Vocalist Joe Edwards, Gitarristen Sam Kubrick und Jamie-Lee Underwood und Drummer Alex Rayner – das ist die Londoner Hardcoreband Shields. Wir haben uns mit ihnen über die Anfänge der Band, die neue EP „Guilt“ und ihren Traumgig unterhalten.
music-news.at:How did you find each other and how did you start creating music together? Were there any projects before „Shields“?
Joe and Sam:We have been friends since we were kids and we would always be making music together. We spent most of our time on the school computers using Cubase (Anm d. Red.: „Cubase“ ist eine Software für Tonstudios) to record our riffs and ideas. It wasn’t until we ended up going to the same college together in London that we decided we wanted to gig and take ourselves more seriously.
Alex:I met Sam and Joe at college. Throughout our time there they would always be demoing songs and riffs. Whenever they had a project going that they were excited about they would show me and our other classmates to get feedback and see what we thought. It didn’t take long for me to realise they were not only on the same page as me musically but they also had incredible drive and motivation. Due to lots of different reasons at the time I did not join the band from the start but was always supporting them as they grew. Luckily, a couple years later I had the opportunity to audition for them and took it. It’s been a crazy ride right from the start and I’m always looking forward to the future as we grow as a band together.
Jamie:I used to be in a Post-Rock band called „She Fell Victim“ for a good long while. After not being in a band for a few months a friend of mine told me about this new band called Shields looking for members. I listened to the only song they had released at the time, which was called „Walls“, and immediately knew this was something I wanted to pursue. I sent Sam a message and we arranged a band practice. I played my first show with the guys at an all dayer in London and the rest is history.
music-news.at:What are your inspirations and influences? Any musicians or bands you look up to?
Shields:Everyone in the band is an avid fan of Metal and Hardcore and all its „sub genres“ as they are referred to. Some bands we took a lot of influence from in the early days of the band include Northlane, Suicide Silence and Slipknot, to name a few. Our musical tastes as a band collectively are now incredibly varied. We take a lot of influence from artists like This Will Destroy You, Hammock and a lot of soundtracks from films, video games and Anime.
music-news.at:When and where was your first gig?
Shields:Our first ever show was at the Relentless Garage in Islington, London. At this point we only had three full time members (before Alex and Jamie had joined the band) and a couple of friends filling. This was three years ago and we knew no one in the local scene so we figured the best way to get our first show was to book it ourselves.
We hired the venue, booked the bands and promoted the show. We billed ourselves as the openers and asked three local bands to play who are all now friends of ours: Shoutout to Despite My Deepest Fear, We Die Tonight and Weather The Storm.
music-news.at:What was the process of creating and recording the songs for your most recent EP „Guilt“ like?
Shields:It was a fairly easy process as we already had a lot of ideas and melodies that we had previously demoed scattered across my laptop that we knew we wanted to use at one point. „Jordan“ was pretty much a finished song that we had been sitting on for a while. The rest of the EP I composed and demoed at home whilst nearly every couple of days I would send my progress to the rest of the band for feedback and criticism. We knew lyrically that we wanted our songs to be more personal and hold more of a meaningful punch. Joe and I combined our efforts to write lyrics that sourced from some of the harder times we had experienced in our lives. „Jordan“, for example, is about the death of a close friend of Joe’s who decided to take his life. In the song Joe describes how Jordan’s passing affected him and how he came to accept what had happened.
Recording the EP was also luckily an easy process as it was tracked, mixed and mastered by our friend Daniel Kerr of Avenue Studios who was my housemate at the time. Daniel has recorded every Shields release to date and knew exactly what kind of sound we were after for „Guilt“.
music-news.at:How did you experience the making of the music video for „Jordan“? It’s beautifully shot. I feel like it really gets the message of the song across and you kind of feel haunted and like you’ve just woken up from a nightmare after watching it.
Joe:The making of everything surrounding „Jordan“ was an emotional process. I began writing the lyrics a month after he died as I was hiking through the Himalayas in India. I believe it really gave me the space and peace of mind to open myself up to the experience. This is what the song is really about, opening up and moving on.
The first person perspective from which the narrative was shot certainly helps to convey how I was affected at the time of his passing. I had a very negative view on the situation that I couldn’t let go of, until I managed to accept Jordan’s death.
music-news.at: Let’s talk about something a bit more lighthearted now. When you think about past shows and tours – what was the most embarrassing or funny thing that has ever happened to you?
Shields:With the amount of energy that we put into our live performance we occasionally end up hurting ourselves. For example, at Deadbolt 2014 Sam managed to split open his eyebrow on the headstock of his own guitar mid head-bang. Blood was everywhere. We were once playing a show in Essex and inbetween songs about halfway through our set, Joe wanted to address the audience with his mic but instead ended up talking into the mouthpiece of his water bottle. Probably his proudest moment as a frontman.
music-news.at:What would your dream show be like? Where would it be and who else would be playing?
Shields:That’s such a hard question to answer. It would probably be in a venue like Brixton Academy. It has an amazing stage and massive capacity but not so large that you don’t feel close to the crowd. A large part of why we like playing live is the engagement of the audience with our music and how they give vibes off. That is an amazing feeling. An eclectic line up would be the best, we would open the show, followed by The Prodigy because they have the craziest frontman in the world and Kiss can headline for no other reason than that they are Kiss.
music-news.at:What was the first record you bought and the first show you attended?
Sam:The first album I ever bought was James Brown’s Greatest Hits when I was twelve. I just thought he was the dopest frontman I had ever seen and heard at the time. For some reason my music taste changed to The Beastie Boys, to Fall Out Boy and then finally to Metal, but I still retain a liking for 90’s Hip Hop and Emo. The First show I ever went to was Zebrahead and Bowling For Soup in London. I had to sit in the stalls though which sucked.
Joe:The first record I ever bought was „Songs About Jane“ by Maroon 5. I still listen to that record a lot, it’s a really great album. The first show I remember seeing was Pink Floyd doing a reunion show with my dad when I was really young. That was pretty awesome.
Alex:The first record I went out with my money to buy was Bullet For My Valentine’s first album „The Poison„. It wasn’t only an amazing album at the time but its influence has stuck with me for years. It was probably the first time I said to myself „Yeah, I want to be in a band“. The first show I ever went to was actually a day ticket to Reading Festival when I was eleven years old. I got to see some amazing bands including Inme, Bowling For Soup, Finch, Placebo, Blink 182 and headliners Linkin Park. It was crazy.
Jamie:The first record I bought was Hybrid Theory by Linkin Park, feels like an age ago but the songs still hit home with me like they did with the first listen back in the day. That album was the first „heavy“ album I listened to. I was big on Rap before purchasing this album but after rinsing every track, this album got me hooked on guitar and initiated my first thought towards starting a band.
The first show I went to was the first show I ever played. My mates always told me to come down to shows but I always said the first show I go to I have to play. I was in a couple of bands before Shields. Nothing much really just local bands and we never really amounted to anything but they gave me a push to be better and basically became stepping stones to where I am now. Without my second project I wouldn’t have met the mutual friend between me and Sam. That mutual friend watched my old band and knew I was looking for a fresh start and the boys from Shields needed a guitarist. Me and Sam basically exchanged a few messages and had a practice and we haven’t turned back since. We became a family rather than friends.
music-news.at:Thank you so much for answering all our questions and I wish you all the best for the future.
Und nicht vergessen: Live sind die vier Jungs am 10. November 2015 im Viper Room in Wien zu sehen. Mit dabei sind Elyne, Squirrels With Lightsabers und Hunting Party.