Band of the Day: Baby Shakes

If you need something to rattle your cage and get you bouncing then you’ve come to the right place…

Simple things first – where are you guys from?

New York

How did you meet?

Judy and Claudia met at a punk show at CBGB’s when they were teenagers. They both had studded jackets, pink/blue hair and collected UK ‘82 and ‘77 punk singles so it made sense that they’d become good friends. They used to jam out to Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers songs together in their living rooms. A friend of ours (the artist Avi Spivak) knew that we were looking for bandmates so when Mary moved to NY from Seattle he introduced us at his DJ night. We all got along so well and when we heard Mary sing we knew it was the perfect style for the kind of music we all wanted to play and she played guitar too. As for Ryan… we’ve had many drummers in the past but he was definitely the missing puzzle piece. We met him through mutual friends when we needed a drummer for a show.

How long have you been playing as a band?

We’ve been around since 2005.

Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?

It’s from Little Richard’s version of “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On” specifically the chorus that goes “shake, baby shake”.

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What are your influences?

First and foremost, Chuck Berry but also 77 punk including The Undertones, Buzzcocks, Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers. Also, Tom Petty, Phil Seymour, the Go-Go’s and Slade just to name a few.

Describe your music. What makes you unique?

Rock’n’roll punk band from NYC with some powerpop, glam, glitter and girl group sounds thrown in the mix.

Our band is very DIY in the sense that we’re directly involved with all aspects of the band life from PR to marketing, booking, management and of course writing, recording and producing our own songs and music videos. We started a record label (Lil’ Chewy Records) in order to release our own records and every order is packaged and shipped by a member of our band. We also design all of our merch and artwork, our style is customized to match the vibe of our music and has developed into our specific signature style over the years.

Of course, we have had help along the way from some fantastic friends that we love working with, but the fact that we are so hands on and active in every aspect of the band from day one we think is what makes us so unique.

Do you have any particular lyrical themes?

Having fun, good times, doing what you want!

What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?

Too many gigs over the past 10 plus to keep track of. We like to think of our shows as a big party. We don’t just hide in our dressing room or backstage, we’re usually out there playing host and hanging out with people in the audience from the beginning until the end. We have fun onstage and we think that comes across clearly. After our shows we drink and dance with everyone. We’re pretty friendly and easily approachable so if you’re nice and wanna hang with us you’re gonna have fun! It’s not just a band playing a show it’s a great time with us and our friends, listening to music, dancing and being festive. That’s what we’re known for around the world.

What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?

Playing on a ship sailing around Sweden was cool. Was pretty wild seeing Iggy Pop perform up close from the side of the stage when we played a festival with him. He kept coming over and wiggling in front of us. Also dancing on stage with Dave Vanian and Captain sensible of the Damned was pretty cool.

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What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?

Ryan: 1968 Rodgers Dayton Blue Sparkle

Mary: ’62 Telecaster custom reissue

Judy: Rickenbacker 350 Jetglo, Rickenbacker 620 Fireglo

Claudia: Rickenbacker 4001 “White Chocolate”

What are your plans for the next 12 months?

We just had a release on the fabulous Dimple Discs label that is one 2 singles from the EP collaboration with Billy and Damian of the Undertones. So, look out for the follow up coming your way pretty soon, it’s just a catchy as the first and will knock your platform boots off! In the meantime, we’re writing some new songs of our own and hope to record and release an LP by the time this pandemic let’s up and it’s safe to tour again. We want to tour Australia for the first time, but we’ll also be going back to the U.K, Europe and Asia as soon as we can!

If you were second on a three-band bill, which band would you love to be supporting and which band would you choose to open for you? A chance to plug someone you’ve toured with, or a mate’s band we’ve not heard of before!

The Go-Gos, Baby Shakes, The Speedways

Check out this month’s BotD Playlist on Spotify and YouTube

Baby Shakes: official | facebook | twitter | instagram | tumblrbandcamp | spotify

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Stephen Bonallie
Stephen Bonallie
January 9, 2021 10:25 PM

I just love Baby Shakes, a pop punk band, a fun band but with a great sound, great vocal and great musicians.

Reply to  Stephen Bonallie
January 13, 2021 11:32 AM

I’m happy to have discovered them – huge perk of working on the site :)