Dreamy indie-pop outfit Shy Beast has officially announced their debut self-titled EP, which is set to release on November 17th. Produced by Danny Reisch (White Denim, Okkervil River, Bright Light Social Hour), Shy Beast’s debut EP boasts infectious, synth-layered tracks reminiscent of Alvvays, Tennis, and Chairlift.
Shy Beast was born an adult in 2017. The band simply transformed naturally from its previous moniker, MCG. That prior musical entity built songs and a following, and as in all youthful things, it embraced life and sang about it, but it never, ever, clicked the box entitled “I agree to the terms of service.” The beast is shy because expectations are high. The abundant talent in the band, already with demonstrated results, stokes those expectations. The only real internal concern is how best to express all the avenues and channels of the musical potential.
The musicians are: Mariclaire (MC) Glaeser– leader of the band, songwriter, singer, and keyboardist. Both shy and beastly, she is the creative force of the group. Her vocal range is huge, and she uses it to captivate audiences, and claim her place as the alpha in her pride of musical men. Her creature companions include David Tenczar-guitarist and vocalist-the man for whom there is no melody too complex to master. His guitar work is flexible, his harmonies malleable. Andrew Bennett is a guitarist, keyboardist, and vocalist. He projects a gentle, purring vibe on stage, conveying the impression that less is more. Jay Cesak (aka Jayzilla) is the almighty monster of the bass clef. A commanding presence near the back of the stage, Cesak creates realms of transportive sonicity with drummer Drew Silverman. Silverman is certainly the King of Beat. Each strike of a drumhead, each stroke of chimes, each scratch across the audience’s face, gives back full value and energy in Silverman’s construction of Shy Beast’s musical environments.
With excitement towards their upcoming release, Shy Beast explains, “We invite you to hop on for a rumbling ride through the forests of imagination to the deep dark hideouts of the heart.”
Follow Shy Beast:
Nov 17 – Austin, TX @ Swan Dive (EP Release Show)
Nov 25 – Austin, TX @ Geraldine’s
Dec 7 – Austin, TX @ Geraldine’s
Dec 14 – Austin, TX @ Geraldine’s
Dec 15 – Austin, TX @ Mohawk
Dec 21 – Austin, TX @ Geraldine’s
Dec 28 – Austin, TX @ Geraldine’s
Learn more about Shy Beast in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time! Where does this interview find the band today? Is there music playing in the background? What is it? What is one song that you are all loving right now? What is a song that you disagree about loving right now?
MC: Hello!! Today the band is getting ready to be in a video for the Health Alliance of Austin Musicians (HAAM). We are one of a HAAMful (wink) of bands that are going to lend our time for a promotional video of sorts this afternoon. We’re at David’s house right now and he’s got a record on…
David: It’s the new one from The Avalanches.
MC: We’re all loving the new stuff from our local friend Walker Lukens.
Andrew: We like to do a cover song in our set from time to time and we often disagree about what it should be. We’re experiencing a little of that right now with our current choice.
How does 2017 so far compare to last year? How differently did you all approach this year then you did 2016? What all are you most excited about for 2018?
David: 2017 has been a tough year for lots of reasons, but Shy Beast is anything but disappointing. Pouring myself into this band has been important to feeling good about the present and the future.
MC: To be honest this has been the year for me to really commit to this band and making it into something. After 3 years of playing together, I found a new inspiration to turn things around and make a bigger push forward. It has been a year of big decisions and big action. I don’t see it slowing down next year.
Can you recall the moment you realized that you could really make music together? How did you all first meet each other? Why do you think your name truly represents this group and the music that you create?
MC: Andrew, David and I came together very early on and had a good time interpreting the songs I had already recorded, but it wasn’t until Jay and Drew were in the practice space with us that I knew we had the right band. I can’t imagine it happening any other way. We always thought we had something, but it wasn’t really until the past year that we really found our sound and figured out how to best work together. Of course, as long as we keep playing together we will keep learning and finding new sounds and methods.
Jay: I knew I wanted to play in a band with MC back when I heard her first demos. I luckily got to play on some of her early recordings when she was in college, but it took her a while to actually form a band.
David: Jay and I knew MC growing up. She’s the little sister of our childhood friend, so she has been like family to us.
Drew: My wife is a modern dancer in a company with Mariclaire, so we came to know each other that way.
MC: As for the new band name, I have a fascination with mystical, adorable creatures that somehow have an awesome and terrible power. Of course you can try and find the similarities to my own personality, which there are some. I am a relatively shy and certainly an awkward person, but there are moments when I come alive, most notably on stage.
To be honest though, we needed a name, and this on just occurred to me, and so we tried it on, and it fit.
I always like to ask artists how their hometown has been an influence on the kind of music they make and really what kind of a band they are today. So how do you think your hometown has affected you and the music that you create?
Drew: Well my hometown is Sarasota, Florida, so my experience is a bit different than the rest of these goons. It was a circus town, so upbeat celebratory music was ingrained. I was also deep into the metal scene. I know, it doesn’t make any sense.
MC: Yeah the rest of us grew up in Houston, TX. Jay and David grew up playing music together with my brother Evan, and I learned a lot from him, so we speak a similar language. Andrew grew up in a different area, but surprisingly his musical experience wasn’t that different from ours, other than the fact that he was learning how to shred.
David: It’s hard to say how growing up in Houston directly affected me. That’s the only experience we had so it all just seemed natural. Houston wasn’t necessarily known for any sort of music scene, but it’s a big town and there was and IS a lot going on there. I certainly wish they had the Free Press Festival and Day for Night when we were growing up. Instead we’d just go to Fitzgerald’s to see Veruca Salt, or Number’s to see Ben Folds Five…or whatever else.
Shy Beast was previously called MCG. How do you think the band dynamics have changed since changing your name? What about your overall sound? Why did you decide to change the name of the group?
MC: We changed the name on advice from a friend, but the moment we heard the idea, we instantly knew it was something we should do. It does reflect a new dynamic in the band, because I have finally stepped forward to take control artistically and otherwise. I leaned on these guys to direct me for a while since this is the first band I’ve ever been in. Now I feel like I know what I am doing, so it’s my time to lead.
Jay: Oh and we sound a whole lot better.
Let’s talk about your debut self-titled EP that you will be releasing next month. What was it like putting it together? Did anything surprise you about the whole process? Were there any unexpected challenges?
MC: Myself, David and Andrew each wrote one of the three songs. As with all songs in this group, one person writes, bounces it off another, and then we bring it into rehearsal to see if it sticks and to watch it evolve. It was fun. It always is.
Andrew: The biggest surprise for me was the process of working with a brand new producer. It took a moment to get used to his technique, but now we love him so much that we’re already going back to record more new material.
MC: The biggest challenge was probably our schedules and finding time that we could all get into the studio. We started recording in November of 2016, so it took a while.
How do you think that your debut single, “Back With Me” prepares listeners for your forthcoming EP? What was the inspiration for this track?
Jay: No prep needed.
Drew: Yeah, there’s nothing to it. These are great songs.
MC: Back With Me has a couple meanings. On the one hand, it’s a song about relief. It comes from a place of feeling like you don’t have to apologize anymore for being yourself. It also speaks to the idea of relying on your instincts, specifically MY instincts. But if you don’t want to dig that deeply, it’s also just a fun song to dance to.
With the summer over now, what was your favorite part about it? What was something fun that you did or tried for the first time?
Andrew: I got married! My wife and I spent the summer planning the event and then we went to Iceland for our honeymoon. It was incredible!
Jay: I think it was mostly business as usual for the rest of us.
MC: We made a music video! That’s not really a new experience but it was a bigger production than we have done previously as MCG, so that was exciting.
We are living in a crazy and at times rough world right now so I am curious how you think being in this band gives you the most joy in life today? Do you think that new music being created today is going to reflect these hard times?
MC: We try to write songs that are fun and meaningful and reflect some sort of common experience about human nature. We do that without getting political. People are divided enough as it is. Music should be one of the many reasons we have for coming together.
Who are some of your favorite artists? Is there anyone that you would still love to work with in the future? What would be a dream collaboration for this band?
MC: I want to sing, so HARD, with Nina Persson.
Jay: Ryan Adams
Drew: Scott Walker
David: Who is Scott Walker?
What do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope people continue to take away from your songs?
MC: The hope is really just that people enjoy it. If they find something meaningful that they can relate to, that’s even better. But for the most part we make pretty happy music. Even when I’m singing about sad stuff, we try to make it groove or give it an upbeat tempo. The further we get into our career, the deeper we can dive.
What advice would you give to a band just getting started? Or even to someone young that is thinking of becoming a musician one day?
David: It’s hard. You just have to get started and slog through.
MC: Never doubt yourself but always welcome critique. Getting defensive gets you nowhere. Always work toward finding a solution to whatever problem comes your way. There is always a solution. If you care enough, then you just keep going.
Drew: Making music is a beautiful thing. Making music with your friends is even better. When you’re in a band you’ve got to show love to one another, because there will always be something to argue about.
Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers about the band or your music?
MC: Enjoy the record, but come see us live, because the shows are super fun.