Treasure in the Ricochet
November 19, 2008
Filed under The Plug
Electronic rock band Shiny Toy Guns performed for the first time ever in Bakersfield in the basement of Jerry’s Pizza on Nov. 10. Shiny Toy Guns performed to a patient crowd that had waited all night to see the L.A.-based band at the pizzeria.
“[Bakersfield] has its own little unique vibe, and small towns are great to play because they are not flooded with a show every night,” said keyboardist/bassist Jeremy Dawson.
The opening bands were Bakersfield band, Shilo and UK bands, The Delta Fiasco and Your Vegas. Shiny Toy Guns took the stage after 10:30 p.m. to a large crowd. Shiny Toy Guns consists of Dawson, co-lead vocalist/guitarist Gregori Chad Petree, drummer Mikey Martin and newest member (her first tour with the band), co-lead vocalist/bassist/keyboardist Sisely Treasure.
Treasure jumped on stage when her part in the song “When Did This Storm Begin?” started. The song is the first track from their latest album, Season of Poison.
Treasure explained what the title of the band’s latest album means when she said, “Season of Poison is about alcohol [abuse], depression or anything else that can become a season of poison and what it does to your mind, body and soul.”
A few songs through their set, Petree began interacting more with the crowd as fans were yelling out song requests that matched what they were going to play. Petree reacted by shouting, “No fair, you can see the set list!” Jerry’s basement is known for being very small and not for the claustrophobic, as there are no barricades to separate the crowd and bands.
The eight songs after “Storm,” were a mix of new songs, (“Ghost Town,” “I Owe You a Love Song,” and “Blown Away” from Season of Poison) and older songs off the band’s 2005 debut album, We Are Pilots (“Starts With One,” “Shaken,” “Waiting,” and the popular favorites “Le Disko” and “Rainy Monday”).
The band also took fans by surprise (the ones that could not see the song set list) when they played an old fan favorite, “Rocketship.” “Stripped,” a 1986 Depeche Mode song (Shiny Toy Guns recorded the cover in 2005), was played by the band on this night and pleased fans as they sang along. Shiny Toy Guns ended the night with two more fan favorites off of the album We Are Pilots, “Don’t Cry Out” and “You Are the One.”
Treasure said about the infamously small basement at Jerry’s Pizza, “It’s really weird, like Santa Clause trying to fit into a chimney.”
Dawson and co-writer, Gregori Chad Petree have been playing music together since they were teenagers in Shawnee, Oklahoma, which led to the formation of Shiny Toy Guns in Los Angeles in the early 2000s. Dawson decided to move to L.A. with Petree. “It was very cliché, but we moved to California to make it in the music business,” said Dawson.
Since signing with Universal in mid-2006, the members’ lives have changed “kind of dramatically,” said Dawson. “They [the record labels] will stretch your mind musically,” added Dawson about the recording process. Dawson and the Petree produce their own music and have had some help, but kept to a mininum. Newest addition, Treasure, 28, is originally from Long Beach, California. She comes from a strong musical background with many dance music oriented bands, such as Cooler Kids, BoygirL (a side project of Cooler Kids), Sisely and the Safety Pin-ups and her own solo work.
Treasure was added to the band in August 2008 after a lengthy and controversial process involving their second female vocalist (the first being Ursula Vari, who was out of the band by 2004), Carah Faye Charnow. Charnow spent about four years singing for the band, but was not involved in the process of making albums, as Petree said, “Carah was never part of the writing process as Sisely is now.” Petree added, “Treasure is a blessing to have in the writing process.” Petree expressed his feelings further about Charnow.
“She just wasn’t there.she’s a leader, but if she’s not in complete control, then she’s not happy.” Petree admitted something peculiar.
“I’ve talked to her more recently than I did in the last few months she was in the band,” due to Charnow’s reluctance to talk with the band in the last months. Petree also said, “Carah was outspokenly unhappy for months. I’ve heard her say several times, ‘I’m going to quit this band.’”
Petree said to band members about Charnow’s lack of communication before completing their latest album, “we’re eighty percent done with this album. Let’s finish this,” he said.
The band grew tired of waiting to hear from Charnow and called up an old friend, Treasure. Treasure was in England preparing for a showcase with UK artist Frankmusic (Vincent Frank) and was about to sign an album deal when she got the call from Dawson and changed her mind, to fly to the states and join Shiny Toy Guns.
Dawson and Treasure originally met in Hollywood in 2002 when the band was on their first search. “I met Jeremy when he was looking for a new singer,” said Treasure.
“Sisely was already signed to a deal with DreamWorks [records], so she could not be with us,” said Dawson. Treasure was currently under contract with Cooler Kids.
Jump to 2008, and Treasure said after joining the band, “It feels right.” She added, “I just wanted to be myself, wanted to be in a band.”
Treasure added about her bandmate and co-vocalist, “Chad’s [Petree] a really great writer, singer and performer.”
Shiny Toy Guns plan to tour for a while, “maybe two years,” said Petree.
“Maybe more if these songs don’t jump over the edge.” Petree jokingly said that the band’s current tour and their last is “extremely similar, we only play three new songs.”
Petree said about writing on the road that “I’m thinking about the next record.
I just plan to write as soon as possible,” said Petree. Dawson added, “We’re gently writing.”
Dawson said that the band has contributed to an upcoming Martin Scorsese film that is untitled.
Shiny Toy Guns’ current tour, Season One: The Intimate Fall, ends Dec. 7 at Tampa Bay’s 97X Next Big Thing concert that also includes Avenged Sevenfold, Shinedown and more.