An interview with Shook Twins

By Dustin Hoffman
Reader Staff

The Shook Twins have been off honing their indie folk-pop style in Portland, Ore., but they are Sandpoint natives, born and raised. They are headed home to play the Panida Theater on Saturday, Nov. 28. Laurie Shook, with some assistance from multi-instrumentalist bandmate Niko Daoussis, was kind enough to share some thoughts on music, touring and Sandpoint. ShookTwins-WEB

How does playing music affect you?

It wakes me up. It makes me forget that my back and neck hurt from living in a tour van. It makes me remember to remember the goods things and to focus on them. Dream.

Who or what experience made you want to play music?

We grew up singing in choir, and something about singing with many people was so satisfying. We just never really stopped singing.

I read some positive reviews of you from Neil Gaiman and Langhorn Slim. How do reviews like that make you feel?

Cool [laughs]. Getting quotes is a funny thing. It’s a bit awkward to ask someone to say something nice about you. But when they do, it’s not too hard to believe them and feel super grateful.

What are you listening to?

More pop music these days. We are interested in the tones that they get out of the synths and electronic drums. We really like Gregory Alan Isakov, Chet Faker, Sylan Esso, Bahamas, the songs “Talkin’ Bodies” and “Good For You.”

Do you have a recurring theme in your songwriting, something you want to get across to your audience or something that just keeps popping up?

We just accidentally wrote another song about living under water. “Time to Swim” is our song about the excessive rain and what we would do if it never stopped—swim to the market and down through the door and up the aisles, slowly placing items in a shopping cart through the water. Life could be so slow. The new one we just wrote is called “What is Blue” and it’s about living under the sea in “our own world inside a world (the separate world of the ocean) inside the world (planet earth)” where “we could be secret… we could be silent again.” Something about the slow quietness of underwater living intrigues us and inspires us to write about it. Perhaps we were fish in another life.…

Any advice for young girls—even lads—starting out?

The best thing that we did was move to Portland. No offense to our lovely hometown of Sandpoint, which will always be home, but for the music scene, it was a good move for us. We started by just going out all the time to the venues that we had a shot at playing, meeting bands, chummin’ up with promoters and bookers. It worked, thankfully. We were able to get a monthly residency at a McMenamins bar, and that was what really started it all. So yeah, be friendly, go out and make yourself known in the musical world.

Tell me an anecdote, something funny or terrifying that you’ve experienced together.

There are hilarious moments all the time thanks to our humor savior Niko Slice (who won’t be at the Panida unfortunately). We drove through a tornado once in Kentucky in July. Katelyn and I were totally freaking out in the back while Kyle and Jimmie (bass and sound) were so calm in the front. Kyle was explaining how tornados work and calmly advised us to move away from the tall swaying trees. Jimmie held the steering wheel strongly as the wind whipped around us and leaves swirled onto the windshield. We passed the front of the storm and trudged through a downpour of rain for hours till we made it to the gig. Man, that was a scary one!

Where do you see the band in a few years?

On a sheep cheese farm in western New Zealand milking ewe after ewe. That’s what Niko says!

What do you like about Sandpoint? Any specific people or venues, places to eat and drink?

We love Sandpoint with all our hearts! We are huge supporters of Bonner County Bicycles, Common Knowlege (sooooo sad that they closed), Amish Butter from Winter Ridge, The City Beach, green bay, and black rock trail (duh)! We love that our wonderful family is all in one place! We love playing the Panida, and it’s so rad to have another club in town—the Hive. Niko is really sad that Coldwater Creek closed. Litehouse dressing…just off the top of our heads.

Where is the best place for people to connect with your music online?

CD Baby is great way to buy the album digitally or a hard copy. They are such huge supporters of independent music and they have helped us out a lot!

Check out the Shook Twins at Watch their video for “Awhile” and link up with them on social media. Then, clear your schedule for the evening of Saturday, Nov. 28 and go see them play the Panida. The doors open at 6:30 p.m., show starts at 7:30 p.m. Advance tickets are available through their website.

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