Shy Beast is an electro-pop ensemble based in Austin, Texas, consisting of members Mariclaire (MC) Glaeser (leader of the band, songwriter, singer and keyboardist), David Tenczar (guitarist and vocalist), Andrew Bennett (guitarist, keyboardist, and vocalist), Jay Cesak (bass clef), and Drew Silverman (drums). We had the pleasure of speaking with them back in November 2017 when they were releasing their first self-titled EP after rebranding the band. They were previously known as MCG. You can catch that interview here, where they talked about their new beginnings. Shy Beast is back with a new single, titled “My Stride,” that uncovers a new dimension to the band. We had a chance to catch up with MC and David and talk about life after their self-titled EP release, new music and being a 2018 Black Fret nominee.
The last time I spoke with you, you all had just released your self-titled EP and were getting ready for the release show. Can you talk a little bit about how life has been since then?
MC: After that EP it was really cool to see all of the positive feedback we had, especially after a brand change and becoming a new band. We had a lot of hits on Spotify, which was really exciting. And we were able to get a lot of new content out there, which was one of our main goals.
David: We got a lot of decent press so you know we’re getting better. We’ve actually been a lot busier than we were before. Everything so far is meeting our expectations. Slowly, but surely, we’re taking off; it’s great.
MC: Yeah, and ever since the EP release in November, we have two music videos out and the third one out this week. That’s a lot more consistent content that we’ve been able to put out that all connects and makes sense next to each other. I feel very positive that we were able to connect with our audience better. Yeah, good stuff.
Your new single “My Stride” feels like the perfect song to go with this new transition. Can you talk about the songwriting process and how this song came about?
MC: I think I started writing that song two years ago and it took me a long time to finish it. When I first started writing it felt like a kind of dark, moody song because I was frustrated. This was before the band changed its name and I was trying to figure out what type of direction I wanted to take my songwriting and my lifestyle in general. I was trying to figure out what mattered to me most. I knew that the chorus of the song had to be kind of a response to this sort of shrouded, veiled, dark mysterious verse that I was building. I feel like I write all my favorite choruses in the shower. So I was showering and I was like, ‘I need this chorus to take a little girl following her dream type of attitude.’ And I wanted to lift the song in a way. I think the chorus sort of took on a brightness and was sort of the response to my question to myself of what do I want. I do think that this song represents the new phase of the band really well and also just personally. That might be too much like a philosophical response. And at the same time I wanted it to be something that people could just like get down and dance to. It doesn’t have to be super deep, but just something fun and uplifting.
“My Stride” shows off a new sound that we haven’t heard from you. What’s it been like delving into new dimensions of your music?
David: It almost has like a psych-rock element to it for whatever reason. Like the bridge just really takes off. I think it might’ve been Jay who came up with the bass line. It evolved; this was a song, if I’m not mistaken, that we couldn’t quite figure out.
MC: Yeah, it took me forever to figure out a chorus. I remember I was showing David a verse and he was like, “that’s cool but you know it’s not a song yet.” It took even longer to kind of put that bridge in and lock everything in place. I think we worked on it for a while.
David: This song is a version of what we’re capable of. We want to have the core kind of style but we also want to be able to not just do the same thing over and over again. We’ve started recording the new EP and one of the songs sounds like ’70s rock. The other – I don’t even know how to describe it – but it’s very electro, very dancy kind of mellow-groovy. We’re just trying to explore different areas of what we’re all capable of rather than just churn stuff out in the same vein.
You all are a 2018 Black Fret nominee. What does that entail and how has it impacted you all as a band this year?
MC: Everyone wants to be nominated, but once you become nominated, it’s almost like that’s when the real work begins. We’ve met with a lot of different advisers whose skills lie in different fields in the music industry. Basically we’ve been having to utilize a lot of their resources and advice because it’s sort of like a they help us help ourselves a little bit. And once you do get a grant you sort of have to unlock it by explaining in detail how you’re going to use that. I’ve been learning a lot about how to better focus our efforts.
David: It’s really about the community in general because they’re supporting us and want to get involved, and we want to entertain them at the very least. And at the very most we want to work with these advisers even after the year is done. If we’ve established the relationship with them and the year is over, it doesn’t mean we have to stop speaking with them or taking advice from them and figuring out how to run our business. It’s just really a rewarding thing. We’re taking it on full force.
MC: I feel like I’m getting more and more tapped in than I ever have been to all the different angles and approaches there are to the music industry. It’s a lot more than I thought it was. I think I have more questions now but it’s really exciting, and helped me better understand how to represent myself and feel more part of the community and less like an isolated person that’s just trying to be heard. You know people really do want to help, which is exciting.
Can you talk about the upcoming release show and the new music video for “My Stride?”
MC: It was really fun to make. I think more than that, it is just another expression of what’s to come. We’ve played our new song once, so we’re sort of taking a risk playing it at the release show but I feel like that’s like the only way you keep pushing forward. So giving the audience a taste of what’s to come I guess.
What’s next for you all?
David: We have a new EP on the way, three songs like our first one. We’re talking about releasing it in November. We’re taking the summer off a bit to rest and then we’ll be back at it.
MC: I think the biggest change between our previous band and this one is that we are learning how to plan well. We have learned to always have something in the works. And so we already know what four songs we’re going to be releasing for next spring. And even while we’re taking a break during summer, I’m continuing to write and have a few songs on the way. So it’s really exciting. You know, knock on wood, but we don’t have a shortage of material for now. I spend a lot of my free time looking for monochromatic suits and trying to find the correct neon wire to sew into them. There’s a lot more that goes into the shows now for everybody. It used to be like “just put on something cool.” Now we’re working a lot more on looking the part and bringing our brand to the stage and delivering the package and thinking of how to make the package better.
You can see the music video for Shy Beast’s new single “My Stride” below. The Shy Beast official single release show on will be on Saturday, May 19 at The Mohawk (indoors). Doors are at 9 p.m. Darkbird will kick off the evening at 10:30 p.m. followed by Shy Beast at 11:30 p.m. and Otis Wilkins at 12:30 a.m. For more information and tickets, visit www.shybeast.com.
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Catherine grew up watching action flicks at a very young age which led to her love of film. She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelors in Radio-TV-Film in 2012. Always the adventurer, Catherine traveled and lived in Sydney, Australia for a year where she took a selfie with Brad Pitt. She runs Shuffle with passion, lots of caffeine and tacos. When she’s not editing or writing you can find her crafting and planning her next adventure.