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 kit.

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 stint!!

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 Caravan.

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 on.

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 !!!