"For me, personally, it has been a dark year, and John's suggestion that we work together on something new and visceral was timed perfectly," says vocalist Dan O'Mahony of guitarist John Coyle. The two musicians are giving me the origin story behind their new band: Shiners Club. "I could sense Dan was deep in a dark place, and I thought what a great opportunity to capitalize on his suffering," Coyle half-jokingly says.
Coyle admits that's been itching to collaborate with O'Mahony. "Secretly, it was also an opportunity to work with Dan and push him in a direction I always wanted to see/hear him. He is a fucking talented writer/frontman and I always felt that his delivery was coming from a self-righteous authoritive voice, which to me can be off putting. It’s also a safe place to hide. Getting to know Dan he has a massive emotional bank that has been untapped, I wanted to make a key that vault and see what was in there," Coyle tells me.
O'Mahony continues, "I felt that for something almost entirely personal and without a pronounced social agenda, a new band (and for me a new type of band) was totally in order. My skull was becoming a boil that very much needed to be lanced. No heroism, no faux nobility, just a public bleeding."
Formed just a few months back, Shiners Club write and perform hardcore punk music. Plain and simple. "I can only speak to the vocals, but this is by far the most unrestrained chaotic, and somehow satisfying, stuff I've ever done," reveals O'Mahony, who in addition to Coyle, is joined by bassist Colin Buis and drummer Doug MacKinnon in the new band. "We have made a conscious effort to work hard and fast," says Coyle. "We don’t overthink it. We throw it on the ground, and if we still feel connected to it, it stays. Plus, Doug and Colin…. They are a freight train without brakes speeding downhill in the snow on broken tracks."
So, I guess it's about time you get to hear what Shiners Club is about. I'm proud to bring you the exclusive unveiling of "Landmine," a track the band recently recorded with Paul Miner (Terror, Agnostic Front). "When we were recording 'Landmine,' and Dan did the vocals, it was the Dan I had always hoped to hear. It hits on a much more emotional level. It is Dan really letting go and being hurt and vulnerable. His work here is remarkable and real," Coyle proudly states. O'Mahony chose to talk about the selfie-obsessed on the track. "Lyrically, it's about the inherent sentimental damage and alienation that are often part and parcel to participating in the social networks for personal validation."
The O'Mahony lyrics for "Landmine" are also included below:
Click left... click right
Click left... landmine
Online for fucking answers
Validation, nothing more
I peek in on my master
Wanting love in a fucking war
Click left... click right
Click left... landmine
Click left... click right.
"Shiners Club, as a name was, inspired by the battered face of legendary old school prizefighter Carmen Basilio and his ever present black eye. He just struck me as the ultimate symbol of taking it right on the chin and continuing to charge ahead. Doug owns Long Beach United Boxing Club and is a fighter himself, so I knew he'd dig it. I was thrilled when John and Colin liked it as well," O'Mahony explains.
When O'Mahony first told me about Shiners Club, he said they were making a concerted effort to not do the whole “ex-members of” thing with the promotion angle. "In my opinion, we don't sound like any of our old bands. We don't visit any of those old topics, per se, and don't have any right to expect traction via the past for that reason. Beyond that, it's also a concentrated effort to enter new rooms and to progress forward unburdened by expectations."
Coyle agrees with his singer: "I don’t want to muddy the waters here with any preconceived notions, plus I’m pretty sure people that care about anything we’ve done in the past, this ain’t their bag anyway…. And to be honest, I do this for me, if others dig it, awesome, but I play because I need it. Shiners Club is an emotional junkyard and we just keep dumping more in it. Its very cathartic for me to walk in turn my amp on and just punish all my problems, I think it’s the same for the others."
Before I let O'Mahony and Coyle go, I ask them if it's hard for them to juggle playing in multiple bands, while also maintaining their respective careers outside of music. "For me, it's tougher than ever before. Strangely, though, I've never been more motivated to push something as far as it can go," says the frontman. Coyle offers up a different take on the topic: "The only tough part is not being able to get these all these songs out of our heads fast enough."
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