Interviews

That energy – an interview with SHOOK ONES

SHOOK ONES by Kimberly Yount
SHOOK ONES by Kimberly Yount
Seattle’s SHOOK ONES have long grown into their standing as one of melodic hardcore’s most engaging and energetic writers and performers. Their new winningly authentic full length “Body Feel” on Revelation Records dropped in mid-October seasoned band proving that they’re still great at penning powerful and smart songs in a traditional vein. We sat down with the band to learn more about their recent activities leading up to this release, their learning and growing experience, local DIY scene, and more! See the full interview below.

Recorded in the summer of 2018 at Hear Me Shimmer and the Loom Room, and mixed and mastered by Jack Shirley at The Atomic Garden, “Body Feel” by SHOOK ONES is out now via Revelation Records.

Hey there guys! Thanks so much for joining us here on IDIOTEQ! It feels sooo good to be able to finally listen to your new power tunes, especially in times when we won’t get a new DEATH IS NOT GLAMOROUS record haha! No, but seriously, both you and DING have delivered some of the most energetic, and refreshing melodic treats in modern punk and we couldn’t be happier with the great news frim Revelation Records earlier this year. Please share some details on what inspired you to return with a new full length and how did the whole process and cooperation with Revelation come around?

Over the past couple years, the band has been able to play together and gradually working our way back to making the new record. For a while there, some of us were living in different places and we weren’t able to be active. But once everyone was back in the greater Seattle area, we started practicing and playing a couple shows. After that, we played a few shows in California, and it just felt like the right time to do a little more. We were all having fun with the band, and we were motivated to create something new together. Several songs that ended up on Body Feel were ideas kicking around in some form or another for a long time, and some were written after the idea of a new record began. We had a long list of material that we needed to trim down to focus on for the LP. Rev is a great fit for us, and soon all 4 LPs we’ve released will be available from them.

After so many years in the game, how do you bring that kind of energy and excitement into the studio? What fuels your passion and appetite for more?

Well, we really do like playing music, and performing live is great. As a group, we aren’t too keen on going out and touring for a long time anymore, which was something we’ve done in the past. Now, we’re still inspired to be creative and play music and have lots of ideas and energy, so it was really fulfilling to get in the studio and use it as an outlet for that. Collaborating with every member during the process of recording guitars, for example, was really fun and led to some cool stuff being on the record that wouldn’t have ended up there otherwise. And we are all people who love music and making things in our lives outside of the band anyways, so coming together and working on this record together was an opportunity we really appreciated.

SHOOK ONES live!

How has your engagement in local punk scene and DIY networking inside the community changed over time? Can you tell us about the music scene in WA?

Hopefully this question isn’t suggesting that we’re getting old! I’ve loved music my whole life, punk and DIY appealed to me instantly, and it is all still a huge part of who I am. Everyone’s involvement changes over time, sometimes more sometimes less, and the balance of all things in your life is a constant task to manage. But we all still love music, and even scheduled Shook Ones band meetings at other bands’ shows that we knew we would all be attending anyways. Personally, I do some recording with local bands because I love seeing that side of music and being involved in DIY music that way. Our band shares members with many other active musical projects, too.

Seattle has a scene that’s a little older than other places, maybe because a lot of us have stuck around, but I always find myself wishing for more younger people. There are a good amount of all ages venues here, but sometimes the age of people in attendance doesn’t seem like that mattered. Anyways, we have a ton of very cool bands like Dreamdecay, Big Bite, Supercrush, Sun Spots, Regional Justice Center, Casual Hex, MARV, Fluung, Proofs, Matriarch, Slumberbox, The Berries, etc etc.

How many of your older friends are still in bands, doing their thing since early 00s?

A ton, especially up and down the west coast since we have friends in lots of places. We’re often trying to play with them when we leave town. The New Rituals, Spectres, Daggermouth are all long time friends in Vancouver. We’re playing with Aaron’s sister’s band Super Unison when we go back to the Bay Area, wish we could get other friends bands Ex Youth, Sabertooth Zombie, Spiritual Cramp, Mutilated Tongue, Torso… we’ll be playing in LA with our friends in Dangers who are still going strong. The lines start to get blurred around what year we met which person, cause there are tons more people who we’ve met through music over the years who have stayed involved. And if you want to know all the previous bands these people did, this interview is going to get really really long.

SHOOK ONES by Kimberly Yount

SHOOK ONES by Kimberly Yount

How do you balance between your everyday life and music these days?

Well yeah, that is quite a balancing act. There aren’t enough hours in the day to do all the music we want. We’re figuring out ways to schedule with everyone so we don’t just rush in, practice for an hour and rush off. We like to hang out and play for a while and get food. So we’re really trying to not cram stuff in and force things, cause then its a lot less enjoyable anyways. Similarly, with playing shows we have been trying to come up with ideas and a schedule that fits our lives and doesn’t mean we rush or overextend ourselves. We can do a lot more ultimately if we bite off manageable chunks, so we’re careful about being realistic about what we put on the schedule. And then we aren’t stressing about it, we’re having a great time!

How have your lyrical or conceptual themes evolved since mid 00s? What are some of the concepts behind Body Feel that you feel are worth knowing and exploring?

While I’m sure there has been some evolution, I wouldn’t say there was a lot of conscious effort to push the lyrics in a particular direction over time. Like the music itself, the lyrics are representative of an energy and a feeling that seems to just be inside me. As I’ve gotten older I’ve tried more and more to tap into that energy without letting my brain overthink things. Its a hard-to-describe, free form kind of approach that I find to be very rewarding, and when I’m able to open that door and not trip over myself, it can be a fun process of creation and discovery. That being said, I wish it was as easy as closing my eyes and seeing what comes out of my mouth, but its really a mix of a lot of techniques. I find myself to be my own biggest critic, so each song really takes quite a while to fully work through. When it comes to the content, this record deals almost entirely with watching a loved one struggle with a terminal brain disease. Its a thing that not only causes me personal grief, but it has caused me to look at how I/we prioritize things in life as well. These songs all in one way or another deal with those issues. Since the very first song we wrote, I’d say the lyrics have always had their rooting in what I was dealing with at that given time. Its just what I know. growing up with music, I was always drawn to the sincerity of a singer speaking about their own, personal, genuine experience. I think mixing that with an ability to think/speak critically about the world around us is paramount and is what always drew me towards certain artists/bands. Being a steward of that approach is the best way I know how to be a lyricist myself.

SHOOK ONES live band

Ok guys, so you have just a handful of single shows lined up for the coming months. Will there be more gigs or full tours announced sometime soon? Can we expect you guys here in Europe?

Full tours won’t be something we do. We are trying to get out and play more shows though, and we’re getting a lot of that planning underway right now. We want to get to a few places, some of which we’ve never been to somehow, and some would be overdue returns. We can’t get everywhere, but it’s not because we don’t want to! Some places in Europe are on the list, and we’re trying to figure out how to make it all work for us. Sorry that this answer doesn’t give any clear expectations yet, but we’re trying!

Great! Thanks so much guys. I guess that’s it! Feel free to share your final thoughts and take care! Cheers from Poland!

We really appreciate the opportunity to talk, and are excited about making the new record and sharing it with anyone who cares to check it out! So thank you!

December 8 – Berkeley, CA @ 924 Gilman w/ Super Unison
January 4 – Los Angeles, CA @ Hi Hat w /Dangers, Berthold City
January 5 – Fullerton, CA @ Programme Skate & Sound w/ Dangers, Berthold City

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