Nexus Meets... Artist

Nexus Meets… Shattercones

If Nick Cave were to have a lovechild with The Cure, the chances are it would be Shattercones. We speak to the lead vocalist and guitarist Jason Powdrill about their latest EP The Septic Isle, discovering new music and much more!

What inspires you to make music?

I feel, broadly speaking, that there’s two types of bands/acts: those who are careerists whose music comes second to the pursuit of popularity, fame and fortune, and then there’s those who make music because it’s the same as breathing, eating and fucking. It’s a basic need. We fall into the latter camp.

How did you (Shattercones) form and how did you decide on your band name?

Kind of by accident, really. Arran (drums/programming) and I were previously in a band together which gently disintegrated and we still had a couple of gig commitments to fulfil. So we drafted in Neil (viola/keys) who’d been joining us on stage occasionally, and Dermot (guitar/lap steel) who we knew socially and found we had a really strong, intuitive way of playing together that felt like a completely different beast. Things snowballed pretty quickly from there and we decided we had a future in playing weddings, funerals and children’s parties.

If you had to label your music, what genre would you place Shattercones in?

Christ, that’s a tough one! We’ve had “doom folk”, “Spaghetti Western” and “cinematic” through at the sound of our first EP (Oppenheimer), so for the new one, we subconsciously sidestepped that and attempted to dirty things up a little. Art-rock maybe? Suggestions on a stamped addressed envelope to the usual address…

What can you tell us about your upcoming EP This Septic Isle?

Oppenheimer had an almost pre-apocalyptic (both metaphorical and personal) theme, whereas this one is sort of post-apocalyptic. The songs were written pre-pandemic, but we tweaked them in places to reflect the fact that we were in the middle of this huge, world-changing event, plus there’s an unbridled level of anger informing the songs as we were still so fresh from the utter debacle that was “Brexit”. There’s a moment of relief in ‘Say Goodbye’, which is unequivocally a love song, but otherwise, the rest is a raging beast filled with disgust. A real collection of club bangers. 

If you could change one thing about This Septic Isle, what would it be and why?

The EP is a product of its time and a stepping stone in the developing sound of Shattercones, so there’s no point in wanting to change anything really. Well, maybe re-record the entire thing with a steel cello, nose flutes and a kazoo choir…but you can’t always have it your way.

Did you face any challenges when recording the EP?

We recorded slap-band in the middle of the two big lockdowns, which was actually quite liberating after so many band Zoom calls. I wouldn’t say it was a challenge as the recording studio has an element of social distancing built it anyway. We’re all in our little corner or booth. It was definitely weird, suddenly having that element of social interaction as well, but all in all, it was a mighty positive experience. Plus, the alcohol helped.

What do you think is the best way to discover music nowadays?

I’d be grasping at straws as I’m not really up to date with much new music outside of the sphere of things that I like. In this day and age, it’s quite easy to retreat into your own little bubble of musical subculture due to the nature of the Internet and its algorithm-driven suggestiveness. Plus, I’m too old to be down with the kids.

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