Currently recovering from Motörhead’s Motörboat cruise, during which they rubbed shoulders with Slayer, Anthrax and Suicidal Tendencies, Venice Beach’s The Shrine have come a long way from their spiritual origins.
“We met back when I was in a hardcore punk band and our bass player, Courtland Murphy, was a full-on metalhead who could play every Metallica riff, and he had a beard so he could buy beer when he was only 16!” frontman Josh Landau tells us. “At a party, one of us put on Thin Lizzy and we met totally in the middle. I hadn’t really been a singer before, but everybody said Dylan and Hendrix couldn’t sing… fuck it, it worked for them!”
The embodiment of a musical oxymoron, these purveyors of “psychedelic violence rock’n’roll” have established themselves as the spawn of seeds sown by both Black Flag and Black Sabbath; a by-product of a turbulent time where punk and metal were engaged in conflict.
“In the 70s, there was a war between the leftover hippies, metalheads and punks,” says Josh. “Today, there are no lines to follow. We can like King Diamond and that would’ve got our asses kicked back then. The world’s going to hell now. All the food in America is poisoned and Playboy’s not showing nudity anymore. That’s the world we’re having to deal with!”
While he provides a thunderous but chilled soundtrack for a sunset skate session in a backyard swimming pool, Josh has channelled his love of skateboarding on The Shrine’s new album, Rare Breed.
“If The Shrine were a skate trick, we’d be a really good frontside grind called a lap-over,” Josh tells us. “The trucks almost get caught and you barely make it without falling back in. You have to lean back really far like you’re surfing, you’re totally contorted and almost upside-down. It’s not flashy or complicated, it’s all about the style. When you see someone skate with that aggression, you wanna bottle that power, take it to work with you and shove it in your boss’s face.”
Firm believers in paying dues and getting their hands dirty, The Shrine make a point of following in the footsteps of their idols Black Flag by getting in the van, braving the elements and leaving no venue unflattened.
“I think about how fucking vicious that band were, and how hard they worked putting up posters and putting out their own records,” Josh laughs. “They lived like dogs and toured relentlessly. That’s inspiring!”
Rare Breed is out now via Century Media