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The Shins Coachella 2012: Indie Rock Vets To Play At Desert Fest For The First Time

Posted: 04/14/2012 1:41 pm Updated: 04/14/2012 6:52 pm

This is part 3 of 4 of our "My Coachella" Series. Click here for profiles on our favorite Coachella bands.

"You gotta hear this one song, it will change your life." These are the words spoken by fresh-faced, teen dream Natalie Portman in the 2004 film "Garden State." Sometimes all it takes is one song to make you buy an album, which is exactly what many people did. Today The Shins are one of indie rock's most recognizable names, but for frontman James Mercer, this has been a long time coming. He created The Shins as a mere side project in Albuquerque, New Mexico in the mid-90s and has seen many band members come and go over the years.

To date, The Shins have released four albums -– the most recent in March 2012, entitled Port Of Morrow. After what was a noticeably long break between 2007's wildly successful Wincing The Night Away (for which they snagged a Grammy nomination) and this year's new album, it's clear Mercer cares more about quality than quantity.

Appearing at Coachella for the first time in the band's long history, The Shins' James Mercer spoke candidly with The Huffington Post about intense Coachella pressure, why the "Garden State" line isn't always positive and how he almost became an engineer.


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I can't believe The Shins have never played Coachella before. Has anyone given you good advice?

I have never been! Never even as a fan. Everyone tells me it's so hot and I would hear about Coachella a little bit and I just thought it was another festival but now that we're playing it, it's like SERIOUS.

Everyone is saying we have to figure out how we're going to get a guest appearance, and all of these other things, and I'm like -- I don't know if I'm the guest appearance kind of person. If we were headlining or something then maybe we could go crazy and do something loud. With my personality, I feel like I might just be awkward.

Photo: Facebook: The Shins