Cape Town based Folk Punk band, THE SHABEEN, has released their debut album, FOLK IS DEAD. The band consists of Jon Shaban(guitar and vocals) and Ryan McArthur (upright bass and backing vocals). They were joined on this album by Thomas Glendinning on drums and Stelth Ulvang (of The Lumineers) on accordion.
“We decided on the name ‘Folk is Dead’ as a play on the saying ‘Punk is Dead’. We’re essentially a folk band but we draw a lot of influence from the ethos of the punk culture and bands who influence us are also described as being ‘Folk Punk’. We value and embrace the DIY attitude and easy going nature of it all. It’s also a statement of how we feel about the current exploitation of the ‘folk’ sound as a tool in mainstream pop music. We feel that the current wave of folk/pop/dance/rock has become so far removed from the sincerity and unpretentiousness which folk music stands for. This is the same thing that happened to punk music as it became more and more mainstream… hence ‘Folk Is Dead’.”
The album was written in late 2014 and early 2015. Jon plays a lot of solo gigs and it took a while to write enough material to separate the repertoire between his solo set and the THE SHABEEN‘s set. But once the band decided on recording a full length album, they were committed to writing and choosing 12 solid tracks which resulted in a consistent sound on the album. The album was recorded at Vanguard Studios in Hillcrest, Durban in May 2015 and engineered and produced by the band themselves. The album was mixed by Adam Hawkins at Right Heel Music in Denver, Colorado.
The band drew inspiration for the lyrical content from life experiences and describes the album as upbeat folk / country music with a punk influence. The honesty and rawness found in their lyrics are quite different to what most bands are doing.
“We like to sing about things that are real and easy to relate to. It’s important nowadays amongst the bullshit that the mainstream music industry is dishing out for someone to actually write music that people can relate to. It’s not all about sex and love and how high you can throw your hands in the air before you care. There are things to be liked and disliked and things to be happy about and things to be angry about. If our music can make anyone feel anything, then we’re doing things properly.”
FOLK IS DEAD Track Listing:
- Stop Me
- Glass Half Full
- Quit Your Job
- Run Away
- The Maths
- Ahead of the Game
- Get Some Rest
- Stick Together
- Our Father’s Sins
- You Never Listen
Buy FOLK IS DEAD on BandCamp here: https://theshabeen.bandcamp.com
THE SHABEEN has also released two music videos from the album:
INTERVIEW: THE SHABEEN
- Hey gents…. it is so rad to be chatting to you guys… Everyone doing well??
- Before we get started, please can you introduce us to the whole band, tell us where do you guys come from in SA and how you guys met to form THE SHABEEN?
- Who plays what part in the band?
- What are some of your influences and inspirations to the music that you guys make?
- Do you mind telling us a bit about the name, THE SHABEEN?? Is there a funny story behind it or was your first band gig in a shabeen haha?
- What are your thoughts on our local music scene at the moment?
- Are there any local acts that you think need a special mention?
- You guys have recently released your debut album, FOLK IS DEAD… Can you tell us a bit about the album?? Who did you work on the album with and what we can expect from it?
- Where can people get themselves a copy of this album?
- Anything that you are currently working on that we would be interested in hearing about?
- Where can we follow you on Social media?
THE SHABEEN Contact:
- Thanks for your time guys…!!
THE SHABEEN ‘FOLK IS DEAD’ ALBUM LAUNCH TOUR
Date: Thursday, 3 March 2016
Venue: Neighbourgoods Market First Thursday
Date: Friday, 4 March 2016
Venue: Rumours, Johannesburg
With: Fuzigish and Satanic Dagga Orgy
Facebook Event: http://tinyurl.com/gmsfjf2
Date: Saturday, 5 March 2016
Venue: Arcade Empire, Pretoria
With: Rambling Bones, Japan & I and Bark
Facebook Event: http://tinyurl.com/h3g9wgo
Date: Sunday, 6 March 2016
Venue: Street Cafe, Johannesburg
With: Japan & I and Misled
Date: Tuesday, 8 March 2016
Venue: La Casa, Pietermaritzberg
Date: Wednesday, 9 March 2016
Venue: Khaya Records, Durban
The Shabeen DJ Set
Date: Thursday, 11 March 216
Venue: The Rock Music Bistro, Umzumbe
Date: Friday, 12 March 2016
Venue: The Plant, Durban
With: Harbingers and Roachy
Date: Wednesday, 16 March 2016
Venue: Mystic Boer, Bloemfontein
Date: Thursday, 17 March 2016
Venue: The Occidental Pub, Kimberley
Date: Friday, 18 March 2016
Venue: Malt & Metal, Middelburg
Date: Saturday, 19 March / Sunday, 20 March
Venue: Mieliepop Festival, Ermelo
Date: Monday, 21 March 2016
Venue: Goodluck Bar, Johannesburg
With: Nomadic Orchestra and more!
Date: Wednesday, 23 March 2016
Venue: House Show, Johannesburg
With: Bye Beneco
Date: Thursday, 24 March 2016
Venue: Arcade Empire, Pretoria
With: Grassy Spark and Diamond Thug
Date: Friday, 25 March 2016
Venue: Outland Festival, Mooi River
Date: Saturday, 26 March 2016
Venue: Sundowners, Johannesburg
With: Slippery When Wet, Bark, The South Shore Ramblers and more!