Lifestyle

Mercer Island grad making music, movies

Cam Brousseau, second from the right, a 2003 graduate of Mercer Island High School, is shown here with his bandmates in the band Shaimus. From left are Evan Brown, guitar, Lou Beaudreau, guitar, Phil Beaudreau, lead vocals and keyboards, Brousseau, who plays drums, and Johannes Raassina, bass. The band is featured in the current blockbuster film, ‘The Roommate.’ - Contributed Photo
Cam Brousseau, second from the right, a 2003 graduate of Mercer Island High School, is shown here with his bandmates in the band Shaimus. From left are Evan Brown, guitar, Lou Beaudreau, guitar, Phil Beaudreau, lead vocals and keyboards, Brousseau, who plays drums, and Johannes Raassina, bass. The band is featured in the current blockbuster film, ‘The Roommate.’
— image credit: Contributed Photo

Cameron Brousseau, a 2003 graduate of Mercer Island High School, started playing trumpet when he was 10 years old. He continued to play trumpet until he was 14 and admits he was really, really bad at it. Then he discovered percussion in his sophomore year and that was it.

He continued his music education at Berklee College of Music in Boston, where he graduated along with his current bandmates in Shaimus, an L.A.-based alternative indie-rock band.

“We started as students and progressed into a rock band,” Brousseau said. “It was very important for us to study our instruments.”

Brousseau said the band scene isn’t like it used to be. Gone are the days of rock stars throwing TVs out of hotel windows. He said now you have to be a business person.

“The trick is to be a completely self-sustaining business and band,” he said. “You really have to do all the work yourself to get noticed.”

Shaimus hasn’t been signed to a major label, yet, but they’ve reached some definite pinnacles of success. One of the songs from the band’s first CD was on the original “Guitar Hero,” and two more of Shaimus’ songs were featured in “Rock Band.”

This month, however, Shaimus got a huge boost by appearing in the new teen thriller “The Roommate,” starring Leighton Meester, Minka Kelly and Cam Gigandet, which was number one at the box office its opening weekend.

Brousseau describes “The Roommate” as kind of like “Single White Female” for the Facebook crowd. He said the movie is being marketed to teen girls and women.

The band has two songs in the movie that they perform. The odd part is that lead singer Phil Beaudreau was not available to appear in the film, so Brousseau plays his part, lip-synching the lyrics to Beaudreau’s voice. Meantime, Cam Gigandet plays the part of the drummer. Gigandet is probably best known as the evil vampire James in the first “Twilight” movie.

“I can’t sing or play piano,” Brousseau said.

So, he really was acting.

Shaimus got the gig in “The Roommate” through its publishing company. He said the film was shot in 2009 and the band has just been waiting for it to come out.

The band moved to L.A. in 2007. Brousseau said they mostly tour West Coast clubs, colleges and venues in and around L.A. As far as getting a major label contract, he said, they are definitely interested in someone paying them to do music.

Shaimus is working on their third album now, and they plan to record it in Bellevue this spring with Brian Fennell, a 2001 graduate of MIHS, producing. Fennell is the lead singer of the hugely popular Seattle band Barcelona. Brousseau said Shaimus tries to make it to Seattle maybe three times a year.

“You have to have a good head on your shoulders to get anywhere in the entertainment business,” Brousseau said.

And, he added, “We’re nice guys.”

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