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Newsletter Interview: Shihad

25 Nov 2014 // An interview by Kerry Monaghan


Shihad recorded their first album Churn almost 21 years ago and ever since then, they have proven time and time again that they are one of New Zealand's leading Rock bands. They describe their new album FVEY as "total brutality from start to finish". Heavy music is the foundation of Shihad's sound - a sound they came up with in Wellington in the late 80s and early 90s as a band who were just as influenced by Metallica as thye were by New Zealand's own Skeptics. Thanks to Jon for answering these questions:

Jon, What are your top three bands and era of music - why?

Era of music - 

1. Post Punk - 1977-1980. Why? Because it was a great time of experimentation and fearlessness in Rock and Roll - From Britain you had Public Image Ltd, Wire, Joy Division, Gang of Four, Siouxie and the Banshees, The Psychedelic Furs, Killing Joke etc. and in the US, Devo, Talking Heads, Suicide, Television, Bad Brains etc.

2. Alternative - late 80ís-early 90ís. Why? Because it was another period of reinvention and rule breaking. Bands that I like from that time are - Fugazi, Sonic Youth, Nirvana, Janeís Addiction, Nine Inch Nails, Pixies, Big Black, The Jesus Lizard, PJ Harvey, Massive Attack, Tricky, The Cure, Cocteau Twins, Spiritualized, Aphex Twin.

3. Rock Late 60ís-Early 70ís. Why? Because these bands were writing the rule book before there were rules. Bands from this era I like are The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix Experience, The Who, Bob Dylan.

What is your earliest memory of music and is it what fuelled your passion to become a musician?

Watching records go around on my parents turntable for hours on end when I was 4 or 5. I thought it was magic (I still do). What fuelled my passion to become a musician was seeing my Uncle Charlie play acoustic guitar on a trip to the UK in his living room when I was 7. I couldnít believe Ďreal peopleí could make music (I thought musicians were like super heroes!) and I asked my parents for a guitar and lessons which I was lucky enough to get! 

What are Shihad's plans after the FVEY tour and xmas? Do you split your time between here and Melbourne?

Iím off to Sudan for a month to catch up with family and hopefully do some recording with some Sudanese musicians for the start of the next Adults album. Then the plan is to go to UK/Europe around March next year with Shihad which will be festival season. We all live in Melbourne now days but come back every now and then to see family and do other things.

FVEY is a very political offering for you guys, why now and what has influenced this?

What has influenced this album is the current state of affairs, both politically and socially, in NZ and Australia and the West in general where Free Market Capitalism seems to have been decided to be the only way possible to live yet seems to be fostering massive inequality - making a few people extremely wealthy while the majority go poor and hungry, encouraging selfishness over selflessness, the destruction of the public sector (you know, important things like schools, hospitals, the arts etc.) and the destruction of the very environment all of us rely on to live. In our opinion our leaders have sold us out to big business interests over the interests of the people who voted them in and do their bidding whether or not it is in the public interest. Each of us feel passionately that the world should and can be a more equitable, fair and compassionate place for everyone on this planet and that that change is coming whether or not the powers that be try and stop it.

Would Shihad ever consider a double disc acoustic vs live set (much like Foo's In Your Honour, or Mellon Collie, Smashing Pumpkins)?

Thatís a very specific question. Nothing like that planned atm but you never know!

About Shihad

In 1993 four young long-haired lads walked into a brand new studio in Auckland to record their first album.

The band was Shihad, the album was their boundary-pushing debut, Churn, the producer was Jaz Coleman, and the studio was York Street in Parnell.

Churn was the first album to be recorded at the iconic studios, and since then many great records have been cut there. So it was only fitting that almost 21 years later Shihad were reunited with Coleman to record the last ever album at York Street.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Shihad


Year: 2014
Type: Album
Year: 2010
Type: Album
Beautiful Machine
Year: 2008
Type: Album
Love Is The New Hate
Year: 2005
Type: Album
Year: 2005
Type: EP
The General Electric
Year: 1999
Type: Album
Blue Light Disco
Year: 1998
Type: EP
Year: 1996
Type: Album
Year: 1996
Type: Album
Year: 1995
Type: Album
Year: 1993
Type: Album
Year: 1991
Type: EP

Other Interviews By Kerry Monaghan

Armed In Advance - Interview: Stitches
27 Dec 2014 // by Kerry Monaghan
Stitches are performing at the Music is Dead launch party on 17 January 2015 alongside Fire At Will, Static Era and Dead End Boys. Kerry interviewed Hugh (bass) about their 2014 EP Harder Times and their plans for the future.
View All Articles By Kerry Monaghan

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