Brooklyn's Shark? Are Beer-Swilling Grand Theft Auto V Sell-Outs

Categories: Interview

Shark?: Where are our Mitt Romney masks? Fuck it. Let's get some Coors Light

The Coors Light-loving, California girls-hating, noise-pop-obsessive dudes in Brooklyn locals Shark? are helping lead an ever-bulging batch of on-the-rise indie rock bands who champion one another, play gigs together and have formed a camaraderie. Even, dare we say, a formidable scene, albeit with the Northampton and Boston sect. Wielding and cranking up the six-string action are Radical Dads, Sleepies, Low Fat Getting High, Big Ups, Speedy Ortiz and Potty Mouth.

See also: We Explored The Hole With Speedy Ortiz

Local fledgling label Old Flame is doing its part, snatching up Potty Mouth (the ladies' Hell Bent was just unleashed) and now is upping the momentum even further with the release of Savior, Shark?'s second long-player. Led by the bearded and burly, beer-guzzling, cig-dangling pop disciple Kevin Diamond and his monotone whine, the addictive batch of tunes on Savior is a glorious joint full of catchy as-all-hell, loose jangle, barbed-wire slacker pop drenched in stoner psych glimmer and Brooklyn DIY gunk.

Got it?

Shark? not only have been churning out its sandy-beached, booze-soaked, weed wafters for a few years now ,but Savior--with its should-be summer hit single "California Grrls"--was part crowd-funded (don't worry, dudes are broke) and they actually lived up to their pledge promises by going to a fan's apartment and making them pizza.

We found Diamond toiling around on a bench in Massachusetts, waiting to pick up a used van for tour. We talked to him about his band's propensity to wear Mitt Romney masks, Jimmy Buffett's influence, and beer.

So you're on the way to pick up a van for your tour? Where?
Yeah, we just picked up a van in Acton, Massachusetts--a 2004 van. And surprisingly, it still runs.

You made it a whole band trip?
Yeah, the band is inside this restaurant eating lunch and I'm out on a bench doing this.

Then you guys have the record release show on Tuesday and hit the road with the new, old van?
Exactly, yeah. It's kind of full of pine needles and spiders right now. The van was sitting in the backyard of my aunt's house for the last three years. But miraculously it runs perfectly, so...

Did you score the van for free?
We got it for a dollar, but we had to pay sales tax on that but it's alright.

That's still a good deal.
[Laughs] Yup.

More importantly, what's with the question mark after Shark?
Question mark. Um, it seemed like it was a funny idea at the time--the idea of a Shark but you're not sure if it's a shark or not. It turned out to be a difficult-to-Google-name because of it. But I guess we're stuck with it now.

That "California Grrls" video cracks me up. You guys are wearing Mitt Romney masks, right?
They are. They are Mitt Romney masks. Our original idea (for the video) was to run a Craigslist ad for people who look like Mitt Romney, but who were willing to get paid $50 to do the video. We were going to have them ride roller blades and bicycles and do tricks but it seemed like it was way too difficult.

That does sound complicated.
Well, we wanted four guys who think they look like Mitt Romney, but probably don't actually, and are willing to make 50 bucks to look stupid. But we got the masks, which was a nice substitute for that. And the masks were only about 10 bucks a pop because he just had lost the election so they were having a fire sale.

The general vibe we were going for was--the director wanted to spoof a certain style of videos that people make a lot now. The whole video era is like "We are young, we are rock star dudes, we don't give a fuck about anything, we're gonna cruise through the town, we're gonna be laissez-faire, we're gonna do some cool tricks and go to a fair and just be like really cool dudes." So we were like "Okay, let's make one of these cool dude rock star videos and we'll wear the goofiest masks possible. That'll add the subtle realness to it.

And you guys then wore the Mitt masks?
Yeah, that was us in them and a couple of other friends in them, too. We also got a couple of skateboard kids to wear the masks and do some tricks. So, we were trying to create this world where everyone looks like Mitt Romney for no apparent reason.

Plus you were selling one of the Mitt masks when you crowd-funded the record.
Yeah, no one pledged for it, though. So, we might have set the bar a little bit too high. The best thing that someone did to actually pledge for it was we said we would come and make you pizza for $75. We did that last weekend. We went up to this apartment in Queens. We met this really great couple and their friend who had pledged the money in together. We had a really awesome time. We made them a bunch of different pizzas from scratch. The best quote from the night was one the guys said "This is way better pizza than I thought that could be made by a band" [Laughing]. He thought we were going to show up and bring some Di Giorno's and throw 'em in the oven. We made the dough and the sauce and everything. We did it right.

They were pretty big Shark? fans then?
They were. We hadn't met them before but they had seen us open up for Diarrhea Planet at Shea Stadium a while ago. They were tweeting at us and pledged and, so...It was funny because during the night we were like "We were really nervous about this because we didn't know if you guys were gonna be weird, or what." They were like "Same with us! We thought you guys were gonna be weird, too." But we got along really well and it was great.

Location Info


Death by Audio - CLOSED

49 S. 2nd St., Brooklyn, NY

Category: Music

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