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OrlandoPunk.com Interviews Shotgun Style

QUESTIONS from OrlandoPunk.com are in BLACK CAPS. Drummer Jason’s responses are in green. Singer/Guitarist Jake’s responses are in dark red. Bassist Brian’s responses are in blue.

YOU HAVE A CD WITH A GNOME OR DWARF ON THE COVER. WHAT DO WE HEAR ON IT?

We do?  That’s news to me.

The cd cover has been changed.  You can check it out for free on our bandcamp.  We also have physical copies at shows.

The album is called “Live at WPRK”.  This album was basically our first scratch recording when one of our friend’s asked us to come play at the radio station.  We took this session and just basically used it for the sake of having some scratch recordings to present to show bookers.  Otherwise it’s just a bunch of our older material when he had first just started playing together.

HOW LONG HAS SHOTGUN STYLE BEEN TOGETHER?
WHAT IS YOUR SONGWRITING APPROACH AND WHAT DO YOU AIM FOR? MAJOR INFLUENCES?

Fuck I don’t remember… 2 years?  Drugs tend to affect short term memory.

I joined the band in October of 2010, I know the other guys were playing for a while before I came in.  Jake writes most of the songs.  Brian and I come in and fill in the gaps and work out the kinks from there.  My major influences as a drummer are Sean Reinert, Navene Koperweis, Buddy Rich… really too many to name.  In general, I’m all over the place, though. I’ll listen to anything from Trash Talk to Miles Davis to 65daysofstatic, and I think that our eclectic musical influences add a lot to our sound as a band.

YOU USED TO COVER MINOR THREAT, AND VERY WELL. WILL YOU COVER THEM OR SIMILAR BANDS AGAIN IN THE FUTURE?

It’s been awhile since we’ve played Screaming At A Wall.  We’ve been focusing on new material lately, but I’m sure we’ll be playing some covers at some point.

We’re trying to shy away from covers.  Whenever we do covers it’s just mainly for filler during shows.

WHAT ARE YOUR MUSICAL BACKGROUNDS?

I’ve been playing drums for eleven years now.  I’ve also played guitar for about six.

I grew up as a kid learning guitar from my dad, but didn’t really get really into creating music until I was a lad of 19 years.  From there I went to join a midget band that used to play folk songs and would travel around the world to try to gather more minstrel groupies.  After that, I worked in a brothel learning how to play guitar, piano, mandolin, ukulele, and violin.  These instruments have served me no purpose so I began focusing on playing bass, and the style I like to call “The wild turkey”.

BRIAN, YOU USED TO JAM WITH DISFUNCTION ON GUITAR A FEW YEARS BACK. THEY TOLD ME YOU LIKED TO PLAY COUNTRY-TYPE STUFF… ANY TRUTH TO THAT? YOU TEAR UP THE BASS PARTS IN SHOTGUN STYLE. IS BASS NOW YOUR MAIN INSTRUMENT? HOW DO YOU APPROACH PLAYING BASS AT LIVE SHOWS?

Bass is my main instrument, and yes… country rock is my favorite style of music.  I just love playing music that pays tribute to my country, my religion, and my venereal disease.  God damn I love ‘merica!

JASON, WHAT CHALLENGES COME WITH DRUMMING FOR SHOTGUN STYLE? ANY SPECIAL APPROACHES YOU TAKE FOR THIS PARTICULAR BAND?

I’d have to say the toughest part of drumming for Shotgun Style is that we only have three members.  The rhythm usually has to work to fill in gaps that melody or harmony might in other situations.  On top of that, any sloppy or dull drumming is going to stand out a lot more than it would otherwise.  It definitely makes things challenging, but for the better.

SHOTGUN STYLE’S STYLE IS HARD TO DESCRIBE.  THERE IS AN ELEMENT THAT IS LIKE A WIDE SPRAY OF RAW ENERGY, BUT IT TENDS TO ALTERNATE WITH SOFTER PARTS.  WHY THE NAME ,“SHOTGUN STYLE”?  ARE YOU FOOTBALL FANS?

The sound of our music has evolved quite a bit.  We started out as a basic punk rock trio, but as we started to hang out and talk about music we were listening to and felt moved by, we began implementing those styles into our sound while still keeping to our punk rock roots.  The name shotgun style was kind of a fluke but I think it represents our style of songs, which pack alot of style and energy into a short amount of time.

I think our influences vary a lot.  All three of us bring something unique to the table (Brian is into math rock, Jason is into hardcore and I like tons of shit).  We keep hardcore at the center while delving into indie, jazz, and even flemenco.

Ironically the only time anyone uses our name in a sentence, not directly regarding our band, would be to describe their experience in the latrine.  Example: “Man I got so drunk last night I went to take a shit in the morning and had the mad liquor shits!!!  I’m talking like shotgun style; there was poop everywhere.”


DO YOU HAVE STRONG INDIE ROCK OR GRUNGE INFLUENCES? PLEASE GIVE EXAMPLES.

I’m not a big fan of grunge myself, but I’m a huge indie fan.  I’ll try to restrain myself from ranting on about the bands I listen to, but I feel like anyone into that kind of music should listen to Parades, Spokes, and Typhoon.

IF SHOTGUN STYLE WAS A MIXED DRINK, HOW MANY PARTS INDIE ROCK VERSUS PUNK OR HARDCORE?

Shotgun style would be a Long Island iced tea.  A mix of everything that still packs a punch.

Shot of jenkem… Google it.

Our earlier stuff was probably 3 parts punk to 1 part prog/indie, but our newer material is more of a one to one ratio.  We’ve been working a lot more outside the box with our newest songs, and I’m excited to get those recorded.

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE SHOTGUN STYLE SONGS THAT GO OFF REALLY WELL LIVE?

I think one of the best songs we do live is “Indian Tribe Psychedelia”.  The crowd is usually moving at this point, and this song gets them to interact, shouting “hey” in cadence.  It is very motivating past that point.

“Indian Tribe Psychedelia” is the first song that pops into my head.  I’m usually not paying much attention to the crowd while I’m playing, so I can’t really say.

WHAT ARE YOUR SONG LYRIC TOPICS? YOU USED TO HAVE A DIFFERENT DRUMMER. ANY OTHER LINEUP CHANGES?

Lyric wise, many of our songs deal with modern struggles, like dealing with isolation or defeat, but then rising above that.  “You Out of You” is about just that, and finding that you are better after something difficult in your life.  Our old drummer had some personal issues, and we had to move on.  Jason is one of the best things to happen to us; he’s very level headed and no I don’t think there will be any lineup changes in the near future.

HAVE ANY OF YOU PLAYED IN OTHER BANDS? OTHER CITIES?

When I lived in Deltona, I played with a couple of small bands while in High school, but nothing substantial.  One band from there that really influenced me was No Harm Done.  We are just starting to play in other cities and towns.  I think we are physically and emotionally ready for it.  We want to play all around Florida, plus the southeast and particular parts of Texas as focal points.

I played drums in a couple of garage bands back in high school, but this is the first “successful” band I’ve been in.  I’ve also been working with one of my friends on a side project of sorts, which is something a bit more melodic than Shotgun Style.

I have a side project called Donald Trump and The Muff Divers. We mainly play in my bathroom.
Prison Orange, we played punk rock in the nude.
Chief Nukachez and The Firestone. Shitty reggae band.
The Sarcasms. This band never really took off.
Iain Hart. My friend’s solo project that I would help out with.
There’s more, they just all really suck a lot. Like this band called Shotgun Style; they used to really suck a lot.

THE SHOWS YOU HOST TEND TO BE PROFESSIONALLY CONDUCTED.  ANY THOUGHTS ON WHAT MAKES A SHOW GO WELL BEYOND PLAYING WELL AND GETTING A POSITIVE AUDIENCE RESPONSE?

A show should be well thought out.  I always piece together shows with as much care as I can give to it, trying to find a motif, whether it be a hardcore punk night in a similar venue or if it has a modern post rock feel at an upscale venue downtown.  Bands need to know when they play and get on and off stage on time, as well as have a set limit on songs and load up/off time.  I like to keep tight communication when I organize shows.  I notice that shows that lack communication fall apart towards the end.

I think the key to a successful show is punctuality.  It sucks for bands and the people who show up if things are running late by an hour or more, and that usually ends up shafting the bands who play last on top of that.

I’ve noticed the more liquored up the crowd is, the better they like our music.  That’s why I’ll always buy you a drink if you come to our shows.

WILL THERE BE ANY MORE 15-MINUTE SET, 6-BAND SHOWS? THESE COULD BE THE FUTURE!

Yes!  The 15 min showdown is a concept ive kept for about a year now.  Its tricky, but if done right it is one hell of a night.  That type of show needs extra care to make sure it goes right.  I think the Halloween show was a success.  I did alot of prep work to make sure it went down.  Everyone was on time.  All the bands were unique from each other and played great.  Most importantly, everyone had a good time.

I don’t want to say never; I personally like the idea but it’s tough to execute.

WHAT IS SHOTGUN STYLE DOING NEXT?

Orgy.  You down?

We’re finally getting around to pressing our first album.  It’s been up on Bandcamp digitally for awhile now, but it’s taken us a lot longer than expected to get physical copies ready.  Other than that, we’ve just been writing a lot of new material and we hope to get some of that recorded in the near future.  Hopefully we’ll have plenty of shows in 2012 on top of that, including some out of town.

Shotgun Style is creating more music.  We want to record a split single with another band in 2012.  We are getting ready to branch out more in the next year.  We are starting to play shows in other towns, and we’re getting contacts elsewhere as well.  It should be a leap forward next year.

Like I said, we started out listening to older hardcore: Black Flag, Minor Threat, DOA.  Lately, I have personally been influenced by Proggressive guys like Don Caballero and Battles.  The post-rock bands of recent, such as Pelican, have moved me in certain directions.  I have been picking up a flemenco style as well, which I have been incorporating into our songs.

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