LA’s DC4 are like a breath of fresh air heralding a new era of hard rock and it’s no surprise seeing as it features the Duncan clan who’ve played in legendary bands like Odin and Armored Saint – Shan Siva heads back to Sunset Strip courtesy of drummer Shawn Duncan!
Wow, I can’t believe how good this album is so congratulations on the making this album – it really is what you say, HARD FUCKIN ROCK FOR THE PEOPLE!!
Shawn: Hey Thanks brother!! Really great to hear that! Bill Metoyer basically locked us up in his studio for 3 months and said “go for it”! This was a fun and sometimes painful cd to make. But it is what we wanted. A Hard fkn rock CD!
Aside from Rowan (Robertson) your guitarist I see that everyone else is surnamed Duncan so I’m guessing that you must all be family one way or the other, bet that produces a few sparks although it seems that you’ve channeled it all into the energy on these superb songs?
Well, without too much boring detail, the surname Robertson is actually derived from Duncan! But yes me Jeff and Matt are brothers (hence the DC in DC4, Duncan Clan). We have been involved in musical projects all of our lives both together and apart. We have our spats but who doesn’t? Honestly, I think we get along better than most bands.
What stands out about DC4 to me is how heavy your hard rock sound is, it’s not metal, but can easily stack up against it. Very few bands have achieved this (Armored Saint being the notable other) so where does this amazing formula come from? I mean, European hard rock is very boogie or blues based but your material is so loaded with Cally attitude in those grooves LOL!
HA HA, I think we just let it fly to be honest. Our influences range from Black Sabbath, Rainbow, Zeppelin, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden to AC/DC, Van Halen, Metallica, The Beatles, Foo Fighters and on and on..We are HUGE fans of hard music and songs.. Joey Vera calls us a Hybrid, I think that nails it. Ultimately DC4 is a hard fkn rock band with thrash and metal seasoning! There are a lot of albums by a lot of those bands I just mentioned that would not be considered “metal” today but definitely were instrumental in “Metal”. Metal is a lifestyle, an attitude and a “sound”, It is much broader than what people call “metal” today and I think that is a bit sad really.
The songs like ‘Sociopath’ and ‘Glitter Girl’ seem to paint a picture of LA so are these based on your personal experiences over the years – ‘XXX’ certainly brought back memories for me attending a (nude) pool party with Ron Jeremy and Sharon Mitchell LOL!!!
Ya! Jeff writes the lyrics and I can see where or who he drew from on certain songs. But living in Los Angeles always has a host of characters and experiences to help one out!!
Speaking of the Saint, does DC4 actually pre date this band so how come I never heard about your amazing band before?
No, DC4 was put together when John joined Anthrax. Jeff had some time on his hands and we formed “Bird Of Prey” which morphed into DC4. Actually when you look back at all of the recording I have done with Jeff you could say that DC4 is just a continuum of Odin.
Were you guys in Odin at one time – I remember this band thanks to Penelope Spheeris’s infamous “Decline Of Western Civilization Part II” movie where Bill Gazzari is gettin’ the crowd to chant the bands name LOL?! – so is it true that that was the band where everyone went to cut their teeth before moving onto something bigger?
Me and Jeff FORMED Odin. Odin was our band in Jr High School. We recorded 3 ep’s and one full length CD. Odin was all about us learning to play and having the time of our lives. By the time that movie actually came out Jeff was in Armored Saint, I was in Madam X and Randy was doing Lostboys with Atlantic Records. So I guess it was a stepping stone. Odin left us all with irreplaceable memories that make the hot tub scene look like Sesame Street!!!
LA at the time seemed to have several scenes, with the Saint in one corner, punk bands like Fear in the other, the hairspray division, and the emerging thrash scene with Slayer, Dark Angel etc so were these all quite distinct mutually exclusive scenes or did you guys all know each other?
Let me tell you something. The WHOLE fuckin scene here was ROCKIN!! I have a flyer that shows 2 dates at the Roxy..the bands over those 2 days were..Odin, Lizzy Borden, Savage Grace, Slayer, Malice and Bitch. That was just ONE WEEKEND!!! We were very close to Armored Saint. Still to this day we are all very good friends. Jeff and Dave had a very strong bond. Yes there were different “Scenes” but the bands were sort of all diggin what the others were doing..it was one giant incubator of METAL! I could go on and on about who we played shows with, partied with, jammed with..etc…one example then I will stop: We had a friend who’s parents owned a deli and in the back of this deli there was a room loaded with gear and better yet a huge refrigerator full of beer! Anyway after the clubs would wind down we usually went over there and would jam till 6 in the morning with everybody. I remember one night Me, Jeff, Joey Vera, John Bush, Gonzo, Lars Ulrich, James Hetfield and others were just all jammin and rocking out!! Fkn Magical times!
I don’t believe any of that scene really exists today so perhaps it’s a timely return of DC4 to take us all back to our true rock roots?
I hope so, but the music scene out here has been long dead. We need the roots and I would hope that musicians never lose them. Metal/Hard Rock are all from the same tree and without those roots the tree will whither and die. I remember a kid once asked me to teach him some drums, I said “sure, have you ever played before?” and he said “no” I said “well what do you want to learn?” and he said he wanted me to teach him how to play “Before I forget” by Slipknot. Great fkn tune by the way, but I gave him “Highway to Hell” and said “you have to learn this BEFORE you can even think about learning that”…Roots.
I take it “Electric Ministry” is your first signing with Metal Blade, which seems apt cos they are LA’s iconic label but I’m a little surprised they didn’t pick u up sooner being right on their doorstep, you must know guys like (Brian) Slagel and (Bill) Metoyer personally…?
Well ya, we are all friends. But DC4 is an unusual beast and I think it took some brass balls on Brian’s part to put this out. Not because the album is bad, quite the contrary, but because we are hard to categorize and therefore difficult to market. I understand that. Without Bill Metoyer this album would never had been made, I mean these people are in our court BIG TIME!
Ok, so what’s next for DC4? I’m really hoping you’re gonna tour cos this music was born for the stage man!
We want to hit the road, we want to record more cd’s and we just want to ROCK!!! DC4 is HARD FUCKIN ROCK FOR THE PEOPLE!!!