Von Shakes: The Hidden Gems

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The Von Shakes are the first band I’ve ever come across that possessed such a unique sound, a mix of indie, rock and punk. I am now addicted to their music! When you first listen to a Von Shakes song, you’d probably think a mash up of U2 and The Strokes --- lots of energy, catchy lyrics and an infectious sound.

This indie rock and roll band started off when four fifteen year olds from a village in Dublin came together with the intention of making music together. Despite their humble beginnings, members Patrick "Paddy" Bazel, Hugh O’Reilly, Cillian McSweeney and Ryan Normandin have now made their mark in the United States and have a constantly growing fan base supporting them all the way.

Any true fan of the indie-rock scene would appreciate the crazy guitar leads and the amazing vocals in every Von Shakes song. The Irish quartet have released their latest EP Almost Nobody, which is now available on iTunes. It features songs like “My Side” and “Pale”. Fans can also look out for an brand new album Bohemia which is slated for an October release. Head down to the band’s YouTube page and you will be able to feast your ears on the glorious sound of listening to a live performance by the Von Shakes!

The band’s lead vocalist Patrick Bazel, more often known as Paddy, has recently taken time out while on the road to talk to Musichel and to tell us more about the Von Shakes and their amazing journey so far. Paddy also revealed what he misses the most about Dublin!


Tell us more about yourself and Von Shakes. How did the band get started?
We all lived in the same village in Dublin, called Howth. Me and Hugh lived on the same road, Cillian only a couple blocks away and our then drummer not far either. We all went to school together. As we all played instruments, we figured we’d start jamming. Picture this --- four 15 year olds trying to bang out Teen Spirit and failing miserably. That was the beginning.

The Von Shakes have a very unique sound --- a mash up of indie, rock and punk. Who are some of your inspirations?
Thank you. But yes, people say not many are doing our sound at the moment and that’s always promising to hear. We love a lot of music but our favourites being The Clash, The Cure, Thin Lizzy, Tom Petty, Neil Young, Nirvana, Foals, MUSE, The Wombats, The Strokes, Kings of Leon. Well, we play their records the most in our apartment anyways and we try to rip off their songs as much as we can! [Laughs]

From left to right Cillian McSweeney, Patrick Bazel, Hugh O’Reilly, Ryan Normandin

Which song is your favourite to perform 'live' and why?
Right now, it has to be “Control”, which will be on our upcoming album titled Bohemia, which will be released in October. It just has the bounce that gets us and the crowd pumped. “Away From Here” is a nice ender too. [It’s a] Slower song but a builder.

Which band/artist would The Von Shakes be most interested in collaborating with?
We love Brooklyn’s Elle King at the moment, we think her voice is sublime and her sound classic yet relevant. We’d jump at doing something with any of inspirations above really but if I got to choose, I’d say Elle King.

What is your favourite band/artist to see 'live' and why?
Foals. Because at Terminal 5 last month, they blew our f*cking heads off. Best show we’ve seen in a long time.

Describe The Von Shakes' fans in one word.

When the band members were living together during the summer of 2011, who had the worst habits at home?
We’ve lived together for almost 3 years now. And we get along grand, ya know. We all have our habits. But I think even Hugh himself will agree that his noise control (especially when drunk) is appalling.

Do you feel that the band has an advantage since the four of you have known each other since childhood and have such a strong friendship?
Without a doubt. We fight at times. But like brothers. All bands break up from a communication breakdown of some sort.

Since moving to New York, what is the thing you miss most about Dublin?
A lot of things…. Obviously our families – to an extent. [Laughs]
But here’s a little list for you (a lot of food):

  • Family
  • Friends
  • Fish and Chips
  • Country Kitchen Roll’s
  • Home Cooked Meal
  • Super Quinn Sausages
  • McCambridges Brown Bread
  • Café Caira Burgers
  • Dragon Boat 3 in 1 curry.
  • Peace and Quiet
  • The Pubs
  • Space
  • Dublin City
  • Irish Shitty T.V
  • Irish Slang
  • Girls not putting out (haha, NAWTTTTT).

Lastly, what would you think is a suitable name to call your fan base?
The Mensa Society!

To find out more about the Von Shakes, please visit their Facebook and Twitter pages, as well as their official website!

Photo credits: Von Shakes / Facebook

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