My Inspiration – Shot For Self Downfall | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Teesside alt. rock quartet Shot For Self Downfall return to the North East music scene from a 17-year hiatus with a huge gig booked at The Georgian Theatre, Stockton on Saturday 20th April. The band return with their unmistakable signature sound: heavy guitars, catchy riffs, punchy drums and low-end bass, with a distinct hardcore/emo vibe and versatile vocal melodies. 2023 saw debut album Frustration, Anger and Heartache along with follow-up EP The Julienne Ruin (both recorded over 18 years ago) made available on the major streaming platforms and, with the prospect of new music being recorded and released in 2024, listeners won’t have to wait long to hear future releases. Here, the band tell us a little more about the inspiration behind the songs…

The title of our debut album is Frustration, Anger and Heartache and when you listen to the songs on that recording, you can start to understand where the name came from. The Julienne Ruin EP, recorded a few years later, also has a very similar feel of raw, ‘heart on sleeve’ emotion, which is down to a combination of the lyrics and the music accompanying them.

Although our influences are quite broad and diverse, our songs often feature a blend of indie rock/grunge/post hardcore and emo, with each member of the band bringing a different dynamic. We’re fans of all sorts of music and grew up listening to The Beatles, Nirvana and The Smashing Pumpkins. When we first formed the band, however, we mostly took inspiration from artists such as Hell is For Heroes, Hundred Reasons, The Foo Fighters, Thrice and Taking Back Sunday; you can hear elements of all these influences in our songs.

Our songwriting process has always followed the same kind of pattern regardless of which band member brings the idea to the practice room. The initial concept for the song generally starts life as a guitar riff or chord progression, with a vocal melody line to accompany the music. Some songs progress quickly whereas others can take a lot longer and we generally find we keep coming back to ideas each time we practice, but only if the four of us have a good feeling for it. The vocal melody is very important to us and we try to write something that has some versatility to it, to make sure each part is interesting. The actual lyrics would often come secondary in the process.

Since getting back together last year, the new songs that we’ve written have really picked up where the older ones left off. The most recent music has the same energy, dynamic and often pent-up aggression whilst the lyrics are still steeped in emotion and raw feeling. It’s been reassuring that, since we started revisiting the older songs (like a Blue Peter time capsule!) they still sound great to us and have really stood the test of time.

Shameless plug alert: check out our social media pages to see details of our upcoming live gigs, including the show at The Georgian Theatre on Saturday 20th April, where we’ll be playing our newer music alongside the old.


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