“Navigating the waters between symphonic metal and progressive rock, “White Whale” is a burst of St. Elmo’s Fire, fueled by surging guitars, pounding drums, and glowing synths. Avidand’s voice channels the heavy metal gods of ol’, grounded to match the gravitas of the lyrics (“Oh! White Whale / Dragging me down under / A sentence with no jail”) but still willing to soar high on the track’s energy. Rounding out this debut is a gorgeously animated music video by Simon Macko.” – Hollywood Life
January 31, 2022 – After many years collaborating behind the scenes, Jim Roach and Dan Avidan have joined forces to form the epic rock band Shadow Academy. Their debut single “White Whale” is out now, with fans of the young group fervently showing their support online, along with the music video that is featured on Hollywood Life.
After spending years together in the studio working in a producer-artist capacity with musical comedy duo Ninja Sex Party, Jim Roach and Dan Avidan realized they had a shared affinity for many older bands that all shared themes of big music, big guitars, and even bigger songs. During the early months of COVID-19, Jim started sending Dan new music to work on mainly to pass some time, and in turn, Dan would work on lyrics and melodies that were primarily inspired by the classic books he was spending his downtime reading. From Dracula to Moby Dick, many of the song themes were inspired by these classics, as seen with the debut single “White Whale.” “After writing our first song, “White Whale,” together we knew we were onto something special” recalls Jim – and thus Shadow Academy was born.
From the outset, their goal was to make a big rock record with blisteringly heavy songs that could take paint off the walls and on the next song transition to a lush soundscape with synths, pianos, and orchestration. No attention was paid to writing “singles.” Dan and Jim just wanted to make songs that moved them and that incorporated their roots, with the idea of possibly releasing them someday amidst the other projects they were currently working on.
Dan and Jim both have established careers in the music industry. Dan is the lead singer of the Billboard chart-topping band Ninja Sex Party and co-host of the YouTube channel Game Grumps, which has amassed over 5.3 million subscribers. Jim is an Emmy Award winning record producer and songwriter who is now venturing out from behind the scenes.
Their joint passion for older alternative music as well as their affinity for the great rock bands of the 1970s is clearly heard in their sound. Shadow Academy reminds the listener of the likes of Rush, Smashing Pumpkins, My Bloody Valentine, M83, Alice In Chains, Queens Of The Stone Age, Placebo, MUSE, and many more.