“My second shot wasn’t too bad either, which I felt like was kind of alarming,” he says, comparing notes with the reporter. “Does that mean my immune system, like, sucks?”
Adds Lee, who’s also vaccinated: “It’s definitely given us all a little bit of peace of mind that stuff is kind of getting back to normal.”
Things are looking up for SHAED, but it wasn’t so during the onset of the pandemic, as the Ernst brothers and Lee faced the demons of fear, anxiety and depression—like so many others worldwide—and the effects of all three, such as staying up late and drinking too much.
Right as the world was grinding to a halt, the trio also lost faith in a just-finished album. So SHAED scrapped it completely and looked toward a future where, for the first time in years, they had nothing to share with fans, and seemingly an endless void of lockdowns and the fear of death.
Sound heavy? It was for the band, and eventually it fueled the thematic side of High Dive, a heavy album that glides atop icy synths and beautiful strings.
“It’s definitely been a journey,” Lee says, looking back to a time when the band’s overseas tours were first canceled, forcing the three to take stock of everything they’d been through to that point: The wild success of single “Trampoline” that propelled them to huge stages and up the charts (No. 13 on Billboard’s Hot 100 and No. 4 on the Top 40) and also instilled the fear of becoming a one-hit wonder. This pressure led them to partner with hitmakers to try and replicate the same level of success. In 2019, the three saw their D.C. area home just two weeks in all.