Former Shins drummer Jesse Sandoval has shone a light upon the rift that led to his expulsion from the famed indie group.
At the time, front-man James Mercer said of Sandoval's departure, "I'm on good terms with [him], I hope to maintain that. I wouldn't say I'd never work with [him] again. I love working with [him]." Apparently, in Mercer's world, having no contact whatsoever counts as "good terms", for Sandoval himself explains,
"I think about it and I have to own up to my own faults. I definitely see why he was seeking outside sources. There were some drumbeats that he tried to do, that he asked me to do, and I just couldn’t do them. I have a slower learning curve than polished musicians. In part, he could afford the luxury of sitting in front of his computer and do take after take until he got it right. With recording software the way it is now, you don’t have to play the whole part start to finish. You can piecemeal things. Well, in the studio, I didn’t have the luxury to take lots of time to execute drum parts, and you can’t really piecemeal drums. So my weaknesses showed and I know that frustrated him. Recording time is ridiculously stressful for James, I understand how internally he started to problem solve how to make the recording process more streamlined. Working with Danger Mouse only exacerbated that fact.
"But I also understand that I unequivocally got fired, and it kind of confuses me why he has a hard time saying that. I understand he’s probably doing it out of respect for me reading interviews, it might be hard for him to say it, but… I got fired. There’s no other way of looking at it. He turned the page; he wanted to do something else, and he’s okay with that. And everybody, me included, can judge him, but no one’s in his head. It’s not a pattern that is new to him. Neal was into ballooning but he didn’t choose ballooning over the Shins. He got fired. My phone call was very parallel to Neal’s call back in the day. The way Neal got fired was no different from the way I got fired. And in a lot of ways, I guess that’s probably what hurts the most. I thought I did whatever I could to not deserve that sort of ending.
"He has reached out a couple times by email offering to talk, but I have not responded. I expected a bigger gesture on his part.
"I’m usually the first one to defend James or at least try to help them understood how this came to be. But, yet, behind closed doors, I’m upset to the point where I’m livid, or I’m okay with it, or happy about it. That’s why I feel like I’m a walking contradiction at many times."
Sandoval now works from a food cart in downtown Portland, where he serves traditional New Mexican food, including stuffed sopaipillas.