Shiner was given the gift of life in October of 1992 in Kansas City, Missouri. Allen Epley and his long time buddy/drummer, Jeff Brown, began writing songs with musical upstart, Shawn Sherrill. Epley played bass in his previous band with Brown, but switched to guitar for this incarnation, and chose to use a friend to play bass instead of trying to find a "seasoned" musician. This seemed to be more efficient, especially at the time. Soon they had played several shows with regional heros such as Season to Risk and Molly McGuire.
After just three shows, Shiner had apparently caught the ear of the recently available, drumming legend, Tim Dow. Dow approached the band first by letting his ex-band-mates in STR, Paul Malinowski in fact, that he might be interested in pounding the skins for Shiner. Jeff Brown also had a side project that was taking precedence over Shiner, so Epley debated the pros and cons of each scenario and decided that it may be in everyone's best interest to take Mr. Dow up on his offer. He and Epley rocked one windy March afternoon in 1993, and it was done.
Soon the band began playing many shows, often getting the prime spot when national acts such as Shudder to Think, Sunny Day Real Estate, Girls Against Boys, The Jesus Lizard, and Jawbox came to town. Indeed, it was Jawbox who first "discovered" the prodigious talent of this trio. Kim Coletta was the first to call the band after hearing the demo tape that was forced upon them by the band. DeSoto Records offered the band the chance to record a 7" on their esteemed label, at which they jumped. All the while the band continued to do small tours and many local shows.
The 7" on DeSoto went very well, so well in fact that Kim & Bill (Barbot) gave them the opportunity to do a full length album on their label. This was special to Kim & Bill also because it was DeSoto's first full length release. Bob Weston was recruited to record the band at Steve Albini's home studio in Chicago. The album was recorded the first five days of January 1995, and was subsequently dubbed Splay. From here on, the band toured extensively and successfully with much mirth in their hearts.
All was great in Shinerland for much of that year, 1995. When Epley began writing songs with Sherrill and Dow, it became more and more apparent that Shiner was going to need a larger presence at the low end of the band. Shawn had filled the void like a professional for all his years in the band, but the new songs in Epley's head would require more than Shawn could fulfill. And so, they made the difficult decision to move on and find a new bass player.
Mike Harbin was the tech and long time friend of Jawbox, Quicksand, and Shudder to Think among many others. Hell, he lived in the Jawbox house, so needless to say, they felt confident when they called him to come have an extended tryout. However, despite all of Harbin's musical talent and ability, it was clear that the certain something that Shiner needed was not found as easily as they had thought. More hard decisions were made, but the band remains good friends with Harbin and his new band Jack Potential.
On the one tour with Harbin as bassist, Epley and Dow conspired to bring Paul Malinowski into the ranks as the fat end of the Shiner. They also knew at the time that Malinowski had become somewhat disenchanted with his current band, Season to Risk. Following some heart wrenching decisions for Paul, Shiner was delighted to hear that he would be 1/3 of this beautiful marriage. Shiner began finally to collaborate as a band. Within four months the band had written twelve songs and was ready to record an album.
Long time friend and record mogul Ken Waagner, offered the band the chance to do a full length on HitIt! Recordings, who had put out two 7"s earlier in their career. Shiner went into the Chicago Recording Company in June of 1996, and gave birth to an 11 song piece of work and called her Lula Divinia. Since Paul's arrival, the band's tours continue to be increasingly successful and the gospel of Shiner seems to be spreading like a virus. Malinowski also mixed Lula Divinia after the first mix was scrapped. The production is mentioned by fans almost as much as the music itself.
Lula Divinia reached the hands of Subpop guru, Jonathan Poneman, who subsequently loved it and asked the band to do a two song 7". Shiner pumped out Sleep it Off and Half Empty, which was released December of 1997. The band went on to tour with HUM, Molly McGuire (now re-formed as Gunfighter), and many others.
At the end of February 2000, the newest Shiner record, "Starless", was released on Owned & Operated Records. The label is run and owned by Bill and Stephen from the Descendants and All.
After much successful touring throughout 2000 and 2001, Shiner went back into the studio to release a fourth full length album, entitled The Egg. Released on October 23, 2001, the album proved to be the finest representation of Shiner's ability to rock. Fans agree that Shiner truly outdid themselves with this one.
Shortly after The Egg's release in October, the band has made plans to embark on their first european tour endeavor to date. They will play over 30 shows in 13 different countries.