This LA based petri dish of electro-rock-pop-punk is going to blow your mind. Badass Band 54, Standing Shadows will be anything but a shadow in your mind once you take a listen to their bold plethora of emotionally jarring tunes.
Standing Shadows is a band I heard about through a friend of mine. I kept meaning to listen, followed them on Twitter and Facebook in an effort to remind myself to scope out their tunes. Well, it took some time, but I finally took a listen. This time, I just decided to randomly click on a song, and the first song I listened to was actually a remix from their ‘Freakshow’ EP, aptly titled ‘Freakshow (DJ DNA Remix)’. Now, I am not one for remixes, but this one definitely caught my attention, heavy on the bass, haunting vocals and perfectly placed synth pieces. Basically, a damn fine piece of angry dance music. I figured if the remix was that rad, the original must be badass, and I was right. The original ‘Freakshow’ however, being far heavier on the drums and guitar riffs, much more rock n roll. Clearly, within two songs I was already hearing a wide range of sounds from this band. I went on to check out their next album, which is wildly different from the EP. ‘Just a Part of Me (Tales from the War Garden)’, is mind blowing. It is set up to be a perfect musical ‘tale’ from track one to track six. Some songs are even dubbed ‘Pre-War Garden’ and ‘Post-War Garden’. The lyrics based on the band’s perception of human nature in a world fueled by greed and competition coupled with the raw emotion and killer combination of instrumentals, make this a band to be reckoned with.
Standing Shadows is made up of the likes of David Miltenberger- Vocals, Keys, Guitar, Theremin (Who could resist a band that incorporates a Theremin!!), Chelsea Davis- Bass, Matt Becks- Drums, and Dan Silver- Guitar, Keys, Vocals. This general lineup has been steadily cranking out an impressive amount of tunes since 2010, definitely something for everyone amongst all of their releases. Standing Shadows was kind enough to take a bit of time out of their tune making to answer some questions for BBB, so read on to discover why their slogan would be ‘We are the Human Race’, what their live show is like and what they have in store for the rest of this year!
When and why did each of you start playing?
We have been playing most our lives starting at very young ages. It usually starts with a passion and then turns into an obsession. We’re all music junkies and simply can’t live without it.
What kind of music did you listen to growing up? How does that differ from what you listen to now?
Grew up with a lot of the classics: Beach Boys, Beatles, Velvet Underground, The Clash, T. Rex, Rolling Stones, Cream, Pink Floyd, Hendrix, Zeppelin, Dylan, Cash, and the list goes on and on…we’ve all gone through many phases of different music and the styles evolve as time goes on….Joy Division, Chapter House, Slowdive, Ride, Pixies, My Bloody Valentine, Happy Mondays, Stone Roses, Daft Punk, Spacemen 3…. now, Spiritualized, Radiohead, Doves, Sigur Ros, Air, Arcade Fire, Band Of Skulls, Boxer Rebellion, Crocodiles, Drums, M83, Passion Pit, Yeah Yeah Yeah’s, Arctic Monkeys, and the list goes on. This barely scratches the surface though… We’ve all been influenced by many other styles too – punk, jazz, soul, reggae, dub, all kinds of electronica, etc.
Which musicians do you admire? Why?
We always admire bands that are unique and different and still break through. It’s tough to cut through the clutter today and it’s amazing anyone does. It takes serious dedication to your craft and trying to find ways to do new different things with music.
Why the name Standing Shadows?
We were looking for a name with some meaning….not just a word or random phrase. In a world where greed and corruption rules we are all shadows but if we stand together we can make a change. We see music as a vehicle for uniting the world even if we have to do it one by one.
Describe your show visually & musically for those who have never been.
The live show is filled with energy, passion, and intensity that sometimes is indescribable. We always look at our set list conceptually to put together the best dynamic experience for the crowd. It should be a journey that transcends into the crowd. We generally have a moody light show with trippy artistic video footage created by Dan. With Chelsea and Dan flying across the stage and jumping off things…and fun effects like bullhorns and Theremins the show is sure to be action packed!!
How does your creative process typically work?
The creative process is one of our favorite parts. Creating the music is always exciting and inspiring. At times any one of us may bring an idea to the table in a writing jam at Dan’s studio that generally gets flushed out on the spot. Dan does a ton of the producing and engineering bringing cool production techniques in the studio setting. We collaborate as much as possible, even on lyrics and melodies…we always check the ego at the door. Once in a while an idea has to stew and marinate for a long time and then one day the perfect combo of additions come along to finish the concept. Lately we’ve been doing a lot of jamming live to come up with ideas. Matt and Dan seem to be one brain these days…it’s pretty cool to watch…in a matter of minutes they’re playing an idea that no one has thought of yet but naturally comes out in full song form on the spot. We have a ton of new demos in the works that we’re really excited to finish.
What do you think you biggest break or greatest opportunity has been in your career so far?
Everyday is a new opportunity…it’s constant growth. There are ups and downs, but generally things are continually moving forward. We’ve had some great placements on TV including a triple header last season of the new 90210. They featured three songs in one episode! Recording with producer Chris Goss (QOTSA, UNKLE, The Cult) at Rancho De La Luna with engineer Ethan Allan was pretty amazing. During the same sessions Dave Catching played on our song “One By One”.
What has been the biggest challenge for you so far?
The biggest challenge is being patient. It’s probably one of the hardest things. It takes time to build a fan base and credibility. Luckily we’ve had a lot of amazing things happen in our first two years and now we’re ready for primetime. The passion for music keeps us going though…it’s good to take time and work hard towards the goal. Staying focused and being patient can be tough, but it’s the only way to say sane in this business.
What are you working on now, and what can we expect from you the rest of this year?
We have a few videos in the can that we’re excited about. We just released the “We Are Everlasting Silver Sessions Remix” video (remixed and video produced by our guitarist Dan). We have another video that he worked on coming out soon. There’s more remixes by GRAMR in the works as well as new singles in early 2013.
Why should people listen to your band? What makes you unique? If your band had a slogan, what would it be?
Why not? Music is universal and everyone should be open to checking out new music. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t treat most music this way on a first listen. Give it a shot! Maybe you’ll surprise yourself sometime. We’ve discovered tons of music by buying random cheap vinyl records from the thrift store. There’s nothing like putting on a record and hearing something new for the first time. If we had a slogan it would be “We Are The Human Race.”
If you had the opportunity to change something about the music industry, what would it be?
Oh, there’s too much to change. With the current evolution of the business we find ourselves in a very interesting time. Bands have all the free tools in the world online to promote themselves, the CD is almost irrelevant (vinyl is back!!! Yay!), yet the market is completely flooded and hard to follow. When we started getting in bands the Internet didn’t exist…we simply got in a van and started traveling on a dime hoping someone would notice. Now it’s a DIY business, which is one of the healthiest things to happen in years. It seems like it’s all starting over which may just allow this business to survive. If we can just get the insiders to look forward and stop trying to rehash the same regurgitated manufactured superficial music and pay attention to what’s happening underground. There are so many interesting styles of music being combined and created everyday…it’s endless.
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