Shaman’s Harvest visits Rockstar Lounge
Will be at Rockstar Lounge on June 9
Shaman’s Harvest’s new album, Rebelator, is arguably their most ambitious effort to date. For sure, it is their most consistent.
Some of the songs from that album, along with hits like “Dragonfly” and “In Chains,’ can be heard when the Missouri-based rockers come to Rockstar Lounge in Fort Wayne on June 9, along with special guests Crobot, Any Given Sin, and local rockers Hell Came Home.
Rebelator’s journey to store shelves and streaming services was a long one.
The album was actually completed before the pandemic turned the world upside down, but was put on hold to try and wait out the shutdown that followed. It was ultimately released in March of this year when the band got word they’d be able to get out on the road to support it.
“I think it features some of the strongest songwriting we’ve had,” guitarist Josh Hamler told Whatzup. “It definitely has a modern sound to it, and an old soul at the same time. It’s a really fun record to perform live.”
After touring behind Red Hands Black Deeds, their most successful album to date, the band decided to take a planned year off to reenergize after having spent four years on the road supporting that album as well as 2014’s Smokin’ Hearts & Broken Guns.
“We were touring 290-300 dates a year,” Hamler said. “So, when we got off the road in 2018, we were done: flat-out exhausted. We had given everything we had to give to anybody who wanted to get it, and we met every obligation that was put in front of us.”
That planned year hiatus turned out to be much longer than expected as the pandemic took over the world. Throw in some band turmoil and conflicts, and the whole experience left them to wonder if the momentum they had worked so hard to build would still be there when they returned.
Striking a nerve
It turns out there was little need to worry, as the response to the new music, from fans and critics alike, has been extremely positive.
“The writing and the making of Rebelator was probably some of the most grueling moments of this band’s career,” Hamler said. “There were personalities that couldn’t be in the same room with each other, along with some of the other stuff you hear about rock ’n’ roll. Even being able to release this record seems triumphant, because there was such a dark cloud surrounding us. But (singer) Nate (Hunt) and I kept our nose to the grindstone, and we got the thing done.”
Hamler said there was no preplanned direction for the album.
“We just kind of did what we did,” he said. “The unusual title was a word the band created during the recording process, as they felt every song on the album had something in it that was going to strike a nerve with the listener or elicit a particular response. So, it’s kind of an adjective. A rebelator is something that is going to work you up, one way or another. There’s 11 songs on this album, and we felt like at least one of them was going to be a song that touched some person in some way and was going to evoke an emotional response.”
“Voices” is one of the songs that quickly became a favorite amongst many fans, as its subject matter of mental health is very relevant in today’s society. Hamler said that even pre-pandemic, he felt mental health was an issue that was coming to the forefront of many people’s attention, “but it just took a pandemic to get people to talk about it.”
The song asks the question, “Am I good enough?” to all of the voices saying you’re not, and “Can I produce when all these things, all these voices, or all these people are telling me I can’t.”
“I think my favorite part of the song is the triumphant guitar solo,” Hamler said. “It’s overcoming all those voices, all the naysayers and all the people that are putting you under their thumb and trying to hold you down. It’s forgetting all of that and seeing it through with this triumphant, one-and-a-half-minute guitar solo that you rarely hear in modern music these days. It was definitely a turning point in making the record.”
While they excel at producing thought-provoking studio hits, the best way to get to know what Shaman’s Harvest is about is in a live setting.
It’s well known that a Shaman’s Harvest show is not just another rock concert rolling into town, it’s an event. As they tend to do with every activity, Hamler said the band puts everything they have into performing the best show they can each and every night. He said that the upcoming show in Fort Wayne will not only appeal to fans of rock, but should have something for just about everyone who makes the effort to attend.
“We bring that sweaty rock ’n’ roll vibe for sure,” Hamler said, “but it’s all about fun and passion and noise. We’re kind of like a jambalaya of influences: It can be some southern rock, it can be some heavy metal, it can be country or a little hip-hop flavor, too. Whatever the song needs is what we deliver.”
Adding that little bit extra to the experience, Shaman’s Harvest will often mingle with fans afterward, answering questions, signing autographs, and genuinely enjoying the night.
“We love getting out in the crowd and taking pictures and making a memory,” Hamler said.