Friday, June 2, 2017


Image may contain: 1 person, playing a musical instrument and on stage

Stereoshifter is:
Josh Cal - Guitar/vocals
Peter Higgins - Drums

BOOTLEG METAL: So let’s get things started with the name. Who came up with the name and what’s behind it?
STEREOSHIFTER: Josh came up with name in 2014 by shifting some words around he liked and to be honest it was the only band name in a list of about 10 or so that wasn’t truly taken anywhere in the world. Stereoshifter was that band name. There’s no real meaning behind it. Kind of funny now that the band is duo because the name makes more sense now than ever. Stereo=2 channel, ya know duo = 2 members and we are kind of shifting back and forth feeding off one another energy wise. The name kind of fit later on when we became a duo even though it never was really meant to be one. BOOTLEG METAL: (haha) Nice when it all works out.

BOOTLEG METAL:  Where is the band from?
STEREOSHIFTER: We are from Denver, Colorado. Josh is originally from New Jersey. He moved to the Denver area in 2010. Peter is a Denver native.

BOOTLEG METAL: Is this the original line up and how did you guys find yourselves in the same band ?
STEREOSHIFTER: No, the lineup experienced several changes in the band since starting in 2014 and we won’t get into that but the band finally felt solidified since Peter Higgins joined in April 2016. Peter responded to Josh’s Craigslist ad looking for a replacement drummer as the old drummer relocated and left the band.
Josh Cal: Vocals, Guitar, Bass
Peter Higgins: Drums, Backing Vocals

BOOTLEG METAL: How long has Stereoshifter been around and how long after your first rehearsal was it before the first show?
STEREOSHIFTER: Josh: The band was originally for a 4-piece in the spring/summer of 2014 and our first show was at Herman’s Hideaway in October of that year. It was a great night, even though we were really nervous. We brought out 30 or so friends and the venue stiffed us on getting our cut of the door money. So we didn’t get paid.

BOOTLEG METAL: Does everyone contribute to the writing process or does someone generally write the lyrics and/or music?
STEREOSHIFTER: Josh will basically write a tune with guitar chords, melody and lyrics, then bring it to practice. Then, Peter will write the drum parts and we work out the structure together. Sometimes we will spontaneously start a new song at practice and Josh will go home and finish writing lyrics for it. 

BOOTLEG METAL: What are your songs about? Fact?  Fiction? Personal experiences?
STEREOSHIFTER:  Fact and personal experiences. They could be my own personal perspective or my feeling of being in someone else’s perspective. Love, death, society, regret, relationships etc.
They are heartfelt rock songs. Motions through life I suppose.

BOOTLEG METAL: What genre do you feel Stereoshifter fit’s in the best and what influenced your writing to get you there?
STEREOSHIFTER: In a general sense: Alternative Rock
More subgenre sense you can say: Grungepop, Mix of punk rock meets grunge and pop rock.  Any 90’s alt rock and indie bands with the whole loud/quite dynamic always got our attention (Nirvana, Pixies, Smashing Pumpkins, Dinosaur Jr.) and 80’s Brit-Pop with their moody hooks and catchy beats (The Cure, Smiths, New Order).
I think that’s what got us here.

BOOTLEG METAL: Although "All I can Stand" is a great song and more current for you guys, I really enjoyed your "Nothing left To Give" video. Any story behind the song?
Sure, no problem.
STEREOSHIFTER: The song is about a broken society and just feeling hopeless in being unable to doing anything about it. Feeling empty has you have nothing left to give. 

I wrote it in 2014 and I had it sitting in my back pocket with a great drum part with a lot tom work in mind but none of the previous drummers could really nail it. Peter came along, just hit it on the head with his unique style without a problem.  

As far as the video, we just let our friend Italo Ganni roll with it. We love sci-fi stuff and we left this creativity roll on this one. The idea is we fled the planet this ship and create this beautiful robot who ends up turning on us and everything else goes wrong and the whole thing turns to shit. So It was just a fun little sci-fi thing. 

BOOTLEG METAL: What was your latest gig? 
STEREOSHIFTER: We supported the Reno Divorce & The Henchmen tour while on their stop in Denver at Lost Lake this past 5/13. We also just supported the OverUnder album release show at the Marquis Theatre in Denver this past 4/27.

BOOTLEG METAL: Where have you played live this year?STEREOSHIFTER: Moon Room @ Summit Music Hall (Denver), Surfside 7 (Fort Collins), Marquis Theatre (Denver), Lost Lake (Denver), Syntax Physic Opera (Denver), Moe’s BBQ (Denver)

BOOTLEG METAL: Is there a favorite cover that always finds it’s way on your set list and is there a story behind it?STEREOSHIFTER: Not usually, but we have covered “Where Is My Mind?” by Pixies, “Song 2” by Blur and “Sucked Out” by Superdrag several times. The Superdrag cover is the most recent.

BOOTLEG METAL: Is there a past show that stands out from the rest?
STEREOSHIFTER: We headlined Moe’s BBQ (Denver) on 1/28 of this year which was really fun. We got to book the whole bill with friend’s bands and had a really awesome turn out.  A lot of people came out to support. We played pretty well too. We felt good going home that night. BOOTLEG METAL: Very cool.

BOOTLEG METAL: So what’s in the works for Stereoshifter?
STEREOSHIFTER: We are finishing up a new EP that we will be releasing this summer. It’s the follow up to our last EP ‘Dumb Luck’ last we released last November. We don’t have a title for it yet, but it will have 3 new songs on it. We are pretty excited about it as the songs are slightly in a stronger direction than the last EP. We just finished the artwork for it, which it really going to be cool. BOOTLEG METAL: Yeah man, nice. Keep us in the loop.

BOOTLEG METAL: What are your thoughts on your local music scene?
STEREOSHIFTER: Oversaturated. Don’t get me wrong. Tons of talent, lots of great venues, but not enough music fans. However, there are plenty of musicians.  Denver has a lot of really cool bands. Even north of Denver in Fort Collins there’s even more, possibly better. However, Denver is such a cool city with so many cool things to do that I don’t think many people are interested in the local music scene. They’d rather enjoy the great outdoors.

BOOTLEG METAL: Is there a recent album/EP release you’d like to tell us about and where can we get it?
STEREOSHIFTER: Yes, our current EP ‘Dumb Luck’ features 6 songs we wrote and you can find it on Spotify, Apply Music, Google Music, Amazon, Bandcamp etc.

BOOTLEG METAL: Do you have merchandise for sale?

BOOTLEG METAL: Where can you be found online?
STEREOSHIFTER: Official Site and Facebook

BOOTLEG METAL: As far as videos, sites, merch, ect. Are you guys more of a DIY band or do you hire out?
STEREOSHIFTER: We are definitely DIY. We do most of our recordings in house as Josh is also an engineer. We do our own web design, printing (Peter) and merch. We have a couple friends who help us at very low costs with graphic designs and video production.

BOOTLEG METAL: Do you have or are you looking for a label/manager?STEREOSHIFTER: A manager would be nice if it was the right fit but we aren't actively looking. The “dream” of signing to a label left a long time ago.

BOOTLEG METAL: One question I like to ask. What song (if any) by another artist do you wish you wrote?
STEREOSHIFTER: Josh: Oh wow, what a tough question. It’s easy to pick one of my favorite personal songs but you’d want to pick a song that struck a chord with millions of people that I also like. I think I’d say U2’s “With or Without You” or R.E.M.’s “The One I Love”.
Peter: Any good song is a song that you wish you had written, really. The stuff that really makes me go, "Damn, I wish I'd thought of that first," though, is stuff with profound, truth-speaking lyrics. "Don't Give Up on Me Now" by Ben Harper is a recent example that comes to mind.
Oh ... and "Battlescars" by Ozma. That's a song that has always made me jealous for some reason. The chorus is a stroke of genius that I wish I'd thought of.

BOOTLEG METAL: Is there another artist or band that is totally not your genre that you listen to?
STEREOSHIFTER: Josh: I rarely listen outside my genre. I’m not very good at that but if I do, it’s sometimes Imogen Heap, Frank Sinatra, some old swing music or classical.
Peter: I've always had a thing for folk music, but folk and punk are pretty closely tied at their core. Their purpose is the same: honesty. Totally out of my genre? Probably Bob Marley. He's one of my favorite artists of all time ... but he's the only reggae artist I can even tolerate. Reggae is strange like that.

BOOTLEG METAL: If you could pick, past or present, would there be a dream collaborator (artist/producer) you would like to work with?
STEREOSHIFTER: Josh: Even though he’s kind of a prick I’d still like to try him out...Steve Albini. I still love the way Nirvana’s ‘In Utero’ and the Breeders’ ‘Pod’ sound. Heck even Bush’s Razorblade Suitcase has that signature Albini sound that’s raw and organic that nobody else can seem to do.
Peter: Probably not. I don't like meeting new people.  ;-)
Actually, there are tons of artists I'd jump at the chance to work with. Making a record with Steve Albini seems like the most realistic goal, though. I'll go with that.

BOOTLEG METAL: How do you think downloading music whether legal or illegal affected the music community?
STEREOSHIFTER: Good and bad. It’s great for the musician to get their music out there and accessible but at the same time it’s made everyone lazy and once again the market oversaturated. The days of discovering a band more organically are over. You must be found through a stream and catch someone’s ear in under 20 seconds on a playlist or internet radio if you are lucky. No longer are the days of someone hearing your music live for the first time and buying your cd at the merch table.

BOOTLEG METAL: Thanks for taking the time to talk with us and answering the questions. Is there anything you’d like to add?
STEREOSHIFTER: Thanks for having us and checking us out. We really appreciate people taking the time to support independent music. Be sure to check out our wacky space music video for “Nothing Left to GIve” HERE