One of Aliegh Shields’s older silbings was part of an emo/indie rock band from Nashville, Tennesse titled The Class of 98. The band, led by guitarist and vocalist Steve Wilson, saw some of success with some of their songs being played on some of the television programming on the E! and the WB networks. The band was short lived, only being together between years 2004-2007, and 2010- 2014. During a tour across the Midwest, however, Wilson and the band stayed over at the Shields residence instead of getting a hotel room.
During the duration of the band crashing at the house where the older Shields lived in Springfield, Illinois, Wilson overheard Aliegh singing one night, and fell in love with her voice. Being the youngest of four-Aliegh always had her dreams and aspirations set to eventually become a singer.
“I was making everything a microphone,” Shields explained during a recent phone conversation. “A lot of times I was in my room singing to the wall (laughter). I was constantly my way of playing-singing and playing like I was in concert. I think I sang to our fish, which made a pretty fun. They were a good audience.”
After moving to Nashville right after high school, Shields was a guitar playing songstress with a solo development deal and started working with one of the producers in town. When they parted ways, Shields turned to Wilson to help and finish up the solo tracks. She knew that Wilson was living in Nashville, and was producing music projects with group such as The Juliana Theory and Jonezetta, while writing, producing and playing in The Class of ‘98 and Hether, who got a development deal on their own with Interscope Records. Wilson also was Grammy nominated with his work with the band Leeland.
Already knowing each other, the two felt comfortable with working together. They soon would uncover a mutual desire over their love for minimalist rock duos like Sleigh Bells, Crystal Castles and The Kills. In 2011-the duo of began the group Ugly Kids Club.
“We worked so well together, and I wanted someone that was into a little more team effort,” Shields mentions.
In January 2012, Ugly Kids Club released their first self-titled EP. They were able to grab ahold of their own sound with a mixture of grungy rock embedded with electronic beats that is not only dark but also catchy with pop undertones. After releasing the self-titled EP and going on the road for a little bit, they decided to take a break. The goal was to become more cohesive in their writing.
Their recent EP release, Head Games, is a more polished album that contains whimsical soundscapes to lush 80s synths. The duo crafts electro-pop driven tunes, while still maintain that pop-grunge vibe that was so visible in their first EP. The EP involves all the stages of a relationship that eventually doesn’t really work out.
With the duo continuing to work on building their sound, both Shields and Wilson both strive to push each other creatively.
“We’ve written a bunch of other songs, so we working towards another EP early in the next year,” Wilson stated. For now, though, the duo plan on hitting the road-which includes making a stop in Dayton tonight at Blind Bob’s.
It was a little over seven years till both Shields and Wilson’s lives would interconnect again, and form Ugly Kids Club
And this time-the duo are planning to make it more long-lasting.
Visit Ugly Kids Club here: http://www.uglykidsclub.com, or check them out at Blind Bob’s tonight with Dear Fawn, Skurt, and A Shade of Red.