Sunday, November 30, 2014

Chad Shivers and the Silent Knights perform The Ventures and The Beach Boys Christmas albums 2014!

This year marks the fifth year my group Chad Shivers and the Silent Knights has performed the Ventures Christmas Album, and the second for the Beach Boys Christmas Album.  Historically the show has been held at the Earl in Atlanta but we are extremely excited to bring it to the Southern Surf Stomp at Kavarna this year.  This has become a special event for all of us and we look forward to it all year long.  Of course we will be joined by our Jingle Belle dancers as well.

The Silent Knights are:
Chad Shivers (MOONBASE, The Mystery Men?, Bicycle Eaters) - lead guitar, vocals
"Little Saint" Nick Bazemore - lead vocals, guitar
David Northrip (the Fugitives) - vocals, guitar
Eric "The Talent" Balint (MOONBASE, Bicycle Eaters) - bells, percussion, keys
Matt Steadman - bass guitar
Sonny Harding (MOONBASE) - drums

The Jingle Belle dancers are Jessica Shivers (aka "Cherry") and Morgan "Mo" Bazemore.

Check out last year's performance:

*12/5 - Charleston, SC at the Tin Roof w/ Silver Bells. 9pm, $5, 21+.
*12/6 - Savannah, GA at the Wormhole. 10pm, more info at
12/13 - Decatur, GA at Kavarna w/ Caroline and the Ramblers, Fringe Factory DJ's. 8pm, $7, all ages.
12/18 - Marietta, GA at the Strand w/ Jeffrey Bützer/T.T. Mahony's Charlie Brown Christmas tribute, Jeffrey Bützer and the Bicycle Eaters. 8pm, $15, all ages.
12/19 - Anniston, AL at the Crimson Tiger w/ Kill, Baby...Kill! and many more.  8pm, $5, 21+.
12/20 - Birmingham, AL at the Syndicate Lounge w/ The Original Shake Charmers. 9pm, $10, all ages.

* with Sean Zearfoss (Small Reactions) on drums

Tuesday, October 7, 2014's "Creation Myths" review

"Review by: Justin Hayes

Remember that old Donny and Marie song from the 1970s - A Little Bit Country, A Little Bit Rock 'n' Roll? Well, I have to give just deserts to the Osmond siblings for providing me with a good way to describe a great band. MOONBASE is a little bit surf and a little bit progressive rock. Better yet, this description is from their Facebook page:

"MOONBASE is an instrumental rock band heavily influenced by the surf bands of the 60's, with progressive leanings."

Speaking of the 1960s and 1970s, MOONBASE would have set the world on fire back in those days, so it's no surprise they're well on their way to doing it now. Their debut album, Creation Myths, pays tribute to the early days of instro rock, then ups the ante by challenging the boundaries of our musical universe and our imaginations. Creation Myths delves into the realm of space. I'm talking deep space. Interstellar, intergalactic, cosmical, mind-blowing space. The kind that warps the space-time continuum of general relativity. Talk about myths of creation! This fearsome foursome are fundamentally fierce instrumentalists. Hey, maybe they're not myths of creation after all ... rather, MASTERS of creation. They're creating a unique and, at the same time, uniquely satisfying merging of sounds.

I love music that tweaks my imagination and gives birth to fantasies. I crave tunes that use my brain like it's a billiard ball, kicking it into the side pocket after two or three banks off the cushion. Creation Myths not only tweaked my imagination, the eleven instro tracks blew it in and out of the side pocket, off the table and launched it skyward.

You might be wondering if MOONBASE's latest offering had a pronounced impact on my psyche? Well, as a matter of fact, after listening to Creation Myths, my new goal in life is to travel to Charon, Styx, Nix, Kerberos, and Hydra. I can't think of more suitable locations to view the cosmos than Pluto's five moons. From there I will contemplate the mysteries of life and the myths and masters of creation.

As those commercials are prone to say, "Ah, but wait, there's more!" Twists, turns, stellar musicianship and interstellar tunes highlight Creation Myths. If you listen carefully enough, you'll hear an unusual sound. That sound will be the expansion of your mind.

Creation Myths features eleven tracks of instro excellence. I've picked a few tracks on which to elaborate. These tracks were scientifically chosen ... I rolled the dice. As is our custom, we don't review albums with B-Side type tracks. Every cut on Creation Myths is top quality, as in numero uno! 

Segue - Tremolo aficionados are going to go nuts over Segue. Beautiful, ethereal and teeming with tremulous ecstasy, Segue is absolutely otherworldly. Imagine Segue's tremolo emanating from a loudspeaker on Pluto's surface, pulsating like smoke rings from the luscious lips of a lady smoker. Think of the wonders that would await us if we could hop aboard those rings and ride them all of the way to the sun. On average, Pluto is approximately 3.67 billion miles from the sun, so that would give us plenty of time and space to meet Buck Rogers, Flash Gordon and Marvin the Martian. What an incredible journey that would be! I'm sure Buck, Flash and Marvin would want to join us on our journey if we cranked up Segue. Who can resist that tremolo?

Above Us Only Sky - I love these guys. Once again they treat us to some tremulous ecstasy. They know what the tremolo knob is and they know how to use it. Add a touch of distortion here and a dab of double picking there and you have one helluva terrific tune. Unique and refreshing, Above Us Only Sky is an expression of existence - you and me, our planet, the cosmos, what we know and all that we have to learn. Look, up in the sky .... it's surf ... it's space ... it's MOONBASE creating music from beyond the great void. Universe Music. Their own unique genre. I really want to say the following because they deserve the accolade: George, Eric, Sonny and Chad aren't cut from a mold. They think outside of the box. Kudos, guys!

(Walking) - MOONBASE may have encased this song title in parentheses, but (Walking) freed me from the surly, earthbound shackles that encased my mind and imagination. (Walking) enchants and beckons in a way that makes me wish I could survive the icy depths of space without a spacesuit or any other means of life support. I want to step through the cosmos and marvel at the vastness, aloneness and loneliness of infinity. Intergalactic imaginings abound as countless solar conflagrations remind me that man, woman, birth, death and infinity are the true constants of the universe.  

What a treat this was!  43 minutes of mind-altering escapism.  I'm a staunch subscriber to the belief that music should be experienced.  And, brother, this is one heck of an experience!  Creation Myths tweaked my mind and launched me into the cosmos."


"Creation Myths" review by Noel at Surf Guitar 101

Thanks to my good friend Noel over at Surf Guitar 101 for the wonderful in depth review.

"As I started listening to the first track on “Creation Myths”, the debut CD by MOONBASE, I immediately reached out to Chad Shivers with some questions about what I was hearing. I’d previously heard MOONBASE play live at the 2014 Instro Summit in Durham, NC, in May of 2014, where they stunned the audience with their tight, driven performance of this extraordinary music. The conversation is included after the review.

What follows are my own thoughts, impressions and reactions to the songs on the album.

Creation Myths:
Well, I have a degree in Anthropology, so creation stories from around the world are a fondly remembered part of my literary and academic past. A culture’s creation stories reveal much about what is valued and feared by a people. They are a like a window into a different culture. The theme of creation myths, and my appreciation of them, informs my interpretation of this music. And because of that, I bring memories of many culture’s creation stories to my listening experience. So I was immediately drawn to the concept for this album, the same as I was drawn to The Madeira’s transcendent and mysterious “Tribal Fires”. Though these two albums sound and feel quite different, they share something else I’ll discuss later.

Smoke is one of the results of fire, which is usually considered a destructive force. But fire is also part of the process of creation. Smoke conceals what is inside and behind it, but smoke also announces the fire that creates it. Belief in the mystical and even spiritual properties of smoke are as old as humanity, and smoke is even today used in many spiritual rituals the world over. Creativity is a fire than burns within the artist, never quenched while the artist lives within the person. Fitting, then, that “Smoke” is the first song.

From the first, “Smoke” signals something extraordinary is happening. The song smokes, and so does the album it announces. “Smoke” reveals an album full of creative, thoughtful and emotion-provoking music.

A segue is a transition from one thing to another, from origin in fire to the creation that results. Almost a lullaby, “Segue” is the most romantic song on the album. The vocal “Oo-oo” is well sung by Chad Shivers. The mood is completely different from “Smoke”, and is sentimental and peaceful, though there’s tension present hinting at something unknown that will come. “Segue” is also the most traditionally impressionist. Cleverly arranged, unless looking at the track indicator, it’s nearly impossible to detect the beginning of the next song, the segue is so subtle. Nicely done!

Cherry Blossom
… begins where “Segue” leaves off. Ultimately it’s not a tranquil song, in spite of sharing its’ name with those lovely and delicate blooms. The song begins where “Segue” leaves off, calm and serene, but like a harbinger of something… else… to come. I listen and see a lovely spring day, warm – not hot, a clear sky, a gentle breeze rustling the trees. You know the kind of day, but also that something is in the air. Then the breeze stops and dark clouds appear in the sky. A storm is coming, and it does, as soon as “Cherry Blossom” ends.

This song blows the blossoms off the cherry trees. The storm comes up suddenly, and builds in intensity. Hard wind-driven rain blows through the music. There is thunder and lightning, but no shelter, not that you want any. The scene is too spectacular. So you stand in the storm, leaning in, facing the brunt of it. It builds and builds, drenching the listener with its intensity. Then, suddenly, it passes and there is the very familiar calm, quiet after-storm serenity. “Stormfield” drifts off with a lovely piece of music that in sound and feel recalls “Segue”. So you know change is coming, again. This is a wonderful song!

The only cover on this record, the original is by The John Barry Seven and written by the famous Vic Flick. MOONBASE have completely reimagined the song and made it a sweeping saga. Mr. Flick gave them a terrific canvas to start with, and the song is now far grander than the original. It feels operatic, at times Middle-Eastern, at times South-Western, and at other times classic American blues-rock. This Zapata is far from the legendary Mexican revolutionary. “Zapata” is a feast for the ears. Lean back, close your eyes, and go with it.

Above Us Only Sky
… is a musical mystical journey through place, time and space. Makes me think of planet surfing, riding waves of gravity instead of water. Imagine a fast one-person space craft able to ride the gravitational waves of the solar system between planets in the time it takes to play the song. Leave Earth as the song begins and swoop by the moon for a push toward the inner planets and the Sun, which will give your board all the energy it needs to reach Mars and the outer planets. Catch the second biggest wave in the whole ride and surf Jupiter as long as you can until it pushes you on to Saturn where you dip you hand in its rings. What a rush!
The Serpent
Snakes are entirely absent from few places on earth, but everywhere else serpents play an important role in the origin or other spiritual stories of most cultures. Serpents most often represent evil or death, or bring them, or temp people to commit them. And in those cultures, priests often prove their power over life and death by demonstrating their mastery over serpents. This serpent is a killer of a song.

New Wounds
Better run. Something is chasing, coming fast from behind and hiding may not be an option. The pursuit is relentless, the pursuer tireless. And it’s getting closer. Can’t see it. Can only hear and feel it. Gotta keep going, gotta stay ahead, can’t stop, can’t rest. It isn’t stopping. It isn’t resting. It just keeps coming. Don’t turn around to look; might trip on something and then it’ll catch you. Too late. This is fun!

Restful compared to most of the previous songs, “Bluejay” nonetheless isn’t really slow or boring. It is every bit as musically complex and evocative as anything on the album. “Bluejay” is in many ways a tone-poem, and within are pauses of deeper tranquility, as if something very active is taking a siesta.

Brief, like “Segue” “(Walking)” also implies something is about to change. Starting slowly, it builds tension just before fading out, as if the sojourner suddenly looks up to discover a destination of unknown nature has been reached that maybe had been best avoided. The destination?

Caves of Steel
… are enclosed metal boxes, or cages. Or spaceships, or artificial worlds. But the implication is they are without sunlight, not being open to a sunlit sky. Worlds without sunlight would have to be desperate inescapable places, unless it was all that was ever known, or because something better was promised. In my imaginary journey, I see a spaceship traveling to a new world full of life and promise, to come out of the darkness into the light of day. That’s how I see the ending of the song. Coming out of the darkness of the steel cage into the light of a new day on a new world. It’s my imagination, after all.

I’ve long loved romantic and impressionist symphonic music, music written to create emotional impressions, spontaneous responses which lead the listener to experiences, imagery and thoughts unconstrained by words and visual cues, guided only by a few titles and each listener’s own life. Close your eyes and let your imagination lead you wherever the music may. Imagine then Coleridge’s “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” as a work of music instead of a poem. No words to tell the allegory, only music to invoke, or provoke, the imagination of the reader to see and feel the tale. “Creation Myths” has this ability to let each listener create an imaginary story for each song, based only on the sound and feel of the music, guided only by the title, full of whatever thoughts and imagery the music creates. “Creation Myths” is a contemporary classical work of impressionist art in the form of instrumental rock music.

I’ve wondered if anyone would approach surf music the way George Gershwin approached jazz. Gershwin believed he could write a jazz symphony based on his experiences in Paris, and so he wrote “An American in Paris” which debuted in New York City’s Carnegie Hall in 1928. Very romantic, I immediately thought “Tribal Fires” by The Madeira would make a great ballet score along the lines of Stravinsky’s “Firebird”, and I have the same feeling about “Creation Myths” and for the same reasons. The music stands on its’ own as brilliant, thoughtful and provocative, and the individual songs convey impressions that beg be choreographed.

The music on “Creation Myths” sounds like an amalgam of many musical influences. I hear elements of surf, classic rock, southern rock, prog rock, metal, blues, world music and jazz. These are complex songs that transcend those genres by incorporating elements of all of them. And the result is definitely greater than the sum of the parts.

MOONBASE have found space in the surf music lexicon to create something unique. That is worthy of notice, and so is the music. Creation Myths” by MOONBASE is a musical journey through time and ideas that will be stimulating emotions, images and thoughts in listeners for a long time. Who knows what that will create?

One last comment. These are my impressions, my visions if you will, created by my imagination stimulated by the music on this album. May you listen with an open mind and let this amazing music create your own stories.

MOONBASE are George Asimakos – Guitar, Eric Balint – Bass, Sonny Hardng – Drums, and Chad Shivers – Guitar.

Engineered and mixed by Jesse Wallace, Jr.
Mastered by Jerod McBrayer at McBrayer Mastering
Art by Rich M. Stevens
Layout by Jamie Galatas

Creation Myths is available from Bandcamp at

and from ReverbNation at

MOONBASE are on Facebook at
Chad Shivers is also on Surf Guitar 101 as ChadShivers

A Brief Conversation with Chad Shivers about “Creation Myths”

The album title is "Creation Myths". Is this just a title, does it refer to being Moonbase's first record, or do the song titles reference various creation myths?

"Creation Myths" is in fact a partial reference to this being our first record. I also tend to do a lot of research for song/album titles and creation myths were a subject in which I was deeply interested. The only song title which ties in with the name is "The Serpent" which is a reference to Genesis in the Old Testament. Many of the other titles are literary ("Stormfield" comes from Twain, "Caves of Steel" from Asimov), naturalism ("Smoke", "Above Us Only Sky" which is a line from Lennon's "Imagine"), and the two fingerpicking songs were written for my family, "Cherry Blossom" for my wife as her Roller Derby name was Cherry Blox'em and Bluejay for my son J.

Any other tidbits to help me write a thorough review, such as gear, recording approach, etc? Stuff like was it tracked or live? Overdubbed, etc.

Here's a list of the gear we used:
George Asimakos: 1978 Aria Pro II 335 copy, 1981 Greco Super Real with Gibson t-top and Stephens Design vintage lab II pickups, 1970 Guild archtop, Hohner Marine Band deluxe harp, Stiff Amplification Repeat Offender, Dunlop Aquapuss, 1967 Fender Super Reverb.
Chad Shivers: Squier CV 50's strat, Xotic EP boost, Stiff Amplification Repeat Offender, 1977/78 Deluxe Reverb w/ WGS g12cs speaker, 1976 Princeton Reverb w/ WGS g10cs speaker, Tacoma Chief acoustic.
Eric Balint: Fender Marcus Miller Jazz bass, 1970/71 Fender Bassman, Beaver Bottoms 1966 tone ring cab w/ Jensen Neo 15-150.
Sonny Harding: Pacific drums, Tama snare, cymbals from Paiste, Zildjan, and Sabian.

I generally approach recording projects with a more is more approach with a bunch of extras but for this record my aim was to keep it simple. For drums we used a kick (AKG d112), snare (Sennheiser 421), 1 overhead (AKG 414), and a room mic. Guitars we mainly used the 421 as a close mic plus a room, and bass we used a close mic and direct. We did add a few extra things on the record: I sang on "Segue", played acoustic on "Cherry Blossom" and "Bluejay", and played organ on "Stormfield". George played harmonica and slide guitar on "Above Us Only Sky" and "Caves of Steel". Eric played bells on "Above Us Only Sky" and percussion on "The Serpent".

We did a lot of pre-production for the album. I took live/practice recordings and got an average tempo. From there I created a click track and the strings recorded scratch tracks. Sonny practiced with those for several weeks and then we each tracked our parts separate with drums first as the foundation. Jay Wallace from The Mystery Men? engineered and mixed the record and I wanted it to sound natural and open.

Are you lead guitar on all songs?

George handled most leads although I did a few. George is left speaker and I am right.
Thanks Noel, let me know if you need any more info.

Thank you, Chad Shivers, for sharing the creative process behind MOONBASE’s extraordinary debut album."

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Brand new podcast, Southern Surf Stompcast

Southern Surf Stompcast features the best surf, instro, and beyond the South has to offer.  Our debut episode features an interview from North Carolina's Arrows out as well as music from groups that have performed previously at the Southern Surf Stomp, a monthly show held here in Atlanta.  It can be found streaming below or you can subscribe on iTunes.

The Monterreys "Machete!"
The Surge! "Paddle or Die",
The Mutations "Surfer's Dream",
Daikaiju "Flight of Garuda",
Kill, Baby...Kill! "Trioxin Twist",
The Mystery Men? "The Devil You Know",
Arrows Out "Yes, Maybe",
Arrows Out "Tessellate",
El Fossil "Hair Pin",
Gemini 13 "Chopped and Channeled",
The High Fidelics "Lil' Curfew Breaker",
The Zaratans "Wavos Maximos".

Intro and outro music, "Southern Surf Syndicate Theme", provided by The Penetrators.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

MOONBASE "Creation Myths"

I'm very pleased to announce the release of MOONBASE's debut album, "Creation Myths".  This has been in the works for quite some time and is now available via bandcamp.  It should be available through other outlets as well (CD Baby, iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, etc.) in the near future.

To celebrate, we will have our CD release show September 20th at Kavarna as part of the monthly Southern Surf Stomp show series with our friends Arrows Out from North Carolina as well as the mighty 4th Ward Afro-Klezmer Orchestra

Monday, July 21, 2014

The Madeira @ Vista King Concert Cruise (Milwaukee, WI) 8/2.

Almost immediately upon arriving home from Instro Summit, I received an email from Ivan Pongracic of The Madeira informing me that their rhythm guitar player Patrick O'Connor would be unable to perform one of their shows and asked if I could potentially fill in.  Of course I agreed.  This is a great honor as the band are among the top surf combos in the world and Ivan is one of favorite guitarists of all time, going back to his previous group the Space Cossacks.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

With a heavy heart

My father, Charles "Charlie" Evan Shivers, passed away peacefully this morning at 9:20 am. He was an incredible man and father and I owe a great deal to him for his support and gift of music. Here's video of him (far left, sorry for poor quality) singing "The Old Rugged Cross" with his brothers.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Instro Summit 2014!

Instro Summit is THE largest surf/instrumental music festival in the world.  This year will be my third consecutive year performing with The Mystery Men? and first with MOONBASE.  The event has become somewhat of a family reunion of sorts and many of the groups performing I am honored to call friends.  Crispy Bess, promoter, has really outdone himself this year bringing in 28 astounding acts from across the US.  Held at Motorco Music Hall in Durham, NC May 16-18, check out this forum on Surf Guitar 101 for more details.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

MOONBASE @ The Drunken Unicorn 11/3/12

This video was recently found from a surf vs. metal show at the Drunken Unicorn November 3, 2012 with The Mystery Men?, Death of Kings, and Zruda.  Tracks: Above Us Only Sky, Smoke, Caves of Steel, and Aces High (Iron Maiden cover).

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

New blog!

I have recently decided to put on a monthly surf show here in Atlanta called the Southern Surf Stomp! where we feature the best regional and local groups (as well as non-surf groups).  Upcoming shows can be found in the shows section of this site as well as my new blog, Southern Surf Stomp!.  The blog is meant to promote the shows, bands, and friends of the stomp and will contain pictures, videos, flyers, reviews, etc.  In the near future, I'd like to host a podcast as well with songs and interviews of bands that will be playing upcoming events.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014


1970/71 Bassman
Beaver Bottoms 1966 tone ring cab w/ Jensen Neo 15-150
1976 Princeton Reverb w/ WGS g10c/s
1977/78 Deluxe Reverb w/ WGS g12c/s
Squier VM Mustang Bass w/ flats
Squier VM Bass VI
Eastwood Sidejack baritone w/ GFS tremolo
Squier VM Jazzmaster w/ modified mustang bridge and .12 flats
Squier CV 50's Stratocaster w/ .12 rounds
Boss TU-2
Stiff Amplification Repeat Offender
Xotic EP Booster
Joyo JF-09 tremolo
Joho JP-02 power supply
Pedalboard made from thrift store brief case

Not pictured:
1992 Stratocaster (made in Mexico) in candy apple red w/ pearloid pickguard and Fat 50's pickups, .12 rounds
Zbigniew Gnatek lattice concert classical guitar (cedar top)
Tacoma C1C Chief acoustic guitar 
Artisan lap steel in metallic red w/ GFS Pro-Tube Lipstick pickup and .12 flats
Alesis QS6.1
Ampeg B-100R "Rocket Bass" combo amp w/ Peavey Black Widow
CMAT mods Signa Drive
Electro-Harmonix Micro POG
Boss DD-7 digital delay
DIY clean boost