First of all, what is Shellshock and why was it formed?
Ayre: Shellshock is a four piece Metal/Drum n Bass band from London, UK. It was formed to try to perfect the pairing of digital sonics with metal based music in a world of half arsed attempts.
Musically, you mix metal with drum n bass. That already brings up a question: why drum n bass? And how would you describe your music?
Bones: Over the years lots of bands have hinted at and dropped in loops of this nature but none have fully embraced the digital side of their music and brought it to the live arena.
Ayre: We've always believed that it was obvious drum n bass and dubstep merged well with the energy and passion of metal. A lot of drum n bass uses all the same scales and progressions as metal. Shellshock seems like the next logical step to us.
What are the main influences of Shellshock?
Ayre: There are too many to list, but lots of bands; Pantera, Faith No More, Fear Factory, The Prodigy, Korn. That’s some the old school ones.
Bones: Lots, far and wide. Metallica, Rage Against The Machine, Pendulum, Carcass, Devin Townsend. Just lots of bands from any kind of genre. It’s all about being open minded.
The 'Laws of Rebellion' release turned out to be a positive surprise for me and got a good review on our page. What are your own views on this release? What can people who blindly buy it expect of it?
Ayre: It is an amalgamation of many years of forging the shellshock sound and venting our angst. I feel it is the bastard son of an uber bitch and is the beginning of a journey that our next albums will take you on. All the mess in our heads is in that album and now the worm hole just gets deeper and deeper. It will blast your socks off!
Bones: It’s a quite unique and quite extreme in a sense too because it has a lot of energy right from the start that continues all the way through.
What is in your opinion the best track on the release and why?
Ayre: Core Torsion, I love the arrangement of it and the simplicity.
Bones: Core Torsion, its just fun to play live.
What is the message you try to spread lyrically?
Ayre: I like to try and make people aware of where they fit into a society. The lyrics are about many things. Not necessarily being who or what you’re expected to be, standing up for your beliefs and rights, working together for a better future, using your anger to drive you forward, governmental reign, 1984-esque patterns and recognizing the cattle when you see them. As a more general theme, the music is about people trying to break out of the mould and not following blindly.
The album was self-released in Europe and the United States, but got released on a record label in Japan. This pretty much begs for an explanation…
Ayre: We're an unsigned band worldwide, so if anyone wants to take us on, we want to take this a whole lot further, so all offers are welcome. Grindhouse took on ‘Laws of Rebellion’ because they loved it so much, even if it was only within their power to release it in Japan. They’ve done a lot to get it in shops, advertise it and get it heard on as many radio stations as they could, so we greatly appreciate all they have done to help us.
Recently you've released a remix album with mixes of The Bombs of Enduring Freedom a.o. I couldn't find much information on this release - could you provide us some?
Bones: Sure, its called 'Dimensions of Design', its an online only release featuring DJ’s from all over the world including The Bombs Of Enduring Freedom, DJ Wire, Nightbreed UK and lots more. Its got 35 tracks, all remixes of songs from ‘Laws of Rebellion’ and is only about £6 depending on exchange rates and where you are in the world. You can get a copy at iTunes and Amazon MP3. The links to download it are at www.myspace.co.uk/shellshockuk. All the links For 'Laws of Rebellion' are there too.
What can a stranger expect when he visits a live show of Shellshock?
Ayre: To experience the sensation of having your mind rinsed out and all the cobwebs blown away!
What are your views on the metal and/or drum n bass scene in the U.K.?
Bones: Well, I guess Pendulum are one of the biggest drum n bass bands in the world right now. It’s great that they are doing something a little bit different and pushing boundaries. As far as the UK Metal scene goes, I don't really keep tabs on it anymore, at least with new bands. But when Carcass reformed last year I was the first one there.
Ayre: There are some very talented DJ's out there and the UK scene is a great platform for many new artists in the drum n bass arena. The metal scene is very strong with diverse bands appearing all the time. Unsigned stages at U.K festivals are all you need to visit to sample the wealth of diversity that new bands are providing.
What are next to music your other passions in life?
Bones: No other passions really, music is what I do. I like to expand my CD and Vinyl collection. But I enjoy Cycling and Formula One.
Ayre: I write a lot of poetry which usually makes its way into songs gradually, am learning to edit music videos/short films, train, go to the gym whenever possible, study martial arts, go to the theatre, visit Cornwall for extra creativity in writing riffage and lyrics , love forging great friendships and all sorts of things really.
What can we expect of Shellshock in the near future?
Bones: A new album with fatter drum n bass and brutal, heavier metal. We're about 70% of the way through recording it. As for how it sounds, its much darker than ‘Laws of Rebellion’ and the lyrics are very provocative and more accessible.
Ayre: The music has come on too. It really grips me and I’m hoping it’ll catch the attention of many.
The interview ends here, thanks for your time. If you have some final words to add, you can do it here.
Bones: Visit www.myspace.com/shellshockuk and our Facebook and become our friend, say hello, give us your opinion, we love to hear from you. If you like what you hear then download ‘Laws of Rebellion’ or our new Remix album 'Dimensions of Design' from iTunes or Amazon MP3. If you want a CD of ‘Laws of Rebellion’ get in touch and we can ship one to you wherever you are.
Ayre: Thanks for reading this and taking an interest. If you get a spare hour or two then please watch 'Zeitgeist' the movie and 'Addendum' at www.zeitgeist.com. It may just change your perception of the world.
Interview by: Gerardo, answered by Ayre (vocals) & Bones (guitars) - September 2009