By Christine Leonard
CALGARY – Like hooking a pair of jumper cables up to your nipples, The Shrine of Venice Beach has come to embody the energy of ‘70s Dogtown skate punk lit up with a high voltage streak of Sunset Strip neon. It’s a mantle lead vocalist/guitarist/holy roller Josh Landau takes on with pride and sincerity. He knows that The Shrine is defying the odds by taking fate in their own hands and building a thriving brand one fan at a time.
“Proud of all the people who have wolf tattoos, proud of all the skate sessions that have been had to our tunes, proud of us managing to survive despite the cutthroat death ride that is the music industry, proud of all the Thrasher videos with our songs blasting, proud of having the coolest socks, proud of the millions of dollars we made from Spotify, oh wait…”
Realistically, Landau knows what he’s up against when it comes to carving out a niche in L.A.’s oversaturated music scene. But true to their DIY nature The Shrine has made performing at the most unlikely of venues into one of their most alluring calling cards.
“We always end up at the weird spots — warehouse, strip clubs, libraries — anything that pushes the mind deeper,” Landau explains.
From staging shows with elaborate art concepts to running a merch and music hub at Eliminator Records, the young entrepreneur learned to pull out all the stops to make an impression on an audience. That’s why the band is now selling its very own guitar effects toy — The Shrine “Primitive Blaster” Boost Pedal (via Magic Pedals). Now you too can enjoy manipulating the solid volume and blood thirsty distortion range of The Shrine in the comfort of your own basement or garage!
“We needed a secret weapon to blast through any amp on any stage and this is it! You can leave the pedal on all the time, and get the best sustain, and I don’t even get feedback,” he extolls. “We’re bringing a couple of the pedals to Canada with us.”
It’s a dream come true for the kids who grew up listening to the SST Records roster and surfing the Venice breakwater. They learned what it meant to be different in the land of conformity. And they loved seeing just how far they could push the envelope.
“I showed up to Desertfest in London in a wheelchair once, because of a skate accident the night before in Holland, didn’t stop us from ripping the show though!” Landau recalls.
The secret to this so-called “ripping” and The Shrine’s hangover-proof resilience? According to body-temples Landau, drummer Jeff Murray and incoming bassist Corey Parks (Nashville Pussy, Die Hunns), it’s all about embracing the grind and living your truth.
“The wolf drinks gasoline and snorts Comet! Watch “The Tripping Corpse” video for step-by-step instructions.”
The Shrine performs Jan. 11 at Starlite Room (Edmonton), Jan. 12 at The Palomino Smokehouse and Social Club (Calgary)For the love of L.A., Starlite Room, The Palomino Smokehouse, The Palomino Smokehouse and Social Club, The Shrine