Interview: Mr Shiraz

Today, I’m bringing you some new music from Huddersfield five piece Mr Shiraz. This punk meets metal meets funk band create music that has been awarded plaudits such as Best Single at the Pure Rawk Awards, have a live show which has been branded as hyper and energetic and they have toured with the likes of The Bronx and Brawlers. After a couple of line up changes and years spent honing their sound, these guys are now ready to released their finished music out into the world in the form of latest EP ’21 Grams’. The EP, which was recently releaed, is a 6 track EP filled with groove laden punk with great rhythms and danceable melodies throughout.

I recently caught up with Mikey from the band to discuss everything from their new EP to future plans for the band, find out what they had to say below:

Firstly, could you tell us a bit more about yourselves and the music you make?

We are Mr Shiraz, a 5 piece groove punk (we made up that genre as we are cool) from the wondrous town of Huddersfield. The music is a nice mixture of groove, punk rock, big ol’ riffs, bigger choruses and a lack of pretension. We just like a good ol’ town. In it to just play gigs and have a good old time.

Who would you say are your biggest influences and inspirations on the music you make?

Too many to mention. As individuals we all have a wide range of musical influences. I’d say we are all fans of Faith No More, Weezer, Sublime, NWA, 90’s alternative rock, etc. Then it ranges between us from everything from Ella Fitzgerald to Minor Threat to The Bouncing Souls, Die Antwoord, Deftones, Wu Tang and also John Cusack. Sure he ain’t a musician but what a dude, he was in Con Air and Grosse Pointe Blank and Say Anything!

You released your EP ‘God Hates Mr Shiraz’ last year; how has the reaction been to it?

I think we were all pretty surprised by the reaction it got. We had just gone through some pretty big changes within the ranks and this was the first stuff we had done with the new line up. It was also quite a change in style for us, we has kind of been taken off the leash and were free to just do what the hell we wanted to do. When it got so much attention and people enjoyed it as much as they did it just felt good, it made us realise all the changes that had happened were for the best. Then when ‘No Prophecy’ got best single at Pure Rawk Awards, that just sealed it for us. ‘No Prophecy’ was the first song we had written as a group with this line up so it was just the perfect answer to our own worries.

How do you find the writing and recording process for your music?

It is fun, especially now as for the first time ever it is truly now a group effort. Someone will come with an idea, be it a riff, line, whatever and we just bounce them of each other, jam and see where it leads. It normally ends up in a different area to where it started but that’s the beauty of 5 heads working together. We have never been a band who wanted to be tied to a specific genre. We believe a good song is a good song, I think this shows when you listen to us. Our two newest, one is heavy as shit but the other is more of an anthem. we like that. Keep ’em guessing.

When it comes to playing live, what do you enjoy most about it?

Every single part. The travelling where it is us all together in a van talking crap and trying to amuse ourselves. Reaching the venue, meeting people, even the boring bit where you are waiting around before doors is nice. Playing the gig is, of course, the best bit, if it’s not then why be in a band. I enjoy afterwards kicking back, chatting to people, having drinks. It’s just all awesome.

What is your favourite venue that you have played so far?

Personally for me I would say The Underworld in Camden. It was one of those venues we always wanted to play and then it finally happened and it was just killer to play such a well known place where so many heroes have graced the stage. We have been lucky enough to be able to play there many times since and have become quite friendly with quite a few of the crew who work there. Always awesome sound. Booze is expensive though but then again it is the big city and we are cheap Northeners. Also, The Parish in Huddersfield. It’s our spiritual home and also my place of work. It’s the best venue of its size in the UK.

Finally, what are your plans for the last few weeks of 2015 and the beginning of 2016? Tours, new music releases etc

We have just finished a mini tour and then next, we will be releasing the new the new record ’21 Grams’. Get it listened to it’s rad. Then next year we will be gigging, gigging, gigging. Maybe record another record. Play more gigs. Good times!

Check out the title track taken from the new EP ’21 Grams’ below:

To find out more about Mr Shiraz visit their Facebook page, their Bandcamp page or you can follow them on Twitter – @MrShiraz


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