As the underworld continues to ride the chill wave and dance/electro continues its assault on the urban threshold of modern popular music, the reunited boys and girl of shiny toy guns quietly shift their eyes from the west to the east, scribble down a few notes, smile shyly at a passer by, then shut the lid and submerge back into the hole they have been hiding in for the better part of 2 years. The now five-some carefully are taking all the time they wish in molding, pushing and pulling on the embryonic third album that will be their life passion for a long season.
Living in 2k11 has its amazing pluses and freedoms for the band, but is clearly different from when they first began nearly 8 years ago. Members of the band at that time weren't even allowed into 21+ clubs, and the world smelled of cheap makeup, nasty synthesizers, Williamsburg's drag queens and neon machines. With a fierce combination of melody driven pop dipped in post-nu wave production, the band would propel forward with two lead singers, boy Chad Petree and girl Carah Faye. It took only a short moment for this brand new Los Angeles white-suited rocket to begin its quick rise to common recognition. But the fashion, the sex, and the moments of chatter were just i-frames around a more underlying and permanent quality in their campaign.
Underneath the stripes of black and blood, glitter and chains lie music that could render a campfire sing-a-long unforgettable. The band would be nominated for a Grammy because of this. They would tour the world for years because of this. Sell almost half a million records just in the Lower 48 about it in the cycle of their first album. This took things to a level beyond gaining blogs and press/industry credibility. They now found themselves in the lives of a growing number of new, long term fans spanning ages 6 to 66. However, in the very beginning the notion of gaining strength and popularity wasn't a simple task completed by a simple plan. The four members began obsessing towards inhuman and fearless goals of reaching fans globally as fast as they possibly could. Formulating their own decisions, direction and long-term goal without the help of management, record label, legal support, or any sort of normal structure, the band self-ignited a viral storm of hype around their live show, their demos and mix-tapes. Somehow they also found the time to execute an uncanny ability to respond to every single fan who asked anything of them. Holding on to the back of the 2003-2006 MySpace like a luck dragon, Shiny Toy Guns were able to tour with no corporate promotion or physical/digital release; even tour internationally. One by one they began to break through walls and surpass goals that bands 3 and 4 times their size were unable to do.
The construction of the Shiny Toy Guns Empire began. Motion and movement, not just a moment. And it began in the wires.
The band has lived deep on the grid from its conception in 2003 till the present day future. In 2006 things went to a larger, more commercial level by releasing their debut album "We Are Pilots" on Universal Motown Records in the USA. Soon afterwards, they won over the hearts of the UK fans on the ground with long-winded tours across the island in a mirror repetition of their stabilized success stateside. While American radio raced forward with their singles "Le Disko", "Rainy Monday",and "You Are The One" on modern rock, pop and college formats, the band's British arrival was purely under the radar .. selling out show after show and setting a record for the most comprehensive coverage of the UK island ever by an American act. Literally over 40 shows in a row without a day off. Their work ethic became their fame overseas, sending Shiny Toy Guns into the middle of a feeding frenzy with British record companies. Teaming up with their fans across Europe, Shiny Toy Guns exploded across the festival front performing in front of tens of thousands at Reading, Leeds, and Tea in the Park in the UK as well as festivals in Belgium, Sweden and Germany.
However, sadly in 2008 the cost of working beyond the rate of a human heart caught up with the band.
Confused and fatigued from 300+ shows a year, communication began to break down within the core of the group and the band parted ways with singer Carah Faye during the writing and recording process of their second record. The band then later enlisted singer Sisely Treasure to perform alongside Chad on the project. Chief songwriters Jeremy Dawson and Chad Petree had spent the better part of 4 years living with the sound of their first release We Are Pilots and were eager to try a new direction in their sound and songwriting; trading a large portion of their signature soundscape synth-driven pop for brooding guitar riffs and haunting instrumentals. This sophomore album titled Season of Poison grew their fan base even wider and continued to make artistic and creative strides with increased commercial success, with two top 20 massive rock radio singlesRicochet! and Ghost Town, and a staggering number of songs to film/TV/commercials/video games. One of them, their version of the 80s classic “Major Tom (Coming Home),” was ranked by Adweek.com as the #1 song in a commercial (for the Lincoln MKZ) for 2009, a year that was perhaps the biggest ever for music in commercials. The song moved over 600,000 units digitally as well. As a follow-up, their version of “Burning For You” was featured in another long-running, national TV campaign for the Lincoln MKS. With their unique future-forward technology driven sound in increasingly high demand, they have also composed music for and contributed songs to high profile commercial campaigns for films (The Smurfs, Wall Street 2), networks (HBO, NBC), television shows (Dancing With the Stars, The L Word, Gossip Girl, So You Think You Can Dance, America’s Got Talent, Smallville, Ugly Betty), video games (Rock Band 3, Grand Theft Auto 3 & 4, Guitar Hero 5, Fifa Soccer 2007, Tony Hawk Pro Skater), and products (Motorola, Nokia, Apple, Honda, Ford, Burton, Vestal, Volcom).
Though Season of Poison was well received on a license and film level, the band as well as large portions of its fans came to the decision that the "sound" of Shiny Toy Guns wasn't accurately depicted in this latest effort. Beyond just the vision and style of the listenable music, the group longed deeply for its former union. In the winter of 2010, an icy trip was planned into the heart of Sweden to the home of their original singer. In nearly 30 below zero temperatures around extremely strong coffee and 6 feet of snow, all hands went to center and all was washed away into the past. Immediately plans were drawn up with close friends in the Hollywood film industry to shoot a frozen metaphoric short film, entitled "Together Again", to show visually the journey this band had followed: Being lost, and then finding their way home, as one. The movie was shot deep in the mountains of Vanersborg, Sweden, and Mammoth Mountain, California over the course of a week by director Tommy Snider and Luke Ebrel. This film has now become one of the most beautiful pieces of content ever created by the band.
The band’s recent return to its original lineup – Carah Faye, Jeremy Dawson, Chad Petree, and drummer Mikey Martin progressed further with the new addition of multi-instrumentalist Daniel Johansson, the longtime audio engineer of the band from the "We Are Pilots" era. With his arrival as an additional producer and programmer, the band now has 3 producers, yet another metaphoric coincidence from their new album title of the same name, "III".
In February 2k11 the band released a teaser song off the new album, titled "The Sun". Only given away through a select group of viral lines, primarily Facebook and Twitter, the song was created for the fans to see, taste and hear the sound of the fact that Shiny Toy Guns were together, alive, and well and there was much more to come. After delivering over 80,000 copies of the song for free across the inter web in a matter of weeks, the band then quietly returned into their studios to finish the larger sections of the album over the summer, occasionally leaving for a select few festivals and one-off appearances.
Over the summer the band alongside their team of designers and web programmers JACKSTIN began to create one of the most elaborate and extensive social networks to house the bands unstoppable street team The Satellites. This new home, called SPACE, will be launched in the fall. With this weapon in their arsenal the band and its army of fans across the planet will be in a position of creative power and direction, enabling the relationship between artist and listener to be the focus and final decision maker over all involved. Such a system would have never been possible even a few years ago, and for many not an option now. Again, always Future Forward.
The new Shiny Toy Guns album, "III" ,set to finish in the fall of 2k11 is the most exciting work in the history of the band. Long, long awaited by its global fan base, the next months and years of music and an extensive world tour to come will be a whirlwind for all.
See you in the wires