The Sheds: Adventures in Pop-Core!

Hailing from the City Of Angels, The Sheds are definitely making their name known all across the nation.  They’ve been on Warped Tour and recently completed a trek on the DisasTOUR 2012 with Currents and Heart To Heart.  Now signed to Rite Of Passage / Mediaskare Records, their debut EP for the label entitled Self/Doubt has been released for free!!!  We recently caught up with Mac of The Sheds to find out more about their thoughts on being a Los Angeles band, their reflective lyrical content, stories from the road, and many other adventures in pop-core.  Read on…

Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in The Sheds, and how long the band has been together.
My name is Mac and I sing for The Sheds. We’ve been together for 7 years, however we’ve been touring and taking it more seriously for 3 years.

What do you think of the local Los Angeles music scene and how does The Sheds fit into the scheme of things?
I think the local scene has been weak for a couple years but it seems that it is starting to finally turn around. For a little bit I was noticing it was getting harder and harder for bands, even bigger names, to get people to go to shows, people just were becoming disinterested with live music. It makes me really happy to see that turning around. Our home venue, the Cobalt Cafe in Canoga Park, CA has had several sold out shows in the last few months and that’s something I’m really excited about. We’re very proud of where we’re from and the scene that has developed over the years. As for us fitting in, that is a more difficult question. We’ve kind of found it hard for us to fit in anywhere so we’ve decided to try to wedge ourselves in EVERYWHERE. We’ll pretty much play any show with any band. We love a challenge and trying to win over a different audience. Why would we pigeonhole ourselves to one sub-scene when the punk rock/hardcore communities should stand for unity, everyone is there for the love of live music (or they should be). We’re friends with a lot of different bands, we should be able to play with a lot of different bands.

Is there any story or concept behind the EP title Self/Doubt?
As I’ve been writing over the past year I realized that every song has one thing in common, the feeling of self doubt. I’m constantly doubting myself, at least on a small scale. I hit an awkward point I feel many people my age hit, a year or two after graduating from high school, when you don’t really know where to go from there. I chose a different path for myself than the American standard of high school, college, career, marriage, kids, and as I was touring helping out different bands along with touring with The Sheds, I started doubting myself and my decisions even though I was finally happy. I started worrying about my future. I still worry but I’ve kind of been living more in the moment and just taking life as it comes. Every song has a different story behind it but generally speaking they are all about self doubt, whether it’s my own or someone close to me.

Select any two The Sheds songs what inspired the lyrical content?
The song “Namesake” is the most personal song we’ve ever written and by far my favorite. Me, Evan (our bassist) and Morgan (our guitarist) are all brothers, and our dad has been overwhelmed with anxiety and depression for 2 years now. It’s really affected us greatly and we’ve done everything we can to bring him out of it but nothing seems to work. Sadly we’ve kind of accepted that this is how things are now going to be and I think he has too. It’s a shame because I think if he wanted to be out of it as badly as we want him to be he would
Our song “Self Doubt” at it’s core is about living your life the way you want regardless of how the rest of your peers want you too. At the end of the day you have to do what’s best for yourself. If I’m going more in-depth the song is based around a situation a good friend of mine went through. His Mormon family cut him off from any support at all once he came out as a bisexual and told them he no longer believed in Mormonism. The amount of courage he has still blows my mind, but like I said before, at the end of the day you have to do what is best for you. You can’t lie to yourself for someone else’s ideals.

How did you wind up signing to Rite Of Passage / Mediaskare Records? You are definitely different from a lot of the other bands on the label
After we left No Sleep Records last year we were looking to do something different. We’d been writing and touring and hoping to put out an awesome release with a supportive label. When we were approached by Mediaskare it was pretty much a no-brainer. We loved the aspect that we don’t fully fit in there, why would we want to lower ourselves to “standard” and stick ourselves on some punk label where we sound like every other band on it. We wanted to stand out somewhere and I think that’s what we’re doing. We already knew a couple people who work at the label and knew they are good people and a few of our friends bands have had good experiences with the label so we knew it was a good move.

What could one expect from a live The Sheds show?
I would like to think we have one of the more energetic punk shows out there these days, every night we put every ounce of sweat and blood into our set and I think it shows. Also considering we play with so many different kinds of bands you should expect a few curveballs and to probably see some people pretty confused around you.

How did your recent tour with Heart To Heart go and what were some of the highlights?
It was one of the more fun tours we’ve done. We’ve known those guys for quite a while so to get to do a whole tour with them was awesome. Super good guys and a really great band.

Any strange or interesting stories from the road you could share?
On the last tour we just did with Heart to Heart and Currents we went bowling in Tacoma, WA one day with Currents. We made a bet with them that whichever team lost had to play their whole set in Portland, OR that night wearing ski-masks. Because we had less members than them their singer, Joe, bowled on our team. We also decided that whoever had the lowest single score had to play the set with a HUGE pink dildo hanging around their neck. Not only did we lose, but Joe had the lowest score by far so even though Current didn’t lose we made them look like idiots cause only their singer had to wear a ski-mask AND a huge pink dildo around his neck. Needless to say we just looked like a bunch of badasses in ski-masks.

What made you decide to basically give away to Self/Doubt album for free to the fans?
It’s something I’ve wanted to do with one of our releases for a really long time but we’ve never been able to afford it. I didn’t bother asking our label if we could give it away because it’s a record label, you know? I just assumed they’d want to make their money, but luckily they came to US with the idea. They wanted to give it away and there was no question that we agreed it was a great idea. It will be out physically on April 10th as 7″ vinyl and CD-EP if you would like to support it that way.

How close are The Sheds to writing and recording a full length album?
We just started writing for a full length that we plan on releasing in the Fall. We’re not sure who we’ll be working with – we just know we want to put out a record people aren’t expecting. The ‘Self/Doubt‘ Ep is leaving us in a good position, we definitely want to take advantage of it.

What was the experience like playing Warped Tour and how many dates were you on?
Playing Warped Tour was a dream of mine ever since I was 14 years old and went to my first one. That festival is what got me so interested in punk rock. This band probably wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for Warped Tour. It is honestly probably one of the greatest things that ever happened to me. We had a blast! We had a lot of friends on the tour and ended up making so many more. We made so many unlikely friends we never would had made if it weren’t for the tour. We played 14 dates of the tour last year and it went by WAY too quickly. We’re hope to be on it again in the future.

What’s up next for The Sheds? Any tours coming up?
We’ll be touring all through March and April before finishing writing and recording our full length. We then plan to tour throughout the summer and hopefully straight through the end of 2012. We plan on stepping up our touring game.

Any final words of wisdom?
“Do what you love and fuck the rest.”

(Interview by Kenneth Morton)

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