Interview with Shai Hulud19th August 2013
Mark interviews Matt Fox from Shai Hulud.
AATR: How did the European tour with Propagandhi go back in April?
Shai Hulud: The tour was an absolute blast, better than we could have ever expected – not speaking for Propagandhi, of course. Poor fellas. They endured sharing a bus with us fanboys. One day I even cornered The Rod, demanding to know his favourite Twisted Sister album.
More on the shows aspect from the angle of us Huluds, there was an extremely warm and welcoming reception, and a lot more of a crossover crowd appreciating both bands than I imagined. My only complaint was that it was all over much too quickly; It was one of those rare and special tours you just didn’t want to end. I’m glad I managed to steal a chat with Hannah about Megadeth and Slayer before it was over.
AATR: Any plans for a Shai Hulud European head lining tour?
Shai Hulud: Directly after our stint with Propagandhi, we left the comfort of the bus and hopped into the confines of a small passenger van for a two week European headliner with Departures supporting. That run was also a blast. Departures is one of the cooler bands we’ve met and seen play in a great while. Make sure you check them out. We’re also hoping to return to Europe again later this year for some shows. Things have been discussed, but nothing yet confirmed. Please keep your luckies crossed; we’re already eager to return. If not again this year, you can bet we’ll be back once or twice in 2014.
AATR: How is Justin Kraus after the show in Trenton, NJ?
Shai Hulud: He had some vocal trouble right after that show, but after a bit of rest he was back, and in good form, helping us rip things up every which way but loose. Everyone who came out to any of our recent shows will surely attest to this.
AATR: What was it like working with Chad Gilbert again for Reach Beyond the Sun?
Shai Hulud: It was an interesting experience for sure. The last time we had worked together, or even spent any extended amount of time together, was really around fifteen years ago. We were kids then, me in my early twenties, and Chad just a teenager. We jumped into the studio together and learned the ins, outs, and quirks of both our adult and “at work” personalities quickly. As with working within any type of unit, there was plenty of push and pull, fortunately all coming from the same and right place and state of mind: “Let’s make the best record possible.” The end result certainly justified all the means as we now have a record we are more than proud to share with those within an earshot.
AATR: Where has been the best place you have played/visited and why?
Shai Hulud: It’s really impossible to name any place we’ve been as the “best;” we’ve been so fortunate to be welcomed in many different cities, states, countries, and continents, having played intense and memorable shows all across the globe. In 1999 we came to Europe for the first time, and that was extremely humbling. A few years later we had the opportunity to visit Australia and Asia – seeing Japan was incredible, it’s the closest I’ll ever get to traveling to another world; everything is so unique and beautiful there. Once again, I could never truly choose a “best,” though I must admit I do have a deep fondness for Japan.
AATR: Does it surprise you how popular you guys are? Did you ever think you would get this big?
Shai Hulud: I never really thought of us as popular. I think the band has just been around so long now that some people simply recognize the name. It doesn’t feel like Shai Hulud is a big band to me. Sometimes we are lucky enough to play crazy shows in front of a few hundred people, but we also often play tiny rooms to under fifty to people who have never heard our name much less even attempt to spell or pronounce it. Again, I think the name has been around so long, people are at least forced to acknowledge our longevity. Regardless of how big or small we truly are, I never dreamed I would be involved with Shai Hulud for so long, and now I am fairly certain I will never stop. It’s mind-blowing to think about. The fact we have been around as long as we have, and that there are any amount of people that claim us as a positive source of influence in their lives is a blessing, something I never take for granted, much more than I ever dreamed we could accomplish. I, and the collective we are eternally grateful.
AATR: What was the first single/album you bought with your own money?
Shai Hulud: The first album I ever bought with my own money, on cassette, mind you, was “Escape” by Journey. Don’t stop believing.
AATR: Any band/artist who is a guilty pleasure which people wouldn’t believe you liked?
Shai Hulud: I doubt people would believe I love Enya, which I truly do, but it’s hardly a guilty pleasure; I proudly and shamelessly love her. Listening to her right now, in fact! I, myself, find it harder to believe there is some Weezer I don’t dislike. They would be the closest thing to a guilty pleasure I can think of.
AATR: Any plans to reform Zombie Apocalypse for a future release?
Shai Hulud: We’d all love to do it, and have talked about it at length. We have plenty of riffs, lyric ideas, and song titles kicking around – now just to find the time. We should have some information about Zombie Apocalypse later this year. Hopefully.
AATR: If you could only listen to 3 albums for the rest of your life which albums would you choose and why?
Shai Hulud: That’s a tough call, my friend… I’d have to say one of them would be “Celtic Classics – An Enchanted Journey” by Shanon. It is my go-to stress relieving / anti anxiety CD, and it ALWAYS works. Doubtful I would want to live without that one. Once again, this is an extremely difficult thing to accurately nail down. I sure hope I am never truly put in this position. Giving it more thought than I probably should, I’m considering albums with varied styles between the songs, you know, because if these are the ONLY three albums I could listen to for the rest of my life, my last two choices should be crammed with variety and dynamic. That acknowledged, I think I would pick Propagandhi‘s newest, “Failed States.” Aside from the fact it is a brilliant record, that aforementioned variety is very prevalent here, and it stirs up many emotions, and satisfies a myriad of musical cravings. Plus, it’s been put to the test already. “Failed States” is one of the very few albums on my iPhone; it’s played more than you would believe (or myself for that matter), and it hasn’t once sounded stale. Lastly, as cliché as it may sound, it would have to be a Metallica record, either “Master Of Puppets” or “Ride The Lightning.” There is no question that these two records are responsible for so much of whatever (little) insight I have into music, and the two primary catalysts boiling my awe, creativity, and inspiration to create forcing at such a young age that I had no choice but to attempt to light my own, and carry on a similar flame. But which? Teenage me says “Master of Puppets,” but I’m going to go against that little shit (I really was) and choose “Ride The Lightning.” No harm done though. Can’t really go wrong with either record.
AATR: Any bands you would like to tour with, who you haven’t had the pleasure of?
Shai Hulud: This year was incredible for this very question. This year’s Soundwave featured both Metallica and Slayer; that was pretty huge for me. I never thought I would have that opportunity – we were even on the same plane as Slayer. Pretty neat, you know? Also, not to keep talking about the band, but touring with Propagandhi really was a dream come true. They’ve been a Hulud favourite for as long as we’ve been around so to be personally asked to tour with them, by them, share a tour, stages, and a bus with the band’s that was a big deal for us. Not at all easy to top. Thinking of other bands I’d like to tour with; Iron Maiden, perhaps? Or Queen if we could revive Freddy Mercury. How about Bad Brains if H.R. woke up? More realistically, though not terribly realistic at all, a Descendents tour would be another personal dream for me. They were, after all, the band who got me over my first girlfriend.
Shai Hulud are currently On Tour. Check out their Tour Dates here