After the release of their newest CD, "What 20 Summers Pass", I had the opportunity to conduct a brief interview with Shelter guitarist Porcell to discuss the new album, the bands unique lifestyle, song writing and more. If you haven't already experienced Shelter let me be the first to tell you that they are more then just a hardcore band... much more!
Q: Your new CD is absolutely amazing, can you tell us a bit about it?
A: It's called "When 20 Summers Pass" and it's out on Victory records. Personally I think it's our best record yet, it's sort of a mix between the hard edge of our older stuff with the melodic hooks of our later material.
Q: Before Ray left for India he wrote what he felt was his farewell album to music and in doing so you wrote it on his own. Did you re-visit that form of writing with this album since it worked so well in the past or did you approach it from another angle?
A: Basically I wrote all the music first and then gave a demo of the songs to Ray to write lyrics to. That seems to work well for both of us because he can tailor the mood of the words to the mood of the music.
Q: The multi-media portion of your new CD really provided a great degree of insight into the band and your lifestyle, do you feel that a lot of people find your way of life hard to understand? And was the multi-media aspect on the new CD a way to educate new fans and answer some of the most common questions you're faced with?
A: Anything new or different is hard to comprehend at first, which makes people a little hesitant. It's like walking into a dark room, at first you may be anxious even though there may not be anything in the room that can harm you. Then when you turn on the light, you're anxiety is relieved. So I think when people understand what Shelter is actually about, it enlightens them and they become more accepting.
Q: Considering the lifestyle you lead and the beliefs of the band as a whole, how do you deal with the negative aspects of the music business in general? (and especially while touring)
A: It's tough, I don't have much taste for the business aspect of music, but it's a necessary part that every musician has to deal with. Touring in one sense is hard because it's not such a regulated life, but it has it's advantages also. I read a lot while I'm on the road.
Q: At different times in life people find varied sources of inspiration, what has influenced you in the past and now in the present?
A: In the past, bands like Minor Threat and 7 Seconds literally changed my life. Now I'm more inspired by eastern philosophy, particularly Bhagavad-gita.
Q: What keeps you going? When you wake up in the morning what's the one thing that excites you continuously and keeps you in this line of work?
A: Knowing that some people, no matter how small a handful, still care about what we're doing and are enthusiastic about the band. It makes me enthusiastic.
Q: We're creating a new section on our site where we will be asking established bands and musicians like yourself to offer advice to young musicians on a number of topics, what would your advice on the following subjects be to them?
Tour: Put lots of healthy foods on your rider, it's easy to eat lots of prepackaged junk but on the road, but it takes its toll.
Looking for a record label: Make music from your heart and people will come to you.
Equipment: Spend the extra money. It makes a difference.
Recording (Demo's and Albums): Take advice from producers, but make the final decisions yourself.