Based in the US, but originating in the UK and New Zealand, Sharp Shock bring together British and American Punk culture. Their latest album 'Unlearn Everything' is out this Summer on Heart & Skull Records.
Where are you from?
DAN: Dan Smith. Middlesbrough, England by way of Glen Eden, New Zealand. I moved to Southern California in 2004……dude.
DAVEY: I’m Davey. I grew up just outside of Birmingham in England. I’m currently living in Long Beach CA. It’s a long story.
KOREY: Korey ‘Kingston’ Horn. Im from San Diego, CA. Born and raised Californian.
What do you do?
DAN: Bass guitar, backup vocals.
DAVEY: I sing and play guitar.
Describe your style in three words?
DAN: Familiar, honest, melodic punk rock.
DAVEY: We jam econo. ok, they’re the words of the Minutemen, but it think they fit us pretty well.
KOREY: Punk, Pop, (early) Reggae.
How should your music be listened to?
DAN: Through the ears.
DAVEY: With the ears, for best results.
KOREY: You should listen to our music while jumping rope at the same time.
What do you miss about home when you’re on tour?
DAN: All the privileges. Wife, my cats Ashes and Veil, throne, bed, tattoo shop etc etc
DAVEY: I guess you just miss your daily routines and creature comforts. Having a shit in the women's bogs before sound check is lovely. But everyone prefers their own toilet don't they?
KOREY: Burritos! 100%!
What British music icons inspire your sound today?
DAN: I think they collectively all play a part in the influence. Personally The Cure, Madness and the Manchester sound are my favourites. The mid 70’s to late 80s in England are responsible for best music ever made.
DAVEY: I've always had voice comparisons to Elvis Costello... And Paul Weller ever since I was a teenager. But these days I'm realizing more and more how impactful Oasis were on me and my youth. Definitely Maybe and Morning Glory just encapsulate 90s Britain for me. Especially living in California now, Oasis' music just takes me straight back home. So I have a lot of love for that band. And as time goes by the more I think Noel is one of my favourite all time songwriters- consistently on form. Im not sure he inspires our sound but he inspires me, just as he’s inspired every kid in England with no real prospects to pick up a guitar. And that’s massive isn’t it!
KOREY: The English Beat, The Specials, The Selector, Madness, The Smiths, Squeeze, Elvis Costello, The Jam, The Police…..always!
Listen to Sharp/Shock's playlist on Spotify:
A song from your favourite album?
DAN: AK79 was a compilation of New Zealand punk bands that i got when i was very young. The song City Scenes by THE FEATURES was always a song i loved and stood out to me during that time of my life. I grew up in New Zealand so to have a whole record of bands that played in such a small scene in a country that was so far away from the initial start of ‘punk’ left a lasting memory for me.
DAVEY: I think about what my all-time favourite album is often. It’s such an epic question I can’t narrow it down.
KOREY: Drowning - The English Beat.
Song you wish you had written / Music icon that has inspired you?
DAN: Hope by The Descendents.
DAVEY: I think pulling muscles by Squeeze is a really great song. A tale of stereotypical 70’s and 80’s working class holidays on the south coast of England. The typical imagery of that track and the fact my old man would play it on repeat takes me straight back to my youth. Gifford and Tillbrook are one of my favourite songwriting partnerships. Wish i could write something like this!
KOREY: I wish i wrote Embarrassment by Madness. I like that song…or anything by Stevie Wonder. the most beautiful music and song writer ever i think.
What was the first song you played on repeat?
DAN: The Passenger by Iggy Pop.
DAVEY: Man, I’m not sure I can answer this accurately. Possibly ‘Whole Lotta Love’ by Zeppelin because that was one of the first records I learned to play on the turntable. My fascination with vinyl and the process and routine of just PLAYING a record was equally as impactful as the guitar riff.
KOREY: Jeanette - The English Beat.
Sharp/Shock - "Away From The Man"
The first song we recorded as a band. I wrote this on an acoustic guitar in about 30 minutes, just going with the flow and not being too precious. A quick, fun, punk rock rant about turning your phone off, closing your bank account, quitting your job and going off the grid. Yeah I’m a secret hippy!
Billy Bragg - "Sexuality"
An absolutely incredible song about the absurdity of our societies strict definitions, labels and boundaries regarding love and sexual preference. Fun fact: It was co-written by Johnny Marr.
The Odd Numbers - "Little Kings and Queens"
An underrated mod-revival band of the late 80's and early 90s. Often linked to Southern Californian Skate Sub Culture by making their way onto various video soundtracks.
Royal Headache - "Down the Lane"
We love this band! Imagine a more lo-fi garage version of The Undertones, then add a little "soul-crooning" from a lose-cannon-nut-job of a lead singer. What more d'ya want?
Temples - "Mesmerise"
I only discovered this band recently but have completely fallen in love with "Sun Structures" album on Fat Possum. If you're a fan of anything psych or "Revolver" era Beatles (who isn't!?) then you should be able to get down with this record!
The Beat - "Dream Home in N.Z."
The Beat were an amazing band. We got to meet Dave Wakening a few years ago. He told us a story about taking copious amounts of a certain illegal substance, then riding for hours on a scooter with Kev Rowland (of Dexys Midnight Runners) from Birmingham (U.K.) to Wigan Casino for a Northern Soul all-nighter back in the 70s.
Sharp/Shock - "Troublemaker"
Another one from our album "Unlearn Everything"... A nostalgic story about growing up in England and watching several friends’ lives unfold in very different directions.
Bob Mould - "Hold On"
Were big fans of Husker Du and Sugar- The latest effort from Bob harks back to the poppier moments of the latter. Reassuring you that Bob is still very much Punk/Alt Rock Royalty and just as relevant as he ever was.
King Stitt: "Fire Corner"
King Stitt earned his nickname as a boy because of his stuttering and decided to use it as his stage name. Stitt began deejaying on Sir Coxsone’s Down Beat Sound System in 1956. Born with a facial malformation, Stitt took advantage of it, calling himself "The Ugly One", in reference to the Sergio Leone spaghetti western film The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. Adored by skinheads and mods in England at the time, he was crowned the Boss DJ.
Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds - "Lock all The Doors"
How can you be too upset over Oasis splitting up, when the Beady Eye and Noel solo efforts were so strong!? This jam was written and demo'd back in the Definitely Maybe days (look up the demo online), only to be re-hashed and re-recorded for the latest High Flying Birds album. Noel's one of the greatest songwriters of this generation. End of!