The Shrine (left to right) drummer Jeff Murphy, guitarist/vocalist Josh Landau & bassist Courtland Murphy
Don’t attempt to categorize or bucket Venice, California trio The Shrine into one genre or another as their sound sonically traverses across metal, punk, psychedelia, hardcore, thrash and just straight forward hard hitting rock n roll at times. The band has even personally coined the term, “psychedelic violence” to describe the beautiful chaos that is The Shrine.
Comprised of of lead singer and guitar player Josh Landau, bassist Court Murphy and drummer Jeff Murray The Shrine, formed in 2008, have released three studio efforts to date, 2012’s Primitive Blast, their sophomore effort 2014’s Bless Off and last year’s Rare Breed, which just may be one of the most underrated albums of the last decade.
The Shrine have already had quite the summer playing to thousands across the pond at festivals such as Download in England and Hellfest in France where they shared the same bill with rock heavyweights and royalty such as Black Sabbath, Anthrax and Rammstein.
This upcoming Tuesday September 6th The Shrine will be parking the van outside the Orange Peel’s doors to play alongside Portland, Oregon stoner-prog outfit Danava and headliners, U.K. psych rockers Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats.
There’s quite a bit of retro embedded deep within The Shrine’s DNA. Listening to their music it’s not surprising at all to learn that the southern California based rockers cite 70’s heroes such as Thin Lizzy and Black Sabbath as influences.
Although the band pays some homage to these more classic rock sounds The Shrine certainly aren’t afraid to incorporate more punk based elements into their music as echoes of Black Fag, Bad Brains and Minor Threat also seem to permeate throughout their recordings.
“I grew up on Black Flag and you can just follow that backwards a bit to bands like Black Sabbath, Hendrix MC5, The Stooges and even 70’s hard rock like Budgie and Thin Lizzy”, said lead singer and guitarist Josh Landau while explaining what helped shaped him early on as a musician.
Rare Breed, The Shrine’s first major studio release (Century Media), was produced by one of the legends in the recording industry, Dave Jerden. Jerden has worked with everyone from the Rolling Stones to Frank Zappa while also being the man behind the board for such iconic 90’s era records from the likes Alice in Chains, Jane’s Addiction, Social Distortion and the Offspring.
“One of our records was spinning at this guitar shop near our place and Dave Jerden was in the store and he asked our buddy that worked there about us. We ended up meeting him and he said that he wanted to do your next record and asked if he could come over to our house,” discussed Landau as he explained how the band came to be signed to Century Media as well as how they first came into contact with producer Dave Jerden.
I could imagine working with a producer of Jerden’s ilk and recording history that The Shrine may have been intimidated about working with him but this turned out to not be the case at all.
“All the previous stuff we had actually recorded before we had done in our garage ourselves where I produced it. It (Rare Breed) was definitely more of a serious production than we had ever done before. He (Jerden) didn’t really tweak the songs at all but the way the record is mixed those were his choices, his sound and everyone was happy with how it all ended up coming together.”
When I sit back and listen to “Rare Breed” the record almost comes alive as if it’s a living and breathing soundtrack to a 1970’s New York City gang war I’d like to somehow and try to get in on. If there’s a band that’s literally meant to score a remake of the 1979 cult classic The Warriors, it has to be The Shrine.
“That’s kind of where our inspiration is coming from, from like the 70s where every song had a different kind of color to it and the albums all had kind of one main story tying them together,” explained Landau while laughing a bit.
Playing the European festival circuit has to be a rush for any band as who couldn’t imagine being stoked to play in front of tens of thousands of screaming crazies, however, The Shrine strikes me as a band that would probably get more of a kick playing a gas station bathroom or a friend’s house party.
“It definitely changes our approach. You almost have to pretend you’re 12-years- old playing in front of your bedroom mirror again because the audience seems so far away,” said Landau as he touched on the topic of playing to much larger audiences than The Shrine has typically been accustomed to recently.
The band is only a few dates into their current tour with Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats and Danava with the former being known for having a fairly hard core and die hard fan base. I was curious as to whether or not the audiences at their recent shows had embraced The Shrine.
Landau answered, “It’s been good. People are stoked and they come out and buy our records and we kind of get the same positive response no matter what. People seem to be digging what we’re doing whether it’s us opening up for Uncle Acid on this tour or with other bands like the tour we did with Clutch.”
The show this Tuesday September 6th at the Orange Peel is one that will reward audience members for showing up early as The Shrine will be the first band to hit the stage followed by Danava and then headliners Uncle Acid and Deadbeats. Door are at 7:00 PM with the show starting at 8:00 PM. Ticket prices are $18 in advance, $22 day of show.
Orange Peel Ticket Link:
Do you think you’d like some Black Sabbath meets Thin Lizzy meets Motörhead meets Kyuss meets Black Flag inspired tunes? If so check these songs out off of Rare Breed from The Shrine: “Space Steppin” / “Dusted and Busted”
The Shrine Links: