Brothers Neil and Sumul Shah might live on opposite coasts, but talking to them in a recent phone interview, they might as well have been in the same room, or on either side of the same brain, maybe. They grew up in a small town in Pennsylvania, where they both took piano lessons and their father was a musician. “There wasn’t a lot to do in the town, so we played. My earliest memories are of my brothers playing,” shared Sumul. And though Neil was in rock bands in high school, the two didn’t start playing togehter until a couple of years ago. Sumul went on to explain, “I was really into the piano but Neil was really good it. It’s mesmerizing to watch him. But always, in the back of mind, I wanted to drum. At one point, I started to think ‘I’m getting O.K. now,’ so I sent him some stuff.”
“The point of making great music is collaborating,” Neil went on. “I’d always wanted to make an album that was the epitome of what I though was a great album.” When his brother proposed working together, it was a natural fit. “We decided we wanted to keep doing it. We don’t do a lot of things other bands do — crossing coasts to play a show — so when we do it’s special. But with the internet it’s really easy. We make the most of that.”
Their long-distance collaboration seems to be working. Two great examples are the videos for “Analog or Digital.” One was filmed during a very long day on a beach,the other is more…interactive. Both have gone viral. You don’t want to miss either.
You also don’t want to miss their album, Wildlife Control, which came out at the end of July. In addition to working on promoting it, including a few dates on both coasts, they’re working on another collaboration with Allison Weiss called “The Teenage Years.” In addition to being advocates of teamwork, they have some advice if you’re thinking of embarking on a career in indie-rock. “Don’t take any advice from anyone.” Helpful? The point, of course, being, “if you’re the kind of person who has a need to make art, it’s going to be hard to ignore that. If you can find a way to, do it. Music is it’s own reward.”
“Analog or Digital’