Dec 17, 2014 08:18pm
'Fauna Shade' make 'Sound Off!'
Date: 
January 31, 2014 - 7:29am

So I’m carrying a bass drum up a wheelchair ramp in a dingy little venue in downtown Everett. I have no idea where I’m going or what I’m doing. Needless to say, I’ve never played at a paying concert before and I’m incredibly nervous. Looking over my shoulder, I notice a familiar face. To my surprise, I see the guy who sold me my textbooks a week before.

After my band played our set, Fauna Shade showed us up. // Photo courtesy of Veronica Deatherage

Scotty “Olympus” Smith, who “will never be a Scott,” is the creative force behind Everett’s Fauna Shade, an up and coming band who often draws comparison to Modest Mouse or Deerhunter. 

He looks me square in the eye and asks if I’ve ever played in front of people before and I tell him that I haven’t. He reassures me that what I’m about to do is exactly as stupid and terrifying as it seems, and jokingly offers me a new pair of underwear for after my set. I took it after opening for them.

Fauna Shade perform at Kroaker's pub in downtown Everett // Photo courtesy of Steven Graham The Herald http://www.heraldnet.com/article/20131125/BLOG5202/131129882/Theres-a-new-Everett-band-you-have-to-hear

Fauna Shade has been selected to play this year’s Sound Off!, a 21 and under battle of the bands put on by the EMP in Seattle. Around 120 bands enter each year and 12 are selected to compete in the finals. Smith is honored to be included, and hopes to earn the grand prize and play at this year’s Bumbershoot festival.

Fauna Shade began informally in middle school. Bass player Ryile Smith and drummer Eduardo Contreras played music under a variety of names through middle and high school before settling on Fauna Shade. Smith originally wanted a revolving door of his friends, but everything fell into place after their first show.

Fauna Shade perform live at The CUT near the train station. // Photo courtesy of Daniel A. Cardenas Northwest Live TV http://www.nwlive.tv/fauna-shade/

After four or five months of shows, Fauna Shade began to partner with the Everett Music Initiative. The impact has been huge.

“I’ve sang in a lot of bands, but this is the first band where you can hear me,” said Smith. The EMI set Fauna Shade up with studio time and local shows with Kris Orlowski, Lake and other touring bands. His boss at the EvCC bookstore offered them a show inside of the bookstore, but it would have been far too loud for shopping.

Ryile Smith, Eduardo Contreras and Scotty Smith lay it down at The CUT. //Photo courtesy of Daniel A. Cardenas Northwest Live TV http://www.nwlive.tv/fauna-

Smith is especially excited because there has not been an Everett band in Sound Off! since 2009.

“It was a big deal to be an Everett band in this thing,” said Smith. The Everett music scene is “not strong yet;” usually the same few people come out to shows and there aren’t a lot of different venues.

Smith’s influences span from Otis Redding to MGMT, but he and his band listen to everything under the sun. “We listen to everything, but we definitely love rock and roll and no matter what we listen to, I feel like it will always be based around the rock and roll spirit and the heart.”

Fauna Shade will be playing Sound Off! semi-finals on Saturday, February 22. Tickets are available online and cost $8 for students, $12 for non-students. The EMP is located on 325 5th Avenue N inside Seattle Center.

 

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