THE SHABS is the product of two crazy talented individuals from Cape Town, Jon Shaban & Ryan McArthur, who have come together to make Folk Punk sexy again. Even though the band is fundamentally put together by Jon & Ryan, they do have help from Sophie Doherty & Jon Case when they want to rock out as a full band. This weekend they will be venturing uo from Cape Town for a few gigs, one being the fun, outdoor day festival, Park Acoustics. We had a chat with the guys about music, the band and a few other things… This is what the had to say:
Interview: THE SHABS
Hi guys… how you doing on this fine morning? We are excited to be featuring you on Mixed Apples 😀
Hey. We’re great thanks. Super stoked on life. Been in studio this week and about to start a nation wide tour with our friend Brett Newski from the states.
Before we get started, can you please introduce us to the members of The Shabs, tell us where in SA you guys come from and also give us a short background on how the band got started?
The core of the band conists of two of us – Jon Shaban on guitar and lead vocals and Ryan McArthur on upright bass and backing vocals. We then have Sophie Doherty who plays accordion, melodica and does backing vocals and our most recent member is Jon Case on the drums. We are based in Cape Town and for this tour we’ll be having our legend friend Leighton Danger-Dawg Powell drumming for us up country. Ryan and myself have been playing together for around 15 years and we decided to keep playing together after our previous band, Captain Stu, called it a day. I was playing some solo material and wanted to form a band to back it and we landed up starting The Shabs (formerly the Shabeen) and writing together and working as an actual band.
What/Who are some of your musical influences as a band?
We draw lyrical and content influence by everything that is going on around us and we like to be honest in what we sing about. Bands that influence us are Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls, Days and Daze, Against Me! and Mischief Brew.
Could you give us a short background on the band’s name, The Shabs?
Originally we were called The Shabeen and after coming to the conclusion that that name wasn’t appropriate anymore we shortened it to The Shabs. It is basically a connection to my surname, Shaban, so people can always draw the connection to when I perform solo or with the band.
What are your thoughts on our local music scene at the moment? Is there anything you wish to see happen differently?
It’s obviously easy to say that I wish more people would go out and support shows but I know that everyone has different things to deal with in life. What I would personally like to see is venues making it easier for bands by diversifying line ups and using liquor sponsors etc… to cover venue runnings costs rather than making the bands pay. But business is business I guess and we all need to work together.
Are there any local acts that you think need a special mention?
Grassy Spark. It’s been an absolute pleasure watching them succeed. I also want to say a huge thanks to the punk scene in JHB (SWW, MMK, ATWN, TSSR, SDO) for always having our back and Conley and Shaun from We Did This Records for being so good to us.
Then Rambling Bones continue to blow our minds and inspire us and we’re super excited to be launching a split album with them this year.
You are playing at this months Park Acoustic event in Pretoria. Are you guys excited for this one? What can we expect from you set?
We always love playing Park Acoustics. We go a loooooong way back with Henk and we want to do him and his time proud for continuously supporting us and including us on the line-up. We have some rad new material to play and also considering SDO and Brett Newski are on the line up you can no doubt expect some collaborating
Anything that you guys are currently working on that we would be interested in hearing about?
We have just started tracking our new EP which is going to be 5 tracks long and then released as a split album with Rambling Bones. We’re also deep in the pipeline of organizing our second European tour for July/August and we are about to embark on a month long national tour with Brett starting in Cape Town and heading North to Middelburg, JHB, PTA, Durban, Pietermaritzberg, Balito and more…
Where can we follow you on Social media?
We are most active on Facebook and Instagram. Just search for The Shabs