All Bands on Deck: Meet The Shivas

The Shivas band
Photo courtesy of The Shivas
“All Bands on Deck” is a regular column by Culture Editor Amanda Niess that profiles small and local bands.

Kristin Leonard, Jared Molyneux, Eric Shanafelt and Jeff City began a school group project together where they wrote, recorded and performed music for their class. That was 15 years ago — now, the secondary school group project is performing on big-name stages. 

Meet The Shivas.

The band’s name came from a day calendar that happened to showcase a Shiva, who is the third god in the Hindu triumvirate and Molyneux thought it would be a fitting name for the group of secondary school students who started making music together all these years ago. 

The Shivas band
Photo courtesy of The Shivas

The Shivas is a band from Vancouver, Washington who has been performing all across the country and Boise was lucky enough to experience their music for the ninth annual Treefort Music Fest. 

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

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

The Shivas’ 2021 album “Feels So Good // Feels So Bad” has been a big turnaround for the band since the beginning of the pandemic, but this unprecedented time was not as big of an inconvenience as the band thought it would be, in regard to making music. 

Molyneux shares that his favorite song to play now is the opening track of the album, “Feels so Bad” because of the energy that it exerts to both the crowd and the band themselves. 

“We wrote that song during COVID, or at least the words and the structure and all that stuff,” Molyneux said. “So we never got to play it live and through a lot of the quarantine I was just thinking like ‘man, I cannot wait to play this song at a show just because I know the energy of it would be really good for a live show’, and so it does feel very gratifying to finally be able to get out and do that.”

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

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

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

Their music video production was one of the many backup plans that they had incorporated into their journey to making “Feels So Good // Feels So Bad,” just in case the pandemic shut down music venues. 

“I think we made seven [videos] for this album, and we would have not have done that otherwise because we probably wouldn’t have had the time,” Molyneux said.

The Shivas band
Photo courtesy of The Shivas

Molyneux noted that he and the band find inspiration from a wide range of genres and musicians but the two that stood out from the rest were 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 showcase their post-pandemic work to an entirely new crowd, not only to those in their hometown of Vancouver but also to those who came to Treefort Music Fest in Boise, Idaho. 

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

This was not the first Treefort for The Shivas, for they have performed here about three to five times prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“Treefort feels like the safest place I have been so that was really a relief for us,” Molyneux said. “Festivals like that make tour possible for us and the anchor dates cover the expenses for the smaller ones.”

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

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