Exposure - Shields Up
Shields Up - Death Of You
Formed in January this year, Edinburgh-based Shields Up’s self-titled debut album arrived in stores on October 5th. They have already been on tour around the UK plying their trade more than once and are fast earning a reputation for energetic live shows offering up a taste of the classic hardcore experience. We caught up with the hard-working young men as they prepare for another assault on venues around the country at the end of October.
Tell us about yourselves, how did you all get together?
After the break up of myself and Jak's previous band, and a year and a half break from band stuff, we got the itch to start another hardcore band. The point from the beginning was just to play straight up hardcore as the scene in Scotland (and arguably, the UK) didn't really have any fast, melodic hardcore bands. So we decided to step in. I was originally going to play guitar but we couldn't find a singer, so I did it. We demoed some new songs in our studio and let some of our friends have a listen and everyone seemed to like it. After that we decided to shamelessly nick people from other bands for everything, namely Linz from Secta Rouge, Kev from Taking Chase and Jhed from Issues of Morality, since we knew they were all in the same mindset as us and up for some shenanigans. And that was us formed by March.
You have only been a band since the start of the year, but have already been on tour round the UK, your album is just out and you've got another tour around Scotland later this month. What's the rush?
There's not any rush whatsoever really. All five of us either currently are or have been in bands that have managed to get out of their home town and play gigs, meet people, make friends, record material and so on. So the idea straight off the bat with this was to just "do things right" from the get go. It's really not that difficult to book a venue, book bands, do a bit of promotion and have a rockin' night. Or to get in touch with other like-minded bands from out of town, find out what's going on in their neck of the woods and ask them if they fancy putting you on sometime. Many bands form with the hope that gigs or "success" will come looking for them if they just stay put, do their own thing in a basement and not do anything about it.
What's the motivation behind the band? What drives you to make this music?
Not sure about those other money-grabbin' Shields but I'm in this because it makes me smile. Nah, I'm kidding. We're good friends that love loud music, rockin' and getting sweaty. It's not that the music doesn't mean anything or has no message, we just want to have fun and our idea of fun is partying with loud music. There's no pretention to the type of hardcore we play; no one's going to make a million pounds playing it and we'll never play stadiums but we'll have a whole bunch of fun on tour and meet some awesome people.
You recorded your album yourselves, how did you find that process? Would you recommend it to other bands in a similar situation?
Well, we're in a fairly unique situation as Jak, Linz and Jhed have all studied sound engineering, so if you're in a band with three sound engineers I heartily recommend home recording! The main benefit of doing it is the fact that it saves a ton of money and the band are in complete control of the recording. With no specific date it needed to be ready by we could take as long as we liked, so nothing had to be rushed (it was anyway) as it was up to us when we recorded. On the downside a fresh pair of ears behind the desk could have probably brought something else to the recording. You don't need all the top of the line equipment only seen in a proper "recording studio" to get something down that sounds great. All you need is motivation and persistence ... and a little bit of creativity. If you've got the means and someone who can engineer, it's definitely the way to go.
How is the hardcore scene in Scotland these days?
Small, but way better than it was a couple of years ago for sure. Departures and Intentions in particular are awesome. There are enough people in Scotland that recognise DIY hardcore whether or not it's local to make an effort to come and see bands and support them. That makes it all worthwhile.
Catch Shields Up on tour around the UK and at these dates in Scotland: V Club, Glasgow with North Lincoln 17th October, Mucky Mulligans, Perth with Fights and Fires 24th October, Tunnels 2, Aberdeen with Fights and Fires 25th October, Sneaky Pete's, Edinburgh with Fights and Fires + Hey Vampires 26th October