SHAED has more to offer than just one hit song after their “Trampoline” launched to the top of charts after their commercial with Apple. Read ahead to learn about what other music is coming up for the band, how they met, and where their unique name came from.
Hey, I’m Alisa coming at you from WBRU.
Hey! How are you today?
I’m great! How are you?
I’m great. We’re in Las Vegas right now, so we’re just enjoying that.
That sounds lovely. So, to get started, can you provide a brief description of your sound for your new fans?
This question is always the hardest for me. I would say that our sound is alternative-pop with, you know, big female vocals.
And would you say that sound has shifted from when you were first starting as a band together?
Absolutely. I think that it has shifted more, or kind of evolved from, our first EP. We were still trying to figure out how to produce and write music together, so we definitely have evolved for sure.
And so how did you all decide to come together as a band in the first place?
Well, we were all in high school, different high schools, but we met at a show and became really close right off the bat. Then, many, many years later, they were in a folk band, I was a solo artist, and we all just thought, “What are we doing? Why don’t we do something together?” So, SHAED began really 3 1/2 years ago.
So, you guys were friends for a long time, and then, after all of that, the band was formed?
Yeah, we were friends for a very long time first.
So then, what made you finally decide to get together and form the band? Was it just the lack of satisfaction in other projects?
Yeah, you know, me being a solo artist didn’t give me enough confidence or make me comfortable. I really wanted more creativity. The guys had also just lost a drummer, and they were like, “Okay, how can we make a band that’s more reliable with just us two playing every instrument?” I kinda came in from there, and we fully made SHAED.
So, did you go in with a vision for SHAED or was it shaped as it went?
Well, we had just bought an old, vintage piano at a garage sale which meant we started writing more electronic stuff towards the beginning. I think we really went off that, at first. I tend to lean more towards the bigger vocals and having that stand-out female vocal was also key for us from the start.
When you’re creating your music now, is there a specific process established or is every song still a unique beast to tackle?
I don’t think so. We all live together, and we have a big studio in the back of our house. So, we’ll all eat breakfast and then walk into the studio to kind of do our thing. I think it’s different for every song in the sense that maybe we’ll write a song after dinner or maybe we’ll start writing something on the guitar and find a melody. It’s always collaborative. It’s just in different forms which is nice because it just kind of freshens it up.
Yeah, that sounds really nice. Like every day is a new start. You don’t get too stuck in anything.
So, moving back, I saw that your name SHAED is drawn from a piece of fiction or a cloak woven out of shadow. Can you explain that a bit more to me?
Yeah, so we definitely all read the same books. We pass them around a lot, and the name came from a series Spencer found a couple of years ago called The King Killer Chronicles. The name came up in the second book called The Wise Man’s Fear. SHAED is a cloak woven by a goddess. It’s, like, a protective cloak and everyone sees it differently. So, we really liked that. We also really liked the way the word looks, so that’s why we chose that.
And how do you feel that word relates to what the band is trying to do with its music?
I think that it relates in trying to give each person an experience, especially live. We want people to kind of perceive and look at us differently. I feel like, with the whole goddess vibe, we’re very much instilled with the fact that our vocals are very vague with a lot of harmonies.
More onto your music itself, you’ve recently released those two new singles. Can you tell me about the process of making those and really where your music is headed?
Yeah, for sure. So, “Thunder” is kind of a song about taking charge of what you believe in. I think that right now especially it’s so important to believe and be vocal about it or stand behind something. That was actually one of the first songs we ever wrote together. We re-released it, so it’s an older song. Yet, it feels new to a lot of people. Then, we have “ISOU” which is a song that we wrote in Toronto with a couple of bridges there that we really love. That kind of became a funky breakup song that we really love. We chose that song specifically because it feels more like a summer jam. We’ve written a lot of songs over this past year, and that felt like the most strategic one to release right now.
So, is more of that music going to be coming out this year or is it still way down the road?
Yeah, we’re planning for an album in the fall. So, we have all these festivals this summer, and after, we’re focusing solely on the album release.
That’s super exciting! How have the festivals been? I see that you have a lot lined up.
Oh, they’ve been amazing! It’s been a totally different experience than, like, touring and clubs. It’s really nice because each part of the year has its own variety of things. We tour in the fall and the spring, and then summer is all festivals. This year, we’re playing essentially every festival which we’re super excited about. It’s been really interesting to figure out how to perform on an entire stage as opposed to smaller clubs. So, it’s really, really been cool.
And what have your favorite memories been at these festivals or in these cities you’ve been traveling to?
I think that the whole experience is just cool. I don’t know if I have a specific memory. We just played BottleRock two weeks ago, and that was one of our favorite shows we’ve ever played with a gigantic crowd. We couldn’t believe it. It was freezing cold and raining, but people were singing every lyric to a lot of our songs. It was just a really cool vibe.
I have to ask, just because we were both at the Governors Ball disaster on Sunday, how was that experience on your side of things?
Oh my god, yeah, I mean, it was really interesting. We got there at 9 a.m., and we had driven a really long time to get there. On Saturday, we drove ten hours from Cincinnati to Gov Ball. We got to Gov Ball at nine in the morning, and we were supposed to play our first set at 12:30 p.m. We found out at 11 o’clock that they weren’t letting anyone in. So, we were like, “Oh crap, no one is going to be at our show because they’re going to let people in at 12 p.m.” Then, they said no one could come in until 6 p.m., and we were like, “Oh crap” again. We thought, “Well, there’s both of our shows that they canceled.” So, we were about to get in the car and drive back home when they were like, “Wait, we want you to play a show at 6:30 p.m. at this tiny, little place.” So, we hung around for, like, eight hours and ended up playing that after we had all these emergency shelter situations. Then, right after we played, they ended up canceling the whole thing.
Yeah, I was caught in the rains after that. It was crazy! So, just to wrap up, WBRU is a music-centered company trying to make content aimed at young people by college students. So, whenever we do interviews with artists, we like to ask what advice they would give young people trying to make their own creative breaks?
I would say, it sounds so corny but never give up. We have been doing this for so long, and it took us so long to get to this point. You know, we’ve been so frustrated and thought, “What are we doing wrong? Why isn’t this working?” So really and truly just being able to stick through the hard times and know it will certainly get better. You just have to keep trying your hardest. Keep working. Work every day at your craft, whatever it is. I think that’s what I would have to say.
That’s lovely advice. Thank you so much for your time! I’ll let you get back to your busy festival schedule.
Thank you so much! Have a great day!