Exclusive Interview With Dan Shook Of Meatwound
My name is Alex Sekunna. I am interviewing Dan Shook. Dan's known for his most popular bands; Combat Wounded Veteran, The Holy Mountain, Meatwound and many more. Dan's been writing and singing for over twenty years now. Not many are that devoted to the underground music scene these days. This was a great opportunity and I hope you guys enjoy this interview!
MHW: You're the longtime vocalist and writer of Hardcore, Power Violence and Grindcore bands such as Combat wounded Veteran, Headless Dogs, The Holy Mountain, Primate Research, Lifechain, and your most recent project, Meatwound. Did I miss any bands?
Dan: That sounds like all of them.
MHW: Blows my mind how different every band is from the last. But I did, however, notice the influences of Combat Wounded Veteran and The Holy Mountain have on Meatwound, did you mean for that to happen?
Dan: Meatwound is probably more of a free for all than Combat was. I usually just sing over whatever the other guys put together but there are a few songs I had a hand in writing. The ones that sound like caveman shit. The new record is different from song to song, we all brought riffs and ideas. Multiple songs either started from a video Leo sent us of a drum part or even whole songs that he structured out and Marty and Ari wrote music to. Keyboards make an appearance again for the first time since the Combat LP. It’s a mess.
MHW: Example on the album, largely the song "Seance", and your most recent album Trash Apparatus and the song "Implant", remind me a lot of the album Duck Down for the Torso. You have the feedback and noise settings, just not any sound clips as you did with The Holy Mountain. Also, you have a lot more to say. What do you think?
Dan: I can never get enough feedback. Ari will finish his main guitar tracks and then go back to do pure noise and trash tracks. Whether the song needs it or not, they don’t feel finished without something sounding broken. So, Meatwound definitely shares that approach to layering songs like the earlier bands.
"Implant" was a song I begged Leo to do cause I wanted to use a waltz beat in the style of Lard or Devo. Trash Apparatus started when Marty was sick and we went to practice anyway and wrote some basic tracks while Leo piled junk on his drum set and played it that way. The one song on there that sounds like “music” was the one Marty wrote later.
I don’t know if I have more to say than before. I write until I run out of ideas for a song. Sometimes that takes longer than others.
MHW: What were your influences and muses for your writing?
Dan: I used to be a depressed alcoholic cryboy but I’m not drunk or depressed anymore, so it’s different writing lyrics now. I wrote about those years on the last couple records but I think that’s run dry. There are two songs about religion/church on the new LP cause that well never runs dry. There’s already another religion song for the next record. Of course, there are songs about politics and animals. Always.
MHW: Do you prefer idealism over realism when writing?
Dan: I prefer cryptic wording and inside jokes. And finding new word combinations.
MHW: What comes first the lyrics or the riffs?
Dan: I’m always writing lyrics, but sometimes they catch up and I have to write on the fly. The records are usually a mix of both.
MHW: What drove you to write lyrics and not playing an instrument?
Dan: I’ve been kicked off of bass in the only two long term bands I was in. Best foot forward means I shouldn’t be playing an instrument, I’m good at mouth sounds.
MHW: What sparked the album name "Trash Apparatus"?
Dan: Leo was working on free jazz and African drum patterns by himself for hours. He sent us some videos of things he was working on and he had placed pots and broken cymbals on his drums. Shit sounded like he was hammering a bunch of scrap metal.
MHW: what would you prefer to have your music on? Vinyl, Cassette, Compact Disk or digital?
Dan: Vinyl because I love records. I prefer a vinyl/digital release over anything else right now.
MHW: I own one of your floppy discs that came out for Lifechain, and I heard that those presses used to be owned by national geographic. was that your idea to put them out that way?
Dan: I believe it was Jon’s idea. He played drums in Lifechain, Assholeparade, etc. That band went on to become Butcher, who put out two pretty solid LPs.
MHW: Are there any bands or albums you recommend?
Dan: Aura Noir, Funeral Mist, Party of Helicopters, The Sounds, Brutal Knights, Conway, Benny, Westside Gunn, that one INVSN record, Dropdead, Born Against, In/Humanity, Longings, Thunderclap, Hail Mary, Disrupt. Oh, and Matthew Akers.
MHW: Thank you for your time, Dan. We hope to see you on the road! Keep it at 11! Any upcoming shows?
Dan: Thanks for the interview.
9/5-9/22 East Coast tour with Thunderclap
10/31-11/2 Gainesville- The Fest