INTERVIEW: Shame | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Known for being one of the hottest live bands around, it’s a genuine reason to be excited when Shame announces a UK tour.  It’s a double reason to be excited when they release new material that’s banging, and clearly designed to be played live.  

Released in advance of their new album (Food for Worms), Shame’s recent singles ‘Six Pack’ and ‘Fingers of Steel’ contain those unmissable elements of the band’s make-up (hard, committed and truthful) whilst pushing their sound into new sonic territory.  There’s real growth happening here. 

“We certainly wanted this album to challenge us all when we made it, both musically and ideally” comments Charlie Forbes; Shame’s well-mannered, comedic, drummer.  “The two singles are a good indication of what can be expected on the album, but there’s never a particular sound we’re aiming for or a defined ambition when we write, so there’s a mixture of sounds and styles on the record.” 

There’s a risk for all bands that they start sounding the same the longer they’re around for, and we didn’t want that

Deciding to bring in uber-talented producer Mark “Flood” Ellis (Nine Inch Nails, Depeche Mode, U2) was clearly a statement of intent when looking at how they could challenge and push themselves; “There’s a risk for all bands that they start sounding the same the longer they’re around for, and we didn’t want that, so we thought Flood could help,” continues Forbes. “If anything, even in the studio, we had one eye on our live show and were keen to have some songs with a different feel that could influence how we played live”. 

Ah, the live show, perhaps the primary reason Shame crept into the pop consciousness in the late 2010s, complete with tales of punk intensity matched with comedic spontaneity.  “We can’t wait to get back on the road and play these songs and play with a new energy.  Songs like Six-Pack will be exciting to play as there’s a lot more harmony in it than other songs we’ve made and there’s a nice space in the sound.  We tried to create space when we made the second album, but we ended up filling all of the space in, so with Food for Worms we made sure that we left the space”. 

 A UK tour and a new album are just the start for a rejuvenated Shame recons Forbes, “Yeah, we’re really excited to release the album then get out on tour.  What’s good about the live show is that we have enough songs to mix the shows up every night which keeps the shows fresh and new for us and hopefully means each show can be even more unique and interesting for us all.  We want to keep building up that list of songs so we’re keen to work on new material as quickly as we can.  But first, we want to get out on tour and be as good live as we can be, if not better”. 

A new album, a new intensity, and a new level of optimism for the future of the band; that’s a reason for us all to be excited. 

Shame play Newcastle’s Boiler Shop on Saturday 4th March.

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