Interview with The Shivas Ahead of Austin Psych Fest Appearance

The_Shivas-1The Shivas, hailing from Portland, have one of the most energetic and captivating live shows around. We should know, since we booked the band to play our SXSW Day Party. You can see just a glimpse of their stellar live performance in our video montage of that event here. But what’s important right now is that The Shivas will be back in town for a performance at Austin Psych Fest. The band plays the Elevation Amphitheater at 4:00PM on Sunday. Seeing them is highly recommended. Get tickets here.

the_shivas_whiteoutThe band was good enough to answer a few questions for us via email before they head this way. Before we get to that, you should also know that K Records, our favorite label, is offering a chance to win the Shivas excellent new album Whiteout on vinyl! For details on how to win, check out the K blog here. Below is our correspondance with the band followed by a stream of their fun-loving turned cold-blooded video for single “Gun In My Pocket.”

Pop Press International: How did the band get booked for Austin Psych Fest?

The Shivas: We played the Levitation party last SXSW which was KILLER and was also put on by The Reverberation Appreciation Society. We had such a good time that we knew we had to do it again, and the stars aligned with schedules and everything so it’s happening. The lineup is so good this year we couldn’t stay away.

PPI: Your new record Whiteout drops on K Records this month. There are some psychedelic elements, but there are many other influences as well. Were most of those influences embedded organically or did you consciously seek to balance the points of reference that inform the songs?

TS: You get out what you put in. We listen to a lot of things so there’s always something different coming out. Listening to our records it may sound as if there is somewhat of a “sound” we have, but the feeling would be less apparent if someone were to hear everything we’re making all the time. It’s all over the place, so if it sounds like there are a lot of influences on WHITEOUT, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Who wants to hear the same thing over and over anyway?

PPI: Your live set is particularly energetic! Why is having a powerful live set so important?

TS: Because to us, that’s the point of rock and roll music. It’s so that you can forget your job sucks for a minute and have a good time. Music and Dancing are two sides of the same coin, and everyone in the room having that same feeling is what gets you most of the way there. That’s why when it comes time to play, we tend to choose the fast and loud ones.

PPI: What bands at Austin Psych Fest are the Shivas most psyched to be playing alongside?

TS: It’s rad that Moving Sidewalks are going to play. Also BRMC will be awesome to see as always, and of course Black Angels who put the whole thing together. We are STOKED that Clinic is gonna be there, NOT TO MENTION OS MUTANTES! Roky Erickson is a special one because I (Jared) have tried to see him so many times to no avail, mostly before I was 21 and would always get caught sneaking in or some bullshit. Also a bunch of friends like Night Beats, The Growlers, and Cosmonauts will be there who we can’t get enough of. The list goes on with this one, there are far too many to name, but we can’t wait.

PPI: What’s the band’s favorite tour van music?

TS: We have a burned copy of Creedence Gold that lives in the CD player. That and a mountain of Burger Records cassettes.


The Shivas “Gun In My Pocket” from Linden Collective on Vimeo.

About author
Bryan Parker is a writer and photographer living and working in Austin, TX. He is the founder of blog Pop Press International and print journal True Sincerity and recently released his first book, a volume on Beat Happening in the 33 1/3 series.

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