Nonfiction: Fictionist opening for The Janks and The Shivers
The Provo rock band is one of four unsigned groups vying for the chance to appear on an August cover of Rolling Stone magazine along with a recording deal with Atlantic Records.
If you’re the type of music fan who wants to research your vote, you have a chance to see Fictionist play live at The Depot in Salt Lake City before voting ends.
“I’m excited to be considered for a United Concerts show,” said Fictionist lead singer Stuart Maxfield, referring to the promotions company that books The Depot. The band, if selected to be in the final two, would perform at Tennessee’s Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, so the quintet is “touring like crazy” to hone performing skills as the contest progresses, he said.
Seeing the road-tested and magazine-groomed band is reason enough to pay $5 (advance tickets) to see the show, but there are two other reasons: the co-headliners, The Janks and The Shivers.
The Janks » This indie-rock band hails from the Los Angeles suburb of Calabasas. Brothers Zachary and Dylan Zmed are the band’s core, and West Coast influences can be heard in their sound.
“My writing is influenced by California, but some people say we don’t sound like a Southern California band,” Zachary Zmed said in an interview. “Some people thought we were British.”
Zmed created the band with Garth Herberg. Herberg is still a member of the band, but Zachary’s younger-by-four-years brother, Dylan, has become a co-frontman. “Dylan is coming on,” Zachary said. “Our vocal timbre is very similar, like the Everly Brothers.”
As a result, the band’s foot-stomping raw music is a blend of acoustic rock that sounds like Led Zeppelin’s take on Americana in the early 1970s, as well as a heavier, deeper rock sound that in live shows recalls the theatricality of Queen and Tom Waits. The band is excited about the release of its new album this summer.
The Shivers » This Queens-based duo features Keith Zarriello on vocals and guitars and Jo Schornikow on the organ and keys.
Zarriello began his career as a solo artist, but about four years ago Schornikow went to see her future bandmate perform. She was “blown away” by his raspy voice and intensity and joined him to create The Shivers. Although he was billed as a jazz singer, Schornikow said his music is “many things, but not jazz.”
Schornikow grew up in Melbourne, Australia, studying classical piano. “I was really into classical music,” she said. “But then I decided to piss off my family.” Interestingly, when she isn’t on tour, for her day job Schornikow is the church organist and musical director at a Queens Lutheran church.
Her unique sound adds depth to Zarriello’s guitars and voice. “Keith is the most charismatic singer I’ve ever seen,” she said, calling her bandmate a “live wire.”
“It’s well worth it taking a look.”