Discoursing on rock is pretty gay, huh? Where is Lester Bangs when you need him? Oh right, he’s dead.
Shiva the Destroyer became the live version of The Can't, an improvisational 4-track project of Tony Primavera. The original idea for the group was to be an ever-changing line-up of capable local musicians, each playing a temporary role. That never worked out, considering the superstar egos of many of the Texas “musicians”. Though, there have been around fifteen members of the group besides the three principles.
The music, a sort of experimental pop, is inspired by Pussy Galore, The Jesus and Mary Chain, The Velvet Underground and The Violent Femmes…although none of Shiva's music sounds like those bands.
Primavera always refuses to play with bands that he doesn't like, even if they are popular and the money is good. Some bands Shiva have played with are Sebadoh, Tsunami, Trumans Water, Tiger Trap, Wayward Girl, The Fireworks, Blacktop, Record Player, Pitchblende, God Is My Co-Pilot, Mudhoney, et al.
The original line-up consisted of Jacky Shepherd (former guitar player and co-founder of The Codependents along with Tony Primavera who Jacky had played with in various bands since high school in Granbury, Texas. Jacky was the best guitar player around, so Primavera tasked him with the drum duties, which would lead to many a fight between the two. Lyle Darrin was an old skinhead friend of Primavera, so Primavera got him to play guitar. Lyle Darrin is now known as Stanton Meadowdale and is quite a famous and brilliant singer-songwriter in his own right. The idea of using musicians uncomfortable outside their elements gave Primavera free reign to dictate the direction of the group.
Later, the original three fell apart. Lyle got a cute young girlfriend who dictated his every move and so was fired on-stage in Austin, Texas; Jacky got a heroin habit (died in 2007, RIP). Primavera took on Bryan Schmitz to play drums, sing back-up vocals, and play the occasional Fender Rhodes organ. Schmitz' musicianship, wit, and humor were so incredible that no words needed be spoken between the two. A symbiotic and instinctual force took control (Radar Love?), so that every recording and every show was perfection. The duo toured the east coast in 1996, after recording some of the band's best songs in Denton, Texas.
Tony Primavera wrote the songs and played bass-chords for a while, before turning, prematurely, to guitar (in a spur of the moment experiment opening for Tsunami (some of the nicest people ever) and Versus (self-important dickheads).
The lastest Shiva show took place at L'argot in Denton, Texas, after Primavera had relocated to Boston, MA. They conceded to open for the popular metal-funk band Brutal Juice, a band with which they had always refused to play, even though they were friends and, bass player Sam McCall was twice their engineer. "I hated them. I hated their sound and I hated their popularity amongst the frat Neanderthals in that area. I considered them to be playing ignorant and vulgar "beer music," which Jacky liked much. " The money and the large audience was likely the deciding factor in accepting the gig. Now a duo, Bryan Schmitz and Tony Primavera proceeded to inject copious amounts of cocaine and then guzzle Jack Daniels in an attempt to lessen the effects of the coke. This lead to what fans called Shiva's best show ever, consisting of lyrics of mumbled insults to the crowd and about only doing the show for the money, and Primavera vomiting on the crowd several times. Although this was little new for the group. Shiva the Destroyer always took a provocative stance, taunting audience members, and insulting "important" people and other bands, as well as lying to the media and creating fake interviews with the motto "Subvert, Destroy!"
Shiva the Destroyer, despite their many relocations, some living in foreign countries, and line-up changes, continues to record their own brand of experimental pop music (often referred to as "spooky pop music"), releasing material mostly on compilations, as well as playing the occasional show. A self-titled "greatest hits" CD (despite the bands distaste for the CD medium) was released in 2001. Several tracks on compilations, including the song "Roxbury Station," appeared on "A Taste of Lapin," released by Thomas Nola's (of Thomas Nöla et son Orchestre) Disques de Lapin in 2008, as well as the song, "Sunday with Jacky," in Denton) on the "Rabbits in Your Stocking," comp. released in 2009. Other releases are forthcoming.
released June 29, 2018
released January 1, 2001/this digital release June 2018
lyle darrin: lead and rhythm guitar/backing vocals
bryan schmitz: drums/backing vocals/fender rhodes organ/most of the recording duties
tony primavera: vocals/rhythm and lead guitar/organ/backing vocals/ dictaphone/bass on 16
joy armstrong: backing vocals on 20 and 23
self-titled cassette: (1992) (codependent heart records)
the heart is a lonely hunter: 7” e.p. (1993) 500ed. (codependent heart records)
alternative nation: (1994) (concrete prophets zine compilation cassette)
lay low sweet chariot: (1995) (ernst recordings 'of this men shall know nothing: a compilation of texas experimental music')
day to day crap, waiting: one-sided 7” (1995) 200ed. (codependent heart records)
split w/fireworks: 10” 4-song single (1996) 500ed. (atomic sound)
shiva the destroyer: s/t CD (2001) 50ed. (codependent heart records)
night of the comet: (2003) (kitty kitty bang bang)
roxbury station: (2008) on taste of lapin CD compilation (disques de lapin)
sunday with jacky (in denton): (2009) on rabbits in your stocking CD compilation (disques de lapin)