There are several cryptic hints on the group's MySpace page (including the...okay, the rather obvious one pictured here), but now it's confirmed: Jake Morris, the Shaky Hands' drummer since early 2009, has left the group.
While this isn't the first Shaky Hands lineup shake-up (get it?) we've seen since the band won WW
's Best New Band poll in 2007 (former drummer Colin Anderson left the group in 2008, briefly replaced by frontman Nick Delffs' brother Nathan until Morris took charge), it does come as a bit of a shocker considering the group's onstage chemistry.
It may sound like a joke to say that Morris left the Shakies to persue his dreams of fronting a Robert Palmer tribute group, but this is, at least partially, the case. He's also busy with the reformed Joggers (so good!) and a handful of other projects. The change-up has been tough, but the Hands are adjusting, says bassist Mayhaw Hoons. "Everyone's still good friends and everything," Hoons told WW
via phone earlier today.
The search for a new drummer hasn't commenced, despite the fact that the Shaky Hands have a house show this Saturday and a Doug Fir engagement on June 12. Instead, Shaky Hands frontman Nick Delffs will fill Morris' role for the time being, moving from guitar to drums.
"It's Romantics' style; 'What I Like About You' style," Hoons says. While the new lineup is probably a short-term solution, "it's actually turning out pretty awesome and fun," Hoons adds. This isn't Delffs' first job as a drummer (he has played with Portland bands Ghost to Falco and Castanets throughout the years), but it's quite a switch-up for the Shakies. "I think people will be surprised," Hoons says. "It's really hard to play and sing at the same time...he's really good."
The lineup changes don't end there: Alex Arrowsmith
, a local singer-songwriter whom Hoons "met the first day of kindergarten," is joining the band as a full-fledged member—he'll be playing keyboards as well as taking over some of Delffs' guitar duties. "We kinda wanted to have another guy in the band who could kinda play a little of everything," Hoons says. "But it's always hard having someone new come in." Arrowsmith, a longtime friend of the group, fit the bill.
New Shaky Hand Alex Arrowsmith
It's unclear how long this new lineup (Delffs, Hoons, Arrowsmith and longtime guitarist Jeff Lehman) will last, but it does look like this is the lineup for the band's forthcoming fourth record, which is being recorded right now in sessions split between San Diego and Portland. "Jeff and Nick and I know how to play together so well in our areas," Hoons says. "But Al's playing piano and organ, and it kinda changes stuff. It's a whole different side that we never had before."
The band will be playing some new material at this Saturday's house show (we'd tell you where the house is, but then we'd have to kill you) or the June 12 Doug Fir gig, but don't expect to hear a preview of the Shaky Hands entire new album. "Usually we've played the songs 10 million times and toured the whole album before it was out—if you went to see us right after Lunglight
came out we were already playing the Let It Die
songs," Hoons says. He tries to say the band won't be previewing its newest material at upcoming shows, then backtracks a bit. "Actually, we'll probably be playing about half the new album." Which is just fine with us. The Shaky Hands haven't let us down yet, and we're excited to see where this crazy new change in direction leads.
Shaky Hands Blog
The Shaky Hands play this Saturday at a house party you can find if you look hard enough, and on Saturday, June 12 at Doug Fir with Raymond Byron (of Castanets) and Inside Voices.