UK Punks Shame Open up About New LP, ‘Songs of Praise’

Shame: UK Punks Tackle Frenzied Stage Shows, Social Media & Hygiene on the Road

UK’s Shame has been building a buzz based their frenzied, can’t miss live shows since their inception a few years back, even racking up NPR’s Bob Boilen’s nod for the most authentic performance he caught at the latest SXSW. With the release of their debut, Songs of Praise, they’ve delivered an album that meets their live show’s expectations. Their first single, “Concrete,” punches hard with clipped, catchy guitar work that interplays with deft vocals. The rest of the album is just as strong, bringing memorable riffs and melodies to otherwise down and dirty post-punk tracks (along with quite a few sonic surprises). A worldwide tour, both headlining as well as supporting Protomartyr, is sure to keep the buzz going. I recently chatted with guitarist Eddie Green about the band’s hardscrabble touring background and their excitement about their new album.

You’ve said that the past three years have been filled with extensive touring, financial deficit, and scarring character building experiences. What kept you going as a band to get this album out?

Throughout these last few years we’ve always been extremely excited about releasing an album so I guess that was an incentive to keep pushing when times were, say, not that great. That said, we’ve never experienced anything too horrific during our time as a band. We can be a little grandiose on the old social media.

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You’re known for your killer concerts, especially your stand-out set at this past SXSW. How have your live shows changed since you first started?

I think our live shows have generally improved in terms of just being a little less shambolic, however we’ve always maintained the same ethos of treating every show the same. In the early days, it was an easy way to liberate yourself from the inevitable embarrassment of regularly playing to less than 10 people.

What do you look for in the gear you take out on the road – are you more concerned with your equipment’s tone or surviving the abuse of the road?

A balance between a sturdy piece of equipment and one that sounds good is something we look for. We’ve been not-so-good to some of our gear, but generally we manage to find good gear that lasts.

Was there a particular band’s performance that made you want to be in a band of your own, or was it something different that inspired you?

I don’t think any one band drew us to this, but there are definitely loads of performers we’ve always admired.

What are your must-haves when you’re touring? Any particular soundtrack for the open road?

Our tour manager Kiko doesn’t let us touch the music in the van, so unfortunately that isn’t an option that’s available to us.

If you could give the ‘three-years-ago you’ some advice about band life, what would it be?

Take more showers, damn it.

Do you write while you’re touring, or do you wait to get back before working on new songs? Does anything new make it into the set while you’re on the road?

We’ve just got into writing on the road, which can be a little challenging but it is fun, and a necessity with a touring schedule like ours.

Now that the much buzzed about record is out, what does it feel like touring with a full-length under your belt?

Touring with a record is great because people have been exposed to so much more of your music [before you hit the stage]. It’s cool to see kids singing along to tracks I never even knew would see the light of day. It’s a great feeling.

Follow on Twitter @shamebanduk

Photos by Holly Whitaker

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