SHIELDS: “Spending the Whole Night Avoiding Fans Backstage Is so Disrespectful”

"Metal isn't all one genre, but it shouldn't be gone over with a fine tooth comb and branded so specifically either."

In the age of the Internet, it could be argued there are too many bands due to the amount of free exposure bands get. Many argue that that has over-saturated the market. One band though that will get big is the metallic hardcore band, Shields. The band from London has been making a lot of noise in the hardcore and metal circles which has earned them a large following. Speaking to the band, it is clear that they are going to hit the big leagues soon enough.

Shields Band Photo


Jack: You’re a band that mixes metal and hardcore, what genre would you say you are closer too?

Shields: We tend to go nearer the metal side of things over hardcore.

Jack: Do you think people pay too much attention to what sub-genre bands are instead of the actual music?

Shields: Yes, definitely; there is too much dispute over what type of core heavy bands are.

We don’t like to label ourselves as any specific genre as it seems it all boils down to opinion when it comes to the general labelling of metal sub-genres. However, this being said there are dramatic differences within the various types of metal in the scene.

So I’m not saying metal is all one genre, but it shouldn’t be gone over with a fine tooth comb and branded so specifically either.

Jack: What bands are your main influences?

Shields: Our main ones are: Parkway Drive, Slipknot, Sworn In, Heart Of A Coward, Like Moths To Flames.

Jack: What lyrical themes do you tackle?

Shields: We have varied the meanings behind our tracks since we started writing, our first EP being focused around a variety of different things we just wanted to write about. Although since then, for ‘I Just Feel Hate’ and for the new material, Sam and Joe have started to write a lot more about things that have very personal meanings to them.

Jack: Last year you played with For Everything a Reason, Create to Inspire and Idols of Apathy in Colchester. How did you find the show?

Shields: The show was a big success! Not only were we hanging out with all our bros we were able to play to a lot of people who’d not seen us before, sold some merchandise, and it was great to be back at the Colchester Arts Centre again! (Shields have never played there but Joe and Sam previously filled in for Despite My Deepest Fear at For Everything a Reason’s farewell show)

For Everything A Reason Colchester Arts Centre

Jack:  At the show you were playing new material, how well do you think it was received?

Shields: I think it was received as well as new material can be! People moved to songs they didn’t know which is much more welcomed than just standing there.

Jack: At the show you were behind the merch stand and chatting to fans, how important is it for a band?

Shields: A big part of being in a band, no matter what size, is making sure your friends, family, and (most importantly) your fans feel like they’re not supporting you for nothing.

You always have to give back as much as you can to the people that keep you going; they’re coming to your shows, buying your merch, buying your music and to just turn a blind eye to all that and spend the whole night avoiding them backstage is so disrespectful.

This all costs money and they are giving you their earnings so you can pursue your dream.

Shields Band Photo 2

Jack: Is it a weird feeling seeing people wearing shirts with your band logo on and singing along?

Shields: For sure! It’s even stranger seeing someone outside of a show wearing your T-shirts! Very humbling though, it’s always a good feeling to stumble across someone who likes your band.

Jack: What was it like recording the video for ‘I Just Feel Hate?’

Shields: Really fucking windy. We shot the narrative shots on the cliffs of Dorset on the first weekend of ridiculous 70mph winds in October 2013 – there were times in which we had to lie down so that we weren’t blown off the cliffs.

We shot the band shots in Dunstable in an abandoned warehouse area which was pretty cool. Good fun overall, we shot with our buddy Zak Pinchin who 10 out of 10 times does a great job!

Jack: Are you amazed that it has got over 410,000 views on YouTube?

Shields: Absolutely astonished! We never thought we’d be getting that many views on any of our videos within just 1 year.

Jack: The track was recorded, mixed and mastered by Daniel Kerr of Avenue Studios. What did he bring to the recording and would you work with him again?

Shields: We’ve done everything with Dan to date, one thing he does is help us see things in perspective. He’s a very good friend of ours so there are no reservations when either party feels something needs to be changed.

We have returned to Avenue Studios since IJFH for the new release which has yet to come out.

Jack: Will all the new material be in a similar style to ‘I Just Feel Hate?’

Shields: We’re always trying different things, so although there may be certain elements that are similar to IJFH there is no song that will sound similar to it.

Shields Crowd Shot

Jack: You recently wrote on Facebook that ‘Oppression’ is the only old song you play live now. Why’s this?

Shields: We wanted to start playing the new material but wanted to also keep a song in the set that our listeners knew, so we kept Oppression in as it was the one people seemed to know the most.

Jack: Are you still proud of the first EP or do you feel as musicians you’ve outgrown it.

Shields: Although we have developed dramatically in a handful of ways since the first EP it was and still is a big achievement for us. It put on us in the scene after all!

Jack: When can we see the new material?

Shields: We are still working on sorting out the release of the new material, but I can say the time for announcements is drawing closer (Winks)

Jack: What are your plans for 2015 apart from new music, will there be any more tours or collaborations with your Napoleon and Lock & Key.

Shields: We’re obviously getting new things out, we’re definitely hitting the road again as much as we can this year, and it would be even better with all our buddies in other bands.

Jack: You also released a new T-shirt with Link on the back. Are you big Zelda fans?

Shields: Yeah we just re-printed them too! Most of us are big Zelda fans yeah (Laughs)

Zelda Shields T-Shirt

Jack: Do you have a favourite Legend of Zelda game?

Shields: Ocarina of Time. No question about it.

Jack: Finally, you did a cover of Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance; will you ever do any more covers? If so, do you have any similar ones in mind?

Shields: We have toyed with the idea of doing another cover but that wouldn’t be for a while. As far as it being in the same vein as Gaga; we looked at an eclectic bunch of tracks which had potential, so it could be anything as long as everyone knows the track we’re covering.

Band Photos by Jake Owens Photography

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About Jack (819 Articles)
I am a recent graduate from the University of Essex in Colchester where by the luck of Odin I met the editor, Dom. I first got into metal when I was 13 and now I am 22 and own an uncountable amount of band T-shirts. I also regularly attend gigs (local and in neighbouring areas) as well as festivals. My musical taste is varied; I like nu metal (my first love), thrash, black, death, doom, folk, sludge (my favourite genre), symphonic and many more of the multiple genres that metal has to offer, I even like some metalcore (I know it's a dirty word within some metal circles but some of it is outstanding). One of my most memorable metal moments was meeting Grand Magus at the Bloodstock signing tent and having the whole tent to myself, spending a few minutes talking to them.

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