The Shook Twins on rejecting an American Idol offer, The Mysterious Golden Egg and more.

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“We truly feel like music shouldn’t be a competition; it should bring people together and bring joy, not separate ourselves and cause anxiety!”

The Shook Twins are not indie-folk. So, for all you Missoulian’s who’d like to write them off immediately for your own confirmation of your perspective of being ‘so anti-mainstream’, well, it’s a shallow view, at best.

This is because Katelyn and Laurie, identical twins, are the main songwriters, drawing inspiration from their life experiences – they write about being potters’ daughters, the sway of the subconscious, imagined superpowers and a chicken friend named ‘Rose. What Shook Twins are is hard to explain – but they’re people who love writing and playing music and would rather turn down an opportunity with American Idol then make it bigger then they are already.

We talked with Katelyn Shook about Golden Eggs, American Idol and Sideboob[s]. Check out the full conversation below.

Shook Twins will be playing at The Top Hat Lounge, April 2oth.

Shook Twins | Photo by Jessie McCall

You guys went from a sibling act, to a quartet and now have other band members that contribute to the songwriting process. What have been some of the greatest challenges you’ve had to overcome with these changes? What were the results of overcoming these challenges?

Shook – Honestly, we didn’t really face any challenges with this change! It was a gradual enough process that gave us time to really know and trust our band mates and their abilities. When you find people you love to play music with, and you grow to love all the things they bring to the table it just becomes a “more the merrier” scenario!

What does your songwriting process look like?

It’s different all the time. It started with mostly individual songs from Laurie or I, and we’d each add our own charm to the other twins’ piece. Then the two of us started writing mostly all collaboratively, sitting down for hours in a designated time to see what comes out of us equally. Now the past few newest songs have had the whole band involved. But lyrically it’s still just Laurie, Niko and I.

What do you guys do when you find yourselves in a writers block?

Just keep living and waiting for something to come! But mostly once we sit down and tell ourselves “we MUST write a song now”- something groovy usually comes out.

What evokes creativity in the bands creation process?

Mostly the right environment; good vibes and good lighting. A new instrument always helps get the creation flowing too. A glass of wine, a puff on a J….

What’s the deal with The Golden Egg? Also, how heavy is it? It looks pretty big.

The question everyone wants answered! The Golden Egg has become our mascot or our symbol I guess. It just fell into our hands one night and Laurie turned it into an instrument and as its story has been unveiled to us over time, it’s proven to be more and more magical. We use it as our manifestation tool a lot, to help us make our magical spells come true! (if you want a more tangible explanation– there’s a link on our website when you click on the icon “the story of the golden egg” on our Bio Page!)

The Shook Twin’s Live at #JAMINTHEVAN, playing “Call Me Out”

For those who don’t know, American Idol asked you guys, being Shook Twins the band, to compete against each other. You turned down the opportunity, but in lieu of not participating, also turned down a lot of exposure. What did the dialogue in the band look like when making that decision, and have you ever reconsidered that decision?

No way have we reconsidered. American Idol has never been something that attracted us. We truly feel like music shouldn’t be a competition; it should bring people together and bring joy, not separate ourselves and cause anxiety! We thought it was funny that they assumed we would throw everything we have already built as independent artists and force twins to compete against each other (that’s good tv I guess!). We wrote an open letter back to them and actually got a lot of attention on social media in doing so.

For those who have never heard of it….what’s Sideboob?

Ha! Sideboob is one of the best parts of a woman’s body AS WELL AS an awesome all female band covering all female 90’s pop songs! Its a rad project thought up by our friend Mimi Naja (of Fruition). Right now this phenomenon only happens at North West String Summit in July where we gather all the female artists at the festival and involve them in our woman power set! The core members are Mimi, us, Allie Kral (of Yonder Mountain String Band) and Kat Fountain. This year will feature Bridget and Bonnie from Elephant Revival as well!

Shook Twins | Photo by Blue Gabor Caleel

Can you talk about your show in Missoula that’s coming up? What should the audience expect?

We get to play the Top Hat (one of favorite venues) on 4/20! What could be better? We’ll have our full 5 piece band and we’ll get you dancing. We’ve been working on some new songs, so we may have them practiced enough to play them…but we’ll most likely incorporate the theme of the day some how…

You guys have a great social media presences – how do you guys keep your audience constantly engaged?
We do!? Thank you. It’s hard sometimes to always have something to say and to keep people interested when there is so much going on in the world right now, but when we’re on tour it’s fairly easy to capture the good moments and post them on these platforms for people to see now, and for us to always look back on and remember. Our bandmates are pretty entertaining and we laugh a lot, so we just try to include our audience in the laughter- so everyone feels like we’ve all been hanging out together all over the country!

Are there any quotes that have resonated with you throughout your music career?

“When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.” — Jimi Hendrix

The Futurebirds will be playing

For more interviews and photography, check out our blog.

This interview was produced in partnership with Missoula Community Access Television (MCAT).

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