Gritty, pure rock and roll and tinged with their signature Californian flair, The Shelters are currently on their North American tour with Nashville band, The Wild Feathers.

Fresh off their success from their upbeat new single “Rebel Heart” and anticipation for their self-titled album, which will be released June 10, their contagious swagger and energy have secured them a spot in tours with renowned bands like Mudcrutch.

I had the chance to talk with guitarist Chase Simpson about the magic of the road, their musical roots and playing in iconic venues across the U.S., such as The Troubadour.

Karla: How did The Shelters start?

Chase: Well, basically Josh, Sebastian and I were together in a former band in L.A. and out of the ashes of that band we just decided to start a new band and so Josh and I started writing songs and making demos. We took it step-by-step and it has led us to where we are now.

K: That’s awesome! I know that you guys performed with The Struts and The Kooks, plus other great bands. Now you’re touring with The Wild Feathers–what are you most looking forward to in this tour?

C: Just to have a great time and make new friends and fans. We’re just trying to spread the word out about the band and meeting fans. We’ve been having a blast with The Wild Feathers, they’re all great guys, they’re a really great band. You know, that’s all you can really hope for in a tour is to be on the road with good people and sharing the love.

K: You guys came out with a new EP last year and the single “Rebel Heart.” Your self-titled album is going to come out on June 10. Out of all of these, what’s your favorite track to play?

C: Hmm, I don’t know we have a lot of fun playing our songs and we also have a lot of fun playing covers. We love playing “Liar,” that’s always a fun one. They’re all good–I guess our favorite ones are the ones that keep it going.

K: Who would you love to collaborate with someday?

C: I think we would like to collaborate with someone in our same you know, wavelength, musically. Maybe Dan Auerbach, something like that.

K: What are the members musical backgrounds?

C: Everyone grew up with kind of similar but also different musical backgrounds. I myself grew up with The Stones and The Kinks, The Beatles. I mean I also love the blues. Josh really digs 50’s rock, The Ventures and lots of surf rock, Dick Dale, stuff like that. Sebastian really digs Bob Marley.

K: What’s the inspiration behind the new album?

C: I think there may be a theme but I’m not sure what it is. I mean, we kind of just went step-by-step and you know, recorded one song and tried to write another and tried to write another so I think the only real thing that I know that we were trying to create a really cohesive record. Something that could be played front to back and would be great the whole way through and something that’s one piece of art. That’s what our goal was and we are really happy with it.

K: The band has been touring non stop—after this tour, you’re going to hit the road with Mudcrutch. How did it feel performing in legendary venues like The Troubadour in California?

C: It’s fantastic and amazing. There’s so much history in those places. The Troubadour is a great venue, there’s many more that we want to play. It’s fun playing in these great venues, you know.

K: You guys have been able to go to really beautiful places like Nevada. What places would you have never gone to if it hadn’t been for your music?

C: I’d say a lot of them, I guess. We’re pretty much California boys so anywhere that’s really cold maybe, we wouldn’t really gravitate towards so maybe like Milwaukee or Minnesota. It was freezing so those places. But it’s always fun to go to new towns. You meet different kinds of people and that’s one of the special things about the road.

K: A lot of your fans are really expressive and you guys interact with them in all sorts of social media. Do you feel connected to your fans?

C: We just try to make an effort with anyone who enjoys our music because it really means a lot to us. So, you come up to us after a show, I want to know your name and shake your hand and express the joy that it brings us to know that you had a great time.

K: If your music was personified by a place or a thing, what would it be?

C: One thing that a friend has always told me about our music is that it’s music made in Los Angeles right now and it couldn’t be made anywhere else but at this time from where we are from. I think it does have a sound and of where we live and I think it comes through. It’s a tough thing to describe, I guess.

K: You have so many things in store in 2016, are you ready to take over this year?

C: We’re going to do our best! We’re going to go out there and play our hardest and try to do as much as we can and you know keep writing new music and hope for the best!

Featured Photo Credit: Courtesy of Pixabay.

WritersBloc_Headshots_24Karla Casique is a sophomore journalism major and can be reached at karlacasique@hotmail.com.

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