The Shakin' Babies: When you have a horrible job, you have time to be creative

The Shakin' Babies: When you have a horrible job, you have time to be creative
Photo via aritst

Summer is officially here, and with the usher of the warmer weather, a throwback summer soundtrack is definitely in order. Cue Minneapolis band the Shakin' Babies and their new album Stoked Casual. Each song ingredient is perfectly balanced: the bassline bounces, the doo wop lyricism is sing-along catchy, and the guitars are "so sassy," to quote a line from "Katrina." 

Gimme Noise spoke with the entire band before their album release at the Hexagon on Saturday night to learn how they formed and the process of recording in a living room -- three different living rooms to be exact.

Band Members:

Jess Oleson, Dustin Dzuck, Nikki Eskola, Kian Vaziri, Elliott Snyder

Gimme Noise: When did The Shakin' Babies shift from being a cover band for weddings to being a legit band?

The Shakin' Babies: We were never a cover band specifically for weddings; we played one way back when we first started the band. When we were eight people, it was too difficult to try to write originals. Everyone had varying levels of dedication but with the final five, we're all on the same wave length and love the band, so writing our own material is fun and happens rather quickly now. We still do some covers -- but just for fun.

GN: How does everyone's background in music play into the sound of the band?

TSB: Most of us are self-taught. Everyone has their own style, and we're learning how to utilize individual talents to create a sound we all like.

GN: Is there a story behind the name the Shakin' Babies?

TSB: Ha! Well, when you're working eight hours a day at a horrible job, you've got a lot of time to be creative. Our bud Amber Schulz came up with the name -- and for the record, just so everybody knows -- it's "shakin'" like dancing not "shaken" like how James Bond orders his martinis.

GN: Who came up with the idea of releasing a single a week until the album release? Why did you decide to do it this way?

TSB: Our friend and label man Andy "Vacation Dad" Todryk came up with the idea. Mjmjrecords is putting out Stoked Casual. Dude's got a lot of great ideas. He's been a big help and we're all very grateful.

GN: How did the recording process play into the sound of the album?

TSB: We recorded in three different houses with lots of friendly cats! It's just comfortable to record where your buds live. Elliott [Snyder - guitar] recorded the album and created a traveling studio so we could record nearly anytime anywhere. Our Bud Simon Brooks (from The Mystery Train and Tree Blood) mastered the album for us. Just being around your friends helps to make the recording process fun. We love our friends!

GN: Would you consider Stoked Casual a summer album?

TSB: Yes.

GN: Any favorite tracks off the album?

TSB: We're all just really stoked on the whole album.

GN: What can we expect to see at the CD release show? Is this also a tour kickoff?

TSB: Yeah! We're taking the Velveteens out to the East coast with us. We're set to play FMLY FEST in Brooklyn at the end of June. So many neat dates and people and pets to meet! We're excited to get on the road, and the album release is gonna be explosive! All the bands are some of our faves and it's an under the sea themed party so there's gonna be a lot of wild costumes! Ben Larson is going to do projections for us, and there are art installations our wonderfully talented friends are creating. Don't miss it!

The Shakin' Babies will release Stoked Casual at the Hexagon Bar on Saturday, June 22, 2013 with the Velveteens, The Real Numbers, and
21+, Free, 10 pm

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