Shaimus searches for toehold in music biz through unorthodox means
by BART MENDOZA
Published - 11/18/09 - 02:12 PM | 3881 views | 0 0 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Rock group Shaimus is finding engaging new work as it searches for a major label deal. The band performs Tuesday at Winston’s at 9:30 p.m.           COURTESY PHOTO
Rock group Shaimus is finding engaging new work as it searches for a major label deal. The band performs Tuesday at Winston’s at 9:30 p.m. COURTESY PHOTO
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It’s no secret that the world of music is changing. Where once album and single sales were important, today’s artists have to be truly creative to get their songs heard by an increasingly fragmented audience. And although hard to break into, the obvious place for bands to take their songs is film and video game work.

For a fortunate few who get swept along by the current mania for Rock Band and Guitar Hero, it can be a lucrative and fame-inducing stepping stone to bigger things. Such is the case with independent rockers Shaimus, which performs at Winston’s on Nov. 24.

Formed in 2005, the Los Angeles-based Ben Folds-, Beatles- and Muse-inspired quartet is still looking for a major label deal. Still, the band has managed to get into millions of homes nationwide with its song “All of This” into Guitar Hero, as well as the tune “Like a Fool” into Rock Band 2. Upcoming projects include an appearance in the Sony/Screen Gems film “The Roommate” — due in Sept. 2010. But in the interim, the band is touring to promote its most recent album, “The Sad Thing Is, We Like It Here.”

Shaimus originally came together at Boston’s Berklee College of Music, where the band’s five members all attended music school together.

“We started as a casual project,” said guitarist Evan Brown. “Our singer, Phil (Beaudreau), wanted to record some demos of his songs and began recruiting friends to help. It snowballed from there.”

Realizing they were on to something, the band decided to head west to Los Angeles, where they might make more connections in the entertainment industry.

While the band (which also includes drummer Cam Brousseau, bassist Per Johannes Raassina and guitarist Lou Beaudreau) generally plays all original music, Brown said Shaimus’ Winston’s show will contain a few surprise covers.

“We’ll be doing two sets, so that’s a long gig,” Brown said. “We like to shake the set list up for something like that.”

Although the set list will likely include the popular cover of the Foo Fighters’ “Everlong,” any others will remain secret until show time.

This performance will be Shaimus’s first local appearance in more than three years. Brown is at a loss for the delayed return, but promises return visits will be more frequent from now on.

“We love San Diego,” Brown said. “There really is no one reason why it’s taken us so long to play there again. Last year, for example, we spent a lot of time recording the new album. It just seems like something else always came up, but now we’re hoping to be back on a regular basis, at least once every couple of months.”

While the music business is less attractive to many in this age of free online music, Brown considers Shaimus to be just hitting their stride. Either way, he said he’s in it for the long haul.

“We have a really strong work ethic,” Brown said. “This is all we want to do and all we want to think about. We’ve been at it for a few years now and if you had told me a couple of years ago that I’d have to keep waiting, I’d say, ‘No, I want it now.’ But it takes patience and a bit of luck.”

For Brown, the best part of being in Shaimus is the band’s camaraderie.

“I love music, but there are a lot of different ways that you can play music,” Brown said. “I can play it every day for fun, work on solo projects, or compose film scores. But when you’re in a band, you’re no longer friends. You become a family because you are working so closely together all the time.”

Brown said it is not only the creativity with his bandmates that he enjoys.

“[It’s] fun and inspiring but it is also personal, so it’s easy to get into minor arguments over parts, etc.,” Brown said. “But in the end this song that you’ve created is no longer about ‘me.’ It’s something that the band has created as a unit.”

As a result, Brown said the band is greater than the sum of its parts.

“It’s really cool to be a part of something like this, especially when you have really good chemistry with people,” he said. “It’s something that you don’t want to let go of.”

Shaimus appears at Winston’s, 1921 Bacon St., on Tuesday, Nov. 24 at 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $5. For more information, visit www.shaimus.com.

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