There's always been a hardcore softspot in Decibel's metallic heart for the raw and the punk. This writer admits to rarely getting stoked for such sounds, often preferring to hear artfully concocted studio recordings and leave the unkempt, wild fury on the stage where it's most powerful. But somehow Norway's Shevils buried into these ears and convinced them to keep listening. The sound is full-bore hate-punk, all brutal-fun and bruisingly mean. Instrumental performances are clear and cutting, and Anders Voldrønning's vocals carry the rage through every arrogant minute. The band released Lost in Tartarus on vinyl We're happy to air these killer tunes for you at the Deciblog.
When we asked guitarist/bassist Andreas Myrvold all about the band, he spat out some of the most contradictory - and therefore interesting - answers we've seen in an interview for quite a while. It's hard to take it all seriously, since he hardly seems to. Regardless, queue up some new Shevils and welcome another weekend!
Fill us in: who are Shevils? Where do you call home, and what are the backgrounds of your members? What brought you together to play this music?
Our home is the Norwegian capital, Oslo. We live in the best country in the world, so there is very little drama in our backgrounds, we`re just spoiled social-democrats with lots of oil-money. We formed the band because we have a passion to make the best music possible. None of us really knew each other that well before joining Shevils. The main reason for playing in a band is to get revenge. We want to bring hurt to everybody and everything that have let us down, and to the world in general; this place really sucks. At the same time it isn`t that bad; some parts of the world is soft as snow.
What’s with the band name? Is it based on the obvious “ladies are mean to me”, or is there further influence going on there?
We all try to figure out who we are and make our own stories based on selected memories. For my part; ladies are mean to me, but I am mean to them, it all balances out in my mind. You could say that the Shevils in the band are the members, although none of us have any kind of irregular sexuality. "Irregular" is probably a really offensive term to use, let’s just say none of us are transsexual, just mirrors of humanity in general, whatever that means. I`m sorry that I suck at LGBT do and don`ts; I don`t wanna offend anyone except those who could use a good offense. A friend of mine told me a couple of months ago "Andreas, you are such a misanthrope". And I just had to agree, but more precisely I`m a misogynist. Up until that point I thought I was just a hedonistic narcissistic nihilist. It was such a relief to have good friends pointing you in the right direction and confirming you as a person. That our band name already reflected those parts of my personality; I doubt it was a coincidence.
How did the ideas for Lost in Tartarus come about? Were the songs written by individuals or in group jam sessions?
I will have to admit that Christoffer have written a good deal of the riffs on this release, but I did write some myself as well. Anders did most of the lyrics, except one really good line I came up with on the spot in the studio. Anyways; some ideas are made individually, and some are made by jamming, and all ideas are perfected as a group. We share writing credit on all songs, because everybody contributes with everything they play and do in the band. It all looks smooth and slick on the surface, but behind our perfectly crafted promotional agenda and million-dollar punk-image, we are actually quite DIY.
Is there a focused direction on the album, or is it more a collection of separate songs?
The original plan was to make a concept album, and still there are some traces of that in both the music and the lyrics. But we kinda scrapped the idea because a concept album just seemed a bit outdated and cheesy. Our goal became to make the best out of every track, and let the themes in the lyrics overlap, instead of making a big deal out of it. All tracks were written for the album, and we dropped a lot of good ideas that didn`t fit with the other songs. The themes we deal most with are frustration about life and the things you can`t have. We`re not rebels, we`re consumers, and we`re never satisfied. Villainism is a harbinging [sic] lifestyle; an antidote to the straight edges and the hardcore cliché. Of course, I condone concented [sic] violence, and the album is about the not-so-straight edges; the lack of edges and straightness, and again; this has nothing to do with LGBT, we`re talking H&M and M&Ms and S&M, in that respective order.
Where did that great album art come from?
The album art is made by Chris Faccone and Shelby Cinca from America. All we did was to provide an album title, and they just made an amazing cover. It`s based on our earlier cover art, but the artwork is still expanding onto new t-shirt designs, future posters, releases and maybe even buttons and stickers. Our next generation of merch will be epicdary [sic]. The cartoonish and surreal nature of the artwork is supposed to highlight the absurdity of existence, obviously. I bet the actual motifs have some deeper meaning, but I have no idea what the artists were thinking, and that is kind of the point.
How/where did you record these songs?
All songs were recorded in our hometown, in the studio of our good friend Marcus Forsgren, acting as both producer, mixer and bass player. He is pretty much your local messiah. We spent a lot more time than expected in studio, and there are no funny stories to be told about that process. There was absolutely almost no consumption of alcohol, drugs or other criminal and/or shocking behavior/scandals. In fact, the whole idea of playing in a band gets uncooler for every passing hype. By now, the too-cool-for-school guys are promoters, photographers and music journalists. We all know who actually earn the money in the music industry.
Are you playing this material live? How often?
We are playing the record track-by-track, back-to-back on our current national tour. We play live as often as we can, every weekend this month.
What is the next step for Shevils?
All we want to do is play great shows and record more kick-ass music. On our current path, our next goal is to give a great big metaphorical middle finger to the people that fucked with us, and have fun in the process. We hope to be able to do that in the near future. A side goal is to give our fans and audiences a fabulous and colorful experience. Let there be rainbows and unicorns. This has been a half-pretentious pleasure, I would like to thank you for your time, and may the force bless you and your kin.
Find out more about Shevils here at their official website.