Jellyfish. I think he might be the unsung songwriting genius of the ’90s. Super catchy songwriting with a flair for in-your-face musicianship without being indulgent. I think brilliant music always dances a fine line like that.
- Do you find the song or does the song find you?
For me, the song finds me the vast majority of the time. If I sit down with the goal of creating, it’s hit or miss. The much more common scenario is that I’m hit with a stroke of genius while I’m in an elevator, far from anywhere that I can write it down (but not likely inspired by the elevator music).
- How do you discover new music
Lately I’ve been a little obsessed with Grooveshark. I try to keep up with as many new bands as I can, but there are so many of them and they all have sites scattered across the web. With Grooveshark I can sample the music of many bands in one place, and it’s helped open new musical worlds to me. My musical horizons have definitely expanded exponentially because of the ‘net.