Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Interview with Team Shotgun

                                          Team Shotgun L-R Jacob (bass/vocals), Matt (drums) and Richard (guitar/vocals)

Critical Mass: Thanks for taking the time to talk with Critical Mass guys. For people who may not be familiar with Team Shotgun, can you give us a little history on the band? How did you guys get together?

Jacob: Prior to Team Shotgun, some would consider Rich and I enemies. We played in different bands. Rivals!  We even played against each other at a Battle of the Bands in high school. It all started at one drunken ISU party. I was asked by a long time friend (and Rich's girlfriend) to come to one of their band practices. At the time, they needed a bassist. I was wary, but excited. I played bass for maybe two shows before replacing the singer. So it's been that way for the past four years.

CM: I know the bands got a new release called "Romance In A Match". Has the album been officially released yet? And how can people get a copy of it?

Richard: No not yet. We are self producing and self releasing the album, so its hard to gather the funds and time to get it all done. We actually are just waiting to get some CD's labeled. After that, its a matter of waiting for copyright issues and all that shit. 

Jacob: Yeah you know, the music industry is such a shit show, it's depressing. We've been working with a friend of ours, an artist/musician in Chicago, named Sam Laracco. With him and his band Snuff, we're attempting to give Chicago some heart and soul back. It's tough playing out here you know?  It's the same shit spilling out of peoples mouths.

Matt: Anyways, people can get a copy of the album by emailing us at: teamshotgun@yahoo.com OR by contacting us by facebook. We have a myspace, but I dont think anyone really uses that anymore. We could send it out old school by the Mail, or even meet up with someone with a copy of the album. We want to keep things personal.

Jacob: Yeah, fuck iTunes. We will come to your house at 2am with a copy of the album. Then eat your food, drink your beer, and sleep with your women.

CM: Is this the bands first release? Or do you have other material out?

Jacob: It is the first release, but we have another one on the way in a few months. "Get Fisted", as it's titled, features live tracks and B sides. We figured, when we're booking a show, why give a venue a copy of our produced album? We want them to know we can play everything live, and it sounds almost the same or even better. 

CM: I like the bands name. How did you come up with the name Team Shotgun?

Matt: Beer! Honestly, it's beer. We used to shotgun beer together at parties. A friend of ours called us a team. So, Team Shotgun was born.

Jacob: Also, we plan on shooting peoples faces off with shotguns. Of course, that's not true, but you never know.

CM: I know the bands got a more hardcore style, which I always liked going back to the 80s. Who are some of the bands personal influences?

Richard: Well to be honest, we all listen to different music. That's not saying we don't LIKE some of the music, but we all have put our own ideas in what we should sound like into our playing.

Matt: I'm my own man, I play my own music.  But, I guess Rise Against.

Jacob: See, now I HATE Rise Against with a passion. Nothing they do, in my opinion, sounds good.  I listen to The Smiths, and Matt isn't too fond of them.  It's a wide variety, you know.  But musically, I would say Danzig. Anything he's done. Gordon Gano and Brian Ritchie from the Violent Femmes played a big role too.

Richard: Social Distortion, Blondie, Common Rider, and the Smashing Pumpkins. 

Jacob: Ugh, the Smashing Pumpkins.  The only song I've heard that I liked was Siva. 

Richard: Yeah, Go Fuck Yourself. 

Jacob: *middle finger* No but really, we don't WANT to sound like anyone or any specific style. We like having a variety in what we can do. Depending on my mood, when people ask me what kind of music we play I either dub it "Alternapunk" or "Whatever the Fuck we want". Fuck genres. We'll play whatever we want.

CM: Is there a primary songwriter for the band or is it a group effort when coming up with new material?

Richard:  It's a group/solo effort. Like, Jake will come up to me with a riff, we'll work on it together.  Then we'll show Matt, and he'll play something.

Jacob: Yeah, sometimes we'll just play whatever we want, and if it sounds good together we leave it. No one really has complete control over anything. Like, when I write lyrics, I give them to Rich. If he likes them, we keep them. If he doesn't, I might change it or I might just say "too bad thats what I'm singing"  Either way, it all works out to our benefit.

CM: Has the band gigged outside of the your hometown of Frankfort? And are there any plans to take the show on the road for a short tour or even a weekend run of shows?

Jacob: Oh yeah. The only Chicago show we've played has been Cals Bar. It hard to get people to come out to Chicago, since we're from the suburbs. We're trying to get our music heard in Chicago so we can play some more venues up there. Otherwise, we've played at Zone Comics in Lockport, The Sonic Portrait in Morris (which is now the Korova). 

Richard: We're try as hard as possible to stay away from the JT Music venues.  They're a fucking ripoff!

Matt: Yeah fuck that.

Jacob: Some house shows and such. As for the tour, Hell Yes. We just need the time off and the money. We actually have a show coming up at The Mutiny on Feb 23rd. Trying to plug that as much as possible. We need a large draw so we can play there again on the weekend. Plus, we just want people to listen to our music. Fuck, if you dont like it, I dont care. Just give it a chance, you know? Anyways, the show is on Feb 23rd at The Mutiny. 10pm. I dont know what the cover is yet. But, we're playing with Snuff and one more band TBA.

CM: Are there any plans in the new year to either record or release new material?

Matt: Yes, definitely. We're working on a new album right now. Plus, there's that Live and B side issue mentioned earlier. 

CM: Is there a website you guys wanna plug where people can get up to date news, show dates, or get some merch?

Richard: Well, for now, the best way to view anything we have is Facebook. A friend of ours is designing a website right now, so we're waiting for that to get finished. Also, we getting some shirts, buttons, and stickers made. 

CM: Thanks again for talking with Critical Mass. I'm looking forward to seeing the band when you hit Chicago next. And I wanna wish you guys all the best in the coming year. Thanks again guys.

Jacob: Yeah, thanks man. I hope to see you at one of our shows sometime soon.

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