For The Shivas, the show has always been the thing. That thing being a bombastic, explosive and thoroughly communal live rock and roll experience where barriers between the performers and their audience seem to dissolve into the sweat and sound. It’s the stage—or the basement, or the living room—that’s the Portland band’s true element. It’s their raison d’etre. It’s their religion.
Recording, though, is less instinctive for The Shivas. Where live shows are ethereal products of the moment, albums last forever. It’s a lot of pressure. Which is one reason it took three full recording sessions to finish their ambitious and mature new LP, Dark Thoughts (the band’s first release for the Tender Loving Empire label), but when the stars aligned they took the opportunity to face their insecurities—one of the many reasons the album is called Dark Thoughts.
Dark Thoughts is the sound of a tight-knit band whose members have learned not just how to trust each other, but how to grow together. “Being adults now,” Leonard says. “We’re starting to talk a lot more philosophically about why we do what we do. Some of my favorite music came from people needing to find a space. Music is just such a visceral place to find a release.”
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