Q&A with The Shakers

By: @brentXmendoza

One of the shining jewels in the tiara of L.A.’s great music scene—The Shakers will take the stage and take no prisoners, as they co-headline a bill this Saturday with Warner Drive.

For those unfamiliar with this Hollywood by way of Philly quartet, think Motown vocal sensibilities, meets high energy classic rock; a pairing that has been drawing huge crowds, and plenty of word of mouth praise on The Sunset Strip, and beyond.

Before heading to this weekend’s big “title fight,” get to know The Shakers’ swelteringly charismatic frontwoman, Jodie Schell as she discusses her affinity for Madonna, her sometimes Stepford wife alter ego, and shares a tale of tambourine trauma.

Who are your female rock n’ roll role models?

The first album my dad bought me and my three sisters was Cyndi Lauper’s “She’s So Unusual.” That probably explains a lot! Madonna and I are from the same hometown, so when I was a little awkward kid with a big split in my teeth, I truly thought we shared destinies.

If I can continue, I’d like to add to this list: Tina Turner, Carmen Miranda, and Mama Cass for sure. Can I keep going? Rosemary Clooney, Ann Wilson, Bonnie Tyler, Mary Travers, Dusty Springfield, Ann Margaret, and Suzi Quatro. I know a lot of them aren’t in the rock n roll hall of fame, but I could give a very detailed account as to why they all should be. Call me if you’re on the edge of your seat.

When was the last time you were in a fight? Who was the last guy/girl you punched/slapped/karate chopped?

The last fight I got into, I lost—my beloved white, ten inch, double row, Remo tambourine. My beast turned on me in San Diego one night. Luckily it was during the finale, because blood went everywhere!

I was too embarrassed, and worried to make the situation glorious. God it hurt so bad! I screamed my head off when they stitched my hand back together.

I really never fight though. If I get close to it, my self defense kicks in—I turn super nice like a Stepford wife, and then run into the green room to scream about it to my bandmates! But, they know exactly how to help me and when.

Do you remember the first time you heard one of your songs on the radio? Where were you? What were you doing? Make us a mental picture.

Philly’s WMMR was the first station to ever put The Shakers on the air. The project was so new, and I was still on the fence as to whether or not I could be a frontwoman. Chris Lee and I had flown out to Philly, and I was in the car with him when I heard it… leaning toward the radio display screen, as if that’s where the sound is coming from.

I can still hear Jaxon’s voice saying my name even now as I look back. So many doubts and fears vanished that day. It’s a good memory.

What other local bands should we be watching out for?

Go see Audra Mae, Red Circle Underground, Ruby Friedman Orchestra, and Dead Sara right now!!! More bands to adore, or tattoo yourself about: Warner Drive, Badwater, Irontom, Tha Boogie, Indians, oh and or course Lady Sinatra!

What can we expect from The Shakers in 2012?

Well first, you can expect a massive show on March 3rd at The Roxy. The Shakers and Warner Drive don’t intend to leave the walls, the roof, or your shorts intact!

For the spring and summer we’ll be traveling fools again—new haunts and old-haunts (Utah, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Arizona, Illinois, Ohio, Wisconsin, Missouri). Also, a music video is in the works.

I know we just put out “Oh So Loud,” but we already have so many new songs! Chris, Nick, Blane, and I fully collaborated and we want to get back into the recording studio immediately!

There’s a new challenge now that The Shakers have trademarked the name and LLC’d, so we’re brainstorming new ways of approaching everything. We’ve come really far on our own, and all we have to do is stick together and keep going.


See The Shakers shake things up with Warner Drive, Diamond Lane, Emily’s Army, Laura Wilde, Vas Defrans, and The Lbian’s on March 3. Tickets are on sale now via Ticketweb.