When I saw this bands name I got images of Cowboys dueling in the high street. It’s not that bad I promise you. SHOTGUN JUSTICE are much cooler than that. Anders Ekdahl ©2016
Could you please introduce us to the band?
-SHOTGUN JUSTICE is a german band that`s addicted to Oldschool Heavy Metal from the 80s and 90s, and there are some other elements included, such as some few Thrash riffs or even Hard Rock. The band passed through several line-ups since its birth in 2003, the only remaining founding members are Tobias Groß (drums) and me, Erik Dembke (guitar). Our lead singer Marco Kräft joined the band in 2007, and before he was chosen to do the vocals he was playing the guitar. This job is done by Kai Brennecke now (ex-IN CASE OF FYR) who joins the band for not even one year now, as well as our new bass player Tom Schubert who already had been in the band from 2005 to 2007.
We had released some Demo albums in 2005 and 2011 before we decided to do “State of Desolation”, and it was risen to life in almost capricious conditions within and around the band. The chemistry in the band is at its best now, and we`re bursting to perform these songs live among others, old and new ones.
What has been the greatest catalyst in forming your sound?
-First we have to explain the fact that you can`t compare the record sound with that we`re driving live. It`s more agressive, pure and raw, the songs are played in a higher speed, and Marco`s voice is harder. Nevertheless, I think our sound is quite comfortable and hearable – although we have broken two locations volume records at some of our shows, no joke!!
The greatest catalyst in forming our sound? Well, there`s an impact on us as all musicians have played in bands before that set pretty great store on the sound, maybe it`s quite a mixture of the things we have in earlier stages of our career.
How hard is it to record and release new songs?
-It´s even hard to answer this question 😉
There are so many ideas that come to my mind when I play the guitar, each time I try to rehearse, or we`re jamming around. But just a small part of these ideas will finally become a song. The songs of “State of Desolation” were almost written during rehearsals, now we`re working differently to create new songs. The main thing about the difficulties is the lack of time, I guess, and if you`re working on a record or rehearsing for live shows it`s not the time to write and to arrange new material.
I love entering studio for a new record, and it`s great to watch the process of a song that grows to life. Wish we`ll have the time to write lots of new songs and to release some more records…
Has digital made it easier to get your music released?
-That`s the two-sides-of-a-coin-story: in a similar way digital made it easier, indeed, especially as you try to imagine the recording process and studio work up to the point when you are releasing some hundreds of CD`s and you try to share your music. On the other side there are dozens of new records coming out each single day, and it`s very hard for a band to gain the desired attention that would be necessary to place your mark and your product. You have to face the fact that you should sharpen your skills and to conquer a certain niche, just to be different.
If you release your music digitally is there a risk that you release songs too soon, before you are ready compared to releasing them on cd?
-There`s certainly a risk but it`s not the fact of releasing songs too soon: we were very surprised to watch the growth of numbers of torrent sites that offered our material, even for free download, and even before release date of our CD. As consumer you may consider this as “cool” but from our point of view it`s criminal, and illegal downloads are killing music. This surely would be a big job for Lars Ulrich`s lawyers if we were Metallica…
What kind of responses have you had to your recorded music?
-If we talk about our topical release “State of Desolation” we gained all sorts of reaction from total dislike up to euphoric enthusiasm. Most people criticize sound and production as both aspects are considered as “too much oldschool”, too weak, too thin, others don`t like the conventional guitar sound, some are complaining about simple riffs, songs or arrangements – in opposite to this we also had very affirmative critics about all of the a.m. points.
Of course, this is not a million dollar production, and even from our own point of view there are some aspects that surely have to be improved. But we just had to do this record, the only option would have been waiting for recovery of our drummer after his surgery (shoulder), and maybe we`d still wait for it now – nobody could have known before. So we decided to make use of the time and to continue with recording even if we`d have to live with a non-perfect drums sound.
We live in a world were there are no real distances between people communicating anymore. What has been the most surprising contact so far?
-We all had some exciting contacts in our personal career as musician. Kai was supporting a well-known german industrial band called DIE KRUPPS with his own band, Marco knew Herbie Langhans (who is along with Tobias Sammet and AVANTASIA these days), and I had the honour to make some records at Studio M (RUNNING WILD, ZED YAGO and more) for a band I formerly joined. SHOTGUN JUSTICE played on festivals with bands like RAGE, GRAND MAGUS and others, and once we had the pleasure to play a support show for Blaze Bayley – a brilliant musician and absolutely nice guy!!
Do you feel like you are a part of a greater community playing in a metal band?
-That`s exactly what I think and what I feel as I play the guitar for more than 35 years now, and I joined metal bands for more than 30 years. But times have changed a lot, and I guess there is no such common feeling any more as it may have been in the 80s. Sometimes there seem to be strict seperation between different kind of metal genres, and I have to admit that sometimes I feel like missing the frontier spirit of the earlier days. I`m not a friend of thinking in stereotyped thinking, and I guess you may notice this from our songwriting. But only to hear this word – METAL!! This already makes me shiver, really.
What is the live scene like for you? Do you feel that playing live helps building a bigger following?
-To perform in front of an audience, that always should be the greatest thing for a musician, it`s the main sense of everything you do and you work for, and it doesn`t matter if the crowd is made up of 20, 200 or 2000 people. If there`s just one guy who is impressed by the show and by your music you did your job well and it made your day! For an almost unknown band like we are it`s important to play live as much as possible – and there are lots of places where we haven`t been so far!
What plans do you have for the future?
-First we are looking forward to play some live shows and to perform our songs in our topical line-up, as our “new members” Kai (guitar) and Tom (bass) did yet not have lots of occasion to hit the stage with us. So far we just confirmed some few shows but there surely will be more in the next months. We also write new material for a coming record, maybe a 5 or 6 piece CD, so we think about entering studio again by the end of this year. If this will take place there probably will be a new release in 2017.
We discussed about making a video clip to one of our CD`s songs, and there are plans to be taken on the soundtrack of a coming german horror movie called “Banshee”. These are our plans and ideas for 2016 – maybe also to play on some festivals around summer, this would be great…
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