Shaman’s Harvest, ‘Dangerous’ – Exclusive Video Premiere + Interview
It's been an eventful year for Shaman's Harvest, who are starting to make waves with their new single 'Dangerous' just as their new album 'Smokin' Hearts & Broken Guns' hits shelves. The band is teaming up with Loudwire to premiere the 'Dangerous' video, which can be seen in the player above.
The video follows a group of women wearing surgical masks operating on stuffed animals while a man in control anxiously looks on, but who really has the upper hand in the situation? You'll have to watch the clip to see.
In addition to the video premiere, we've also got a chat with the band's frontman Nathan Hunt, who was diagnosed with and treated for throat cancer but pushed forward to make sure the disc was completed. Now cancer-free, Hunt is enjoying the success of their new song and the release of their new album. Check out the chat below.
Congrats on the new album. I've read where this album kind of came together in the studio with the group writing then recording as ideas came up. What made this the right choice and do you feel this brought about a different outcome than perhaps having it all mapped out in advance of hitting the studio?
Thanks man. We had just come off the road on an extensive tour. We were bone tired and creatively empty. We had a loose idea for 'Dangerous,' but nothing else was really coming to the surface. The pressure was on to continue the bit of success we had with our 'Shine' EP. So we figured what the hell, let's at least get in the studio and lay down the one idea we had and if the creek don't rise maybe something else will pop up. Lo and behold it did. It isn't for everyone but the advantage to doing an album like this is you can capture the essence of the song without rehearsing the soul out of it.
This album is definitely a key one for the band that probably took on an even greater significance when you were diagnosed with throat cancer. It's clearly had an effect, as seen in some of the lyrical content. But can you talk about the environment in the studio and what that was like during this period?
There was definitely an 'Oh s--t' moment but when that passed we all seemed to knuckle down a bit, including Rich Creighbaum the producer. It also kind of became more important to write a fluid and solid album as opposed to focusing on writing that elusive "smash hit." It freed us up from the pressure and in the end I think the new priority shift allowed us to make better songs as a whole. The labor was one of love again -- one we felt like we could truly be ourselves in.
We recently had the chance to premiere the new lyric video for 'Dangerous' at Loudwire. Can you talk a little about the song and your thoughts upon hearing it fully realized in the studio for the first time?
First time I heard a pseudo finished version of that song I though, "Well hell, that's a bad motherf---er." There isn't anything nice about 'Dangerous.' It feels like power and energy. Once I came to terms with the cancer diagnosis it took on a whole new meaning -- one of triumph. It feels like a psych up song for empowerment. Along with 'Dangerous,' this disc has such standout tracks as 'Blood in the Water' and 'In the End' and I would think each would translate well to the stage.
How much do you consider the live show and how things might work into a set when putting together an album?
The stage really has everything to do with songwriting for me. I'm not going to lie, when writing a song I try to envision some ridiculous arena show and all the bells and whistles we can pull off. For instance the bridge to 'In Chains' seems to come from nowhere, but in my head I see a drumline and children's choir sent by the angels [laughs].
I imagine performing these songs before they're fully written. If you don't do that you risk writing s--t that doesn't fully translate to your show. Same thought with transposing the body of work to a more acoustic feel. If you can't play a song with a vocal and an acoustic then it's probably worth a lead penny.
I realize the natural choice is to support each song equally, but is there a song off the disc that you feel a special affinity for? If so, could you talk about what makes that track stand out to you and why?
They really honestly all speak to me and take me for a ride. I can remember what I was feeling and thinking during the writing of each of these. Any other album we've written, I could point out one or two but this one seems to shift and chameleonize with my moods and taste daily. I think that's why it's important to make records that run the gamut of the human heart. Takes longer to get stale.
While this album rocks, there's a variety of sounds on this disc. There's a little bluesy vibe I'm picking up, as well. Can you talk about your musical inspirations and how they factor into the overall sound?
Each of us is inspired by different things and at different times. Delta and Chicago blues of the '20s through the '60s, the Seattle sound of the '90s, metal, Appalachian and Americana music, the British invasion, Motown, Skynyrd and The Allman Brothers. Hell, even '80s pop. I think you can hear subtleties of all of this in what we do. I think that's what makes a band as opposed to the label formed bulls--t we hear a lot of today. It's the struggle of letting all the different influence in the band to be heard.
Being from the Midwest and near your area myself, I get where you're coming from about the vibe and the attitude. But can you talk about what it's been like attempting to build your name and audience?
Well it isn't easy. But is it ever? I feel like if you're screaming to be heard in a room with only a few people to hear it. Is it better than screaming in an auditorium with a s--t-ton of other a--holes screaming to be heard that could care less what you're screaming about in the first place? Damn near gives me a panic attack thinking about it. Way I see it is everybody wants to discover something from somewhere else. Europeans want to discover American rock. Americans want to discover alt-pop and adult contemporary artists from the UK. Point is here in the Midwest we have something to say and somebody somewhere wants to know what that is. At least that's what I tell myself at night.
What's on the horizon for Shaman's Harvest as we get into the fall?
I think this fall and winter we're going to try and get out to the people who've been wanting to see us these last few years and gaining new appreciators of Shaman's Harvest. We've started booking shows and playing in the Midwest and South. Way I hear it we're looking to head up and down the Eastern seaboard and even some shows out West. All in preparation for a Shaman's Harvest 2015 domination. Seriously though, it's our goal to let the world know along with other artists that rock and roll is beginning its circle anew, and that the days of the "formula" of butt-rock is done.
Our thanks to Shaman's Harvest's Nathan Hunt for the interview. You can pick up the band's new album, 'Smokin' Hearts & Broken Guns,' at iTunes and Amazon. You can catch them on the road at these stops, with more dates expected to be added.