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Shades McCool, lighthearted nihilist, at your service

"I have little interest in trying to be deep or poetic."

Tony Gidlund: "Shades embraces the silliness and stupidity of publicly playing music for people."
Tony Gidlund: "Shades embraces the silliness and stupidity of publicly playing music for people."

Bob Baker’s Auto Group, Mossy Nissan, Drew Ford, Toyota of Escondido... The manic anthems of San Diego auto commerce are forever seared into the brains of anyone who spent time near a radio in the past 30 years or so.

For better or worse, local man of mystery Shades McCool saw it fit to reinvent these hyper-masculine mantras to a backdrop of chugging metal riffs, sizzling guitar solos, machine-gun drumming, and power-shouts apparently cultivated at the Crossfire Conservatory of Hard Rock. He calls it “The San Diego National Anthem,” but why in Cal Worthington’s hallowed name does this monstrosity exist?

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“Because it must,” says Shades McCool, better known behind the black mirrors as Tony Gidlund, “and because I love San Diego and stupid jokes. Once I started imagining it, I had to bring it to life.”

Which begs the question: Is Shades a post-everything nihilist? Is this life a goddamned joke?!

“Yes and yes,” Gidlund contends. “I sometimes think Shades is a satire of a normal band. I kept seeing the same version of an indie rock band and it felt very stale to me. Shades embraces the silliness and stupidity of publicly playing music for people. I also think most lyrics are boring and I have little interest in trying to be deep or poetic. I think about jokes and comedy a lot, so I designed my music to be an extension of myself. At this point, for me to write straight, serious songs would feel inauthentic.”

The lighthearted departure from Gidlund’s past work with Fever Sleeves and Rob Crow’s Gloomy Place sees Shades joined by backing trio the Bold Flavors: Brian Garbark (Modern Rifles) on drums, Daryl Thompson (Modern Rifles) on bass, and Taylor Semingson on keyboard, plus one-off guest guitarist Nick Reinhart (Tera Melos, Goblin Cock) on shreddage and production by Ben Moore. Look for a full album and a couple music videos soon.

“I originally wanted to have a different lineup for every show since I know all these great players,” says Gidlund. “but the current lineup is just too perfect to mess with.”

Place

Casbah

2501 Kettner Boulevard, San Diego

Pledge your allegiance to Shades McCool during the Dizzy Spells showcase at the Casbah on Monday, June 19.

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Tony Gidlund: "Shades embraces the silliness and stupidity of publicly playing music for people."
Tony Gidlund: "Shades embraces the silliness and stupidity of publicly playing music for people."

Bob Baker’s Auto Group, Mossy Nissan, Drew Ford, Toyota of Escondido... The manic anthems of San Diego auto commerce are forever seared into the brains of anyone who spent time near a radio in the past 30 years or so.

For better or worse, local man of mystery Shades McCool saw it fit to reinvent these hyper-masculine mantras to a backdrop of chugging metal riffs, sizzling guitar solos, machine-gun drumming, and power-shouts apparently cultivated at the Crossfire Conservatory of Hard Rock. He calls it “The San Diego National Anthem,” but why in Cal Worthington’s hallowed name does this monstrosity exist?

Sponsored
Sponsored

“Because it must,” says Shades McCool, better known behind the black mirrors as Tony Gidlund, “and because I love San Diego and stupid jokes. Once I started imagining it, I had to bring it to life.”

Which begs the question: Is Shades a post-everything nihilist? Is this life a goddamned joke?!

“Yes and yes,” Gidlund contends. “I sometimes think Shades is a satire of a normal band. I kept seeing the same version of an indie rock band and it felt very stale to me. Shades embraces the silliness and stupidity of publicly playing music for people. I also think most lyrics are boring and I have little interest in trying to be deep or poetic. I think about jokes and comedy a lot, so I designed my music to be an extension of myself. At this point, for me to write straight, serious songs would feel inauthentic.”

The lighthearted departure from Gidlund’s past work with Fever Sleeves and Rob Crow’s Gloomy Place sees Shades joined by backing trio the Bold Flavors: Brian Garbark (Modern Rifles) on drums, Daryl Thompson (Modern Rifles) on bass, and Taylor Semingson on keyboard, plus one-off guest guitarist Nick Reinhart (Tera Melos, Goblin Cock) on shreddage and production by Ben Moore. Look for a full album and a couple music videos soon.

“I originally wanted to have a different lineup for every show since I know all these great players,” says Gidlund. “but the current lineup is just too perfect to mess with.”

Place

Casbah

2501 Kettner Boulevard, San Diego

Pledge your allegiance to Shades McCool during the Dizzy Spells showcase at the Casbah on Monday, June 19.

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