Interview: Sheel of Irepress

posted May 29, 2007

by Corinne

Sheel of IrepressHow are you?

I am good. A little tired, but ready to answer some questions.

The band has had quite a few line-up changes throughout its existence. How did you get to the current line-up?

I hope I don’t confuse you, but here it goes. The band started out with 6 members. 5 out of the 6 original members is what the band currently consists of. It was Bret, Shan, Dino and I along with Jarrett and Shomik B. singing. (Two singers.) When we all went off to college in 2000 the full 6 piece band kind of fell apart and we continued the writing process with just one singer (Shomik). We wrote and recorded a number of songs which were never released. A couple years past and Shomik could not commit as the singer anymore, so we were forced into the instrumental position. Technically, in the end we only lost one original member, because Jarrett was brought back into the band last year as the keyboard player.

Irepress has been together for quite a while and “Samus Octology” is only the band’s debut full-length. What took so long?

We actually recorded a full length with the 6 members (two singers) a long time ago (maybe 1998) and it was supposed to get pressed, but the pressing plant went out of business, we lost a lot of money and ended up moving away to go to school. We have recorded a couple EP’s in between that were never officially released. Bret, Shan, Dino and I wrote the Samus Octology roughly 5 years ago on and off during school. We tried out a bunch of singers and none of them worked so we later decided to record these 8 songs without vocals and call it the Samus Octology.

You had some vocalists in the band for a while, why keep the vocals to a minimum on the album?

We have no vocals on the Samus Octology. The songs were written without a singer in the picture, without ruling out the option of getting a singer. We tried out a few singers and the songs just sounded better without a singer involved.

Did you find doing it challenging to write and record and album that focuses on instrumental songs instead of vocals?

For me personally, I am a huge fan of vocal melodies and singing in general as I know some others in the band are so….it was a challenge. We were happy with the sound of these songs without vocals and we did not want to possibly ruin a great thing.

With bands like Mastodon and High On Fire getting Grammy nominations, what do you think of the current metal scene?

I am not really too knowledgeable when it comes to the metal scene or any scene for that matter. I like a few bands that might be called metal, but I try not to get too caught up with scenes. Good music is good music regardless of what scene it might fall into. I think bands need to keep the music diverse regardless of what scene they are in and not really care about what every other band might be doing/trying to do. For example I recently heard a metal band called As Blood Runs Black and they have a song called “In Dying Days” that has a really heavy part screaming the lines from a Wu-Tang Clan song “BRING THA MOTHA FUCKIN RUCKUS!!” That shit is awesome.

How would you say Irepress fits in the metal scene?

Well, when I think “metal,” I think aggressive music. I wouldn’t call ourselves metal, but our music is definitely aggressive in ways that can be linked to metal. It would be interesting to see us on tour with some metal bands. Some kids would probably be really into us and some kids probably won’t. It’s all the same shit.

On the band's MySpace, you mention playing "Samus Octology" while watching "Goonies." Kind of like playing Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon" to the "Wizard of Oz." Are you guys just joking around or is this for real?

Some people think it works, some people don’t. It’s all up for interpretation. I’ve seen it and it’s definitely an interesting experience.

Who are some underrated bands that you think deserves more attention.

Silverchair.

What have you been listening to recently?

Michael Jackson, Zakir Hussain, The Red Chord, Ravi Shankar, At The Drive-in, Hall and Oates, Deftones, Billy Ocean.

If you could have written any song, what song do you wish you had written and why?

“Maneater” by Hall and Oates b/c it’s fucking sick.

Anything you would like to add?

Everyone should watch and love the movie “Ernest Goes to Camp.”

Thanks for your time!