Meet the Shivas – The Referee

“All Bands on Deck” is a regular column by Culture Editor Amanda Niess that features small local bands.

Kristin Leonard, Jared Molyneux, Eric Shanafelt and Jeff City started a school group project together where they wrote, recorded and performed music for their class. That was 15 years ago – now the high school band project is performing on famous stages.

Meet the Shivas.

The name of the group comes from a calendar that featured a Shiva, who is the third god of the Hindu triumvirate and Molyneux thought this would be an appropriate name for the group of high school students who started making music together there. has all these years.

Photo courtesy of the Shivas

The Shivas are a group from Vancouver, Washington that have performed across the country and Boise got the chance to experience their music for the ninth annual Treefort Music Fest.

Vocalist Jared Molyneux plays guitar alongside bandmates Kristin Leonard, who is on drums, Jeff City on guitar and vocals, and Eric Shanafelt, who plays bass.

Like any other music group, the pandemic hit the Shivas hard, making it difficult for them to produce and perform their songs in front of large groups of people.

Shivas’ 2021 album “Feels So Good // Feels So Bad” has been a big turnaround for the band since the start of the pandemic, but this unprecedented period hasn’t been as awkward as the band thought, in with regard to musical creation.

Molyneux shares that her favorite song to play right now is the album’s opening song, “Feels so Bad” because of the energy it exerts both on the crowd and on the band itself.

“We wrote this song during COVID, or at least the words and the structure and stuff,” Molyneux said. “So we never got to play it live and for much of my forties I was just thinking like ‘man, I can’t wait to play this song at a show just because I know the energy of that would be really good for a live show, ‘and so it’s very rewarding to finally be able to come out and do that.

Guitarist and singer, Jared Molyneux shares this experience of writing “Feels So Good // Feels So Bad”, which debuted on September 24 of this year.

“The pandemic has changed everything from writing and recording the album to what it means to promote an album in the pandemic,” Molyneux said. “We’re on tour right now which is crazy because we haven’t been on tour for a long time.”

The group performed their album, in addition to other songs from their previous works, at Treefort Music Fest in September. The group were happy to share that they had produced a total of seven music videos to promote their new album in the midst of the pandemic.

Their production of music videos was one of the many backup plans they had built into their journey to make “Feels So Good // Feels So Bad,” just in case the pandemic shut down concert halls.

“I think we made seven [videos] for this album, and we wouldn’t have done it any other way because we probably wouldn’t have had the time, ”Molyneux said.

The Shivas group
Photo courtesy of the Shivas

Molyneux noted that he and the band draw inspiration from a wide range of genres and musicians, but the two that stand out above the rest are Velvet Underground and Hank Williams. These inspirations can be heard in many of the band’s songs, both new and old.

With the help of the new album, The Shivas were able to present their post-pandemic work to a whole new crowd, not only to those in their hometown of Vancouver, but also to those who came to the Treefort Music Fest in Boise, Idaho. .

Artists and other musicians put a lot into it to perform during a pandemic, but Molyneux was confident to mention that Treefort had been one of the safest venues he and the band have played so far.

It wasn’t the first Treefort for The Shivas, as they happened here about three to five times before the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Treefort feels like the safest place I’ve been so it was really a relief for us,” Molyneux said. “Festivals like this allow us to tour and the anchor dates cover the expenses of the little ones.”

Be sure to listen to The Shivas’ latest album, “Feels So Good // Feels So Bad” on all streaming platforms and check out their pandemic-produced music videos that accompany the album.


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