TVD Premiere: Shapes
On Tape, “Get Ready”

Sometimes only a world-class studio will do. Serendipity deposited Shapes On Tape in the lower east side of New York City on a beautiful June afternoon in 2017 in just such a place. There they made “Get Ready,” the explosive new single from their album in progress, Legends in the Process. It’s equal parts loud rock and synthy feels, classic ’80s and ’90s vibes with hooks galore, tailor-made for a shower sing-a-long.

When they added drummer Justin Heaverin to the band for live shows, it became clear that robots would no longer suffice for recordings either. They needed a real studio for real drums to make real music. They had no such thing available and had one abysmal failure of an attempt to record in their rehearsal studio.

“Once Justin joined us, it was obvious that couldn’t rely on programming to get those skins properly banged,” said Jason S. Matuskiewicz, principal songwriter and lyricist for the group. “So we tried to record them ourselves in the Stanhope Cellar Studios, a 10 foot cube in Bushwick where we rehearse, and people hated it. People do not like lo-fi Shapes on Tape.” One blog even commented, “This isn’t the direction for the band, is it?”

The miracle of the free use studio came along and long-time friend Andrew Gerhan, offered to engineer. To top it off, the band brought in their regular producer and frequent collaborator, Justin Craig, a visionary Grammy nominated rock ‘n’ roll platonic ideal. There they hammered out a multitude of tracks to appear on the album to be—the first of which is “Get Ready.”

“I definitely didn’t anticipate this project coming together like this, but sometimes the stars align,” noted Adam Kruckenberg, the band’s sonic architect and primary singer. Shapes on Tape came together in 2014. “Jason’s girlfriend, who had been my friend for a long time, told me I had to play music with him because he was so depressed about his band breaking up, and all he did was mope around the house. So I did, out of obligation.” “You think Icarus was stoked about everything that happened as he fell to the sea?” Matuskiewicz responded.

Both are, in fact, veterans of rock bands beloved in their home towns. It was in Lexington, Kentucky that Matuskiewicz met producer Craig. Matuskiewicz hired Craig to produce an album, and Craig suggested Gerhan’s then studio as the place to record it. Heaverin came via the same network of Kentucky friends and acquaintances. “It was a natural and organic process the way we came together as a band, the way we developed our sound.”

Astoundingly, at first the band was going to be a folk duo. Once Matuskiewicz discovered Kruckenberg’s groove box virtuosity, that idea was set aside. While their dynamic has been described as effortless, it has been the result of much labor. “When you have talented musicians writing a hundred songs, you eventually get something that doesn’t suck.” The band performed as a duo for two years while they refined their sound. “At some point, songs were starting to be really good, but there was a little sizzle missing—some dimension of groove that wasn’t quite there,” added Kruckenberg. “Justin changed that immediately.”

Shapes on Tape Tour Dates:
9/8 – Columbus, OH at Double Happiness
9/9 – Lexington, KY at The Green Lantern
9/10 – Cincinnati, OH at MOTR Pub
9/12 – Chicago, IL at Emporium
9/13 – St. Louis, MO at Blank Space
9/14 – Kansas City, MO at Davey’s Uptown
9/15 – Lawrence, KS at The Jackpot
9/16 – Louisville, KY at TBD

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