Interview mit Shai Hulud

 

Ploedi:

Hi, would you please introduce yourself to our readers?

Matt:
Hi my name's Matt and I play the guitar in Shai Hulud

Ploedi:

The first thing I recognized about Shai Hulud was the band's name. Is there a connection between the band and the sandworms in the movie/books "Dune"?

Matt:

Yes there is, that's exactly what Shai Hulud is.

Ploedi

Did you choose the name because of the special symbol of the sandworms?

Matt:

Honestly I know we didn't. I just happened to be a huge Dune fan when we started the band. I really wanted to name it after something in Dune. Originally we wanted to be called Harkhonan but we didn't like the way it sounded fo a hardcore band. When I was watching Dune with our bass player and he wanted to call the band Shai Hulud. Then there was kind of a misscommunication and we ended up beiing called Shai Hulud.

Ploedi:

In the booklet of the CD "Hearts once nourished with hope and compassion" there is a pretty large explanation what you're all about... Beeing labeled as a Straight Edge Krishna whatever band, would you please explain this a little more?

Matt:

Sure, it pretty much says it all but the thing is we have a lot of people that were a lot of different thing in the band. I myself am straight, our singer is Straight Edge and christian our drummer was christian, Dave and Chad are Vegans and Vegetarians and we were labeled all these different things. In fact because of the name Shai Hulud someone actually thought we were Krishna. So after our second show a review said "Shai Hulud ... New School Straight Edge Krishnas" and we were like "We gotta stop this now!". So when we wrote tha album we decidede to wirte that so the everybody knew some of us were Christian, so of us were SxE some of us were Vegans/Vegetarians some of us eat meat. And we thought it was very important to clarify that the band doesn't it here to anyone of those ideals, but all the components make up Shai Hulud.

Ploedi:

Do you think tolerance is a very important thing in the Hardcore scene which is splitting up a lot nowadays?

Matt:

Everyone should love and accept everyone there should be no segregation between Emo or old school. That's very very silly. the only thing I think that makes the most difference is when sombody listenes to Tough Guy music and they feel like they have to act like the predecessors of Tough Guy, same thing with Emo: Somebody sees how an Emo Band acted 3 years ago and they think they have to dress and look like the band. That's where the segregation inlies. I think that if people were just very true to themselves and just like what they like. I mean it's just music, there's to much hatred in the world because of race and color and religion, it's to silly to dislike someone over a style of music. Very very silly. And I didn't realize it's such a big problem over here because in the states there's just a couple of jokes but for the most part the different types of music get along.

Ploedi:

What do you think about the topic religion in Hardcore music?

Matt:

I hate more than anything if any person thar would not allow someone to speak their mind on stage. When you hear people say "I don't like Shelter because they preach" or "I don't like Earth Crisis because they preach" I find that to be very very disturbing. Because if you're on stage that's exactly what you're there to do. that's your plattform to speak your mind. And if someone doesn't like what you're saying that person should simply leave. I know that when Shelter goes on stage and they talk about their love to Krishna, that's what they wanna do. And if someone is bothered by that he shouldn't be there. I think religion is more than welcome in Hardcore than anything else. These are normal people. Hardcore is not completely separated form mainstream life it's still people involved in the music scene. And if you wanna get up and wanna talk about something you love, get up there and speak loudly and proudly and no one has the right to tell you to shut up or say anything negative in regards to something in that you believe or feel passionate about.

Ploedi:

What's your opinion on the internet and why don't you guys have any Homepage?

Matt:

I personally love the internet. I think it's unfortunate that through the internet you can say a lot of bad things and remain anonymous. I think everyone should be accountable for what they say. I think the internet is a great source of information and very helpfull to bands. We don't have a hompage because we didn't come around designing one, but now one's beiing designed it should be online by the end of the year.

Ploedi:

What about songwriting in the band? Is it true that all members in the band write the lyrics?

Matt:

Well, I do most of the lyrics. Simply becaus I feel so irritated by a lot of things that I see, I constantly have my folder or my notebook around me. So I'm always writing things down. So I'd say that I write the majority of the lyrics simply because I've always got a pen in my hand. But anyone else, when the see that something bothers them they wrtite it down and we also make lyrics when we have music that needs lyrics. Dave, our bass player writes some of the lyrics to the songs of "Hearts once nourished...." and he was really bothered by how Vegans were very idealist and the thought they were better than anyone else. So that inspired him to write a song and when he showed every one lyrics, everyone loved them and it simply goes into a song. So, that's simply how it works: when whoever feels that they have something to contribute just at anytime write something down and we all work it out together.

Ploedi:

You seem to cover lot's of topics in the lyrics. Is this the result that lot's of people wirte them?

Matt:

Well, most of the lyrics on the first 7'' were from Damien (As Friends Rust). He was in our band first and he wrote the lyrics to "Hardly" and some of the lyrics for "The World" and I worte all the lyrics for "If born". On the album I wrote most of them and Dave contributed. This definitly gives us a broader topic range of Lyrics.
Ploedi:

What exactly are the lyrics "Outside the boundaries of a friend" about?

Matt:

That's funny because the whole album has got a pretty negative theme and that song in particular is about a girl that I was really cared about and things didn't work out between us. She was the inspiration for that song. But now we are best friends, she's my favorite person in the whole world but at tht point with her I felt that she was setting boudaries of what I should be for and the fact that I liked her more than a friend I felt that I was outside those boundaries and that's why we couldn't get along and that's what the title means and the lyrics just regarded the fall of the relationship. We were really good friends and I started having feelings for her and here feelings didn't match my own.

Ploedi:

Do you consider Shai Hulud being a political band?

Matt:

That's funny because at first I didn't. At first we were asked all the time if were more about the music or the message and I would always say the music. And right now I would still say the music but at this time the message is equally as important. Because what I thought by political was people getting involved with the government and wars between countries and that's something we've never touched on and that's something that we never will touch on. It's not that we're not interested but i mean I see too many problems domestically and interpersonally with my friends and relationships. It's like if I can't even have a good relationship with the people that are close to me how can I solve any other problem. So what I've realized is now we are so called social political and we deal with politics between people and the ignorance in people and the way individuals interact with each other. In that sense I would say we're extremely political.

Ploedi:

During the discussion about who's to be blamed guilty for those school shootings in Littleton bands like Marilyn Manson or KMFDM were mentioned a lot. Where do you see the reasons for this?

Matt:

Jesus, that's a great question and I would like to search for an answer i na couple of sentences. I think that people are very fake and everyone is dying to belong everyone is to be accepted, no one wants to be an outsider. And I wouldn't blame the bands Marilyn Manson or Insane Clown Posse but you have a young boy that's impressinable and wants to belong and he can realte to a band that says something that might be interpreted in a negative manner then he takes it and he misinterpreted and he takes one of his friends who's impressionable, too. And then chaos just insues. I wouldn't fault the band. I do think that bands have a lot of responsibility especially if you gonna say negative, violent things. Bands have the responsibility to make it clear that what their point is. Because there are a lot of stupid people that easily misinterpret a lot of questionable lyrics. And Shai Hulud and another band that I'm in have somewhat very very violent sounding or questinable lyrics and I always make an appointment in interviews that we are Anti-Violent, Anti-Racist and our lyrics are not to be misinterpreted.

Ploedi:

What about the easy access to guns in the states?

Matt:

I hate guns. And the fact that a 14 year old kid can buy a gun or make a bomb is absolutely incredible. I can't believe it, it disgusts me. That is also obviously. But I think it definitly starts with the insecurity in the person. It's terrible I have very big issues with guns. They're too easily available and stupidity in weapons is a leathal combination. It's unfortune that the youth who is so impressionable and wanting to belong has such easy access to guns. Because when they don't understand and can't communicate the only way they can react is through a weapon or shooting.

Ploedi:

You said that you're an Anti-Violent band. Do you think that there is a certain point where violence is needed? Like for example the Kosovo Conflict?

Matt:

To be honest with you: Yes. Unfortunatley I do. I'm not Pro-Violent by any means but since I don't really follow poltitics to put it in simple terms. If one person is oppressing another for no reason than greed. Someone has to step in and do something. If violence is the only way to stop evil from happening it unfortunately looks like violence has to be.

Ploedi:

On your posters you wrote that there are (ex-)members from Harvest on tour with Shai Hulud. What's up with Harvest right now?

Matt:

Let me first apologize that there is no one from Harvest in Shai Hulud on this tour. Harvest broke up maybe about a year ago I think. And the reason it says Harvest on the Poster is because before we came over here we parted ways with our singer and Dave Walker the old singer of Harvest had called me up and had expressed interest in us working together him possibly taking over vocal duties and at that point it looks like he'd come over for the tour with us. So when I got in thouch with Marco from Avocado Booking I told him that Dave Walker from Harvest may be coming over and he thought that he was coming over and that's why it says it on the posters. Dave Walker may join the band in the future, we're not sure yet but he's definetly not on this tour.

Ploedi:

What about your future plans with Shai Hulud?

Matt:

There's a split on Trustkill it's supposed to be with Another Victim. I'm not sure if it's still gonna happen with them but there will be a split on Truskill with one brand new song and two covers. After that we have a few more releases planned. We sould be recording for the next album later this year or early next year and a full American Tour and a full European Tour next year. And hopefully we will hit Asia and Australia as well.

Ploedi:

A final statement?

Matt:

I just wanna say we have this new guy singing for us on this tour. His name is Geert we met him in Holland. When we came on this tour our guitar player was singing and we were only using one guitar. We met Geert and he was fan and followed us to our next show and he ended up singing. He's got a great voice and it looks like he may join the band permantly. So I'm supposed to say thanks to him he's doing an awesome job making this tour so much better than it would have been. In fact at our first couple of shows people were not really happy and once he started playing with us everything got a lot better. So, thanks to Geert and thank you for the interview.