An Interview With The Band, THE SHELTERS On Their 2nd Album ‘Jupiter Sidecar,’ Tom Petty’s Influence and Much More!
“Jupiter Sidecar (Warner Records) is the 2nd full-length album from the band, The Shelters. Ebbing and flowing between rock ‘n’ roll roots, surf swagger, synth swells, and unassuming pop ambition, the Los Angeles based group—Chase Simpson [vocals, guitar], Josh Jove [guitar, vocals] and Sebastian Harris [drums]— thread it all together with catchy melodic hooks and handcrafted instrumentation. To create this collection, The Shelters returned to Tom Petty’s home studio Shoreline Recorders in Malibu to mourn the loss of their friend and mentor; and in the process learned to rely on one another like never before.
Chase and Josh spent over a year writing and recording at Shoreline. Each personally employed no less than twelve instruments, including tambura, analog synths, and more. As Chase honed his production acumen on Pro Tools, Josh explored his guitar under the influence of everything from Duane Eddy, Les Paul and Merle Travis, to Spirit, Television and The Stone Roses. With the framework in place, they holed up in Sunset Sound with producer Joe Chiccarelli [The White Stripes, The Strokes, Morrissey] in order to track Jupiter Sidecar. Rounding out the sound, Ken Andrews [Paramore, Nine Inch Nails] mixed the album and GRAMMY® Award-winning engineer Emily Lazar [Beck, The Killers] handled mastering at the Lodge.
“In many ways, the record really shows we’re a California band,” affirms Chase. “There’s a bit of the beach. There’s a bit of the desert. There’s a bit of the seventies L.A. rock scene still around. We’re definitely old souls who have been exposed to great stuff—but we’re here in 2019.”
“All of the sounds are old school gear played by live musicians,” adds Josh. “We’re a rock ‘n’ roll band open to combining a bunch of inspirations we love.”
This approach quietly cemented them as a fan and critical favorite following the release of their self-titled full-length, The Shelters, in 2016. Produced by none other than the late Tom Petty, the debut garnered widespread praise from the likes of W Magazine, Rolling Stone, and Paste. Between the album release and dropping the Really Wanted You 7-inch a year later, the boys canvased the country alongside The Head and the Heart, Royal Blood, The Killers, Gary Clark Jr., Band Of Horses, BRONCHO, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Mudcrutch and more logging over hundreds of shows in two years. Meanwhile, the single “Rebel Heart” caught fire, racking up close to 14 million total streams. Not to mention, actress Juno Temple starred in the accompanying 2017 visual for “Gold.”
While The Shelters have found a way to triumph again in the studio, they faced their biggest challenge in the wake of Petty’s tragic passing. For the first time, they found themselves in the studio without the producer who in many ways was the musical and spiritual compass for the band. Petty was even the initial catalyst for their union as a band, encouraging them to work hard at songwriting and offering them time in his home studio to hone their craft.
Connect With The Shelters Online Here- Website
Learn more about The Shelters in the following All Access interview-
Thanks for your time! What is on tap for the rest of your day?
Hey, of course! Happy to chat. Not too much we’re just rehearsing today, about to head to Florida for a gig.
Now that we are in the back-half of the year, how would you say that 2019 has treated this band?What have been some goals this group has had this year? How close are you to reaching them? What are you already excited about for 2020?
God, I can’t believe it’s almost 2020 Iike… that hurts haha.. 2019 has been good. It’s been a long year for us. Our main goal was to get our new record Jupiter Sidecar out and into the world – and we did! Now we just wanna hit the pavement and play these songs for everyone.
Can you recall the moment when you thought you could be in this group together? Was it hard to think of a name that you could all agree on?
Ha oh ya… Picking the band name was almost a two year process for us. We came up with hundreds but just kinda kept putting it off until we absolutely needed one. I think that was days before our first show.
How do you think your hometown has influenced the sound and how you all carry yourselves in this group? How has the music scene there changed over the years?
Most of us are LA born and raised, but a few of us are transplants though have been here for most our lives. We all live scattered around town, so I think that each area brings its own uniqueness into the mix. Being from Southern California, you grow up with a certain liquidness and outlook. We all grew up loving the same California music from surf music to all the other great 60’s and 70’s bands that were happening right here in our canyons and down the sunset strip. I think the ocean, the desert, the sun-kissed streets all play a big role in who we all are and what we all love about life and we hope that comes through in our music.
Let’s talk about your newest second studio album, “Jupiter Sidecar” that you just released. What was it like putting this collection together? How were you able to keep Tom Petty’s influence and inspiration into it after his passing? Can you elaborate on how it shows that you are a California band?
It was a really long process, but we are just so happy it’s finally out and that we are able to share it with everyone. Tommy was our mentor and greatest inspiration, so it’s not really hard to keep his influence alive within us. The wisdom he imparted on us runs deep within, and usually comes without premeditation. The sounds and themes throughout this record all were inspired by everything we love or have experienced living in Southern California and I think the eclectic combination of all those things is what really makes it feel like it couldn’t have been made anywhere else but here. There’s a bit of Desert Twang, there’s a bit of the ocean, and then there’s a bit of psychedelia that all weave together to make what The Shelters are.
Can you talk about the inspiration behind some of your favorite songs on this album?
There are so many themes throughout this record, but I’d say one prominent theme is overcoming the things happening in your life and a desire to move forward, away from all your troubles.
Generally, how does this group go about writing your music? Do you write together or separately? What is the first step in your music-making process?
It’s such a fluid thing, it really depends on the moment and the song for us. For this record, a lot of the time either Josh or I would bring in an idea we have and play it for each other on an acoustic guitar and try to flush out the idea that way. From there, we’d usually start recording it and start making what we thought could be a record of it. The result of this process is much different than when you get the whole band working it out from the beginning, which we also do a lot of the time.
I always like to ask bands if you all hang out socially apart from the music? In other words, when you aren’t working on music, do you guys enjoy hanging out for fun?
Yea definitely. Unless we’ve been on tour for a while – then you won’t see anyone for weeks haha.
How do you feel that this band has grown through the years? What has remained the same? What do all of your various musical experiences bring to this group?
Well we are certainly older now haha. No, we’re definitely less green and aware of how things work and how to keep our zen in the midst of all the chaos that can surround a band. We’re also constantly trying to learn, evolve, and create and that’s something that just improves your sensibilities and broadens your horizons.
Where do you think you are all happiest- in the studio recording new music, on stage performing or elsewhere?
We love it all. Every stage of the process is wonderful it its own way. I think where the band would call home is the studio we work out of. We’ve all spent more time there than anywhere else in the world and is a huge source of creativity for us.
What do you think makes for an ideal show for this band? What have been some of your favorite shows and venues over the years?
An ideal show for us is just when everyone’s freakin’ and havin’ a good time. Some of our best shows have been in the grungiest dive bars you could imagine but the vibe was there. Over the years, we’ve learned that it’s not always about perfection, but more so letting go and seeing what happens. That’s when everyone has the best time. There’s definitely some milestones that come to mind like playing Hyde Park with Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, but again some of our favorite nights have been playin’ places like the Casbah in San Diego to 200 people freaking out.
How has social media impacted this band? How often are you all on your different sites interacting with fans? How have you been able to utilize it through the years?
We do our best! We love to interact and connect as much as possible. None of us are the most social media savvy people around by any stretch, but we try to create cool content for people to dig and feel connected with us.
We are currently living through a very trying and politically charged time right now so I am curious to know how you all think being musicians and in this band still gives you the most joy in life today? Do you find that your music is an escape to all the current events?
Well I hope that it’s an escape for people. That’s what all my favorite music is for me, and that’s what this band is for us as well. Making music with each other and being able to share a feeling, a thought, a moment that takes you somewhere is what it’s all about for us.
What do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope people continue to take away from your songs?
I like to leave the meanings of songs open to be interpreted however they are felt by anyone. For me, so many of my favorite songs have meant different things over various times in my life and that’s really what I find most special about songwriting. I don’t think it really ever has to be explain.