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Social Shun - Social Shun Newsletter Interview

20 Aug 2016 // An interview by Shade

Jason Longhurst, AKA Social Shun, is an Auckland based solo artist, making weird and wonderful electronic beats and a name for himself in the New Zealand music scene.

Jason answered the following questions for Muzic.net.nz:

How did you become involved in music?

I started off like a lot of people listening to music and loving the escape from a young age. My first gig I attended was when I was fourteen which was Big Day Out '94, and after seeing the energy live I was hooked even more. When I got my first car I would always drum on the steering wheel and other bits of the car cruising down the motorway listening to music. In my early 20s at work during downtime I had a conversation about music and how id like to give it a go with a mate Pete. He gave me a few music programs two of them where Reason 1.5 and an early version of Adobe Audition.  I played round with them for years but wasn’t very good.

Another mate of mine named Jono had a drum kit. He invited me round one day to have a go and I was blown away as he played along to Smells Like Teen Spirit. I had seen drum kits from afar on stage but never this close or raw. I managed to buy a black Ludwig kit new at a closing down sell at a music shop in Pukekohe for $700 I think then I added cymbals. Wed have jam/drink sessions with Jono on guitar. He’s one of those Dave Grohl talented bastards that could play anything and could sing to, got to hate him haha. We made a band named after the Dury turn off Exit461 as that’s where you’d get off to go to band practise. We recorded nine tracks over a weekend in a studio in Auckland, Had one gig which went well at a bar in Papakura, but broke up because of heaps of different factors.

Still mucking round with music software on my laptop I felt I was good enough to take it to the next step. I came up with the name Social Shun as that is how I felt about society, made a Reverbnation page and released my first couple of tracks. A Soundcloud page and Facebook were soon to follow. Now two albums under my belt, a few gigs at bars and radio play things are going Ok.

Where do you get your inspiration to create music from?

Inspiration can be found every in day to day life. For me it's from other Artists, Movies, hearing sounds at the park with my son etc. Just recently I had bottle vibrating in my car cup holder so I recorded that. Who knows might use it. The ceiling fan in our bathroom. New tables at work that have an up and down controller connected to a motor. Capturing the moment or feeling of the environment in a musical way is just awesome.

I make music to express myself and try make people feel something. When people say that was awesome and they get what I was trying to do that is such a cool feeling as my music is quite abstract. I want to try inspire others to step out of their comfort zones and create things.

Which one of your songs are you most proud of, and why?

It’s hard to pick just one song so I'll pick two but they both have something in common, My son. The first is a remix competition I entered where I remixed Concord Dawn's These Prison Walls track. An awesome track made by a wicked act. Even though my vocals aren’t really up to par as I didn’t have a very good interface then or knowing how to use vocal filters or effects I was able to get back to my Metal roots a bit added gritty sounding guitar synths and atmosphere.

I also recorded my son who was six months old jumping in his jolly jumper and added it to the track round the 2:30 minute mark if I remember right. I also got radio play with the track on bFM on Saturday night on the Smokers Delight show. I took screen shots of the set list etc. to show my son when he’s old enough.

The second is off my album Big Gorilla and it's called A Little Boy. I recorded my son’s heartbeat at a ultrasound with my cellphone. Then three years later I recorded him hitting a big pot with a drumstick and laughing. I took a piece of the heartbeat recording and looped it. Added other elements and the pot hitting..... Haypresto!!!! We have a track.

Do you have any advice for aspiring musicians?

Be yourself and your own person. Make what speaks to you, what you want to make and don’t be afraid to go really left field if you feel the need to. I’ve been told that my “mix” is mixed wrong before by other people. If it sounds good to you then stick to your guns, you’re better off making something you like and you’re proud of as you have to live with it. Others will like it to.

The best way to hear the difference is by listening to compilation albums. All mastered differently at different studios. There is no one right way to mix or master a track.

Don’t think you need the best gear to do anything. You could have $50K worth of gear and still have the same amount of Soundcloud followers and still doing gigs to 50 people. There have been people that have made full albums on tablets and others that have a couple of mics in a room and recorded tracks that have been amazing. Maybe not the most “professional” but the feeling and vibe was there to make it awesome.

Don’t ever dull down or make what you’re trying to say less offensive/emotional. There are so many rules etc. you have to live by already so why put rules on creativity. This is a clean slate and open expression session to which you can be your true self. To not take full advantage of this freedom is both crippling to you and your listeners.


About Social Shun

Social Shun became official after releasing tracks on Reverbnation in 2011 but He has been mucking round with music software and instruments for nine years.

Social Shun is a solo project and was made to release pain, stress, anger, boredom and frustration of day to day living in a positive creative way. The straight forward approach to music and lyrics is key, Promoting honesty and freedom of speech in a raw, direct, in your face fashion. Not shackled to one Genre Social Shun infuses many different aspects and vibes of music.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Social Shun


What Is Music
Year: 2020
Type: Album
7/10 of A Fridge
Year: 2020
Type: EP
Songs For Sea Lions
Year: 2017
Type: Album
Big Gorilla
Year: 2015
Type: Album
The Garden Of Sweden
Year: 2014
Type: Album

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