Dead Shakes creates a sound that is energetic, raunchy and raw.
Tulsans can see Dead Shakes — Amelia Pullen, Luciano Tarcetti, Cameron Clouser and Arturo Jiminez — at three performances this month at Soundpony, 409 N. Main St. The garage rockers are inspired by bands such as The Velvet Underground and Thee Oh Sees.
Tulsa’s gritty garage rock outfit Dead Shakes began to take shape when founding member Cameron Clouser decided to make a change. Instead of assuming his usual spot behind the drum kit, he moved front and center to handle guitar and vocals.
“Whenever you’re a drummer, people tend to overlook you,” Clouser says. “I’ve always been a guitar player though, and I kind of like being up in everyone’s face anyway. With drums, you can’t really do that. I try to be really aggressive on drums, but I’m still confined to a chair.”
Luciano Tarcetti, the band’s other founding member, has a slightly different approach when it comes to performing.
“My entire technique is to hide,” he says. With mumbled vocals and guitar drenched in reverb, Tarcetti might come across as reserved. But what he holds back in the spotlight, he makes up for in the volume and the ferocity of his instrument.
After a few lineup changes, Clouser and Tarcetti rounded out the band with Arturo Jiminez on bass and Amelia Pullen on drums, forming Dead Shakes as it is known today.
All of the members agree that the songwriting is collaborative and organic. Inspired by a mutual appreciation of a range of bands, from The Velvet Underground and The Cramps to modern garage-rock heroes like Thee Oh Sees and Ty Segall, the members of Dead Shakes create a sound that is energetic, raunchy and raw. And it shows when the band performs live.
“We are really careful about making sure that every show is going to be good,” Clouser says.
Aside from ensuring that Dead Shakes plays quality venues and shares the bill with bands they respect, Clouser says the band works to connect and feed off its audience.
“We get our energy from the crowd,” he explains. “If we know the crowd is having a good time, it helps us have a good time.”
Aside from a handful of digital singles, the band’s primary release was “Live at Young Camelot,” a recording of its scorching performance at a renovated Chicago church following the Pitchfork Music Festival in summer 2015.
Dead Shakes hopes to release a 7-inch record in the near future, followed by another tour. Until then, the band will continue to play shows in and around Tulsa and work on new material.
“We take this band very seriously,” Clouser explains. “Everything else is a side project, and this band is basically our main squeeze.”
Tulsans can catch Dead Shakes this month at one of three performances at Soundpony — on March 15 with Gym Shorts, March 18 with Gnarly Davidson (Lawrence, Kansas) and March 23 with Leggy (Cincinnati).
MARCH’S Best Bets for Live Music
3/13 Robert Plant & The Sensational Space Shifters, Cain’s Ballroom
Robert Plant, the iconic frontman for Led Zeppelin, has contributed greatly to the world of music in his nearly 50-year career. The English musician has turned his attention in recent years to wholly American styles of music like bluegrass, collaborating with Alison Krauss on the Grammy Award-winning record “Raising Sand.” On Plant’s newest solo album, “Lullaby and … The Ceaseless Roar,” the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer is supported by a new band, The Sensational Space Shifters. The concert starts at 8:15 p.m. Doors open at 7.
3/18 Cage the Elephant, Silversun Pickups, Foals and Bear Hands, BOK Center
It’s nearly unimaginable to see four stellar indie bands in one place for less than $42. This month, the Spring Fling Rock AF tour stops at Tulsa’s BOK Center, headlined by Kentucky-based garage rockers Cage the Elephant. The well-rounded lineup also includes shoegaze outfit Silversun Pickups, English art-rock group Foals and the experimental, post-punk stylings of Brooklyn’s Bear Hands. Fans can expect to hear a host of new material from the bands as most of them released records in the latter part of 2015. The concert starts at 7 p.m. Doors open at 6.