By MIKE CHAIKEN
The fruits of the labor of the latest from Shaman’s Harvest has gone organic.
In press materials the band from Missouri has touted that its new album, “Red Hands Black Deeds” (which will be released July 27) is more organic than the typical rock album in 2017.
Shaman’s Harvest performs in Hartford on June 30 and opens for Nickelback at the Mohegan Sun on July 13.
For the band’s lead singer Nathan Hunt, organic means “recording out of the box.” It means setting aside the computer programs that will give you the exact sound what you want. Organic means experimenting with assorted analogue effects on the instrument, intent on finding a certain sound and often finding something that you didn’t know you were looking for but fit perfectly.
“It’s a little more expensive this way (playing till you figure something out),” said Nathan, who is joined in Shaman’s Harvest by bassist Matt Fisher, rhythm guitarist Josh Hamler, lead guitarist Derrick Shipp, and drummer Adam Zemanek. “It’s more affordable for most bands to work within the financial parameters of Pro Tools (a computer program often used in modern day recording studios).”
“We wanted to experiment rather than just put out a record” because a new single was called for, said Nathan. “We wanted to enjoy the process (of creating).”
“I’m glad we did it,” said Nathan of the drawn out recording process. “There’s soul in the record… And the sound’s like a sixth member.”
The band said in its press materials that when it recorded “Red Hands Black Deed” it wanted to create a completely original sound.
However, asked what ingredients went into this new musical stew, Nathan said, “Our sound is a combination of metal, blues, and soul… a combination of earthy tones and acoustics.”
“Our background is playing four hour sets… at biker clubs,” said Nathan. This meant playing as many cover songs as possible and sneaking in originals when they could.
“We did that a lot in our formative years,” said Nathan.
Playing cover songs helped the band in its writing skills, said Nathan. The band members learned the proper way to arc a song so that it stays interesting, even over a 10 minute period. He cited Led Zeppelin, Allman Brothers, Muddy Waters, and Pantera as the band’s musical guides.
The new album, the band has said, started off as a bunch of songs thrown together. But in time, it evolved into a concept piece.
Nathan said the concept began to form when the songwriting started taking on an ominous tone inspired by current events and the anxiety over the world today.
“There was some heavy stuff going on,” said Nathan.
“Some of the music is almost ritualistic, droning, long building tracks,” said Nathan.
The album’s songwriting “took on the darker side of humanity,” said Nathan.
Shaman’s Harvest will be coming to Connecticut twice in the coming weeks. First it will be in Hartford opening up for Connecticut’s own prog metal group Fates Warning. Then it will be opening up for Canadian rockers Nickelback.
Asked if the band felt more comfortable playing in front of prog rock fans drawn to Fates Warning or playing before hard rock and top 40 fans drawn to Nickelback, Nathan said, Shaman’s Harvest is comfortable with either.
“I think any thing that feels genuine we feel comfortable with.
Nathan said the band is over the moon about the chance to open on the Nickelback tour.
“This is the biggest tour we’ll ever do,” said Nathan.
When they learned they were tapped as openers, the band was in disbelief.
“We can’t wait to play for their crowd,” said Nathan.
And what can the crowd expect? Nathan said, “A lot of energy. It is a rock and roll show. There will also be a lot of soul. There’s not a lot of talking. It’s all music. We blast straight through.”
Shaman’s Harvest performs at the Webster Theater (webstertheater.com) in Hartford on Friday, June 30. They open for Nickelback on Thursday, July 13 at the Mohegan Sun (www.MoheganSun.com) in Uncasville at 7:30 p.m.
For more information, go to www.ShamansHarvest.com