2018 was a pretty awesome year at SHAG headquarters! We played a lot of fun shows, made some new pals and of course released our first full length album! "Thursday Night Special" was released in June of this year and we were blown away by the reception. We received tons of great feedback on this album and we are super pumped about all the people that listened to it and sounds like people actually enjoyed it! The better part of a year and a half of work was put into that album and we are all proud of the final result! We cannot thank everyone enough for all the streams, merch purchases, kind words and fans that came out to SHAG shows this year, we appreciate all the support!! Here is our year in review!
We started 2018 working on the final touch ups and edits of our album with the one and only Arnel Ethier out at Royal Studio. Arnel was very patient with us at the end of the recording process, we had sat with some of these songs for over a year at this point and wanting to make little tweaks here and there in almost all of our tunes. We revisited a lot of the early songs, changed a vocal track here, guitar track there, removed a bass kick and Arnel put up with all of our shit ha ha. Thank you again man for all of your hard work on this album and all of your input throughout the process, we would not get the finished product we did without Arnel. This guy is the bomb and Royal Studio is the bomb!! We 100% recommend Edmonton bands to go out there and work with Arnel!
With the album pretty much ready to go, Jess, Trevor and Travis started working on the lyric video for our first single "Do Better". This required some quick sketching of the SHAG monster in various positions and our first attempt at stop motion recording. By far Jess put the most work into this project as he animated the whole video and added all the lyrics and we were super pumped with how the video turned out (watch on YouTube here).
We also qualified for the Jim Beam Make History Talent Search and played March 8th at Blues on Whyte with some awesome new bands and in front of a panel of judges from VUE Weekly, CMW, Universal Music Canada and 100.3 The Bear for the chance to get a spot opening for the Rural Alberta Advantage at Canadian Music Week. Shoutout to the Cadillac Junkies who won the showcase!
Jess and Travis were checking out our best pals Ben and Patrick and their killer band Fear the Mammoth at their new single release show (we highly recommend you go stream Fear the Mammoth's "Hungry" while reading this blog post), when we received the call from Arnel that the new album was mixed and mastered and uploaded to the Dropbox. Needless to say we were psyched and over the next month all four us listened to the new album on repeat until we were sick of listening to our own songs. With the album finally ready to go, we got our asses into gear for setting up some shows for the album and getting merch ready for those shows. We ended up setting up a mini tour of shows for the album release and Aleda at Rattlecan Workshops did up some awesome posters for the show and we were all set to release "Thursday Night Special" to the world!!
It turns out it takes a little bit of time for the music to go from uploaded to the actual internet, which we did not account for ha ha. We were planning to release the album in the middle of May but learned that it takes a couple of weeks for the music to actually make it to iTunes and Spotify, so the first single "Do Better" was slated to be released June 1, 2018 and the full album for June 7, 2018, which means we didn't quite have the music out for the first show of our release parties but still had a great time May 26th at the Blind Beggar Pub in Calgary. The official release show was at The Rec Room South Common in Edmonton on June 8, 2018. We had a great lineup of our favourite local bands out to support us! Thanks again to the fellas in Guests, The Johnny Lemons and Fear the Mammoth for partying with us and thank you again to the close to 150 pals that came out and sang along and made our album release party a blast! The following weekend we finished off the album release parties with a visit to our hometown friends and family, playing to a packed house at The Root in Lloydminster on June 16. Again, thanks to every single person that came out to one of these shows, bought an album, bought a shirt, gave us a high five, streamed a tune and sent us kind words about the album. We truly appreciate all the support we received for this album.
Travis had a kid. He truly became the dad of the band.
After taking some time off with the new baby, Travis got back into the swing of things and we got in some jams before heading out to Jackfish Lake, Alberta to play at the 2018 Bro-Tel Backyard Festival. This festival was a ton of fun, we had beautiful weather and the organizers were fantastic. An all around fun weekend for SHAG and we hope to return again in the future!
We also won the YEG Music Music Video Contest over the summer and started talks with CutThru Media on shooting a music video for our tune "Bang a Drum". Unfortunately, scheduling became a nightmare through the fall as is the case when trying to coordinate 5-6 different people's schedules. We are still working on finding a time to shoot the video and will hopefully get that out to everyone in 2019!
In late October we got back in talks with Arnel over at Royal about coming back to record some more tunes, SHAG's business model is all supply, no demand. SO... we headed back into the studio to start recording more tunes for a 2019 release! We are planning on releasing a 5 song EP and as we are writing this we currently have the better part of 3 new tunes recorded again!
We also had a break to play one our biggest shows as a band ever! We got the opportunity to open for local Edmonton legends CAPTAIN TRACTOR! SHAG rocked the stage with them to a sold out Station on Jasper on November 16, 2018 and it was an absolutely rad time! It was by far one of the biggest crowds we have ever played for and we got to hang out with Captain Tractor after the show and talk music for hours. The only bad thing about the night is Zack had to drive in the middle of a snow storm from Sylvan Lake and it took almost 4 hours for him to drive to the show ha ha.
2018 was overall an awesome year for SHAG, again we thank all of our fans, friends and family for the support! We can't wait for what is in store for 2019 in SHAGland!! See you all soon!
Trevor, Travis, Zack and Jess