söndag 9 oktober 2016

"We love to stay in awesome hotels and drink up all the champagne"

Foto: Press
Jag skrev om det kanadensiska rockbandet The Shanks för en dryg månad sen, då de var aktuella med EP:n Incarceration Man / Do You Fear Me?. Duon, som består av Ian Donald Starkey (St. Pistolwhip von Shakenstein) och John David Brummel (Colonel Crankshaft) släpper nu i dagarna sitt femte album, Prisons Of Ecstacy, som är producerat av Nicke Andersson från Entombed och Hellacopters. Här nedan berättar Ian Starkey om nya skivan och hur det var att få spela i Sverige. 

How did you start out making music?
- I took piano lessons when I was a kid but when I was 12 I bought a cheap tenor ukulele from a school friend and plugged it into my Candle ghetto blaster with a crappy Radio Shack microphone inside and cranked it up! The wood in the top of the ukulele was delaminating so it buzzed when I played, that was where I got my first taste of distortion from.

Tell us a little about the making of Prisons Of Ecstasy!
- It is the first album we made where we went away from home and sealed ourselves off from the rest of the world to focus on the music. It was not (at least in my mind) entirely dissimilar from the election of a new pope.

How did the creative process begin with the new body of work?
- With a pot of strong pot of coffee and surprisingly, in the morning. Trying to just listen really well on the inside and then respond, if it felt OK.

Your new album is produced by Nicke Andersson, how did you get in contact with him?
- Our manager, Nuno Saraiva, knows him. He hooked us up. Nicke is a musical hero of mine, I still cannot believe we were in the same room as him, haha. It turns out he is a just a fucking awesome human being!

Pistolwhip von Shankenstein and Colonel Crankshaft, what’s the story behind your stage names?
- We love the theatrical aspect of a rocknroll show, we use stage names just as we use wardrobe to get into character for a performance. I see myself as a lonely, eccentric (oft warped) aristocrat who blew the family fortune on high times with an ecclesiastical background and a deep and abiding penchant for pistol-whipping. 

- As for the Colonel, I see him as a crusty stoic remnant of a lost order of nationalist militaristic pride, holding down his end and doing his duty at the drums and at the drinks table. And of course, he loves to crank his shaft (although I am sure he prefers having it cranked as opposed to looking after that himself, although that never happens since he is happily married).

What was the best thing about playing in Sweden?
- The Swedes of course! An awesome bunch, they seem to get off on music! Their culture has a real openess to creativity so it feels really comfortable to be ourselves there. Also, I really enjoy taking in design culture, Swedes have a long established leadership in this area.

If given time off while touring, how do you like to spend it?
- Tasting the fruits of local distillation and brewing enterprises interspersed with walking and visits to ancient and modern places of deep introspection. For example, I recently visited the Riddarholmen Church in Stockholm, I have always wanted to see the tomb of Charles XII. It was magnificent. Also, we love to stay in awesome hotels and drink up all the champagne.

What's the weirdest thing that's ever happened to you on the road?
- I got attacked spiritually by a witch who was also a Reiki master.

The first song I heard from you was Do you fear me? What is the story behind that song?
- It is a song which was written about the terror and the glory of the night sky, I live on a farm and when I first got here I started to really get into stargazing but there were times when it is really just too much to comprehend and it frightened me greatly. I find it hard not to be completely overwhelmed by that, it is so deep to lie on your back under the stars and feel yourself starting to fall in. 

What inspires you?
- Beauty, joy, sadness and salvation. The design of our lives and the world we live in. There is a film called Die große Stille (Into Great Silence) which is a documentary about La Grande Chartreuse which is a Carthusian monastery in the French Alps. There is scene in the piece where they film the monks faces closeup. It is very moving to me.

Have you seen any acts or heard any albums lately that you would recommend to fellow music lovers?
- A Canadian Band called Mounties. Their album Thrash Rock Legacy and the song The Twig & The Tree from the same album.

Pick your current favorite music clip on the internet!
- White Rose Movement! My current favorite clip is this one. The band broke up but I love bass-driven music and this is satisfying to me! (Hmm I seem to be listening to a lot of synthesizers these days!)

What’s your favorite album sleeve of all time?
- Judas Priest - Screaming For Vengeance. Doug Johnson's iconic cover somehow fully represents my teenage experience.

Do you have any hidden talents?
- I am fully licensed to practice architecture in Canada and I can cook you up a mean bouillabaisse!

What is top of your bucket list?
- The Shanks doing a good show at Royal Albert Hall in London!

En kan följa bandet på Facebook här. Lyssna gärna på Prisons Of Ecstacy här nedan. 

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