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The Shins want to change your life (by giving you their old van)

Frontman James Mercer not included.

Indie rockers The Shins are gearing up for the arrival of Heartworms, their first studio album in almost five years. To celebrate the band’s return to the music-releasing world, they’ve announced a new contest, with a slightly unorthodox prize: the band’s old touring van.

Bought with the advance from their first Sub Pop advance, the 1990 Ford 350 Clubwagon was originally acquired from a cattle ranch (and thus required a pretty hefty power wash to clean out all the cow shit that had accrued on its floors in its previous life). The band toured in it for years, and now they want to pay it forward to some other musicians on the move. All you have to do to win it is submit a video of you and your bandmates playing a cover off one of the songs from Heartworms, and then submit it to the band via the #ShinsVanContest hashtag. Frontman James Mercer will pick his favorite, and the “cherried out” chariot might be yours.


And hey, we don’t want to tell you what to do with your new old van, but the possibilities seem endless. Play shows. Haul gear. Get a glowing write-up in Spin. Take turns pretending to be Natalie Portman in Garden State, shoving headphones on people’s ears. Dig around on the carpets and find an old Cheeto that drummer Jon Sortland dropped between the seats. (Actually, considering the whole “cow shit” thing, you might want to skip that last one.)

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