weekly updated blog for Oi! – punk – ska – reggae
Recently i picked up the debute EP by The Shame. I was surprised to see these Arsenal supporters didn’t live in London but in Tulsa, Oklahoma (USA). Their song ‘For Football And The Pints’ pretty much sums up the band’s passion and priorites. No mess, no fuss, just three ordinairy punks who play some damn catchy tunes. All questions were answered by Chad (guitar / vocals).
March 2013 – band website
Let’s start with the basics, can you tell how the band started, who are the members, et cetera?
First off, there’s JT on bass/vocals, Giss on drums, and I do vocals/guitar…
I was in bands with both JT and Giss back in the 80’s, and we kept running into each other at the pub. We would have a few drinks and talk about punk rock, soccer and the good old days kinda thing. We ended up throwing out the idea of starting an Oi!/football punk band.
I’ve always liked street punk but I had a serious problem with the Oi! scene here in Tulsa. There were a lot of Nazi’s back in the 80’s, a lot of racism and violence and I didn’t want anything to do with that. So, JT and I talked about forming The Shame, and we made it clear that while we were mostly going to write about daily life, work, football and beer… that we would be openly anti racist. We want nothing to do with that bullshit and it’s history around here. So, after a few months of just drinking and talking about it.. We got a hold of Giss, told him what we were up to, and The Shame was born in 2011.
You have a background in the political HC scene. Does it feel liberating to write songs about daily life?
I’m not sure I would say ‘liberating’. It’s different yes… But even in Brother Inferior or Bring Down The Hammer, I never felt like I ‘had’ to write about politics, it’s just what I was feeling and what the music brought out of me. I do like writing for The Shame though… I’ve never really wrote this kind of music before, and I very much enjoy it… I spend so much time down the pub, watching football that you would think I could have 1000 songs by now!
Which aspects in Oi! music attract you? Sometimes people from the HC scene complain it’s too slow and too boring, but this doesn’t apply to you…
I like how catchy and fun the music can be, and while some may complain about the simplicity, I think that is a bonus… the kind of songs you want to sing at the pub… I just like a good chorus that gets everyone up, drinking and singing along.
You released your first Ep on Profane Existence which isn’t a label with much Oi! experience. How did you came in toch with them?
Well, when I was in Brother Inferior, Profane Existence carried most of our records and also put out a split 7″ with us and Whorehouse of Representatives. Ever since, I’ve kept in touch with them as we all remained friends. Also Bring Down The Hammer went up and played one of the PE Fests up in Minneapolis. So, whenever I have a new band going, I always send up a copy to Dan. This time, he got back with me and asked if we’d like to do a record. I thought the same thing as you: “an Oi! record on Profane?”. But to be honest, I thought it was a great idea and great that PE decided to do something a little different for their 7″ series. I am honored to be on it.
Although living in Tulsa you happen to be Arsenal supporters. what’s so attractive to you about a club on the other side of the ocean?
I’ve played football since I was 5 years old (1975). In 1979, we hosted a guest team from Belfast (Raven Boys FC), and some of them stayed with my family. They gave us banners from several different teams in England but most of them were Liverpool fans. The one they gave me was from Arsenal, I was amazed that there was a soccer team called ARSENAL that had a logo of a cannon. I thought that was brilliant! I was only 9 years old at the time, but Arsenal always stuck with me after that. We do, also have a bit of history here as well…. Back in the 80’s there was the NASL, and Tulsa had a team called the Roughnecks. All 3 of us in the Shame grew up going to those matches down at Skelly Stadium.
I remember i picked up the Brother Inferior / N.o.t.a. split EP and i was amazed by the lyrics and the attitude. Yet when i picked up your EP and CD there were no lyrics or anything included. do you think the lyrics from The Shame are less relevant?
Well, I don’t think I would say they are less relevant, but certainly different. But, as far as them not being printed in the releases. That has more to do with our labels than it does us. To keep costs down it was decided to not have inserts in the CD or the 7″. So we have just posted all of our lyrics online. On any upcoming records, we hope to print the lyrics but if it costs too much to do it, we will continue just putting them up on our webpage for anyone that would like to read them.
Your debute album and debute EP were both released a few months ago. How are the reactions so far? Do followers of your previous still buy your records?
The reactions are going quite well. We really did not know what to expect as we were just starting the band to get a couple of free beers at the gigs! Things have been going better than any of us expected, and we hope that we can just keep it going and see where it goes… as long as we get to have a few laughs and have some free beers, we’ll be pretty satisfied with the whole thing!
Do you have any closing comments or perhaps any news to announce?
Not really.. just thanks a lot Paul, we really appreciate the chance to do the interview!
Right now, we just have the 3 releases out. The Plan CD, The World Is Ours EP, and Oi! This is Streetpunk vol. 3. We hope to have a new compilation track out soon, look for details on our site in the next few months. and we’re busy writing new tracks for more releases to come…
Whenever we next meet, first round is on us! Cheers!
Click at the image(s) to purchase band releases from Aggroshop.com