Shy Bones has been around a long time -- albeit off and on. The Anchorage indie rock band isn't afraid to take a breather.
"Shy Bones kind of takes hiatuses all the time. We'll practice a lot and do a huge handful of shows, then maybe get sick of each other or sick of the songs and take a couple months off. Then we'll come back to together again, usually because we have a neat show idea," said bassist Jeremy Wetherell.
That hasn't hurt the longevity of the band, which started when Wetherell and guitarist/songwriter Troy Anniskett were both at the University of Alaska Anchorage. Their collaboration on Shy Bones started one day in spring 2006 in a "Shape Up With Weights" class. Their exercise bikes were next to each other and Anniskett leaned over and said: "I've got this band and we need a bass player."
The lineup shifted, but for the last five years it's been Anniskett, Wetherell and Matt Collins on drums (Collins is also known for his work on the Anchorage stand-up comedy scene). When they're playing, they do a mix of covers -- everything from Johnny Cash to KISS -- and original songs written by Anniskett, which Wetherell describes as indie rock with a lot of post-grunge influences.
Wetherell says he likes being in a band that takes breaks because Shy Bones can pour their energy into shows they're excited about. The next one coming up is The Midwinter Blitz Friday at the Tap Root, where Shy Bones, Ghost Hands, The Sweeteners, Turquoise Boy, Dabarko and Smile Ease will each play 30-minute sets. Wetherell was one of the main organizers of the show, which he hopes will become a yearly event.
"Hopefully we'll make some good money... but the best part is we're playing with our friends."
1. What is your favorite part about 40-degree weather in January?
Not much, honestly. I'm lazy and still driving around on summer tires in a tiny, little front-wheel-drive car. It may be above freezing during the day, but it sure gets slick at night.
2. Who's the all-around best or most fun band or musician to cover?
The Pixies, hands down.
3. Who do you see as a musically inspiring person in Anchorage?
I see those in the all-ages category as the most inspiring musical people. They receive no support from the Municipality, and at times have to fight against archaic laws for the opportunity to do what they enjoy for those that enjoy watching. Their venue options are constantly shutting down and they still remain focused and continue to adapt. It was way easier to play music when I was under 21, and I hope that there can be some big changes in the next few years that turn things around for these all-agers. They deserve support.
4. Tell us about the first album you ever bought.
I bought a friend lunch and he gave me "Smash" by Offspring. Man, those guys used to put out some killer albums. Youthful angst and punky grunge sure mix well.
5: Why did you decide to learn to play music?
The same friend who gave me Smash played drums. Another one of our friends played guitar. I picked up bass so we could all jam together and have been playing ever since.
By Victoria Barber