The SoulShake: Fueling Love, Life, and Stoke With Music
Music and surfing harbor a tight bond that adds more fuel to the stoke. In this episode, get to know the Northern Californian band, The SoulShake, who spreads positivity and speaks love and life through heartfelt music inspired by Jason Mraz and the instrumental musical stylings of Sublime.
Domenic Bianco, Charlie Sisemore, John Hendricks, and Jake Stillman share how they mothered a band from scratch and helped each other hone their inner hidden musical geniuses while getting through disagreements and forming a bond more than just as band members.
Tinker Bell surfboard and shark cages? That is just bibs and bobs of the fun and wacky that is in this episode. Do not forget to stay at the end for a quick serenade.
You can listen, download, and purchase their music at:
Social Media Profiles:
- The SoulShake
- Website: https://www.soulshakevibe.com/
- IG: https://www.instagram.com/soulshakevibe/
- FB: https://web.facebook.com/soulshakevibe
- YT: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcPDZ-l8S6jzPlfVmYmEZgw/featured
- Domeni Bianco
- Charlie Sisemore
- IG: https://www.instagram.com/chiefchaliwali/, https://www.instagram.com/chiefchaliwaliart/
- FB: https://web.facebook.com/charlie.sisemore
- Jake Stillman
- Tell me a little about yourselves.
- How did you come up with the idea to form a band?
- Do you guys disagree?
- What was the first song you collaborated on?
- Favorite songs?
- Which band has influenced you most?
- What's your genre?
- Does everyone surf in the band?
- What's your first surfboard?
- If you could go back and give your younger self advice, what would it be?
Location: Petaluma, CA
SoulShake. What's up? Double D from Wave Tribe. Howdy, guys?
Nice! We're doing bomb.
Nice. Those of you on audio can't see, but half of them are naked in the video.
Woo! That is true actually.
Oh, half-naked, yeah.
That's usually our vibe.
Yeah, looking good. Is this the recording studio? Is that what I'm seeing?
It is indeed. We are over here at Jake's recording studio. This is where we've recorded album one, two, and the soon-to-be-released album three.
Sweet, sweet. So you want to go around the room and introduce yourselves and just say something about what you love and what you play or something like that?
Perfect. All right, I'll start it off. My name is Domenic Bianco of The SoulShake and favorite colors are red and, I'm just kidding. I enjoy long walks on the beach and some stellar surfing. Oh, you're going to say surfing too? I'm just kidding. I play guitar, sing and I play ukulele in our band. I dig it. That's what I do. I just dig life.
And then I'm John, I'm the drummer of the band.
And trumpet player. Don't cut yourself short.
From time to time guitar here and there too. I'm the newest member. I love these guys. And California native. Not as quite as much of beachgoers down here, but I do what I can.
Charlie, I'm the bass player. Just one-instrument man over here. John says he's a new member like he just joined, but he's in the band for 3 years now. Dom and I are the OGs, you could say. Dom's the true OG.
We're all OGs.
But yeah, we've all been playing together for like 3 years now. He's OG too.
Charlie, what kind of stuff do you enjoy?
Oh, what do I enjoy? I paint, I also play guitar.
He's a wicked artist on the canvas usually.
Yeah. I like to draw and paint.
Mountain biking. Yeah, outdoors. I also love the beach.
He flies helicopters. Sorry, I just had to say that.
Yeah, I got my pilot's license, helicopter pilot license. It's pretty fun.
Nice. He can take you guys at the gigs in a helicopter?
That's what we're hoping for.
Yeah, the express routes.
City gigs, we're just going to get dropped off rooftop.
Dude, that's the dream.
Alright, Jake. How about you?
And I'm Jake. I don't actually play in the band regularly, but I'm the producer of the band and they consider me their fourth member.
Yeah. This is my place and we record the albums here and I do something like the management of the band with John and kind of coordinate a lot of the production things and we do live stream series and stuff like that.
He's like the Jake of all trades. He does the recording, the producing, engineering, he writes.
Yeah, you can hear me playing several things on the album.
Just like the fifth Beatle.
Yeah, the man behind everything.
And he makes a wicked oat milk latte. So it's perfect.
Guys, that's perfect. Cool, man. So tell me how you came up with the idea for the band or how did it start? Give me the roots.
Alright, I'll give you a little background on the roots. So Charlie mentioned that he plays guitar as well. And Charlie and I met when we were about 16, 17, and we used to always play a lot of metal guitar together growing up. And just through the years, I always loved songwriting. I was really into just writing and poetry. And so that kind of made its way into my guitar play. And pretty much from the first years, I knew that this is what I wanted to do on some sort of large level was write music and play music. And so I started writing some songs, started playing some open mics around 19, 20, 21. And Charlie and I always jammed guitar together, but never got a band going together. And it wasn't until a few years later when I was getting really serious, I'd actually met Jake somewhere down the road. And I hired Jake to help write and record my first single, my first official single that ended up on our first album, Hung Over. And when we released that, people noticed that Domenic really wants to do this. So I had a couple people in the band at the time, just a couple of old friends at the time. And we had this bass player who, she was a good person, but just kind of.
Bass players are always special.
She was one of those. So Charlie and I used to always joke, "Dude, you should just kick her out of the band and I'll just start learning bass." And we literally made that joke for a year.
Also, we were living together at that time.
Yeah, we live together. And so one day, honestly, after the twelfth missed practice, I was like, "I think I'm just going to boot her. Charlie, you should just learn the bass guitar." And the next day, someone brought him a bass guitar. And we just continued putting together the first album that Jake had already helped us write. The first single, too. And that was the first initiation into what would eventually become The SoulShake was it started with me being a songwriter, getting Charlie on board, having Jake here. And then we got halfway through this first album. And me, Charlie and two of our other good friends took a trip to Europe, actually, with two of the other members at the time. One of our buddies, the drummer at the time, was getting married in England, and I was officiating their wedding. So we went over there, we had a blast in Europe. And on the last day, we had planned this huge wedding, they're going to move back to Sonoma County, we're going to finish this album, and on the last day, well, 03:00 in the morning, after a fun bachelor party evening, our drummer decided to tell us that he's actually not going to be moving back next week and he's living in England. And then our saxophone has decided the next morning to tell us the same thing. So we were like, "Damn." Well now we are cruising back and we have half a band and half two album. Yeah, but I was super dedicated, super motivated. This is all I want to do. And Charlie and I have just been on the same page about that. And so when we had Jake enter the picture, Jake really was the big pushing factor to alright, I see that you guys believe in yourselves. So I believe in you. So let's do this. But you should find a drummer. And how we met John actually was really funny because we put out an ad. Charlie is really good with the Photoshop and so we made a bunch of these silly flyers that we posted all over the local college, the local community college. But we also posted a ton on Craigslist. And we had a run of 6 or 7 drummers contact us. And our idea was every day we were gonna bring a new drummer to our house. And we would just at the end of the week, we'd be like, "All right, well, who are we gonna pick?" So the very first day was maybe, like a Monday afternoon. And this story is a little different from person to person, but since I'm the one telling it, it's my perspective.
It's your story.
Yeah, Dom's version.
So we got this guy who's going to meet up with us, John Hendricks. And so we're waiting. And it's a hot summer day. It's like 90 degrees out. And all of a sudden we look outside, we're playing on the porch, and there's this guy pulls up in a Prius, and we're like, "Who's this?" And then we see him walk out of the vehicle.
With the beanie on.
Yeah, beanie, yellow beanie on, holding a banana. And he pulls up a black sparkly drum set. And Charlie and I were like, "No."
Ahem. Like no.
This is not gonna be good. It's 90 degrees, this guy's rocking a beanie, eating a banana as he gets out of his car. We just didn't know. We didn't know.
He probably just woke up.
So he was the very first drummer. And he came over and we ended up just chilling, chatting, we vibed for the first 30, 40 minutes. Then we got into jamming. And then, 3 and a half hours later, we were just totally all on the same page. We loved John, and he loved us. And when he left, Charlie and I literally were like, honestly, we're not going to call anyone else. So we just emailed everyone like, "Oh, sorry. We're actually not doing this anymore." And just later that evening, we're like, "You should be in the band." And that was honestly probably 3 years ago.
Yeah. That was 2017. The end of 2017.
Oh, there we go.
Oh, so 4 years.
And he still has the beanie on, by the way.
He still has the beanie.
Not the yellow one though.
And he did bring a banana. He always has a banana.
Yeah, avocados these days.
Potassium. Good for you.
He loves it, he loves it.
That's kind of like the..
That's the origin story?
The long story, yeah. But the other part of that is that Charlie mentioned it, but Charlie and Dominic were living together, and I was living 3 houses down from them down the street. And that was how we met is that we all live on the same street.
We're always the guys playing on the porch with their shirts off. And Jake just couldn't resist sending over his wife. "Go talk to those boys for me."
It was all meant to be.
And now we're all brothers. Yeah, it's kind of wild how it all worked out. It's really cool. And now we're just taking it to literally as far as we can go. And we're going to take it far.
And do you guys ever disagree?
Actually, you know what? Yeah, we do minimally. Well, at first I was going to say no, but I was thinking about this last recording. It's a good mix of..
Yes. Of disagreeing, but then everyone's seeing each other's perspective and getting to where we want to go. On this album that we're recording now, there's a song that we have called Change that's like life. It's an extremely impactful song.
It's like 15 minutes long.
It's not 15 minutes long. We're not going to disagree on that.
Probably Jake wants to disagree on that.
That's true. Jake. But you know what? He is the man behind it all. So we got to listen to some of it, but we always find a good balance.
Some of it.
Yeah. He was telling us like, "Hey, why don't we turn off this fat?" And us, we were like, "That ain't fat. That's like the meat that we love."
There's a muscle in there.
Yeah, that's muscle. But he brings valid points, and he listens to us. And since this is all of our baby, it's not just me, the singer-songwriter. It's not just John Bae, the Banana Wielder. It's not just Jake. It's all of us. So we do a good job of everyone meeting in the middle. And honestly, whether it's a small disagreeance on a song or maybe a larger one on how it should be played, it always comes to exactly what we all want. So it might start as a little disagreeance, but we all get on the same page.
Do you ever have to vote? Do you ever, like, "Okay, we're going to vote on this one."
I don't think we have really.
I think we make that joke, but then we all just kind of [crosstalk 00:10:52]
Jokingly making it just happen because the two [crosstalk 00:10:55]
When it comes to songwriting, I think, especially when you're in the studio, you've got this opportunity to go, "Okay, let's try your idea." And then you try and everybody listens to it. And it's usually pretty clear whether or not it works better. And sometimes people aren't all on the same page. But then it's kind of like it's just Charlie that likes the bassline like that or whatever.
It's just Jake that wants to change the solo section. And we're all like, "No, no, no. We're keeping that solo for sure." Do we disagree? Yeah. I think it's safe to say we do.
What? What'd you mean?
So the first song was Hung Over.
Hung Over. That was your song. So what was the first song that you all collaborated on?
Surf, yeah. You tell them.
When Dominic and I first linked up, he came over and he was like, "Yeah, I want you to record my album." And he had the chick bass player that he decided not to have any more. And he had a guitar player that was playing the drums for a year that was playing drums on the album. And this sax man player who was actually really good.
Besides his personality. I'm kidding. Is this live? Oh, shoot.
Yeah, he left the band in unfortunate circumstances. So they all came over and they were like, "Okay, we're ready to record!" And it was really clear they were not ready to record. We kind of got through the day. And Domenic, as you can tell, has very positive personality, and he's always stoked on everything. And so he kind of needs help getting back down to reality on certain things.
Reeling me in.
But it's good. It's a good dynamic. So by the end of the day, we kind of listened to the songs and talked about it. And Domenic was like, "Yeah, these were really weren't ready." Listening back, these songs are not quite ready yet. And so when the saxophone player and the drummer left the band, half of an album was recorded. And after that first session, when we were like, none of this stuff is ready, I actually hired a drummer, and I played bass, and Domenic played guitar. And that's when we recorded Hung Over with neon bass and my buddy playing George Frost.
Shout out to George Frost.
And so it was kind of just like a pre-Domenic Bianco and The SoulShake, which then the band became Domenic Bianco and The SoulShake because Domenic was kind of reeling people in and trying to get people on board. But then once it was John and Charlie, halfway through that album that was recorded, they got together and finished the album. And the song that John played drums on on that first album was Surf, which is really funny, because the two most popular songs, is Hung Over and Surf. So there's definitely something to be said about.
That sounds like my life.
Yeah, totally. And so John played drums on that song and that song came out great. But then it was really the whole second album was a collaboration of all of us.
That's the main collab for sure.
Nice, nice. So your 2 albums in, third one's coming out soon.
We're going to release a single here pretty soon. We're putting the finishing touches on that. And then I'm assuming 2022 is when we'll do the third.
So let's go around the room and everyone tell me what their favorite song is.
Oh, nice. Good one.
Of ours or, like, Marvin Gaye?
You can do both. But let's do you guys first.
In general or that's recorded?
An unreleased one? It better be a released song.
A released one, right?
So people can listen to it.
Yeah, totally. Dom?
I'll start it off. I think my favorite song comes off of the second album, Poppin. One, it's just a good vibe, but two, that song is super close. I do most of the lyric writing, the songwriting, and that song was written about my 2 best friends, Brandon and his wife, Leah. And so I wrote that whole song just in a hotel room one day just thinking about them. And I just had this moment of just drinking a lot of coffee and feeling super grateful they were in my life. And I literally remember texting my buddy, Brandon, like, "Hey, I got a random question for you, but how did you and Leah meet? And can you tell me about your first date and your first kiss?" And he's like, "What the hell are you asking about?" "Don't worry, dude. It's a song. It's a song." And now, thanks to Jake putting it all together and John and Charlie's hard work and all the marketing that Jake's done, that song, we're peeking up towards 45, 40 thousand plays on Spotify. So that for me holds something special. I just love that song. So that's mine.
And what does poppin me in that song?
Poppin, honestly, it was just a little play on words because I had this really cool rhythm that I liked. And I was just kind of standing up. For whatever reason, I love writing in a hotel room. So I was just pacing back and forward. There's really just a bag of SkinnyPop there. And I just thought the line was catchy like poppin like popcorn. And I just I was looking at it, I was like poppin like popcorn. When something's popping off, like, this is popping, this is getting on. And so that's how it started. And then it was kind of just went into the whole thing about when you first move in with someone and the quarters are getting closer, but you're loving the tightness of being with someone. And then that's what kind of sparked it. I guess it's just like the love story was just poppin off. But really, I was just looking at a bag of SkinnyPop.
I would say, Breathe on the second album is probably that one hit home for me. It's kind of got a reggae vibe to it. It's just really laid back. Also, when we used to play it, there's a certain part of the song where Domenic says, "Just breathe before we go to the chorus." And we always used to do this extra-long pause that we never really knew how long it was going to be. It was like 4 beats, 7 beats, 6 and a half beats. And so it always kind of threw me off and I just really appreciate Domenic's writing style. And I think the message that you really give off in that song, it really is just a calming, cool, relaxed feel.
And John plays some killer trumpet on that.
Thanks, dude. That was a really fun one to record. I got to give Jake a lot of credit. He makes me sound like a badass.
70 takes later.
17, 17. That's okay.
Yeah, that's definitely mine. I just love the vibe too. I feel like that really encapsulates the sound and the message.
Yeah. I love that song also, Breathe. Just the overall sound of that and how that turned out, the groove is so good, and I love my bassline on Love Letters, but my pick, I think I'd have to go with Simple Things of our second. The song in general, I love just the structure of it not like it's that much different than some of our other ones, but it has a killer breakdown in it that I just love and always look forward to when we're playing it. And the overall message of that song. It really has solid lyrics. It's not just a groovy song, but when you actually listen to it, you're like, "Oh, damn." Yeah. It's the Simple Things.
And if I can chime in on that, too. Now that I think about it, that was the first time that we wrote lyrics together. Charlie wrote that whole bridge with me, which is super good.
Yeah, I helped with that. And I remember the original way that song was played before even I was playing bass was on acoustic guitar. And Dom and I would always jam that, we'd always solo over each other. And it was just such a solid tune. And then he transformed it into this new one. It's just tasty. Yeah, Simple Things definitely.
I was also going to say Simple Things. That song, all the things that Charlie said. I love that song. But also one of the cool things about that one is that when the pandemic hit, we were working on the second album, and Domenic and Charlie, they were like, "Oh, work is canceled tomorrow. Can we come over and hang out?"
3 months later.
So yeah, they came over, and then we all partied and goofed off. Because suddenly we were all just on holiday or whatever. And the next day, they were "Oh, yeah let's just keep hanging out. We still don't have anything going on." And then after a couple of days were like, "Whoa, this is serious." There's a big health concern here, and we kind of just decided they just moved in. Literally moved in later. They were like, "Let's just be a part of the same bubble. And we'll keep working on the album and everything." John wasn't in the bubble. Sorry, John. John's got a wife. But, yeah, I had the 2 bachelors over. And so we just had a couple of months of just partying and goofing off and having a great time and working on the album. And it was really a magical moment for us. The pandemic was horrible in so many ways, but we really made the best of it in that moment. And Simple Things, we decided to record the music video of Simple Things at the house, kind of embodying that period of time. And I just had the camera. We didn't hire a videographer or anything because of the pandemic and COVID and whatever. And we filmed the whole video just in one take. Me just following Domenic around the house playing music in different rooms.
It was dope.
It was really cool. And what was cool about that is we did a live stream series over the pandemic that was hugely successful, and that really helped us out a lot, just getting us an international following. And it was broadcast on the local television station, on Facebook. And we did cross-posting with Kala, which is the Ukulele company, Kala. And they hosted our video on their page. And then we did fundraisers for toy drives. And we did all this great stuff because people wanted music. And I have this great set-up. And these guys are living at my house. We just did this killer live stream. And there's a scene in the music video where they're all in the backyard playing music. And that was where we had our live stream. There was just something about that song, the fact that it's about the simple things in life. And we really captured the feel of us really appreciating the simple things and being together and having that experience when we're not thinking about work and all this different stuff. We're just thinking about hanging out and being together and being on holiday kind of during the pandemic.
I think I'm falling in love with you guys.
That's what we're going for.
Yeah. Awesome, man. That's a great story. So instead of saying what your favorite song from another artist is, how about let's go around the room and say which band has influenced you most?
That's a good one.
I know it's hard because there's so much great music, right? But just go with it.
Okay. As far as songwriting goes, my top 3 favorite songwriters for the longest time have been, even though my style, our style isn't really directly related to it. I love writing music. And so for songwriting, it's always been Allen Stone, Stevie Wonder, and Dallas Green of City and Colour. Those are 3 of my absolute top. I don't listen to them all the time. I'm a huge, huge Allen Stone fan. So as far as songwriting goes, that's probably up there. I'm also a huge fan of Lake Street but I won't get into that.
I would say The Beach Boys, in particular, Brian Wilson. I think that Brian Wilson is just an amazing—that's not even the right word—he's just an unbelievable arranger. And listening to his music and the albums he's put together, he wrote, I would say 70 to 80 percent of what The Beach Boys did and arranged everything. Pet Sounds is just a masterpiece. And just in terms of influencing me, it really helped grow my music knowledge and kind of move away from just playing percussion and be a little bit more melodic in how I play and how I think about things.
Nice. And if anybody hasn't seen the documentary on his life, it's super good.
Yeah. Not yet. It's good stuff, though.
Yeah. Just from a music standpoint. It kind of shows you how they were using all these studio bands around the country and a lot of what they were doing. It's a really good documentary, yeah.
That's such an in-depth question. I feel like because my musical, just what I listened to has changed. And I used to be a guitar player, so I was heavily focused metal, but with bass and really focusing on that instrument, the number one band that comes to mind is Vulfpeck. Because when I started playing bass, I was super influenced and still am by Joe Dart, their bass player and all of them. Just their music, their musicianship, it is so good. And the way they jam together and even when there's one that's just instrumental, like how their songs aren't boring to listen to. So them and then all of Motown stuff, their songwriting, Jamerson's bass playing for the most part of a lot of those songs. And just the structure and all of the melody, everything. I love that just whole era of music. So that would be I have to go to, yeah.
Yeah. Just such a solid. Jamerson, Joe Dart, and Wooten Victor. Wooten, I just love listening to him explain music and just his take and philosophy on music. It's so different than most teachers or instructors or just players. So I love Victor, he's up there on my top 5 all-time, just bassist by heart.
For me, I think it's tough because I have inspirations as a musician and then I have inspirations as a producer. I think when it comes to this project, David Byrne has always been a huge inspiration for me. And the way that he comes up with these really killer lyrics for one thing and super unconventional songwriting but still has massive pop appeal. And everybody knows a handful of Talking Head songs. But really, his songwriting is not conventional. And he does a lot of really big horn sections and just really interesting dynamic changes. And he establishes these really cool grooves. And I think when it comes to building a song, he has been one of my biggest influences, for sure.
Very cool. So what's your genre? What genre do you fall into?
This is something that we've been really trying to pinpoint for a long while. Jake, you want to take the reins on this one?
I think that we do a good job of following in the footsteps of other California rock reggae groups. But I think if you look at Sublime, Sublime is probably the closest artist to our style, but there is something a little bit more laid back about The SoulShake sound. It's a little more relaxed and a little more groovy and kind of more for easy listening than it is for this in-your-face sound. But that's not to say that we don't have a couple of songs that are like that. So really, it's probably rock reggae ska is probably the combination of genres, and we usually just say California reggae rock, because I think there's so much influence from Red Hot Chili Peppers and Sublime and Revolution and kind of the spread of rock and reggae, but it all comes kind of back to that California vibe.
Do you guys know the Soul Majestic guys? Eric and those dudes?
I know them. I don't know them personally, but I know their music.
They're here locally. I'm just wondering if they're more reggae probably than that rock reggae style, but I'll send you a link. There's some good stuff.
Yeah. Good surfer, too. Really good surfer—Eric. So speaking of surfing, let's talk a little bit about surfing, considering most of our listeners, they're doing both of these things. They're surfing and listening to music probably nonstop, which is pretty much, as a surfer, music and surfing is so tied together, right? And in that comes, I think a certain feeling, right? A feeling for the ocean, for the Earth, for breath, like you said. And so I'm always stoked to hear about bands that are embodying what I would call a surfing ethos, right?
Well, first of all, does everyone surf here in the band?
We've been so excited for this question. Charlie, do you want to start it off?
Let me just say. Sorry y'all, my fellow listeners, but I'm not. No, I don't.
Charlie's scared of sharks.
Yeah, I'm scared of sharks.
Even though statistically speaking, in our area, there is the most minimal of minimal of any sightings, so it's all gravy. But that's neither here nor there.
I have gone in Hawaii.
Where there's statistically so much more than here.
In Waikiki once. It was awesome. We're in Northern California were like Dillon Beach and Stinson Beach, and it's just frigid.
To answer your question, to answer a question, I am obsessed with surfing. I do it weekly often. I've taken John out, and he will be slowly getting into it. He's not there yet, and Jake's gone out on the standup and stuff, but I am definitely the soul surfer yeah.
I like skimboarding and body surfing. We live right next to the ocean. And we all love going to the beach. And we love playing music. The music video for Surf was shot right there.
On our hometown spot.
Right at one of our all of our favorite hangout spots.
Where are you guys at exactly? What city?
Where we at? We're out of Petaluma.
Petaluma. Okay, cool.
Yeah. So and where we're at, technically in Midtown, we have a straight shot right to Bodega that takes you out to some of my favorite spots. Dillon, Salmon Creek, you can go a little up further north, like Goat Rock, all that. But also right next to D St, which is a straight shot to take you out to Bolinas and Stinson, which is a lot of fun longboarding and some since then, sometimes can be a little gnarlier on the shore break. But Bolinas is just an awesome beach. That's where I learned surfing when I was 21 years old.
I'm a huge surfer. I freaking love it.
Nice. Okay, well, I have a couple of questions for you then. I always like to ask everyone what their first surf board was.
Oh, you're going to love mine. I wish I could send you a picture right now. So my first surfboard is actually the surfboard that I still have. And I actually don't even know the brand name. All I know is it's made from Disney. It is a giant Tinker Bell surfboard. It's a 7', and on the front is just a pin-up of Tinker Bell and on the bottom, it's like this night scene. It's got little Tinker Bell on the top, and it says Tinker Bell. Now, before anyone starts clowning on me or anything, let me just say this. When I first got into surfing, I was immediately obsessed. My whole life, I've been going to the beach, and I always wanted to surf. Never got a chance to because I didn't know anyone. So my parents weren't just like, "Hey, we're just going to throw you in the ocean." So it wasn't till I was 18 when I was in Hawaii that I got a surf for the first time. And I caught, as you know, the stoke, the bug, it never goes away. Once you catch that first wave, you're done forever. But when I came back home to Northern California, I still knew no one to surf. So I had no entryway. And then it wasn't until I was 21, there was this one summer where I wasn't working, I wasn't going to school, and one of my closest boys, Jake, had no clue that he had grown up surfing with his brother, and he just called me one day, and he's like, "Hey, do you want to go surfing out on Bolinas? And I was like, "Absolutely." And we went on a 12-day streak of just every day. And so I immediately started trying to find a board on Craigslist. And all I knew is that I wanted a 7' board. I knew nothing else than that was the shape or that was the size that I wanted. And this one board that kept popping up was this Tinker Bell board on Craigslist and this guy was selling it. He's like, "This is perfect for a father who's trying to gift it to his daughter." And I kept emailing the guy like, "I'm not a dad. It's not for any little girl. It's for me. Can we do this?" And he denied me a couple of times. And then months later, it popped back on for incredibly cheap. And I bought that board. And honestly, I have surfed that. I'm not joking. I've surfed that at Dillon, I've surfed that at Fort Cronkite, all up and down the Northern California coast. I brought that out to Malibu, I brought it out to OB in San Francisco. That board has come with me everywhere. And it's funny because some of my friends that I surf with early on would always clown me. But I just love surfing. I'm not trying to be the best. It's kind of like it's similar for me, like, music. Music and writing is my way of processing life. And I feel like when I'm surfing, that is one of the only moments where I'm so far removed from anything other than just the connection with the water and surfing. And so for me, I never cared that it was Tinker Bell. And furthermore, when I'd see families out there, other people surfing, people always gave me compliments. Like, "Is that Tinker Bell? That's pretty legendary." And when you're surfing on a little 5' wave and you're shredding on Tinker Bell, it's pretty cool. So that was my first board. It was a giant freakin' Tinker Bell surfboard.
That's awesome. I love that story, bro. And you still have it?
I just took it out last week in the Dillon Beach.
You got to send me a photo. We'll put it in the podcast notes. It'd be sweet.
Yeah. I'll send it over for sure.
Awesome. So you guys want to play a little some or is that in the cards? You guys have received tiny desk, the tiny desk concerts.
We got the guitar here. I've got the stand up.
That'd be sweet. Just something simple.
You want to bring out the stand up and maybe you play a little guitar? Do you have the cajon here?
I've got the tambourine.
We'll do a little something, something.
Yeah, I think that'd be awesome.
Do you want to grab your upright?
I could or I could get Charlie going.
Can you plug this in?
Yeah, yeah. Okay. Give us a second.
Yeah. No worries, no worries. This will be great.
So Derek, what was your first board?
My first board was called a Crazy Horse. And my best buddy, Dave, his brother or brother's friend or something like that had this crazy horse. And it was the photo of a horse in full gallop on the front. Yeah, it was awesome. I really wish I still had it.
That's too good. Yeah. I love the creative boards. Actually, most of my boards even until now, have been all pretty much either hand me down or a second purchase. My first longboard that I got is also an interesting board. I had a neighbor who grew up in Hawaii when I lived with my parents when I was younger and I actually went into his house. I was like, "Hey, I just got into surfing. By any chance, you got any extra surfboards?" And he did not. But he sent me to our neighbor across the street who used to do advertisement for big alcohol companies. He's like, "Yeah, maybe Eric's got one over there." And so I went over there and Eric's like, "You know what? Let me take a look. I have something, but it might belong to my work. So I'll get back to you next week." And then a week goes by and I'm outside and he goes, "Hey, Domenic, I got something for you." And I go over there and he had a brand, and I'm talking like it was a display item, but it was brand new. Beautiful. Never been waxed, never been touched. Three brand new fins, a 9' Jim Beam longboard. And it was just too good. So those are my 2 oldest boards I've had for 10 years now, and they're still rocking.
Yeah, Tink's pretty beat up, but she still rocks it for sure.
You guys sound good.
Nice. Thank you. Yeah, this is dope. Thanks again for having us.
This is awesome.
Okay. I'm going to do a little quick tune-up.
I love the space.
Yeah. Super lucky here. Jake just got it going on.
What should we play?
Oh, Sweet Nothings. Cool, unplug me. He's going to unplug me. We're plugging in.
John, you got a trumpet here?
Yeah, a little trumpet.
Where's the little drum set over here?
Get a bucket or something.
Yes. You know what? There's a little garbage can right there. Dude, seriously, let's do this.
[Preparing to play]
How does it sound on your end, Derek?
That sounds really good.
All right. This one is a new one we have. It's not on album 3 because it was written after. So we'll probably make it to album 4. This one is called Sweet Nothings. Jake's making sure we're really dialed in. You got it, Jake? How are we doing? We good. Alright, you ready?
[Playing Sweet Nothings]
So good, so Good. You got to do one more. Come on, one more.
Alright. Uno mas, uno mas.
Yeah. Uno mas, por favor.
Which one should we do? Do you want to do a little Do You Wanna? Is that a little too much right now? Alright, we'll do one off of our new album. We're going to let Jake tune up real quick. This one's called Do You Wanna. Yeah, it's more of like we said earlier, we kind of have any collective taste of genres and what we like to play, but this one's definitely more on the reggae side, and it definitely coincides with that kind of beachy garb. We'll let you tune up first.
Derek, what do you like to listen to? Besides the SoulShake on the daily?
Dude, you guys right now. I can't wait to get home. I'm going to put on your music as soon as I got home, grab a cold beer.
Oh, there we go.
Knock your album. Put it on for my lady.
Nice. There we go.
Yeah, I'm a huge reggae fan for a long, long time. I grew up in Long Beach with Sublime. So those guys, they were a big influence, but I'm all over the map. I'm a Tool fan, too. I love Tool.
Just all kinds of different music, man.
There we go. As you could tell, Charlie also loves the Tool.
Dude, that last album? Amazing.
So, so amazing.
What are we playing?
Do You Wanna. Play Do You Wanna.
[Preparing to play]
You know what I like? Let's do one more, one more round. Come on.
[Playing Do You Wanna]
That was awesome, you guys. Absolutely awesome.
That's really special to have. I really appreciate that.
Thank you. And it's too good. Too good.
John got excited of your compliments.
He was doing it.
Nice shot, John.
So one last question. Just want to go around the room and ask everyone if they could go back to your younger self and give your younger self advice. What would it be?
Oh, man, that is.
I'll start that. I would just say, "Hey, grab that bass and start practicing seriously, because music theory can be a sucker sometime, so get a hold of it and get a hold of yourself, young Charlie."
I feel like young Charlie wouldn't listen to the latter part of that for sure. "Get hold of yourself, no!"
Get out of here!
Something similar, at least to the second part of that. I think if I were to go back and try and give my younger self advice, I think I would tell a younger Domenic that no matter what, it's going to be okay and that if you just learn to love earlier, it's going to be a lot smoother of a ride on this crazy thing that we call life. So I would just try to say love as much as you can.
I would say get outside and enjoy the sun. We live so close to the coast and we get out as much as we can. But sometimes we forget. We just get caught up in the troll of daily life. And it sucks. We just got to live life to be outside and enjoy what we have.
Nice, John Bae.
It's tough to follow Domenic, isn't it?
John likes the rains. I don't know why he said it. I'm just kidding, John.
No, I would probably tell myself that being good at something doesn't entitle you to be famous. I think we, as musicians, we get it in our mind. And I've been a musician since I was a little kid and I always wanted to play music as a career. And early on, you think I'm just going to practice all the time. I'm going to be the best musician. And if I can be the best, that means that I will be entitled to be successful. And what was the hard lesson was finding out that it's actually right now we live in a world where 40,000 songs are uploaded to Spotify every day. And there's always somebody out there that's better than you. And what it really comes down to is doing the stuff that isn't fun. That's how you're going to be successful. Learning about the business and do the grind and marketing and making good connections, all that stuff is not necessarily the fun part, but it's the part that will enable you to do the fun part full time and not have to work at Best Buy or whatever.
Nice. Well said, bro.
Yeah. So where can everyone find you guys? Where can they download your music? Where can they see you? If you have any shows coming up, all the good stuff.
We do have a lot of shows coming up. If you're looking for show dates, tour dates, that is soulshakevibe.com. All of our upcoming shows are listed on there. We're playing a lot locally, Sonoma County, Bay Area. And if you're looking for merch, albums to purchase and/or download..
Go to wilsonstreetrecords.com.
And now if you listen to this podcast, you understand what the significance of Wilson Street Records is because it was founded on the street that we all live on together.
Where we're on right now.
Yeah. This is Wilson Street.
That's where we are.
Sweet. Wilson Street Studio.
Yeah. Damn straight.
Spotify? Can I find any of your stuff there?
Yeah. First 2 albums are up on there and we're pretty much on every platform. We do really try to push the Spotify as our main one, but you can find our music on anything. And also The SoulShake has a YouTube page. We got a couple of music videos up there. I know we mentioned Surf earlier. That was a fun one because I got John in the water on that one. We got Charlie to skimboard, which was dope. No sharks on the shore. And it was cool because that song was written about our local beaches, and so it was dope to be able to film at our local beach. So it was cool.
We gotta get Charlie in one of those shark cages. I was watching a video the other day, and the shark jumped in the top of the cage.
Don't tell that to Charlie.
The cage and the person was still in there.
Honestly, that sounds amazing.
Charlie was in one of those shark cages in February.
Were you? What?
Diving in Hawaii.
It was pretty crazy.
Wow. Even after that story, Derek, he said he would be in.
Let's do it.
All right, we're in. We're game for sure.
Come up in here. I'll bring the cage. You guys supply the shark and we'll have a couple beers afterwards. Yeah. Super good to meet you guys. I have no doubt you're gonna be successful in what you're doing. You guys sound phenomenal. And much to saying that.
And I just know your manager there is going to lead you in the right direction. And he's so stoked. And, yeah, I look forward to meeting you guys in person. Having a surf with you, Domenic, sometime.
Yeah. If you guys ever make it down to the Ventura area, please look me up and beers on me for sure.
We will be making it down there without a doubt, Derek.
Yeah. And, yeah, I look forward to meeting you guys in person. Thanks a lot for the podcast.
Thank you, brother. Big time. Absolutely.