Sixty Watt Shaman Interview
Date: 3rd December 2001
Venue: Sheffield Foundry
We caught up with supreme Stoner
band 'Sixty Watt Shaman' when they supported Karma to Burn on their
recent U.K. Tour and what an interview it turned out to be - here we
go - in it's entirety - the following literature features no vocal overdubs
and certainly no keyboards - well apart from the one I used to typed
it up on.
Interviewer is me old sidekick Tony Watson,
Tony: How was the gig for you ?
Dan (Lead Vocalist): It was awesome - a good show.
The crowd were good - they really were giving it back. We should have
had at least 200 people in there though.
Tony: Is it the first time you've played Britain?
Dan: Yes it is - it's been a blast. It's been
a really good experience. We had an awesome crowd turn out in Swansea
and we met the ex-bassist of Acrimony, whose now in Iron Monkey.
Tony: What's touring like at the moment?
Dan: Well, with it being winter, we tour round
in a cold van - but over here in Europe it's a great tour. We wish we
could play festivals as we're busting ourselves (on-stage).
Tony: How did you get together?
Dan: I've known (Reverend) Jim (Bassist) since
92/94. We played with our last bassist in Baltimoore. Afterwards, we
got Jim in because he's a better guitarist.
This year we've had changes -Minnesota Pete Campbell came along and
we were blown away by his drumming - on this piece of sh*t practice
Tony: What influences you?
Dan: We are influenced by everything but not nu-metal. It's mainly Hard
Rock. Bands like Kyuss, Down, Clutch, COC, Pantera, Lynyrd Skynyrd,
Slayer, Black Sabbath
Reverend Jim (Bassist): .... Cliff Burton - I love Cliff Burton !!!
Tony: How would you describe the music of 'Sixty Watt Shaman'?
Dan: Heavy Metal Blues or maybe Stoner Rock, but Stoner Rock categorises
us too much. It's Rock 'n' Roll - what we play is heavy!!! It's heavy
emotion, heavy soul and it comes from the heart.
Tony: So what's your immediate future plans?
Dan: We have two more shows in Europe - we are spending Christmas at
home with the family. You can't beat Ma's cooking 'n' dinners and then
there's pussy !!!
We've been on the road 3 weeks (22 days). It's been a good leg - a good
We've had 3 days with Clutch and 3 days with the Zakk Wylde and Crowbar
tour. They were like a quality family. On tour we had like showers and
breakfasts etc. We've done the sleepin' on a p*ssed drenched floor and
fag butt ends thing !!!
Tony: How do you sort the tours out?
Dan: It's out of our pockets. The label supports us somewhat and takes
care of the advertising - but it's very much a shoestring - we need
more support - Spitfire Records brought us over (to the U.K.).
If we tour for long enough we have to make sure
that the business at home is taken care of - especially when we can
be on tour for 3 to 10 weeks at a time.
Tony: What's forthcoming for a new release?
Dan: The demo's are done - we have 25 tunes to
roll for the next record. We'll use about half of them for the album.
The rest for B-sides etc.
We write songs and build up a library of music. We have a jamming spot
(practice room) - but are still working on getting a studio - nothing
can beat a full studio. We prefer to produce ourselves - it's the best
way - that's our goal.
Jim: Imagine it - being in a band isn't an easy
thing to do.
Dan: A Rock band is a marriage.
We were pushed by Radio Adverts in September 2000. We always keep in
touch at home and we play guitar and sleep.
We run five miles a day - not !!!
On the road it's good to meet so
many rock 'n' rollers like Phil Anselmo (Pantera) who we met when had
an off day from the Ozzfest. We also saw Crowbar a lot and met Metallica.
We got on with Ozzy and blacked
out drunk with Nebula. Then there was Stoner Rocker Stuart from Acrimony.
Another band we met was Fu Manchu when they played the Orange County,
California. Uneda were at the same show.
Tony: Who would you like to tour with?
Jim: Down, Fu Manchu and Spirit
Tony: Who arranges the tours?
Dan: Different agencies in the rock
'n' roll biz. The Tours come to us - such as the one with Karma to Burn
and the one with Crowbar and Zakk Wylde (Black Label Society) - they
are label mates.
John Paul Gastor of Clutch produced our album and we toured with Clutch
after Crowbar - it was an honour.
We were actually meant to tour with Nashville Pussy but we couldn't
because we were recording the album.
We'd love to do an Ozzfest. Zakk (Wylde) opened it up - we got to see
it all - the whole thing - we remember the 'Titty Girl' !!!!.
The problem is, is that it's all Nu-Metal. We are 'Heavy Texas Rock
'N' Roll' - we wish we could be part of the next thing - well not part
of it - but work alongside it. If Sharon Osbourne put us on Ozzfest
we'd kill 'em all. It's not that we don't like the Nu-Metal bands -
the people in the bands are great - we just think they've got a bad
taste in music - there's no soul or emotion in it.
Joe Selby (Guitarist): I wanna fight Durst - that's
me !!!! (the man is joking of course !!!). We are all in the same job
- same field.
Tony: What's your outlook ?
Dan: We want to live our lives and pay our dues
with Rock 'n' Roll.
Tony: Do your lyrics have a message?
Dan: Absolutely - take the titles of songs. It's
all based on experience we are trying to explore music and various metaphors.
As a band, we write the way we feel about music, write about life and
never stop experimenting.
We sometimes start with a riff or it could start with a lyric. 'Millwheel'
has a melody flowing along there with the rhythm in the riff. Every
riff speaks to the lyrics and it becomes a song idea. We are an 'Organic
Band'. 'Reason to live' started with a drum beat which a riff was placed
Tony: Dan, what is your musical background?
Dan: My parents - they had a piano. I've been
playing since I was six years old. I also played wind instruments like
the saxophone and I got my first guitar at 12. I tried to learn through
records as rock wasn't played in school.
I played in a jazz band in high school but we used sheet music. To continue
following that is stale - I like to fill in my own way.
Jim: I saw Cliff Burton and was blown away - he was such an individual.
A last word from the band -
"We love everyone we have toured with. It's been the coolest tour
with 'Karma To Burn'. There's been no egos. They are good guys and are
open to the road - such genuine good guys.
Thanks to Sixty Watt Shaman for their time and sheer honesty, great
music and bottle of beer that Dan gave us.
Special thanks to Darren Edwards @ Eagle Rock, Mark, Stuart and Trish
@ The Corporation Night-club, the Security at Sheffield Foundry and
of course Karma to Burn for taking Sixty Watt Shaman out with them in
the first place making it happen !!! We owe you guys !!!