“It’s going to waste. It’s not being used for what it can do. It’s a working van. It’s a two ton van. This is the biggest, heaviest chassis that Ford made at this time,” he said in a video, adding that the vehicle initially came to him covered in shit from its previous home at a cattle farm. “I am just not using it for what it’s capable of. It oughta be passed down to a band that uses it to get out there and play shows, and spread their music.”
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So Mercer — who is bringing his band to Jannus Live on May 13 — is giving it away as part of #TheShinsVan contest where the band asked entrants to record a video of themselves covering something from the Shins’ new LP (Heartworms, released a month ago).
The contest ended on Tuesday, and Mercer is going to pick his favorite soon, but Tampa indie rock outfit DieAlps! hope they take home the prize. The five piece fronted by wife and husband Connie and Frank Calcaterra had to scramble for the deadline, but their take on Heartworms highlight “Mildenhall” is pretty great.
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“We heard about the contest late and had to literally throw the entire song and video together in a week,” Connie told CL in a message. They recorded the song over two days and then took one day to film the video in one day with friends Preston Marshall and Jeremy Westrate.
Local music fans will remember that DieAlps!’s last van broke down on a February tour, which forced them to cancel Savannah dates and leave the van in Georgia until they could figure out how to buy a new engine. The fiasco forced the band to deplete band funds earmarked for a new LP and more touring, but Connie is focusing on the good as they ask Mercer to give them the old Shins vehicle.
“Of course it'd be super nice to win and be able to get back on our feet as quickly as possible, but whoever wins the contest rightfully deserves it. There are many other super talented contestants,” she said adding that this video (streaming below) is the first thing that features DieAlps!’s new lineup featuring drummer Jonathan Robbins and keyboard player Sarah Modene. “It’s just a good thing for us to finally be able to release something we've worked on together.”
See DieAlps! entry below, and catch the rest here. Get more information on The Shins’ St. Pete show here.