The Sheila Divine came on to the New England post grunge, alternative rock circuit in 1997 dripping wet with all of the passion and angst of a high school boy rejected at the senior prom. The kind of angst we have all felt inside on those hot summer nights when sleep just won’t come and dreams of the perfect woman pervade: The Sheila Divine.
If one were to look up the words “whisper to a scream” in the Rock and Roll Handbook, they would undoubtedly see Arron Perrino’s picture. Perrino manages to stay in key, while screaming with the reckless abandon of a man, nails clawing and scratching at the last remnants of sanity.
Perrino (singer lead guitarist) joined with Shawn Sears (drummer) and Jim Gilbert (bassist) in Boston to form The Sheila Divine. Hailing from upstate New York, Perrino, Sears and Gilbert had been acquainted to one another as they were all attending classes at the University of New York, Oneonta. Sears met Perrino in a music theory class and managed his first band, The Waverlys.
Incidentally, they were all drawn to the magnetic atmosphere of Boston’s thriving music scene separately, where they were reacquainted to form, The Sheila Divine.
Once in Boston, the band was scooped up by Cherry Disc Records. By 1999 they had solidified a loyal fan base which made attending a Sheila Divine concert more like a group sing along. After winning WBCN Rock Radio’s Annual “Rock and Roll Rumble,” their songs were in regular rotation over the Boston air waves.
Their first album, 1999’s New Parade (Road Runner Records) featured several popular songs: “Automatic Buffalo,” “Like A Criminal,” “Opportune Moment,” and “Hum.” Although that first album had not been released until 1999, they had released several singles and an EP in both 1998 and 1999: The Sheila Divine EP (1998, Cherry Disc Records), “Like A Criminal,” (1998, Cherry Disc Records) and “Hum,” (1999 Road Runner Records). Records.
A second guitarist, Colin Decker, was added to the line up in 2000, just prior to their sophomore effort, Where Have All My Countrymen Gone (2001 Co-Op Pop Records). Co-Op-Pop Records was the creation of The Sheila Divine who had partnered with Newbury Comics in an effort to stake a claim to their own chunk of the Alternative Rock genre and unite them under their own label.
In that same year, Colin Decker brought his former band mate from Lincolnville, Ryan Dolan on board to replace Shawn Sears on drums, who exited the group following the birth of his first child.
2002 and the release of Secret Society EP (2002 Arena Rock Recording Company), provided the opportunity for a world tour of China and Europe but also resulted in the end of the modified line up.
After a short hiatus, Perrino, Dolan and Gilbert re-grouped and played several shows.
Perrino, Gilbert and Sears (the original drummer) joined with Brian Charles (Dear Leader) to create “The Things That Once Were” (2012 Zippah Records) and The Morbs (2015 Zippah Records).
Dolan would once again replace Sears on the kit to release the 2019 album The Beginning Of The End is Where We’ll Start Again” (2019 Zippah Records). With that, I second the motion on the new beginning and wish the best of luck and long life to “The Sheila Divine”.
(by John Cappello)
Published on January 13, 2021