Shaman's Harvest

Photo by Adrienne Beacco

Photo by Adrienne Beacco

By Poppy Tohill

American rock band Shaman’s Harvest’s recently released sixth studio album Red Hands Black Deeds is a testament to their passion for exploring new creative territory and expanding musical boundaries. Tackling subjects such as race issues, depression, civil unrest and war, we play (almost) 20 questions with lead vocalist Nate Hunt to find out more about the band’s creative process and road to their new sound.

Congratulations on the release of Red Hands Black Deeds, how does it feel to finally have it out there for the world to hear and have you been happy with the reception it has received thus far?

We couldn't be happier with it being out! It was a long recording process to achieve what we wanted and the reception has been great to this point. Our fans have been blown away with the direction we went.

Can you tell us about the title and concept behind the record?

Conceptually it’s about the darker nature of us as a species and the darker sound is helped by an analog feel that binds all dynamics.

How about the indigenous percussive instruments used on the album?

We used goat toes, A rotary phone, Appalachian dulcimer, sandpaper, airplanes flying over the studio in LA, we made a contact mic to place on the throat to pick up humming. Basically anything that was laying around the studio was subjected to being recorded until we found the sounds we wanted for a particular part.

In Comparison to Smokin Hearts & Broken Guns, Red Hands Black Deeds has a much more ominous vibe with darker tones.. How do you think the band has evolved over those years?

We had spent two years solid on the road supporting SHBG’s then went straight into the studio to record this album. So we were a little dark and worn out. I guess in the end, this record shows how we felt at the time of the recording.

You only took about 4 days to record the entire album which is incredible, can you tell us about that process?

We recorded the album at Firebrand Studio in St. Louis, MO & Pie Town in Los Angeles and hammered out most of the main parts in under a week. Then we spent a lot of time figuring out tones and the vibe we wanted it in. It’s something we've found that works for us - Let the song fly while it’s new and fresh. We don’t beat it to death from the start, if it instantly feels good we roll with it.

You’re currently on the road with Nickelback and Daughtry which is very cool! What has that experience been like?

This tour has been an incredible learning experience for us, these two bands are some of the biggest in the rock world. The bands and crews have been top notch and everyone has worked together “like it should be”, we couldn't be happier with this tour.

Do you have any crazy ‘on the road’ stories you can share with us?

We recently had our tour bus surrounded by a swat team in a Walmart parking lot due to a false notion that we had guns on the bus. One of our crew guys had just bought a BB gun and was taking target practice on a soda can in the back of the parking lot. Someone drove by and called us in for walking around with guns. After we were cuffed and the bus was searched the police force and us all had a good laugh. Turns out several of the swat team members were fans of ours!

Considering you are on the road a lot, how does songwriting fit into that?

We don't do much writing on the road. We focus on getting rest for our shows and staying healthy. We save our writing for when we’re home and can concentrate solely on it.

How does the songwriting process work within the band, is it very collaborative between all of you, or do you each have your own roles?

For the most part we write together. Some of us come in with some ideas and we expand on them. We do our best writing in the studio and under the microscope.

Where do you generally draw your inspiration from when it comes to songwriting?

Impression is dictated from a song to song basis. Sometimes it’s pulled from an internal standpoint and sometimes from the environment, large part the strife caused by an us vs. them inherent mentality. Which was mostly the case in this record.

Do you have a particular favourite song on the record & if so, why is it your favourite?

We would say Soul Crusher. This was the first song that was demoed and recorded and helped set the mood for the rest of the record.

We love the music video for The Come Up - Can you tell us a little bit about the idea behind this?

We wanted a video showing how life can kick the crap out of you but you just have to keep going, that’s what the song is about.