Brooklyn Rockers Find Fame in a Video Game

Words by Dennis Ruhlin

Every musician dreams of their big break. Some rock on for years and never make it. Some find it in unlikely places, like in a record-breaking video game which sold over 29 million copies and over a billion dollars in sales. The Brooklyn based quasi-punk rock band Shark? had just such luck.

I got a chance to speak with Kevin Diamond, lead singer of Shark? in between sessions at the studio. Last October, Shark? released their partly crowd-funded full length album, Savior. They were working shitty jobs to pay the bills, and playing catchy punk jams where and whenever they could just to get their name out. A few weeks after Savior was released, Grand Theft Auto V came out, and changed the band forever.

“We’re just four guys who live in Brooklyn, who make music and mostly play in Brooklyn. We definitely are the smallest band in the game, and I think we’re probably the band who was affected the greatest by being in the game” Diamond. “For us, the impact was really huge, and it can’t be overstated.”

Their song ‘California Grrls’, a summer anthem about shallow, petty, and awful California girls, was featured on an in-game radio station, and quickly became the band’s most popular tune. And since the release of the game, Shark?’s fan base has been growing exponentially.

“It was all pretty explosive, we went from our music videos having like 5,000 views to 70,000 views in a matter of weeks”, Diamond marvels. “That was pretty incredible to see. A lot of people who didn’t know us before suddenly reaching out to us and saying they enjoyed our song, which is really cool.”

The music video for the song ‘California Grrls’ is excellent, as in, ‘Tim and Eric trying to pretend to make a political statement without having a message’ excellent. It’s light-hearted, it’s awkward, and most importantly, it’s fun.

“The last thing we want to do is make a serious, self-serving music video. It’s not our vibe” Diamond shares. “We don’t take ourselves very seriously, because at the end of the day we’re playing rock and roll music, and that’s good enough.”

Expect to catch that vibe if you’re lucky enough to see them on tour at some point this year. It’s refreshing to hear a band talk about not taking themselves seriously, because honestly, we’re all out to have a good time, whether we’re listening at home, or at a show. “The energy should be kinda a beer-fueled, let-loose atmosphere. The whole reason we play music is we want to have fun.”

What does this all mean? Throw on Spotify, or YouTube, or whatever, and check out Shark?. They’re gonna get bigger and bigger every day. Their old tunes are excellent, and the new stuff should be even better. Expect Shark? to fine-tune their image, their sound, and their performance in a year that’s shaping up to be the best Shark? has ever had.

“We’re trying to focus on playing less with better quality shows. Ya know, longer tours, and really taking it to the next level. We’re thinking about an EP or two, or even another full length album,” Diamond concludes. | Brooklyn