Shogun & The SheetsWhat's Your Rupture?
Hold On Kid / Pissing Blood
Released: 23rd November 2018
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In their 10 year tenure as a band, Sydney cult garage punk/soul band Royal Headache released two records and multiple singles, both on their own label and via legendary labels such as Matador, What's Your Rupture? and R.I.P Society.
With this new project, listeners shouldn't expect Royal Headache 2.0, but rather a crystallisation and evolution of Shogun as a musician and songwriter, drawing on his own experiences of madness, addiction, hurt and hope. Of the two tracks, Shogun says: “There's no real message in these songs. I think I keep my lyrics ambivalent deliberately. I like it when you can feel a meaning or presence in a song but you can't pinpoint what it is. That way the listener can create their own meaning.”
For fans of Royal Headache, the bands’ dissolution brought a fear that the enigmatic frontman of the group, Shogun, was maybe finished with music. Armed with a voice loaded with pain and hope, and a boundless onstage energy that saw him claw through the air as if he was single-handedly fighting off an invisible army, Shogun's performance and blue-eyed soul became a focal point of the band.
However, following Royal Headache's breakup, instead of flattening Shogun's aspirations, it only emboldened and sharpened them, giving him a clearer indication of exactly what kind of songs and music he wanted to make. His band, The Sheets, is formed from teenage friends and musician's musicians; in Shogun's own words, they're, "a band who are versatile and play like motherfuckers basically".
When asked how music fits into his life nowadays, Shogun says “It's all I really want to do. Everything else is just kind of in the way.” Riveting, downcast, charismatic, complex - ‘Hold On Kid’ and ‘Pissing Blood’ offer a glimpse of a band that refuses to be trapped by the past, and provide a new platform for one of the most celebrated icons of underground music in modern Australian music history.