Support Local Journalism. Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club.

Band of the Week: Shadow Division 


MEET THE BAND: Michael Ridley (guitar), Max Espinosa (vocals, guitar), Kevin Hannah (drums) and Joe LaGuardia (bass)

IMPORTED FROM THE U.K.: Initially, Ridley started the group after transferring from the U.K. to Cleveland a couple years ago. The band existed in the U.K. but since Ridley owns the rights to the name, he decided to launch it in the States and used BandMix to recruit a new set of bandmates. He first found Espinosa and then Hannah. The two clicked and said they were both in. "You can tell they're on the same page when you hear us jam," says LaGuardia, who was one of nine bassists the band tried out. "I was the only bassist who showed up for the audition with proper equipment and a knowledge of how to play the instrument," says LaGuardia.

POUNDING IT OUT: The band cut the hard-driving single "Wake Up" with local producer Jim Stewart. For its new EP, it worked with Stewart and Michael Pappas. Stewart has helmed projects from many of Cleveland's best indie bands. "We wanted to see how we'd work together as a group, but you don't know what it's going to be like for an entire session," says LaGuardia when asked about recording the four-song EP. "We wanted to pound it out. We did 'Wake Up' in three days. We did the EP in four days. We crammed a lot in there. We could spend the last day going through everything and doing mixes and adding extra production. It was an experiment to see who we are as a band and see what each musician will bring to the table."

WHY YOU SHOULD HEAR THEM: "I've Got Some Resolutions," the opening track on the new EP, features hushed vocals and cascading guitars as it alternates between moody, sparse segments and blasts of electric guitars. "When you listen to the songs coming out of us, you can tell they come from an eclectic group of people," says LaGuardia. "I love '90s alternative rock. I also listen to jazz and classical. I really like the Foo Fighters and Smashing Pumpkins. Michael is from the U.K, so he likes more of the New Wave and electronic music. Max is jazz-trained and Kevin loves hip-hop and soul and R&B. When you put all that in a room, all those influences come out. It's like putting those influences through a prism. And yet at the end of the day, we turn the amps up and love to get loud." LaGuardia says band members have already started writing songs for the next EP.


WHERE YOU CAN SEE THEM: Shadow Division performs with Trapt, Mossom and A Punchie's Pilot at 7 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 19, at the Agora Ballroom.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

October 20, 2021

View more issues

Most Popular

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


Staff Pick Events

  • E5C4P3 - The Journey Tribute/House Party @ Akron Civic Theatre

    • Fri., Oct. 22
  • Mike Polk Jr. Show Live @ Hilarities Comedy Club

    • Fri., Oct. 22
  • An Evening With America @ Akron Civic Theatre

    • Sat., Oct. 23

© 2021 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 505-8199
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation