We had the good fortune of connecting with Shiver and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Shiver, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
NICO: I think there’s a primal desire for us to create something that will outlast us. We want to have the right words at the right time, and when we do, it’s fulfilling to capture it and know that it’s there for others to hear. Storytelling is a powerful thing, and that’s what songwriting is. When you a capture a mood, feeling, or scenario that feels unique to you, but then realize that others can connect with it too and they appreciate you for it, you just want to tell more and more stories. BRENDAN: I chose music because I felt the most comfortable on stage and knew I would be able to express my creativity to those with a love for live music. Nothing beats forgetting the problems of the day for an hour or two entertaining cool people from all walks of life! JUSTIN: Heard Led Zeppelin’s ‘Black Dog’ in middle school and it was all downhill from there! It’s such an intoxicating feeling to finally crack that hook you’ve been working on or hit that moment onstage; way too fun.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
NICO: Personally, I think I bring a pop-punk energy to the band, perhaps to Justin’s chagrin. “One of Those Nights” is still our only song in a major key so far. I just thought we could use a pick-me-up from all of Justin’s dark anti-love songs. As a band, we’re all about the hooks. Benny Andersson of ABBA said something along the lines of “I am not finished writing a song until there are at least five hooks in it.” Who are we to disagree with the man that brought us “Dancing Queen” and “Waterloo”? I mean, I think all musicians will agree 2020 was extremely challenging for, you know, music. I think Shiver did a good job of keeping the content flowing by releasing three new originals and two covers in the past year, as well as doing some live virtual shows. So I’m proud of how we kept ourselves up there. JUSTIN: Get out of here with those major keys, Nico! Sad songs only! (haha)…. Yeah like Nico mentioned, all about the hooks – definitely not easy to make an audience care about every story you tell through the songs in a live set, (especially in a high decibel setting with the sound reverberating off the walls slurring whatever words you’re singing in the first place….) but if you can get a couple earworms in the listeners ear rolling around in their head after the show is done, that’s usually a good way to get people coming back. BRENDAN: Getting people to like your stuff isn’t as challenging as maintaining their attention. I feel we are always looking to expand our work into parts of music we may not be familiar with as much, which not only keeps us writing, but keeps us happy. The biggest lesson I’ve learned is if you have a goal or dream, there’s always someone working for the same outcome. You have to work effectively and harder than anyone else.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
BRENDAN: If I had a visitor come to Los Angeles, we’d start by getting food in Manhattan beach and hitting the waves, followed by getting ready to head to Santa Monica for bar hopping at night! The next day, show them around Hollywood and all the spots I’ve come to love and play at. Whichever night we could see a show at the Whisky a Go-Go, we’d take that opportunity! Obviously, we have to hike in Malibu for a day, stopping of at a sushi place after. And of course, when I have a show going on, they gotta be there from arrival to shutdown of the club or bar! They need the full experience and that’s what I intend to provide! NICO: Like music, everyone’s impressed with knowing the deep cuts. But…you can’t not love the greatest hits. When hosting somebody in LA I’d say it’s about finding a balance there. I’m assuming COVID doesn’t exist in this case, so here goes. I’m going to want to show off our beaches at least once. For a newcomer, I’d drive them down to Venice and get a double cheeseburger, fries, and kale salad at the Win-Dow on Rose and 5th Ave, then walk down Rose to the famous Venice Beach. Venice is probably what most people picture when they imagine an “LA Beach,” with the gift shops, weightlifters, and rollerbladers, so why not give them the full experience? I’m a big fan of comedy so I’ll take them to The Laugh Factory or The Comedy Store on Sunset Blvd for some standup. And while we’re down there, why not head over to The Strip and see what’s going on in the Whisky, Viper Room, or Rainbow? There’s some rich rock n’ roll history in those venues so of course I’ll want to show that off. If we find ourselves downtown, I’ll probably take them to The Edison, a very cool prohibition-era bar inside a renovated power plant. And if I’m really trying to impress, I’ll take them to a straight up speakeasy called In Sheep’s Clothing, which is inside a pizza parlor where the door matches the wall. The theme is a Japanese-style listening bar, with unique playlists playing on vinyl, with 70’s décor that will make you want to redecorate your house. Okay, that should be a sufficient week in LA, right? JUSTIN: I think Brendan and Nico nailed it, so I’ll just mention the restaurant ‘Salsa and Beer’ in Burbank! So good; It’s got salsa, and it’s got beer. And yes, I do intend for that to be dinner every night of the trip. Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
NICO: Gotta give it up for my parents, of course. Nobody’s been more supportive and encouraging than them. Also, big shout out to our singer Justin for pulling me back in to music and reigniting my creative side. Fist bump. JUSTIN: First to Nico, for that wicked fist bump. Great execution. I’d give a shoutout to all the artists that are still staying active during this lockdown – awesome to still see music, comedy, film, dance, etc still being produced given the continued circumstances, especially all the awesome artists we’ve worked with in the Valley Vaudeville shows we’ve hosted, both live and virtual. BRENDAN: Special shoutout to Tommy for blessing me with the beautiful Gibson I take the stage with each time I play. Phenomenal piece of gear from a supportive and phenomenal player himself!
Boston Schulz Photography