Shelton Woolright is a name that many won’t forget. The ex-blindspot drummer has made hismark internationally with his band, I Am Giant. The London-based heavy rock quartet haveheadlined sold out NZ tours, from Big Day Auckland to the Viper Room in LA. I Am Giant are returning to New Zealand this year as one of the major headliners at the International Tattooand Arts Expo this month in Hamilton. The event will showcase some of the best local andinternational talent around. We had a sit down with Woolright to find out what his plans are for this year.
You set off overseas with snowboard in hand a few years back, can youtell us what happened in between then and now?
God, almost everything short of dying.. Haa no but seriously the last few years have been the busiest and most testing of my career and life. I've been through so many experiences fromstarting again, being broke, sleeping on floors, pouring pints, being unsuccessfully sued... tostarting a new band, getting a new record deal, touring the world and kind of growing up a bit and looking at life through different eyes. I'm really happy with where I'm at and what I'mdoing and just grateful that I'm healthy and following my dreams.
It’s probably fair to say, you've been a busy chap over the past couple ofyears, what do you have in store over the next year?
I think next year is going to be the busiest and biggest year for I Am Giant. Our debut album 'The Horrifying Truth' is set to be released in a bunch of new territories. So we will betouring A LOT! Hitting the road is one of the coolest things about being in a touring band, new countries, new faces and new experiences.
We have kept our writing up and have already started thinking about the second record. Andthe possibility of tucking ourselves away in a friends studio in the South of France for a few months at the end of the year...
Personally I'd like to get stuck into my photography a lot more, I have a 'Bachelor of DesignMajoring in Photography' and I feel it’s time to place a bit of my creative energy back in to that and look at an exhibition in 2013. I've seen some pretty crazy shit over the years so I've loveto share it with others. I also have a few other musical ideas I'm looking into but for now it's I Am Giant 150%
What do you know now about the music industry that you wish youknew before?
That the arse was about to fall out of it due to piracy and intellectual property theft. It's a pretty sad state of affairs at the moment. I don't think people really realise how much harm it isactually doing, especially to small alternative bands.
Due to the lack of sales labels have had to restructure and come up with things like 360 deals. Take pop giant Lady Gaga for example, it's very likely she is on what’s now called a360 deal, where her label takes a cut of everything from her live fee's to her merchandise tocover their over heads. That's fair enough but if a new alternative band can't pull numbers like Lady Gaga they are less likely to get a deal, less likely to get a break which means it's lesslikely you'll ever hear them. So that means no more career bands like your Pink Floyd's etc. All those bands that release their best work by their second or third albums don't get deals. Orget dropped and financially can't afford to survive as musicians.
I think there is a lack of understanding and people need to be educated on the facts. A lot of people seem to think that we are still living in the 80's and 90's and all band are rich likeGuns N' Roses so it's okay to steal their music.. It costs a lot to record an album, a video, do a tour... Bands like Guns N' Roses or Pink Floyd weren't good when they started, they gotgood because they could afford to focus full time on their talents and not have to hold downpart time jobs to put food on the table... All ranting aside if you like a band you should really support them. Let them grow as artists and songwriters and write the soundtracks to your life.
Tell us about I am Giant’s recent album.
The Horrifying Truth, I guess it’s kind of a story book of our lives over the past 10 years. Lyrically it’s full of our own and others experiences. It's not a concept album it’s just a reallyhonest rock album. We are all a little older now so our song writing has come along and Ithink you can hear that in this record. We’re not trying to impress anyone or fit into a scene or genre, there are no gimmicks on this record we just wanted to write a straight up alternativerock album that's all.
You’re heading back to NZ soon for the International Tattoo Expo, Feb 25h and 26th what can people expect to see there?
Well we have a pretty strong hold on these songs now, we have been touring them solidlysince we recorded the record. So I guess it's fair to say if you like the album you’re in for a treat.
Live we offer everything the album has, plus more. I can't promise that our guitarist will sethimself on fire but our live show is pretty explosive.
Are you planning to get tattooed this year at the expo?
No, all of my work so far has been done by Dean Parkin at Sacred tattoo. We are in themiddle or a few things and I have a few more dates with him before the expo so hopefully I'll get done what we have planned out. Dean's such an amazing talent, I've been gettingtattooed by him for years. He is going to be at the expo with the Sacred team, they are all well worth checking out.
What are 5 things you miss about New Zealand.
FamilyFriends My DogSummerMy 78 Silverado Chev
Finally, did you make any new years resolutions?
I've never been a new years resolution guy. I think if you need a date to help you decide or quit something you’re already f*#ked..
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