With their new EP out earlier this week (grab it on Bandcamp), here are a few words with frontman Mike of recent Band of the Day, Mr Shiraz. He seems to have taken the questions in the manner we could expect from this rather madcap bunch!
Simple things first – where are you guys from?
We are from the mean streets of Huddersfield! A place where men are men. Nobody has shoes. It rains fire and we drink lava.
(Although if you read the lies we come from Huddersfield; a beautiful town in Yorkshire surrounded by much country and quaint villages)
How did you meet?
In rehab. I was in for my addiction to goof balls. Tim had a crazed porn obsession. Tori was off her box on marker pens. Steve was a kleptomaniac who could only steal safety pins but had literally thousands. Iain was our shrink. He helped us for 15 years and when we left we were all put into his care. That was when he forced us to do this band. He had always wanted to do it but he could only play drums, he knew by our evaluations that we were the ones he needed to fulfil his destiny.
(Saying that we all came together through going to similar bars, gigs, having similar circles of friends, etc)
How long have you been playing together as a band?
Have you heard of the Big Bang? The bang that created the universe and everything as we know it? Yeah. That was us. You are welcome! We have been around since before time began and will be around after time ends.
(Although Tori & I started doing Shiraz in 2000, back then it was an 8 piece ska/punk band, Tim joined in early 2005 and was a big part in kicking off the evolution to what we are now. Iain came into the fold just over 2 years ago and Steve is the new boy who has been with us around a year and a half)
What are your influences – individually or as a band?
Flamingo Land and Lazer Quest. Flamingo Land is not just a zoo, it is not just a theme park, it is both! Now if that place can bring two awesome things together then why can’t we? Lazer Quest lets you live out your dreams of living in a post apocalyptic world where you can have a name like Snake and drink lager for £1.50 a bottle.
(We are all quite musically diverse which I believe helps us form our sound. Between the individual members we are influenced from everything from Ella Fitzgerald to the Pixies to Weezer, Deftones, Faith No More, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Sublime, NWA and everything in between. Fuck genres! A good song is a good song!)
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
All our songs are made up on the spot. We have never practiced. We don’t even know each other off stage. We turn up, walk on stage and make it up. Through some higher power we all come together and make music that can make statues weep and a desert wet.
(Although I would say it is a mixture of punk, rock n’ roll, big riffs, big old melodies and just five people having a great time and enjoying what we do)
What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?
You know the scene in Jurassic Park where they are in the jeep getting chased down by the T-Rex and Jeff Goldblum is in the back telling them to go faster as it is gaining on them so they go faster and do escape? It is exactly like that.
(Or, you could say it is pretty high energy and in your face. It is a lot of fun. We want the audience to enjoy it as much as we do and we really enjoy it. I honestly have no idea how many gigs we have played, I’d say well over a thousand)
What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?
We use Kit from Knight Rider [Ha! That was “KITT” – Mosh] and our own guitars.
What are you working on at the moment?
I am currently working on how to splice a Sea Otter with a Barn Owl. I reckon it will end up like some kind of really cute flying, swimming dog that lays eggs.
(We have the new record 21 Grams out on the 7th December so we want to get out and tour that, get everyone to hear it and hopefully enjoy it. It is something we are truly proud of)
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done on tour?
I killed a man… twice. With a shoe. Didn’t even have a reason. Just wanted to see what it felt like. Wasn’t even my shoe. He’s ok now though. I gave him the kiss of life… twice. With the tongue from the shoe.
(In all honesty though, we cannot tell you this. Stuff happens. Silly stuff. It happens with all bands but there are rules of being in a band and the main rule is you never ever tell!)
If you could be part of any 3-band line-up (as support or headlining) who else would you have on the bill?
Rocky Balboa & Gandhi!
(Or any of the acts we named as our influences. Just imagine us, Weezer, Faith No More and NWA! That would be a killer gig!)
What advice do you have for a band that’s just starting up?
I’ll answer this one totally honestly as it’s something I think is very important. Just do it! Get out there with your friends, write some songs and play some gigs and I promise you will have the best time ever and you never know where it may lead. Many a time I stop and think about all we have done since we formed. When we started I never imagined I’d get to do even a fraction of what we have. Take the rough with the smooth, never take yourself too seriously, never get an ego and always be nice to everyone (especially the sound engineer. They are the first person I thank the second we finish playing). Just do it, love it, enjoy it and live it. You wont regret it.