The Shining are the only band you need this year. Featuring ex-Verve members Simon Jones and Simon Tong alongside rock superstar in the making Duncan Baxter (think Northern Swagger ala Liam Gallagher mixed with the looks of Jonathan Rhys Meyers) they deliver the dirtiest rock & roll riffs and massive grooves in the style of Led Zep meets Oasis. An album is ready for release in September and it won't be long before the Verve simply become a distant memory. In fact we'll go further than that and say the Shining are simply the most important band since the Beatles.
Q: You've been locked up in a dingy basement for the past 12 months. What's it like to finally get on the road?
Simon: Its quite liberating. Like you say we spent over a year locked away...we've got this Railway Arch and we just locked ourselves away and wrote loads of material. Its good to get out...were actually seeing the sun now. This is only our six gig now so its good to get your instrument strapped on and get those decibels coming out!!!
Q: Before the current line-up you spent a lot of time working with John Squire. How come that fizzled out?
Simon: We spent a lot of time playing with John Squire and it just didn't working out. Me personally, I just left because my heart wasn't in it. I live in London and I spent about 7 months, 5 days a week travelling up to Macclesfield...I had a day at home each week and I didn't feel I had a life outside going up to Johns and musically it wasn't 100% satisfying for me musically. Its nothing to do with John or who John is or what he does musically - it was just a personal thing for me that I wasn't into it.
So I came down to London, got this band together and instantly the chemistry was there.
Q: Obviously there was the Verve connection between yourself and Simon Tong. How did it all come together pre-John Squire then?
Duncan: Me and John met through a mutual friend. I had my own band back home which split up for the better thankfully
Simon: For me I met John at the last ever gig that the Verve gig did in Ireland at Slane Castle. I just met John there and just got talking to him. He rung me up a few months after that when the Verve split up...so that's how that happened.
I still keep in touch with the Verve guys...Si obviously and I speak to Nick...but I haven't seen Richard for about two years
Q: Do you feel more at home now with the Shining as oppose to where the Verve were heading?
Simon: When I started we were making pretty heavy guitar music, way back when I was 18, 19. That's what I was into, the Stooges and Can. That's not why the Verve broke up, because of the direction it was taking....but personally I feel much more at home with the music I'm playing.
The single doesn't sum up the whole spectrum of the band, but its still dirty rock & roll with massive grooves. There's a lot of up and downs - just bringing it down to a locked groove and then exploding into massive massive guitars. There's a track on the album called "Until The End" which starts off really really slow and by the end its reached double time - its one of the heaviest things I've heard.
Q: I guess Britain needs a band like the Shining. If you look at what's happening musically there's either your pop acts or your nu-metal bands. How do you think people are going to take to you?
Simon: There's no middle ground really. Acoustic rock, nu-metal and there's a little grey area in the middle. I'd like to think people will embrace us. I came off stage last and sometimes you forget its all just about the music. There was about 70 people and you could see everybody's faces. If I can go and us lot can go and turn people on then that's mission accomplished - next time there will be 500 people there!!!
I'm totally prepared to go out and work for it. I don't want any help because I was in the Verve or anything. I just wanna go out there and rock the stage and touch people. We've all said that if this doesn't go off on the first album it doesn't matter...it didn't go off on the first album for the Verve. Were all prepared to go out and work this for years because we all believe in it. All you need is self belief, confidence and shit hot musicians!!!!
Q: You guys have got confidence by the bucketload. Is it a case of each and every gig makes you stronger?
Simon: It takes something to get that confidence. We had to do those shit gigs where everything went wrong and our confidence was shattered....to come out and think if its that bad, then it can never get that bad again. Rock & roll is about a vibe. Its not about singing perfectly or everyone worrying about going out and playing perfectly. Its just about going out and having a good time really.
You form a band to go out and play music really. That's what were doing really, so mission accomplished. Like I say we did those few warm up gigs - I was carrying my own guitar and setting my amp up in a pub. Its a very humbling experience but it was like this is what being a musician is about. I've not got an ego because I had a bit of success - f**k that - some people think you have a bit of success and you live in a mansion. I haven't got that sort of money at all. I'm just doing this because I love music and I still love playing.
We just want to go out and see the world and play music in a nice big silver bus!!!
The Ltd Edition single "Quicksilver" is out now
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