Hatched in the twilight months of ought nine, the five young men of Whiskey Shivers came from all corners of the US looking to do one thing: knock the dust off roots music.
A freewheelin’, trashgrassin’, folk tornado, Whiskey Shivers take traditional instrumentation, soak it in gasoline and send it into outer space. Breakneck speeds, killer grooves and impeccable musicianship: it’s enough to make Bill Monroe himself do a double-take as he spins in his grave.
With upright bass, fiddle, washboard, banjo, guitar, and reasonably priced merchandise, Whiskey Shivers adds a fine layer of grit on top of the hard-driving rhythms of traditional bluegrass. They’ve been called everything from “trashgrass” to “hardcore roots” to “crazy-assed redneck music” — whatever the words, the meaning is the same: Whiskey Shivers brings the house down.
We got the chance to speak with this up-beat and fun-loving group and this is what they had to say to us…
How did Whiskey Shivers start?
A bunch of the guys are from all over the place and we all kind of merged at some point in time here in Austin and started playing together and had a really good time. Before we knew it we had a band and were playing a bunch and it just kept growing into a bigger thing. We got really lucky and had a music video for a song called, “Gimme All Your Lovin’” and it was a huge help getting us a lot of attention.
How did you guys come up with the name Whiskey Shivers?
Honestly, we were just sitting around drinking whiskey. You know when you take a shot and you get that shake? We were talking about the whiskey shivers and decided that would be a great band name.
What is the songwriting process between all you guys?
We all contribute different parts of it. One person will come up with a hook or a melody and brings it to the group. It’s really just an awesome collaborative process each of us throws in what we can. We all have our own styles so it’s really getting a mix of all five styles coming together into on final song.
Is there one show that stands out as being the most memorable?
There was one show last year that we played where at the end of the set we actually got to crowd surf and we kept playing while we surfed. It was overwhelmingly fun.
If you could play at any venue with any artist/band, where would it be and with who?
The thing I look forward to with shows is the more broken down and low key it can be. The closer to the audience and in the middle of everything is where I think it’s the best. Some kind of house party would be fun.
There’s a lot of great bands I would like to play with. One of the things that I’m really happy about with this tour is that we get to travel with Wild Child and I think we are playing together there in Atlanta.
How do you guys connect with a crowd?
Oh that’s easy, we have a repertoire of amazing jokes. I think that’s a good way to keep things loose.
Do you have any crazy fan stories?
Well, there is a head-banging cowboy that shows up to a lot of our shows. He’s throwing himself back and fourth throughout the show to the point no one wants to get near him. It’s intense and awesome.
We also have a fan who just got our symbol tattooed on himself and that blew my mind, that’s one of the best compliments that I could imagine getting.
What is one of your funniest tour memories?
We were in a small college town after being on the road for a while and we got there and had some time to kill in the afternoon so we found ourselves trying to take advantage of the down time. We were walking around in the woods and that’s where one of our creatures came from, the hawk falcon, that we’ve got on our shirt.
Our guitar player was asking if there was anything around us that we should be careful of like poison ivy or poison oak. We responded with sarcasm saying, “we should watch out for hogs, birds, and falcon… we definitely need to watch out for the hawk falcon! The hawk falcon!” So that’s where that came from.
What is the next plan for Whiskey Shivers?
We are trying to take advantage of the time on the road being all together and once we get back we are going to hit the studio and get something put together.