Missouri rockers Shaman’s Harvest have thrown out the rule book with their sixth record Red Hands Black Deeds. Made with an organic analogue approach, the album delves deep into new lyrical territory. But their classic mid-western feel is still there, and Nathan Hung (vocals), Matt Fisher (bass), Josh Hamler (rhythm guitar), Derrick Shipp (lead guitar) and Adam Zemanek (drums) have definitely made a record that reflects their journey and perseverance through their 21 years.
Nathan had a chat to TEO about Shaman’s Harvest going analogue, thinking outside the box and Game of Thrones. But don’t worry there aren’t any spoilers.
TEO: Your album Red Hands Black Deeds came out about a month ago, how did you approach this record differently from your last one?
Nathan: In every way, really. We only had two songs for the record when we started recording it. We convinced the record label that we had a whole record’s worth and we convinced the producer the same. He flew in and asked us what we had, we told him that we didn’t have anything but don’t worry we’d get it. So, he told us to go in this room and write and a lot of stuff just came pouring out; it’s probably the first time we’ve all really worked on a record as a group and contributed evenly. We kept it analogue and we did a lot more exploring on this record.
When you say you went analogue, how did you create your sounds?
We used all tape chambers for reverbs and tape delays. We used a two-inch tape to actually record and then the only computers we used were to do some final editing. So all the effects are real stuff.
Which song on the album are you most proud of?
Oh, it’s still like a new born baby—you can’t play favourites! But there’s always a favourite. Right now, ‘Soul Crusher’ is the one that I’m most happy with. That was one of the few songs we had written and it evolved completely different from what we had initially. I like the fact that it took a little journey with us.
Your album art has a medieval/Game of Thrones look about it with the font and the snarling hyena. Do you watch it by any chance?
I watch the shit out of it. I was one of those dorks that read them in the late ’90s. The comparison was not intentional but I can totally see where it comes from.
Who are you rooting for to sit on the iron throne?
I hope they all just get along and defeat the white walkers! Jon Snow was always my favourite, but you can’t like any of them too much ’cause they’re all going to die (probably).
Can you tell us about what the art represents?
I had the idea of scavengers, and it’s representative of a darker side to us. The hyena is definitely the spirit animal; it’s necessary but pretty vicious. So, I thought it was a nice image to sit with the music.
Are you planning on taking this record on tour?
Yeah, we’re doing it right now! We’re playing half this record and then half our other most recent record. We went out in June and this tour will last until October and by the time it’s finished we’ll be playing the whole record.
Have you played in Australia before? Are you thinking of touring down here?
Never! Last week we were talking about trying to put together a tour and visit in maybe 2018. We’d love to come.
Get Red Hands Black Deeds here.
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Photos: Adrienne Beacco