PRESS KIT - SHALE

BAND  -  ALT ROCK  -  INDEPENDENT  -  FEMALE FRONTED  -  EST 2021  -  VICTORIA BC

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Image of the band, with red and blue lighting
Left to right:  singer Kiarra O'Connor,  drummer Michael Voytash,  bassist Breanna Montague,  guitarist Adam Baines,  keyboardist Rowan Hensley.

BIO

Shale presents a vintage flair and sultry style that carves a new groove in the vinyl of alt rock. Silky smooth guitar and keyboard riffs are reminiscent of The Doors, Cage the Elephant, and Wolf Alice. Lyrical melodies from the voice of a post grunge angel are backed by a thunderously precise rhythm section. Rising from obscurity, their latest single, Shake, hit 10,000 listens within a month. This July, Shale was crowned "Band of the Month" by The Zone radio, and celebrated by rocking the stage at Laketown Shakedown with Shaggy, Aqua, and Portugal the Man.


We Are Shale:

Rowan Hensley – Keys

Breanna Montague – Bass

Michael Voytash – Drums

Kiarra O’Connor – Vocals

Adam Baines – Guitar

MORE BIO LENGTHS    (click to expand)

SHORT BIO:

Shale presents a vintage flair and sultry style that carves a new groove in the vinyl of alt rock. Silky smooth guitar and keyboard riffs are reminiscent of The Doors, Cage the Elephant, and Wolf Alice. Lyrical melodies from the voice of a post grunge angel are backed by a thunderously precise rhythm section. Rising from obscurity, their latest single, Shake, hit 10,000 listens within a month. This July, Shale was crowned "Band of the Month" by The Zone radio, and celebrated by rocking the stage at Laketown Shakedown beside Shaggy, Aqua, and Portugal the Man.


MEDIUM BIO:

Shale presents a vintage flair and sultry style that carves a new groove in the vinyl of alt rock. Silky smooth guitar and keyboard riffs are reminiscent of The Doors, Cage the Elephant, and Wolf Alice. Lyrical melodies from the voice of a post grunge angel are backed by a thunderously precise rhythm section. Rising from obscurity, their latest single, Shake, hit 10,000 listens within a month, with streams in over 20 countries. This July, Shale was crowned "Band of the Month" by The Zone radio, and celebrated by rocking the stage at Laketown Shakedown with Shaggy, Aqua, and Portugal the Man.

Supported on stage by a tophat wearing tiger, Shale’s live shows are a maelstrom of energy the likes of which are seldom seen outside of metal. Drawing on the stage presence of David Bowie and Freddy Mercury, Shale rarely shies away from the dramatic. You have been warned. 

In the past year, Shale has opened for Shaggy, Aqua, Portugal the Man, illScarlett, Juno award winning Monowhales, and transcontinental touring band Red Rum Club; as well as performing at a TEDx event. Shale's debut EP, Wither, made a global impression, streaming to fans in over 60 countries. 

We are Shale:

Kiarra O’Connor - Vocals

Adam Baines - Guitar

Rowan Hensley - Keys

Breanna Montague - Bass

Michael Voytash - Drums




LONG BIO:

Shale presents a vintage flair and sultry style that carves a new groove in the vinyl of alt rock. Silky smooth guitar and keyboard riffs are reminiscent of The Doors, Cage the Elephant, and Wolf Alice. Lyrical melodies from the voice of a post grunge angel are backed by a thunderously precise rhythm section. Rising from obscurity, they have shared the stage with Juno-award winning band Monowhales, world-touring Red Rum Club, and rocked the stage at Laketown Shakedown. Meticulous, dark, and deliberate, Shale embodies a sound you won’t be able to resist. Their latest single, Shake, hit 10,000 listens within a month, and their debut EP “Wither” streamed to fans in over 60 countries.

Supported on stage by a tophat wearing tiger, Shale’s live shows are a maelstrom of energy the likes of which are seldom seen outside of metal. Drawing on the stage presence of David Bowie and Freddy Mercury, Shale rarely shies away from the dramatic. You have been warned. 

In the past year, Shale has opened for Shaggy, Aqua, Portugal the Man, Juno award winning Monowhales, and transcontinental touring band Red Rum Club; as well as performing at a TEDx event. Shale's debut EP, Wither, made a global impression, streaming to fans in over 60 countries. 

Five musicians who never fully agree come together to form a sound uniquely Shale. Individuals pull influence from Chris Cornell, Renaissance choral music, Paul McCartney, John Mayer, the Killers, and Taylor Swift. The fusion of inspirations results in a timeless rock genre, which has been described as “Fleetwood Mac meets Arctic Monkeys.” Shale was founded when childhood friends Michael Voytash (drums) and Rowan Hensley (keys) met highschool theater star Kiarra O’Connor (vocals). Despite Rowan’s initial assumption that Kiarra was way too cool for them, a band was formed. They went through several iterations before settling on its present configuration with Adam Baines on guitar and Breanna Montague on bass.


PHOTOS

Press Photos

Live Photos

Download Photos Here - Google Drive


You are free to use these photos for non-commercial use, but please let us know that you're using them.

For commercial use, please contact the photographer for permission:

Sergej Krivenko, It's a Thing Imagery

Stephon Mullett Photography

Tyson Elder, Rocktographers

RIDER & STAGE PLOT

Shale - Tech Rider

LINKS

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Spotify:

https://open.spotify.com/artist/1NjgZ9znpVZedNVT00PujJ?si=zdAhOYqZSnaC7sTqedX9aA


YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/@WeAreShale


Website:

https://www.WeAreShale.com/


Bandcamp:

https://WeAreShale.bandcamp.com/music


Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/WeAreShale


Instagram:

https://www.instagram.com/shale_music/


TikTok:

https://www.tiktok.com/@WeAreShale


LinkTree:

https://linktr.ee/WeAreShale

MUSIC      

Discography:        


Shake - released June 23 2023        

Wither - released June 10 2022        

Held Up - released April 8 2022        

Get Lost - released February 25 2022        

To The Ground - released January 14 2022        


Click Here for full size cover art.       

Contact WeAreShale@gmail.com for WAV/MP3.       

LIVE VIDEOS

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PAST SHOWS 

2023: 

Victoria BC, Sept 28, Wicket Hall

Help Fill a Dream Benefit Show

Darrian Gerard, Northcote, Shale, & wiL&Co 


Victoria BC, Sept 20, City of Victoria

Pop up at Ship's Point


Sooke BC, Sept 2

Sooke Music Festival


Victoria BC, Sept 1, Lucky Bar

ColdFame, Shale, & Posh Coat


Port Alberni BC, Aug 31, The Rainbow Room

Shale with Cold Fame & Idle Lane


Nanaimo BC, Aug 30, The Terminal

Shale with Cold Fame & Furniture Party


Vernon BC, Aug 26, Riot on the Roof Festival

Cancelled due to fires


Kamloops BC, Aug 25, Bridgeview Theatre

Cancelled due to fires


Vancouver BC, Aug 24, Fox Cabaret

Shale with Cold Fame, Adam Mah, & Des Hume


Colwood BC, Aug 22

Tour de Rock event


Victoria BC, Aug 12

Grant Gilbertson Memorial Hockey Tournament


Victoria BC, Aug 12

Dragon Boat Festival


Vancouver BC, Aug 5

Harmony Arts Festival


Victoria BC, July 22

Sookapalooza Festival


Victoria BC, July 21, Capital Ballroom

Quadra Sound & Shale


Port Hardy BC, July 16

FiLoMi Days Festival


Duncan BC, July 15

39 Days of July Festival


Victoria BC, July 13, Upstairs Cabaret

Base Collective, Sarah Osborne, & Shale


Lake Cowichan July 2

Laketown Shakedown Festival


Victoria BC, June 25

City of Victoria - Pop-up on Broad St


Victoria BC, June 24

City of Victoria - Pop-up on Government St


Victoria BC, June 10, Wicket Hall

illScarlett, Shale, Boy Leadfoot, & Cold Fame


Duncan BC, Mar 10, Duncan Show Room

Shale & Posh Coat


Victoria BC, Mar 3, Lucky Bar

Wet Future, Gnarfunkel, & Shale


Nanaimo BC, Feb 25, The Terminal

Wet Future, Shale, & Fountain Bather


Surrey BC, Jan 21, Bell Performing Arts Centre

TEDx Surrey

2022:

Sooke BC, Nov 5, Sooke Community Theatre

Shale & Taylor Caspersen


Victoria BC, Oct 17, Victoria Event Centre

Wet Future, Maitara, & Shale


Victoria BC, Oct 8, Capital Ballroom

Red Rum Club & Shale


Sooke BC, Oct 7

High Tide Festival


Victoria BC, Sep 28, Capital Ballroom

Monowhales, Sleepshake & Shale 


Victoria BC, Aug 28

City of Victoria - Pop-up on Broad St


Victoria BC, Aug 27, Victoria Event Centre

Shale with Faultline & Vogue Villains


Victoria BC, Aug 21, City of Victoria

Pop-up at Fisherman's Wharf


Victoria BC, Aug 18, Cameron Bandshell

City of Victoria - Youth Band Showcase


Duncan BC, July 23

39 Days of July Music Festival

PREVIOUS PRESS

(Click heading to expand article)

Rocktographers - From the Pit: Cold Fame and Shale at Lucky Bar - Sept 6/23

Sept 6/23 - rocktographers.ca 

Something about tours in the summer just hit differently. Both Cold Fame and Shale would probably agree with me, as their BC tour has officially wrapped up and it looks like they had a lot of fun. No BC tour is complete without a stop in our Garden City. On September 1st, 2023, the tour made its way to Lucky Bar and was joined by Victoria’s next big group, Posh Coat. A night of electric guitar, lights, and passion as all bands gave the crowd a show they would not forget.

The night began with Posh Coat, who are quickly making a name for themselves in our city. The three-piece band played a great opening set, but it felt quick.This may have worked in their favor though, because now I want to hear them again for their set at Capital Ballroom coming up on September 22nd. The lead singer’s voice matched with the backup vocals of the bassist made for a really put together sound. Fans of indie rock can rejoice as Posh Coat looks like they will only continue to grow.

Next up, we had the alternative sounds of Shale. What first caught my eye was the stage setup and just how big it was. Their setup does make sense though, as they are a five-member group (six, if you count the plush tiger with a top hat). Shale came out and performed a very polished set. Songs like Get Lost felt really smooth and well-rehearsed. Their latest single, Shake, just released this past June. I would definitely look out for new music soon and also check out their next live performance because they are a treat to watch.

Earlier this year, Cold Fame made their debut as an opening act at Lucky Bar. Fast-forward to the summer of the same year and Cold Fame are headlining the same stage for the first time. This is a well-deserved next step since Cold Fame have been working extremely hard over those months.  From new music to an incredible tour with Shale, Cold Fame is sounding great. The set previewed some unreleased music, including an incredible track called Sucker. The band even had some fun and did a cover of Blink-182’s All The Small Things. What really stood out was the chemistry on that stage, as you can tell each member has a lot of fun playing those tracks together. Excited to hear and see what’s next for these rockers.

Moments like these remind me how incredible Victoria is for up-and-coming talent. What’s also nice is the support from band to band. It’s a tight-knit community and, with places like Lucky Bar supporting this local vision, it truly makes for a healthy scene.

A Day With...Shale - Aug 30/23

Aug 30/23 - backlinebeat.com

On Thursday August 24, five Islanders in the form on Shale made their way across the Georgia Strait to take their first crack at Vancouver. What was supposed to be their first stop before continuing East, ended up being the only one, due to the wildfires in the interior. 

The band itself consists of lead singer Kiarra O’Connor, guitar player Adam Baines, Rowan Hensley on keys, Breanna Montague slappin’ the bass, and Michael Voytash keeping the beat on drums…but don’t forget the most important member, Jimmy Tigerius Kirk, their mascot.

But you’re not here for words, you’re here for images. So…you can check out the video of the day above and check out the pictures below. Below there is also a great video interview with the band, along with some favourites of each member. 

Alberni Valley News - Alt-rockers Shale to take the stage at Port Alberni’s Rainbow Room - Aug 28/23

Aug 28/23 - www.albernivalleynews.com

Victoria, B.C.-based alt-rockers Shale will be rocking the Rainbow Room in Port Alberni this month.

Shale formed in 2019 when drummer Michael Voytash and keyboardist Rowan Hensley served as theatre technicians at Edward Milne Community School for a production of Grease and saw vocalist Kiarra O’Connor’s leading lady performance of Sandy.

After recording their first EP Wither, they released their first single “To The Ground” in 2022. It would be streamed more than 4,000 times in five days. Only one year after the release of their debut EP, they have made a global impression, streaming to fans in more than 60 countries and racking up over 40,000 streams.

Now, the cathartic moodiness from Wither has carried over to their most recent single “Shake,” which signals the band’s newfound hope. The song opens with strong riffs from guitarist Adam Baines before O’Connor comes in with haunting vocals that are reminiscent of ’90s female vocalists such as Tori Amos and Alanis Morrisette.

The band confirms the song is about anxiety, specifically O’ Connor’s experiences.

“The song tackles emotional overload and anxiety from my first year at university,” she explained. “The song digs deep into the emotional tapestry of overwhelm vs. commitment, giving up vs. pushing through.”

Shale will take the stage at the Rainbow Room on Thursday, Aug. 31, where they will be joined by indie rock group Cold Fame. Doors open at 8 p.m. and the show starts at 9 p.m. Tickets are available at the door.

Volatile Weekly - Interview With Shale - Aug 28/23

Aug 28/23 - volatileweekly.com

What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?

Kiarra (vocals): I first started really getting into music playing guitar hero with my family in elementary school. I used to learn the classic rock songs, like Hotel California by the Eagles and Heartbreaker by Pat Benatar on guitar hero and then perform the songs in front of my classmates. I don’t really think life exists for me without music. As a separate passion, I am hoping to be a psychiatrist far in the future.

Our keyboardist, Rowan, had considered an alternative career in film, which is very helpful for Shale when we film music videos. He is our creative genius when it comes to anything film-related, and our music videos tend to be a big hit with our fans!

All members of Shale currently work day-jobs outside of music. Kiarra (vocals) is a veterinary receptionist, Rowan (keys) is a youth camp teacher, Breanna (bass) is a dental hygienist, Michael (drums) is a paramedic, and Adam (guitar) is a bartender.

What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?

Kiarra (vocals): “When I am not playing music, I am normally working on something BTS for Shale. The business side of an independent band is a lot of hard work but its been paying off! We have established ourselves in the Victoria, BC music scene, which is extremely motivating for our songwriting and creative minds.

I typically use my personal life as motivation to write lyrics and melodies for Shale. Our new song “Shake” was born this way! While traversing the unmanageable expectations of 1st year University, I moved out for the first time. Living alone and spending hours upon hours studying I couldn’t run from my own thoughts and past traumas. While laying on my bed, staring at the ceiling while dealing with uncomfortable feelings of anxiety and worthlessness I came up with the premise for “Shake”. The song digs deep into the emotional tapestry of overwhelm vs commitment, giving up vs pushing through.”

How long has your band been around?

Michael (drummer) and Rowan (keyboardist) were in a band together for many years before Shale was formed. When that band broke up, Michael was determined to start a new group and was fixated on collaborating with Kiarra (vocals). When Michael suggested it to Rowan, he actually laughed at the idea, saying “You can ask her, but she’s way too cool for us”. Much to Rowan’s surprise, she was completely into the idea, thus becoming the beginning of Shale. Shale officially formed in 2019 with a different bassist and no drummer. Soon after, Adam (guitar) joined, and then Breanna (bass) joined in 2021.

Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?

We are based out of Victoria, BC. The music scene is incredibly supportive, and there are many other local acts that inspire us every day! Posh Coat, Base Collective, Wet Future, Pastel Blank, Cold Fame and much more!

A lot of the Seattle Grunge scene would play Victoria venues in the 90’s. Bands like Nirvana, Alice in Chains, Sound Garden and much more have played the very same venues that Shale has been playing in Vic. This is influential to our sound.

How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?

Shale was the only name that we could all agree on. We initially tried to come up with a name that connected us to Vancouver Island, where we live, and shale is a type of rock that can be found on the island. It now serves a few different purposes for us. We now have the best dad joke ready to go at any time, because we’re a rock band ;), and Shale is a very frail, breakable rock that can be smashed easily. Some of these themes can be found sprinkled within our lyrics and sound.  

Tell me about your most memorable shows.

In Aug 2022 we played our 1st headlining show in our hometown of Victoria, BC. All our friends and family came to the show. For the last song of the show we played our song “To the Ground” and everyone in the crowd sang along! It was an unbelievable and heartwarming experience to hear a crowd sing your own song back to you.

A few other memorable shows have been when we opened for Juno-award winning MONOWHALES, internationally touring Red Rum Club. Also, playing Laketown Shakedown Music Festival, and sharing the stage with Aqua, Shaggy, Portugal.The Man, Third Eye Blind and much more.

What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?

Capital Ballroom in Victoria, BC! It has one of the largest capacities in Victoria and has a sweet stage. We would love to play Save on Foods Memorial Arena one day in Victoria and play large festival stages like Rifflandia and Phillips Backyard Weekender. We recently played the Laketown Shakedown stage, and it gave us a craving for Summer music festivals.

If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?

We LOVE July Talk. Our ideal lineup would be opening for them, and potentially having another local Victoria music band on the bill with us. Also, we would love to play with killer Canadian musicians like MONOWHALES, Mother Mother, The Beaches and lots more!

What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?

Practice makes perfect! And the little details matter. If you want to make a big splash in your music scene, you need great tunes and great attention to detail. What you wear on stage, what photos you post on social media, the merch design you have, it all matters. People love a band that puts effort into making the experience with their fans above and beyond!

Kiarra (vocals): The advice I would give to my younger self is to just keep at it. Music is everything to you, and that will never change. Also, people love when you are authentically you!

If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?

All of the hard work pays off! The opportunities are endless if you put in the work. Also, get into the recording studio sooner!

Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?

Kiarra (vocals): Our new song “Shake” has a very personal meaning to me. I wrote the song in my first year of Univiersity while dealing with intense feelings of anxiety and worthlessness. The lyrics are reminiscent of a time that I pushed through. I still deal with anxiety, but nothing compared to what it used to be. It used to be debilitating, physically and internally making me shake. Taking a hard situation and making it successful is incredibly gratifying.   

Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?

We get requested to play our song “To The Ground” the most. It is catchy and a fun time to play live. But ever since we released our song “Shake” it has been our favorite to play live and has been a fan fav to sing along to. The guitar riff at the beginning of the song really sets the tone for the intense and explosive live performance about to come.

What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?

Kiarra typically comes to the band with a singer-songwriter version of a song, and then we all collaboratively work on it together. However, we have all taken turns writing critical parts of our music.

Kiarra uses mostly personal experiences to write music. Uses it to get through hard topics or emotions that are not as easily said out loud as they are sung out loud. Listening to other music is also incredibly inspiring.

What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?

Our music mostly deals with topics that are relatable and very human. Writing about mostly personal experiences, Kiarra writes lyrics that she connects deeply with, that others can connect with too.

What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?

We have many plans for the future! We are working on new music (it is going very well), and we are playing a lot of live shows. The main spotlight is an across BC tour with our friends Cold Fame. Come see us play in a city near you!!

Aug 24, Van - Fox Cabaret

Aug 25, Kelowna – The London Creative

Aug 26, Vernon - Riot on the Roof Festival

Aug 30, Nanaimo - The Terminal

Aug 31, Port Alberni  - The Rainbow Room

Sept 1, Victoria - Lucky Bar

Sept 2, Sooke - Sooke Music Festival

How can your fans best keep up to date with you, any socials you want people to check out?

You can best keep up with us on Instagram (@shale_music) and Facebook (@WeAreShale)!

Here is a place you can find everything to do with Shale: https://linktr.ee/weareshale


Nanaimo News Bulletin - Vancouver Island alternative rock band shakes things up with new single - Aug 26/23

Aug 26/23 - Nanaimo News Bulletin

A Victoria-based alternative-rock band has sought to capture the raw vulnerability of anxiety.

According to a release, Shale’s latest single Shake, released June 23, specifically tackles the “emotional overload” felt by vocalist Kiarra O’Connor during her first year of university.

“The song digs deep into the emotional tapestry of overwhelm versus commitment, giving up versus pushing through,” O’Connor said in the release.

Without first-hand experience, or knowing the story behind it, Shake might be mistaken for a “break-up song,” given that stress felt during the first year of university is rarely explored in music.

“The vulnerability in the first verse is heightened by the chorus, which implies that they don’t want to admit that they are hurting. They feel stuck, because they want to give up the facade of being OK but they also don’t want to hurt more,” noted the release. “Yet the next two verses seem to show an internal battle of being torn between staying stuck, giving up, and hoping for something better. The contrast is demonstrated by O’ Connor’s soft bleak sounding vocals in the second verse that grow braver by the third verse. These verses are given an even greater emotional impact with a brief guitar solo that follows.”

The single was mixed by Darrell Thorp, known for his work on the Foo Fighters’ 2023 album, and mastered by Brian Lucey, who has worked with bands the Black Keys and Cage the Elephant.

According to the release, Shale formed approximately four years ago in 2019, when drummer Michael Voytash and keyboardist Rowan Hensley served as theatre technicians at Edward Milne Community School for a production of Grease and saw O’Connor perform as the female lead. Roughly three years later in 2022, the group recorded their first EP Wither and released their first single To the Ground, which would be streamed more than 4,000 times in the first five days.

Shale is touring through the province with performances at the Riot of the Roof Festival in Vernon and the Sooke Music Festival in late August and early September, respectively. They also performed on the last day of Lake Cowichan’s Laketown Shakedown festival, along with Shaggy, Aqua and Base Collective.

The alt-rockers will share the stage with Victoria-based indie rock band Cold Fame at the Terminal in Nanaimo on Wednesday, Aug. 30, starting at 8:30 p.m. Cover charge is $10 at the door.

Birch Street Radio - New Music Bin - July 15/23

July 15/23 - Birch Street Radio

Billed as an alternative rock band "with a vintage twist," this group from Victoria, BC, released its first EP just over a year ago. It returns with this single that vocalist Kiarra O’Connor says "tackles emotional overload and anxiety from my first year at university. ...I took the idea to the rest of the band, and everyone added their own flare. The song transformed from an acoustic singer-songwriter style piece into the hard-hitting rock song that it is today.” Canadian Beats writes that O'Connor's vocals sound vulnerable at the start but "grow braver by the third verse." 


Rolling Stone France - Playlist of the Week #242 - July 15/23

July 15/23 - Rolling Stone France

Le groupe de rock alternatif canadien Shale décide de traiter un sujet sérieux dans son nouveau single : la santé mentale. « Shake » traite de l’angoisse et de ses conséquences, aussi bien mentales que physiques. A grands renforts de riffs directs et d’influences venues tout droit des années 90, ce titre accroche autant qu’il émeut. 


Translation by Google:

Canadian alternative rock band Shale decides to tackle a serious subject in their new single: mental health. “Shake” deals with anxiety and its consequences, both mental and physical. With great reinforcements of direct riffs and influences coming straight from the 90s, this title catches as much as it moves.


-Mathieu David, Rolling Sone Fr

Canadian Beats - SHALE releases new single, “Shake” (Interview) - July 14/23

July 14/23 - Canadian Beats

Anxiety is a mental health issue that can make you feel very vulnerable. When you feel this fragile, it can be hard to talk about to your loved ones or anyone who hasn’t experienced it. Victoria, BC-based alt-rockers Shale captures the rawness of anxiety in their new single “Shake”, along with new British Columbia dates below.

The song opens with strong riffs from guitarist Adam Baines before vocalist Kiarra O’Connor comes in with haunting vocals that are reminiscent of ‘90s female vocalists such as Tori Amos and Alanis Morrisette. The first verse demonstrates how sensitive people with anxiety feel, physically and emotionally.

“Shake
I’m shaky babe
Don’t touch me there
Don’t feel my pain
Tilting ache
Rather waste my day
Blinking bare
Stern stare”

The vulnerability in the first verse is heightened by the chorus, which implies that they don’t want to admit that they are hurting. They feel stuck, because they want to give up the facade of being okay but they also don’t want to hurt more.

Yet the next two verses seem to show an internal battle of being torn between staying stuck, giving up, and hoping for something better. The contrast is demonstrated by O’Connor’s soft bleak sounding vocals in the second verse that grow braver by the third verse. These verses are given an even greater emotional impact with a brief guitar solo that follows.

In fact, the band confirms the song is about anxiety, specifically O’ Connor’s experiences. “The song tackles emotional overload and anxiety from my first year at university. The song digs deep into the emotional tapestry of overwhelm vs commitment, giving up vs pushing through.”

Without firsthand experience with anxiety or knowing the story behind this song, one might think it was about a breakup. Given that first year university stress is a subject rarely explored in songs, this particular track shines especially bright.

Finally, a notable feature about this track is that it was mixed by Darrell Thorp and mastered by Brian Lucey. Thorp is known for his work on The Foo Fighters’ recent album, while Lucey is known for his work with the bands The Black Keys and Cage The Elephant.

Shale formed in 2019 when drummer Michael Voytash and keyboardist Rowan Hensley served as theater technicians at Edward Milne Community School for a production of Grease and saw O’Connor’s leading lady performance of Sandy.

After recording their first EP Wither, they released their first single “To The Ground” in 2022. It would be streamed more than 4,000 times in five days. They would soon follow that with three more singles, “Get Lost”, “Held Up’, and “Wither”. The single “Get Lost” would be accompanied by a black and red music video that serves to heighten the somber and bittersweet mood. 

Only one year after the release of their debut EP “Wither”, they have made a global impression, streaming to fans in over 60 countries and racking up over 40,000 streams. Now, the cathartic moodiness from Wither has carried over to their most recent single “Shake”, which signals the band’s newfound hope.

Listen to “Shake” below and learn more about Shale via our mini-interview.


Process of writing/recording Shake:

The song formed during Kiarra’s (vocals) first year of University while she was fighting intense anxiety and emotional overload. “I laid on my back, blankly looking up at the ceiling, feeling an internal shakiness towards my day-to-day when the premise for Shake hit me. I took a break from studying, grabbed my guitar and songbook, and wrote out the lyrics and guitar hook that would one day evolve into “Shake.” I took the idea to the rest of the band, and everyone added their own flare. The song transformed from an acoustic singer-songwriter style piece into the hard-hitting rock song that it is today.” We recorded drums and bass at Catalogue Studios with Oliver Hollingshead, who’s the drummer from Hillsboro and a talented recording engineer. We then recorded everything else with our producer Brett Smith-Daniels in his attic, which allowed us more time to try different creative directions and to really focus on getting the perfect take of each part. “Shake” was then mixed by Darrell Thorp (credits include Foo Fighters, Paul McCartney, Metric, Elton John, Joni Mitchel) and mastered by Brian Lucey (credits are The Black Keys, Royal Blood, Cage the Elephant).

What is the music scene like in Victoria?

The music scene in Victoria is fiery, unstoppable, and up-and-coming. Filled to the brim with live music and festivals, top-notch recording spaces, and incredible creative minds, it shares a lot of parallels with the Toronto music scene. Shale made a huge splash into the Vic music scene with the release of their debut EP “Wither” and now with their release of “Shake,” they are becoming a household name around the city. Alongside Shale, you won’t want to miss up-and-coming bands like Cold Fame, Wet Future, Posh Coat, Base Collective, Hillsboro, and Faultline, who have all been on big music festival stages like Laketown Shakedown and Phillips Backyard Weekender this Summer.

You’re going on a pretty big tour – what’s the one item you can’t leave home without?

This might be breaking the rules, but Shale has 2 items! Our tiger and our top hat!

You can see our top hat-sporting tiger, Jimmy Tigerious Kirk, at any and all of our live performances. We never go anywhere without him!!! He is going to be the best tour tiger ever.

What’s the one song by a Canadian you wished you wrote?

Picturing Love by July Talk. July Talk is a personal fav Canadian band of ours. We’ve seen them live and they have this captivating stage presence that is hard to describe, but absolutely worth it to see. Picturing Love is punchy, sexy, dark, and groovy, which all members of Shale can get behind. Great lyrics, great vocal tone, and overall a great song to add to a Canadian Summer playlist.



-Jenna Melanson, Canadian Beats

Vernon Morning Star - Victoria alt rock band ready to riot in Vernon - July 13/23

July 13/23 - Vernon Morning Star

A group of alternative rockers will be rioting on the roof in Vernon next month.

Victoria-based group Shale have announced a B.C. tour that includes a stop in Vernon on Aug. 26, during the Riot on the Roof Festival. It’s the band’s only stop in the Okanagan.

While announcing their tour dates, the band also dropped a new single called Shake, which captures the fragile state of anxiety.

The song opens with strong riffs from guitarist Adam Baines before vocalist Kiarra O’Connor comes in with haunting vocals that are reminiscent of ’90s female vocalists such as Tori Amos and Alanis Morrisette. 

The first verse demonstrates how sensitive people with anxiety feel, physically and emotionally. The vulnerability of the verse is heightened by the chorus, which implies that they don’t want to admit that they are hurting. They feel stuck, because they want to give up the facade of being OK but they also don’t want to hurt more.

However, the next two verses seem to show an internal battle of being torn between staying stuck, giving up, and hoping for something better. The contrast is demonstrated by O’ Connor’s soft, bleak sounding vocals in the second verse that grow braver by the third verse. These verses are given an even greater emotional impact with a brief guitar solo that follows.

The band confirms the song is about anxiety, specifically O’Connor’s experiences.

“The song tackles emotional overload and anxiety from my first year at university. The song digs deep into the emotional tapestry of overwhelm versus commitment, giving up versus pushing through,” she says.

The track was mixed by Darrell Thorp and mastered by Brian Lucey. Thorp is well known for his work on the Foo Fighters’ recent album, while Lucey is known for his work with The Black Keys and Cage The Elephant.

Shale formed in 2019 when drummer Michael Voytash and keyboardist Rowan Hensley were theatre technicians at Edward Milne Community School for a production of Grease and saw O’Connor’s leading performance of Sandy.

After recording their first EP, Wither, they released their first single, To The Ground, in 2022. It would be streamed more than 4,000 times in five days. They soon followed that with three more singles, one of which was called Get Lost, which was accompanied by a black and red music video that heightens the somber and bittersweet mood of the song.

Only one year after the release of Wither, the band has made a global impression, streaming to fans in more than 60 countries and racking up more than 40,000 streams. The cathartic moodiness of Wither has now carried over to Shake, which signals the band’s newfound hope.

To learn more about the band or to purchase show tickets, visit weareshale.com.

Find Your Sound - Alt. Rockers SHALE Captures Raw Anxiety In “Shake” And Announce B.C. Tour  - July 12/23

July 12/23 - FindYourSound.com

Anxiety is a mental health issue that can make you feel very vulnerable. When you feel this fragile, it can be hard to talk about to your loved ones or anyone who hasn’t experienced it. Victoria, BC-based alt.rockers Shale captures the rawness of anxiety in their new single “Shake”, along with new British Columbia dates below. 

The song opens with strong riffs from guitarist Adam Baines before vocalist Kiarra O’Connor comes in with haunting vocals that are reminiscent of ‘90s female vocalists such as Tori Amos and Alanis Morrisette. The first verse demonstrates how sensitive people with anxiety feel, physically and emotionally.


The vulnerability in the first verse is heightened by the chorus, which implies that they don’t want to admit that they are hurting. They feel stuck, because they want to give up the facade of being okay but they also don’t want to hurt more.

Yet the next two verses seem to show an internal battle of being torn between staying stuck, giving up, and hoping for something better. The contrast is demonstrated by O’ Connor’s soft bleak sounding vocals in the second verse that grow braver by the third verse. These verses are given an even greater emotional impact with a brief guitar solo that follows.

In fact, the band confirms the song is about anxiety, specifically O’ Connor’s experiences. “The song tackles emotional overload and anxiety from my first year at university. The song digs deep into the emotional tapestry of overwhelm vs commitment, giving up vs pushing through.”

Without firsthand experience with anxiety or knowing the story behind this song, one might think it was about a break up. Given that first year university stress is a subject rarely explored in songs, this particular track shines especially bright.

Finally, a notable feature about this track is that it was mixed by Darrell Thorp and mastered by Brian Lucey. Thorp is known for his work on The Foo Fighters recent album, while Lucey is known for his work with the bands The Black Keys and Cage The Elephant.

Shale formed in 2019 when drummer Michael Voytash and keyboardist Rowan Hensley served as theater technicians at Edward Milne Community School for a production of Grease and saw O’Connor’s leading lady performance of Sandy.

After recording their first EP Wither, they released their first single “To The Ground” in 2022. It would be streamed more than 4,000 times in five days. They would soon follow that with three more singles, “Get Lost”, “Held Up’, and “Wither”. The single “Get Lost” would be accompanied by a black and red music video that serves to heighten the somber and bittersweet mood. 

Only one year after the release of their debut EP “Wither”, they have made a global impression, streaming to fans in over 60 countries and racking up over 40,000 streams. Now, the cathartic moodiness from Wither has carried over to their most recent single “Shake”, which signals the band’s newfound hope.

Tinnitist - Shale Will Make You Shake - July 12/23

July 12/23 - Tinnitist.com

Shale capture the raw anxiety of existence with their new single Shake — showcasing today on Tinnitist.

The Victoria alt-rockers’ latest track sets strong riffs from guitarist Adam Baines against Kiarra O’Connor’s haunting vocals — reminiscent of Tori Amos and Alanis Morissette — and lyrics pulled from her own experiences. “The song tackles emotional overload and anxiety from my first year at university,” she says. “The song digs deep into the emotional tapestry of overwhelm vs commitment, giving up vs pushing through:”

“I’m shaky babe
Don’t touch me there
Don’t feel my pain
Tilting ache
Rather waste my day
Blinking bare
Stern stare.

Shake was mixed by Darrell Thorp (Foo Fighters) and mastered by Brian Lucey (Black Keys, Cage The Elephant). Shale formed in 2019 when drummer Michael Voytash and keyboardist Rowan Hensley served as theatre techs for a production of Grease and saw O’Connor’s performance as Sandy. After recording their first EP Wither, they released their single To The Ground in 2022. They followed up with Get Lost, Held Up and Wither.

Check out Shake above, sample more music from Shale and see their upcoming tour dates below, and find them at their website, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok.

-Darryl Sterdan, Tinnitis

The Zone's Band of the Month - Shale - July 1/23

July 1/23 - theZone.fm

Things are starting to heat up, and we aren’t just talking about the weather. It’s hard to believe that July marks the penultimate Band of the Month for the 2023 season on The Zone @ 91-3. This band is set to set the airwaves on fire with their new single, Shake. 

Sooke-based indie rockers Shale are one of the hardest working bands in the Victoria music scene. That hard work and determination led to them becoming July 2023’s Band of the Month. The band is led by Kiarra O’Connor on vocals, with Adam Baines on guitar, Breanna Montague on bass, Rowan Hensley on keys, and it’s all rounded out by Michael Voytash on drums.

After our slightly anxiety-inducing photo session with Shale around UVic (Sorry, Kiarra!), Tyson Elder chatted with the band about their latest single, Shake, tigers, and their dedication to live music.


Tyson Elder: It feels good to finally say this to you: congratulations on being The Zone’s Band of the Month.

Everyone: Thank you! We are honored to be featured on the Zone and so excited to share our latest release Shake.


TE: I know it’s been a journey with a lot of blood, sweat, and tears for you as a band to get to this point. What does it mean for you both personally, and as Shale, to be Band of the Month?

Kiarra O’Connor: Becoming Band of the Month has been a big dream for Shale since we first formed in 2018. It’s been a goal in the back of our minds during each of our gigs and throughout all our music releases. Personally, it is hard to put into words how much it means to me. For 6 years I looked up to every Band of the Month, embarrassingly in a bit of a stalkerish way, and it’s an honour to now join my Victoria music scene idols. I remember walking across my high school graduation stage and saying to the crowd “one day, you’ll hear me on the radio.” It’s even better to share this accomplishment with my killerband mates. 

TE: This weekend (July 1st holiday weekend) is big for Shale, not only because you’re being crowned Band of the Month, but you are also kicking off the final day of festivities at the monstrous Laketown Shakedown Music Festival. You must be over the moon to be performing with the likes of Shaggy, Aqua, and Classified. Is there anyone you are really excited to see?

Breanna Montague: It’s seriously such an exciting month for us! We are big Portugal. The Man fans, and we also love Third Eye Blind!  We’re equally excited to see some of our favourite local acts like Wet Future, Base Collective, and Pastel Blank! It’s so cool to see the Victoria music scene being represented at such a big music festival. 

TE: Honestly, I’d personally have to say that Shale is one of the hardest working live bands in Victoria right now and a real treat to see you live. You’ve got several gigs lined up in July including one with former Band of the Month Sarah Osborne, and another with Quadra Sound. What should people expect when they come to a Shale concert? 

Breanna: We’re always striving to take our live performances to the next level. We have really taken the time to nail our stagecraft to make a live show that’s as energetic and engaging as possible. One example is Adam absolutely loves jumping off the stage and playing in the crowd. There are always familiar aspects during our live set as well: Rowan’s infamous top hat, and always having our tiger on stage. These are really memorable aspects for our audiences. 

TE: I’ve also heard some rumblings about a tour with Cold Fame on the horizon… 

Breanna: You heard right! We are travelling across BC to tour with our good pals in Cold Fame at the end of the summer. We have a great list of venues we’ll be at, so keep your eyes peeled. 

TE: I want to dig into your latest single, Shake, which is your Band of the Month feature song. While we were walking around UVIC during out Rocktographers photo shoot Kiarra mention that the song came from the anxieties she felt during her first year in University. In particular the building we took some photos in… sorry for bringing that trauma back. Can you speak to the writing process of that song and how it formed to what it is now?

Kiarra: The song formed during my first year of University while I was fighting intense anxiety and emotional overload. I was lying on my back, blankly looking up at my ceiling, feeling an internal shakiness towards my day-to-day obligations when the premise for Shake hit me. I took a break from studying, grabbed my guitar and songbook, and wrote out the lyrics and guitar hook that would one day evolve into Shake. I took the idea to the rest of the band, and everyone added their own flare. The song transformed from an acoustic singer-songwriter style piece into the hard-hitting rock song that it is today. Having the photoshoot in the same Biology building that caused a lot of my struggles was a HUGE full-circle moment for me. 

TE: While working on Shake you had the opportunity to work some amazing people in the music industry both locally and internationally. From what I remember you recorded with Brett Smith-Daniels on the song at Catalogue Studios here in Victoria. How was that process different then recording your earlier work? 

Rowan Hensley: We previously recorded everything in one studio, basically all within a couple days. For Shake we took a lot more time. We recorded drums and bass at Catalogue Studios with Oliver Hollingshead, who’s the drummer from Hillsboro and a talented recording engineer. We then recorded everything else in Brett’s attic, which allowed us more time to try different creative directions and to really focus on getting the perfect take of each part.

TE: Between photos someone was talking about getting Darrell Thorp and Brian Lucey to master Shake. Combined, those two have worked with some of the biggest names in music including the Foo Fighters and Cage the Elephant. How did working with Darrell and Brian come about? 

Rowan: It honestly came about pretty naturally. Our producer Brett is pretty well-connected, and he knew how to reach out to them. We got on a zoom call with Darrell Thorp (credits include Foo Fighters, Paul McCartney, Metric, Elton John, Joni Mitchel) and he loved the song and agreed to mix it. Brian (credits are The Black Keys, Royal Blood, Cage the Elephant) was down to master Shake after that.

TE: What’s next for Shale? 

Rowan: We’re already working on our next projects. Keep an eye out for a music video for Shake later this summer. Also, I don’t want to give too much away, but we’ve already been back to the studio since recording Shake. There’s more new music coming your way in the not so distant future. Beyond that, we’ll continue gigging and growing, especially alongside Cold Fame on our BC tour later this summer . I personally have a lot of ideas for distant future projects, so there’s no shortage of inspiration. 

TE: Before we end the interview I have to ask a question that has been on my mind since the first time I saw Shale play at the Victoria Event Centre. What’s your tiger’s name? 

Breanna: Jimmy Tigerious Kirk! He was named by our drummer Michael. We call him Tigerious for short, and he comes with us absolutely everywhere. Studio, concerts, you name it. He’s kind of become our good luck charm!

Rowan: Michael named him after Captain James Tiberius Kirk from Star Trek, which is ironic because none of us are huge Star Trek fans.

TE: Shale, as always, it’s been a pleasure chatting with you and I want to sincerely congratulate you on being June’s Zone Band of the Month. You’ve worked really hard to get here and it shows.


July 2023’s Band of the Month, Shale, will have The Zone @ 91-3 shaking with their single, Shake. The song is available for download (along with two other tracks) on their Band of the Month microsite. There you can also find out more about the band and more photos from their Rocktographers photo session.

Rocktographers is a proud supporting sponsor of The Zone’s Band of the Month program.

-Tyson Elder, Rocktographers

Monday Magazine - ‘A huge opportunity’: Sooke band Shale thrilled to play Laketown Shakedown - April 6/23

April 6/23 Monday Magazine


Sooke alternative-rock band Shale is excited to be playing Laketown Shakedown this summer.

Shale will be performing on the final day of the festival at Laketown Ranch in Lake Cowichan on July 2 along with artists including Shaggy, Aqua and Base Collective.

“We are absolutely ecstatic,” said Shale frontwoman Kiarra O’Connor. “This is a well-recognized music festival. It’s hard to describe how amazing this is. I feel very honoured. It’s a huge opportunity.”

All the members of Shale and Base Collective attended Edward Milne Community School.

“We’re playing back-to-back at the festival, and we basically all went to high school together,” O’Connor said. “This is a huge moment for Sooke. This is just the first step for bands in Sooke right now.”

Laketown Ranch is Canada’s largest permanent outdoor stage, and the site is over 250 acres.

“There’s going to be so many people there to connect with,” O’Connor said. “This means that we’re going to get our music out to more fans in our local area. We’ve had a bit of a difficult time getting out of the Sooke music scene and reaching people. The ball now feels like it’s rolling, and I don’t think it’s going to stop any time soon.”

O’Connor said their set will be full of energy.

“We’re definitely going to play all of our songs that we currently have out. We also have a couple of new songs that we will be playing. Our set is pretty explosive and we’re going to connect with our fans.”

O’Connor is also looking forward to seeing other artists during the weekend including Portugal. The Man, who are performing on the Saturday with other big names including Everlast and K’naan.

“I’m a huge Portugal. The Man fan,” O’Connor added. “That’s been a favourite band of mine since I was in middle school. I saw them in high school and it was one of my first favourite concerts. It’s going to be so fun to see the other acts. We’re excited to meet all the other amazing bands that will be playing as well.”

Laketown Shakedown 2023 will kick off on June 30 with Third Eye Blind, Reignwolf and Bif Naked topping the Friday bill.

Tickets and more information about the festival can be found at laketownshakedown.com.


Unsigned BC - High Tide Festival - Oct 7/22

Oct 7/22 - Unsigned BC

While they are not the only rock band to make waves out of Sooke lately, the five-piece rock group known as Shale is arguably experiencing the fastest rise out of obscurity that lower Vancouver Island has seen in years. Their recent local touring success is underpinned by the quality of the work they produce; moody keys and classic rock influenced guitar riffs provide the canvas for lead singer Kiarra O’Connor’s powerful vocals to create a dark, nostalgic rock quality to their sound.

-Brandon Kuppa, Unsigned BC

Victoria Music Scene - Music Video: Shale, Get Lost  - March 25/22

Mar 25/22 - Victoria Music Scene


Sooke’s Shale have release a music video for their single ‘Get Lost’. The video was produced by Ian Locke and Mike Bentham.

‘Get Lost’ is the band’s second single after ‘To The Ground’ that was released in January 2022. That song has garnered more than 15,000 listens to date. 

“We decided to go with a black and red theme for our new music video because Breanna (bass player Breanna Montague) had these red leather pants she really liked and wanted to wear,” said the band in an Instagram post. “The colours ended up working perfectly to capture the mood of the song! We even matched our instruments to fit in with our theme.”

Lead singer Kiarra O’Connor took to TikTok to share what the single is about and where the song’s title came from. “It’s about a relationship that’s over. A girl who’s known it for a long time, moi, and a guy that is full of himself that he thinks that he still has a chance.”

O’Connor’s ex-boyfriend owed her money after they broke up. When she confronted him about the money, he told her to “Get lost.”

To watch, stream or download Shale’s ‘Get Lost on available platforms, CLICK HERE.

-VictoriaMusicScene


Sooke News Mirror - "Pretty Unbelievable" - Jan 20/22

Jan 20/22 - Sooke News Mirror

A Sooke alternative rock band is shooting for the stars, and if the release of their first single is any indication, they may make it.

On Jan. 14, Shale released its first single – To The Ground – and five days later, it has more than 4,000 streams across various music platforms.

“It’s pretty unbelievable. It’s been more successful than we could have imagined,” said frontwoman Kiarra O’Connor. “I would say out of all of our music, It is the most mainstream. It follows a pretty normal pattern, and it is a little more pop sounding.”

Shale got its start in 2019 when drummer Michael Voytash and keyboardist Rowan Hensley served as theatre technicians at Edward Milne Community School for a production of Grease and were impressed by O’Connor’s leading lady performance of Sandy.

”They reached out to me, and we got together and jammed,” O’Connor said. “I knew our guitarist Adam Baines since we have been friends since middle school and grew up in East Sooke together, so I invited him to the band. Then, later on, we brought on Breanna Montague as our bassist. She was our only fan at one point. She got to know our music, then she ended up joining the band, so it was a perfect combination.”

Just months after they started playing together, O’Connor said they recorded their first EP – Wither – and spent the summer and fall producing lyric and music videos for each of the record’s three songs.

Every two weeks, O’Connor said the band plans on releasing a part of the EP’s content, whether that will be a new song for streaming or a video. They plan to publish behind-the-scenes content on their social media platforms in between releases.

As a band based in a small, somewhat isolated community, O’Connor said they are paying close attention to their social media pages and the content they post on them. She said that’s key for any band looking to make it big. They have taken inspiration from the teachings of Vancouver Island podcast Your Band Sucks (At Business) and the social media-driven rise of Victoria’s heavy metal band Spiritbox.

Describing the band’s sound as “polished alternative rock with a vintage twist,” O’Connor said in many ways they don’t fit in with the “messy” expectations many people have when they think of alt-rock. She said this likely stems from each members’ academic and classical leanings.

The band spends a significant amount of time obsessing over every lyric and note, right down to the most trivial of details, such as how to capitalize each song title.

“We all have very individual tastes in music, which I find makes us super unique in our sound,” O’Connor said. “I am really into grunge and kind of old-school heavier stuff. Our guitarist is like the biggest John Mayer fan ever. Our keyboardist is classically trained and only listens to live music, our drummer loves Taylor Swift and anything popular, and our bassist is super into everything. You can play a song for five seconds, and she will be able to tell you its name.”

With their first single out and proving popular, Shale is gearing up for live shows in the summer – COVID permitting – and has already started working on their next EP.

To check out their new single and watch their upcoming music, visit Shale’s Instagram @Shale_Music or Facebook @WeAreShale.

-Justin Samanski-Langille, Sooke News Mirror

QUOTES ABOUT SHALE

“You guys are going a really cool direction, and your lead singer’s got a vibe.”

-Jesse Roper, Canadian Recording Artist

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"Why is it that every time we see Victoria's Shale it's the best we've ever seen them?"

-Tyson Elder, Rocktographers

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"There isn't a cooler local band in Victoria right now."

-Colin Smith, Photographer

“Lookout Victoria, Shale is about to become a household name.”

-Tyson Elder, Rocktographers

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"Arguably experiencing the fastest rise out of obscurity that lower Vancouver Island has seen in years."

-Brandon Kuppa, Unsigned BC

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