You may have seen our Topher’s pictures adorning our reviews. Now he’s in a band, too!
I’m currently living in the city of peace and reconciliation, Coventry. I’ve been living there for about 4 years now. Cici is Worcester way and Magic from Cheltenham.
How did you meet?
I actually used to go and watch Magic’s band 4ft Fingers when I was in school and college and used to be one of the weirdo’s stood at the back hoping to meet the band. My old band ended up doing a few shows with his current main band Reign of Fury over the last few years and I got to know him through that. I met Cici around the gigging circuit too. Although rather than me being the weirdo at the back, this time it was her. Magic and Cici met on 10th November at our first rehearsal.
How long have you been playing as a band?
Since 10th November at our first rehearsal, so a total of about 3 hours so far! I’ve been writing the songs casually over the last few months and had sent the other two demos to learn and make their own.
Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?
I had been through so many possibilities but they never conjured up the right image. Shaking Corpses just sort of fit with what I had been writing. I want people to want to dance and have a good time, even if the crowd do look dead. That, and it’s kind of seedy and dirty.
What are your influences?
As a band we have a huge range of influences from Misfits (most obviously) to Johnny Cash to The Black Dahlia Murder. Cici is a big fan of funk and prog amongst other things, so although you wouldn’t expect it in our horror rock and roll or punk or whatever you want to call it, there are plenty of styles going on within the three layers we have!
Magic: Lots. I listen to a hell of a lot of bands and allow them to influence my playing. But I try not to bore myself with practising rudiments too much and just concentrate on playing the songs. Other band members influence my drumming too. If they have an idea, I want to hear it. It’s usually something I wouldn’t come up with, then I modify it to the way I would play it.
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
We have come from different veins of the rock world in our other bands. Magic with punk and metal, Cici with her prog and myself with melodic death and black metal. But with this, our influences seem to cross paths right at what we are doing with Shaking Corpses. We want people to enjoy themselves. We want to write horribly catchy melodies. We want to make people feel slightly uncomfortable for liking the lyrics. Also, we don’t want to be limited in what we can do.
Do you have any particular lyrical themes?
Topher: This is awkward. The main lyrical theme is about murder and being a murderer. Or seeing a murderer. Or smelling a murderer. A lot of them are written as love songs but, you know when people say that they would do anything to be with someone? Think of that, but at the most extreme level. At the root of the songs, murder aside, there are meanings behind them but that’s for me only. I just make sure to cover that all up with blood, guts and gore.
What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?
We haven’t played any shows yet but as Cici has pointed out to me, we’ve each been playing in bands on stage for years. Both Cici and Magic were chosen for Shaking Corpses not only on their playing ability but having character and charisma on stage, we’re all a lively bunch so it’ll be interesting no matter what!
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?
Magic: Two guys were calling Rob (singer of 4ft Fingers) a wanker as we were playing. Next thing, Rob hands his guitar to Dougie (bass player) and jumps off the stage and takes them on. Dougie then passes the guitar and his bass to Tom and jumps down to help Rob. I then throw my sticks away and leap off the stage and get involved. I get one of them on the floor and start choking him. Then I feel someone trying to get me off him. As I stand up, I see this guy and grab his tie. Shit, it was a security guard. Our manager sees what’s happening and turns to the merch guy, “I’m going to get our money” and darts off to get paid.
Meanwhile, the security guard has floored me and I’m being dragged through the venue by my ankles with every fucker emptying their drinks over me. The security guard gets me to the door and tells me to “Fuck off! You’re out!”
But there is no way I’m leaving my gear. I sneak around the back, get back in through the back door, sneak on stage, grab the mic and shout “We’re 4ft Fingers and you’ve all just been fingered!” Then dart back to the dressing room.
Cirencester Student Ball that was. And we did get paid in the end. The whole amount. A good manager knows the best time to collect the money.
Topher & Cici: We went to Royal Albert Hall for an orchestral performance of The Planets. After Saturn, we think it was, the crowd didn’t clap. They coughed. Wild.
What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?
Topher: I use an imported Schecter Hellraiser Extreme Solo 6 and we’re tuned down to drop B. I’m also on the Kemper hype for amps. It’s just so much easier getting what I need, quickly at any show! I’m using a Mesa MKIV profile.
Cici: My trusty Ashdown ABM 600, Ibanex SR700 which is otherwise known as Johnny Cash Converter (named after his place of adoption), My custom Anaconda CXE4 and Scott Dixon flight cases.
Magic: Whatever I can afford and is going cheap on Facebook marketplace at the time… and Collision drumsticks.
What, if anything, are you plugging/promoting at the moment?
We have a demo out called She Moans. I say “we”… I did this before the other two were on board with the band. The video is just me singing into a microphone after I got in from a walk one day and decided I wanted to give it a go. It’s a pretty poor effort (or no effort…) but it seems to have gone down well!
What are your plans for the rest of 2018 and into next year?
The main thing is to keep writing material. I have so many songs, probably about 20 that are not finished or I’m not sure if they would work at this stage. Record the demos, send them to the other two and get back into rehearsal. We have a Christmas single coming out. That’s worth a mention! And it’s definitely more naughty than nice.
If you were second on a three-band bill, which band would you love to be supporting and which band would you choose to open for you? A chance to plug someone you’ve toured with, or a mate’s band we’ve not heard of before!
Topher: This is difficult. There are so many bands we’d love to support. Should we go with what works on a line up or who we’d personally like to play with?
Cici: For the world’s most random gig, I’d love The Silk Road to open for us, and Tool to be the headline band! There are a million bands (local and big), who I’d be honoured to play with, and this is just one combination.
Magic: The Damned as the headliner. I think us and them would work well. It’s a nod to the original punk days too.
Topher: I watched a documentary on them last night, that’s a brilliant shout for the headliner!
From previous Band of the Day, Fyke: who is your celebrity crush?
Magic: My wife is a Burlesque celeb. She is my crush. Missy Malone.
Topher: Ariana Grande. She’s number 1. Kristen Bell, number 2. Third place is ok, they like to think and act like they’re a celeb, but they aren’t.
From another BotD, N.E.S.H.: at a local level, what do you think can be done to help the music industry and bands of the future?
Magic: Bands to charge for their performances. That’ll strengthen the industry.
And from Harakiri For The Sky: if you had to smuggle drugs onto an airplane. How would you do it?
Magic: I’m a drummer, I don’t need drugs.
Cici: I do it all the time in the form of my inhaler (aka wheezy stick).
Topher: I call her Wheezy. Her favourite band is Weezer. She eats Wheezabix for breakfast…. This could go on. But, the inhaler is a good shout.
Shaking Corpses: facebook