"The Sheila Divine-local emo legends
who transcend the trend"
-Rolling Stone, Issue 916, February 20th 20031
The Sheila Divine are a great melodic rock/emo band. (Some may even say alternative but labels can always be disputed) They Hail from Boston, Massachussetts and formed originally as a three-piece band. Aaron Perrino was on vocals and guitar, Jim Gilbert played Bass and did some backup vocals, and Shawn Sears played the drums, as well as some backup vocals.
They were quickly signed to Roadrunner Records where they released a self-titled EP and the album that could have propelled them to stardom: New Parade. The Band’s first single, “Hum,” was the kind of song that would have gotten stuck In everyone’s head and infected the airwaves….
But Fate is cruel, and as the story went- The Band got major radio airplay in only two cities: Boston, Massachusetts, and Buffalo, New York. In these two cities the Sheila Divine became big; in the rest of the country they went unnoticed…
New Parade featured a few more radio-friendly singles. “Like a Criminal” and “Opportune Moment,” are great songs, and both are recommended listens if you like melodic rock.
After New Parade, The Sheila Divine left Roadrunner records and released their next LP independently. Where Have My Countrymen Gone featured a new guitarist Colin Decker, as well as a more mature sound. There were the great radio singles “Sideways” and “Every Year,” but the title track “Where have my Countrymen Gone” and “Walking Dead (who speak)” showed evidence of a maturing rock band exploring new avenues. In addition to new musical avenues, the band explored different parts of the world. On a tour to The Netherlands and Belgium the Sheila Divine built a huge fan base overseas. They sold nearly 10,000 copies of their album in Europe- an amazing feat for an independent band.
After Where Have my Countrymen Gone, original drummer Shawn Sears left the band. They found a replacement in Ryan Dolan, and worked with him through the release of their next EP: Secret Society. Secret Society marked the Band’s return to a record label; they worked with Arena Rock Records to release it nationally; however it was not meant to be: Secret Society was sadly to be the band’s curtain call.
The EP was well received by the public and critics and a live concert DVD was set to be released; however, the band disbanded in May of 2003.
The Sheila Divine had quite an impressive run. They toured with many big name acts including Our Lady Peace, The Manic Street Preachers, Longwave, and Morrissey, in addition to the numerous headlining tours in Belgium and the United States.
- The Sheila Divine (EP)
- New Parade
- Where Have My Countrymen Gone
- Secret Society
Recommended Tracks for a listen…
1 For reference, the quote from Rolling Stone was pulled from the front page of The Sheila Divine website at www.thesheiladivine.com