Interview with Josh Hamler (Shamans Harvest)

Thank​ ​you​ ​for​ ​taking​ ​the​ ​time​ ​out​ ​to​ ​talk​ ​with​ ​us​ ​here​ ​at​ ​Silver​ ​Tiger​ ​Media.​ ​Only​ ​days​ ​away​ ​and everyone​ ​can​ ​enjoy​ ​the​ ​fruits​ ​of​ ​your​ ​labour.​ ​We​ ​are​ ​super​ ​excited​ ​about​ ​the​ ​upcoming​ ​release​ ​of Red​ ​Hands​ ​Black​ ​Deeds​.​ ​I​ ​am​ ​sure​ ​you​ ​can’t​ ​wait​ ​to​ ​get​ ​the​ ​new​ ​music​ ​into​ ​everyone’s​ ​hands?


First​ ​off,​ ​the​ ​table​ ​is​ ​a​ ​challenge:​ ​can​ ​you​ ​in​ ​one​ ​short​ ​paragraph,​ ​sum​ ​up​ ​the​ ​history​ ​of​ ​​Shamans Harvest​​ ​from​ ​birth​ ​to​ ​the​ ​current​ ​day?

It’s been a long road for the band. High School talent shows to outdoor field parties to regional clubs to national arena stages… We’ve played them all. I guess we’re a 22 year overnight success story haha.

Yeah,​ ​I​ ​dig​ ​it​ ​too!​  ​It​ ​represents​ ​all​ ​the​ ​“scavengers”​ ​out​ ​there.​   ​All​ ​those​ ​who​ ​constantly​ ​take​ ​and never​ ​give​ ​anything​ ​in​ ​return.

Red​ ​Hands​ ​Black​ ​Deeds,​ ​intriguing​ ​album​ ​title.​ ​Where​ ​did​ ​this​ ​come​ ​from?

It​ ​stems​ ​from​ ​the​ ​natural​ ​push​ ​and​ ​pull​ ​of​ ​good​ ​and​ ​evil​ ​with​ ​little​ ​to​ ​no​ ​remorse.

(Side-Note)​ The​ ​opening​ prelude​ of​ the​​ ​same​ title,​​ I​​ couldn’t​ help ​but​​ have​​ an​ ​almost​ foreboding feeling ​​of​ ​doom,​ ​kind​ ​of​ ​imagery​ ​was​ ​a​ Game​ ​Of​ ​Thrones​​ ​style​ ​film​ ​with​ ​an​ ​army​ ​of​ ​thousands marching​ ​out​ ​to​ ​certain​ ​death.

Yeah​ ​man,​ ​that​ ​was​ ​what​ ​we​ ​were​ ​trying​ ​to​ ​capture.

Smokin’​ ​Hands​ ​&​ ​Broken​ ​Guns​ was​ ​such​ a​ ​massive album​ ​ for​ ​ you​ ​ guys,​​ did​​ you​​ feel​ ​​any ​pressure going​ ​into​ ​the​ ​making​ ​of​ ​this​ ​one​ ​to​ ​match​ ​or​ ​better​ ​the​ ​result?

Not​ ​really.​   ​We​ ​really​ ​just​ ​wanted​ ​to​ ​make​ ​a​ ​new​ ​record,​ ​free​ ​of​ ​expectations.​  ​We​ ​didn’t​ ​want​ ​to make​ ​SHBG​ ​2.0…​  ​so​ ​we​ ​didn’t.

I​ ​won’t​ ​ask​ ​you​ ​to​ give​ us​ ​a​ ​track​ ​by​ ​track run​ down,​ ​however​ ​​there​ are​ ​a​ few​ stand ​outs​​ for​​ ​me​ ​on this​ ​album.

I​ ​was​ ​interested​ ​and​ ​listened​ ​a​ ​few​ ​times​ to​ “​ The​ ​ ​Come ​ ​Up ”,​ ​which​ ​touches​ ​on​ ​a​ few​ ​ subjects including​ ​social​ ​media,​ ​and​ ​the​ ​effects ​it​ has​ ​on​ ​the​ ​small​​ frail​ ​human​ ​brain​ …​ I​ ​know​ ​my​ ​ ​own interpretation​ ​of​ ​this​ ​song;​ ​however,​ ​I​ ​am​ ​wondering​ ​if​ ​you​ ​could​ ​tell​ ​us​ ​a​ ​bit​ ​about​ ​this​ ​track?

The​ ​Come​ ​Up​ ​is​ ​a​ ​groovin’​ ​track​ ​that​ ​has​ ​a​ ​fun​ ​vibe.​  ​Quite​ ​the​ ​contrast​ ​to​ ​the​ ​subject​ ​matter. Honestly,​ ​it​ ​represents​ ​keeping​ ​your​ ​head​ ​up​ ​when​ ​in​ ​hard​ ​times.​  ​“Come​ ​on​ ​you​ ​gotta​ ​run,​ ​don’t you crawl anymore”

The​ ​Broken​ ​Ones​?

The​ ​Broken​ ​One’s​ ​is​ ​about​ ​the​ ​people​ ​who​ ​are​ ​left​ ​in​ ​the​ ​aftermath​ ​of​ ​tragedy.​   ​Picking​ ​up​ ​the pieces​ ​while​ ​in​ ​turmoil.

My​ ​second​ ​favourite​ ​from​ ​the​ ​album,​ Off​ ​The​ ​Track?

Haha…​ ​just​ ​a​ ​good​ ​ole​ ​break​ ​up​ ​song.​   ​Knowing​ ​it​ ​was​ ​all​ ​your​ ​fault.

Lastly,​ ​my​ ​favourite,​ Tusk​ ​&​ ​Bones​,​ ​an​ ​acoustic​ ​change​ ​to​ ​the​ ​album.

Tusk​ ​&​ ​Bone​ ​relates​ ​to​ ​the​ ​way​ ​mankind​ ​has​ ​treated​ ​mother​ ​earth.​  ​Musically,​ ​we​ ​kept​ ​it​ ​very naked​ ​and​ ​organic.​   ​Lots​ ​of​ ​earthy​ ​tones​ ​and​ ​heartfelt​ ​soul.​  ​Lyrically,​ ​it​ ​takes​ ​you​ ​through​ ​a conversation​ ​a​ ​little​ ​girl​ ​is​ ​having​ ​with​ ​her​ ​grandfather​ ​about​ ​the​ ​things​ ​that​ ​no​ ​longer​ ​exist​ ​due​ ​to the​ ​greed​ ​of​ ​mankind.

In​ Blood​ ​Trophies​ ​and​ ​a​ ​few​ ​other​ ​songs​ ​on​ ​this​ ​killer​ ​album​ ​you​ ​use​ ​the​ ​little​ ​known​ ​Latin ​​American instrument,​ ​Chapchas​ ​(Goats​ ​Toes),​ ​very​ ​distinct​ ​sound​ ​too.​ ​Who​ ​introduced​ ​chapchas​ ​to​ the​ ​ ​band initially?

Keith​ ​Armstrong,​ ​our​ ​producer,​ ​had​ ​all​ ​sorts​ ​of​ ​unique​ ​instruments.​  ​We’d​ ​have​ ​an​ ​idea​ ​for​ ​a particular​ ​sound,​ ​and​ ​he’d​ ​pull​ ​something​ ​out​ ​of​ ​his​ ​tool​ ​box.​  ​It​ ​was​ ​a​ ​lot​ ​of​ ​fun​ ​experimenting​ ​and coming​ ​up​ ​with​ ​our​ ​own​ ​sounds.

Are​ ​there​ ​any​ ​other​ ​interesting,​ ​weird,​ ​instruments​ ​we​ ​should​ ​be​ ​keeping​ ​an​ ​ear​ ​out​ ​for?

Well,​ ​there’s​ ​a​ ​mountain​ ​dulcimer,​ ​some​ ​sand​ ​paper,​ ​a​ ​rotary​ ​phone,​ ​and​ ​some​ ​airplanes​ ​flying overhead.​  ​and​ ​that’s​ ​just​ ​the​ ​tip​ ​of​ ​the​ ​iceberg

You​ ​will​ ​be​ ​touring​ ​alongside​ Nickelback ​(the ​band​ everyone​ loves​ ​to​ hate)​​ and​ ​Cheap ​Trick​​ (​the band​ ​everyone​ ​loves​ ​to​ ​love)​ ​till​ ​October, ​ how​ ​ has​ ​ that​​  been?​ ​ Any​ ​ ​crazy​ ​stories​ ​you ​​can ​​share​ ​with us?​ (fyi​ ​Nickelback​ ​are​ ​very​ ​special​ ​to​ ​STM)

This​ ​has​ ​been​ ​the​ ​best​ ​tour​ ​ever!​  ​From​ ​the​ ​fans​ ​to​ ​the​ ​bands…​ ​it​ ​just​ ​doesn’t​ ​get​ ​any​ ​better.

Other​ ​than​ ​that…​ ​you​ ​know​ ​what​ ​they​ ​say​ ​about​ ​vegas…​ ​haha

What​ ​I​ ​find ​ just​ ​​fascinating​ ​about ​this​​ ​album​ ​is ​​that​ ​it​ takes​ ​​the listener​ through such​ ​ a​ ​ wide​ ​ range​ ​ ​of emotions.​ ​Too​ ​much​ ​of​ ​today’s​ ​music​ ​has​ ​a​ ​theme​ ​to​ ​it,​ ​the​ ​emotion ​ is​ ​ clear​ ​ throughout. Not with​ Red​ ​Hands​ ​Black​ ​Deeds​…​ ​There​ ​is​ ​such a great​ variety of emotions that​ ​you​ go​​ through if​ ​you​ listen​ to​ ​it​ ​from​ ​start​ ​to​ ​finish​ ​the​ ​way​ ​it​ ​was​ ​intended.​ ​Was​ ​your​ ​intention​ ​to​ ​leave​ ​your​ ​listeners emotionally​ ​drained​ ​by​ ​the​ ​end​ ​track?

Actually,​ ​yes​ ​we​ ​did.​ That’s​ ​life​ ​isn’t​ ​it?​ We​ ​have​ ​zero​ ​interest​ ​in​ ​making​ ​a​ ​record​ ​with​ ​10​ ​versions of​ ​the​ ​same​ ​song.​  ​We​ ​appreciate​ ​a​ ​more​ ​artistic​ ​approach.

I​ ​must​ ​admit to​ listening while working away on​​ my​ ​computer​​ ​and at​ ​the​ ​final ​​song I​ ​​was​ just​​ getting​ lost​ ​in​ ​the​ ​final​ ​moments​ ​as​ ​the​ ​music​ ​fades​ ​out.​ ​Album ​done,​ ​what a killer album,​ but then​​ BOOM​ … you​ ​guys​ ​aren’t​ ​done​ ​yet,​ ​and​ ​I​ ​was​ ​rudely​ ​jolted​ ​out​ ​of​ ​my​ ​sweet​ ​afterglow ​ ​and wondered  what​ ​ the​ hell​ ​had​ ​started​ ​playing…​ ​HAHAHAHA​ ​what​ ​is​ ​the​ ​meaning​ ​behind​ ​your​ ​hidden​ ​track?

Haha!​  ​It’s​ ​a​ ​sorbet​ ​of​ ​sorts.​  ​A​ ​little​ ​something​ ​to​ ​wake​ ​you​ ​from​ ​the​ ​musical​ ​trance.​  ​Just something​ ​to​ ​lighten​ ​the​ ​mood…

Congratulations and thank you again for your​ time, and hope​ to see​ SHAMANS HARVEST on ​our shores​ ​in​ ​the​ ​near​ ​future.

Likewise!​   ​It’s​ ​in​ ​the​ ​works​ ​and​ ​we​ ​are​ ​looking​ ​forward​ ​to​ ​it!