“This song was written on the toilet,” David Kellers, bassist for local alt-country rock band Sil Shoda said into the mic during last Friday night’s show at Se7en on West Street.
“That is where most of my inspiration comes from,” singer Robert Clark confirmed from under his cowboy hat, before taking a giant gulp from the pitcher of beer he’s holding onstage.
It’s safe to say the four members of Sil Shoda aren’t afraid to put themselves out there—whether it’s a brutally honest confession behind a song’s inspiration—or an audition for a career opportunity. Friday night’s fundraiser show happened to showcase both. The event was put on last minute as a means for the band to raise money to play Eco Hideaway, an event coinciding with Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.
The weekend long, invite-only party features live bands and brand vendors in honor of the prestigious film festival. Guests include a littering of various industry professionals—giving the bands invited to play an opportunity to make some career enhancing connections.
“It’s exclusive stuff,” Clark says of Eco Hideaway. “It’s a big chance to showcase ourselves. We have to try to sell ourselves to these people—it’s a resume builder.”
Sil Shoda first heard about the event opportunity through Reverbnation, an online music industry site on which the band hosts a selection of songs and live video.
“It was kind of a contest,” Clark says. “They were looking to choose bands for this event. You could submit for free, and we got selected.”
Although excited for the news, the selection came about in short notice—leaving Sil Shoda in a tight spot to finance their trip.
“They told us about three weeks ago,” Clark recalls. “There had to be money donated to [play], and we also had to figure out a way to finance a hotel and travel.”
The answer came in the form of Friday’s fundraiser show. But that in itself proved to be a feat to accomplish. With such short notice, it was hard for the band to find an appropriate venue. It would have to be big enough to hold the sizable Sil Shoda fan base expected to turn out to support, and of course, it would have to have plenty of beer on hand.
“We were scrambling hard to try to find a venue to open the doors for us,” Clark admits. “We needed to raise a little money, and we had to rush—I just kind of winged it a little.”
The winging worked—the band raised a total of $600 through their fundraiser show, which was free with a $5 suggested donation. Not only did Sil Shoda fans prove their loyalty by turning out to fill the room—but they allowed the band to give back to the venue that agreed to play host for the last-minute show by giving it its share as well.
“The bar sold out of three of their beers, including Pabst and Bud Light,” Clark reminisced the following day. “It was a good night all around. I don’t know how we pulled it off, but in a few weeks time, we put a crowd in there.”
Now the band gets to take its newly raised funds and make their fans proud by spreading their rough and rowdy sound to Utah.
Fans will be getting their thank-you note soon enough—Sil Shoda plans to release its second full-length album later this year. But to hold things over until then, in the words of Clark on Friday night: “I think we need another pitcher.”