Shapiro is the brother of singer/guitarist Nina Gordon. He graduated from Yale University in 1987. Shapiro was the original drummer in the band Veruca Salt and co-wrote the track "Number One Blind" on their first album, American Thighs (1994). In 1997, he left the band after their second full-length album, Eight Arms to Hold You, was completed. He then formed his own band, Ultraswiss, in which he was the lead singer and played guitar.
On Gordon's solo first album, Tonight and the Rest of My Life (2000), Shapiro played mellotron and guitar.
Since 2002, Shapiro is the bassist in the Chicago band Hushdrops. In 2013, he returned to Veruca Salt.