Now you know I’m not the sort of fella to get all enthusiastic on your ass but you may have noticed how much I love LA’s The Shrine, I might just have let it accidentally slip that I HAPPEN TO THINK THEY’RE THE COOLEST/LOUDEST BAND IN FREAKIN’ EXISTENCE TODAY!! If punk and metal mated, then The Shrine would be their progeny. They have it all, great playing, brilliant tunes, some of the best merch I’ve seen in years and a music video that features a man hooking his nipples up to a van battery. Basically this ticks all my boxes, even ones that I really didn’t need ticking, or want to have ticked, or wanted to admit having. Whatever, all you need to know is that the Shrine rock!
I was lucky enough to catch Josh Landau as The Shrine were laying Australia to waste earlier this month and got to put a question, or two to the man; a couple of which were even proper, sensible ones too. Before you view the results though and crash on into Shrine-space, you need to refresh your memory of their wonderful ‘Tripping Corpse’ video:
I’m guessing the ‘Tripping Corpse’ video is just documentary footage from your lives, am I right?
– Yes! We had no idea we were being filmed that day. We actually had the video shoot scheduled for the following day.
Why choose the Coven LP to snort dangerous cleaning products off? (And please tell me that was a stunt LP!! (shudders!))
– Because looking into Jinx Dawson’s eyes while doing face drugs is pretty psychedelic.
So tell me, what would Hüsker Dü?
– “It’s not funny anymore”
What’s the most METAL album in your collection?
– George Carlin’s “You Are All Diseased”
What’s the best city being in the Shrine has taken you to?
– Tokyo was a blast, Gothenburg is always a sing-song, and Ljubljana is our favourite…it’s really the place to be, man.
When do we get to see you come over and play in Liverpool? (Come on, we’ve got Beatles and everything! I’ll stand you all some beer).
– We would love to play there…we love The Rolling Beatles.
What superpowers would you opt for and why? or do you have any already?
– We’d like to be able to fly. Not because of some dream-like fantasy…we just really hate airports.
I know you’ve played with some really cool guys like Red Fang, but have you ever played with my all-time faves Fu Manchu?
Ahh Yes! One of our first tours in America was with Fu Manchu and our first European tour too. Those guys rule…they were playing “The Action is Go” album in its entirety for the 25th anniversary of the release and we were blown away every night. It goes to show how many albums those guys have made that are killer, front to back. Got to sing Nothing Done by SSD with Fu a few times in Europe.
How much of the year are you able to spend out on the road?
– We spend about half the year on the road and the other half writing and jammin’ and eating right.
There’s a real sense of progress between Primitive Blast and Bless Off!, is it about getting better at playing, or getting your music over, or knowing what you want?
– It’s mainly about never giving up…when you stick together long enough you have everything you need to get your point across.
When you recorded ‘The Duke’, did you realize what a Godlike moment of genius you’d created?
– We had a great start by being able to use Chuck Dukowski’s lyrics.
Your guitar sound on ‘Nothing Forever’ is really gnarly, how did you get that?
– It was recorded with a Fender Vibroverb and an altered rangemaster.
What’s the most star struck you’ve ever been meeting someone?
– I just met Lemmy at his studio in Hollywood which was pretty obscene.
That’s an awesome falsetto you break out around the edges of ‘Destroyers’ – you going to unleash that on us again?
– Thanks… I do live every now and again.
Do you reckon I can still rock a rising sun headband and denim vest (with Shrine, Black Flag and Faster Pussycat patches) now I’m old and bald?
– Of course! That’s what Faster Pussycat is doing.
When are you going to release a huge 70’s-style rock Christmas single?
– Not sure when… but I guess we’d rather do it like an 80’s-style Christmas Rap, like Run DMC. I’d imagine going to Hollis, Queens in early winter to record it.
What’s next for The Shrine?
– Look out for a new music video for The Duke and a new full length album later this year
And there endeth the lesson – Bless Off! Now go and buy this music – support these guys and have a load of fun doing it. Me? I’m saving my cash for the Christmas single and desperately hoping they come and play the UK again sometime real soon; if they do, that old, bald guy in the ill-fitting Faster Pussycat Tee, rising sun headband and denim vest slam dancing down the front, is me.
549 Down (still)
PS – here’s the METAL version of my pic, not sure which I preferred: