Name: MR SHIRAZ
Mission: TO PLAY GIGS ALL THE TIME AND JUST HAVE FUN
A little while ago I found myself up in Huddersfield. If you want to read all about that story check out the post I wrote on Complicated Men of Leisure. I discovered a pub called The Parish where all the metal heads hang out. It was after a few drinks in there one night I met Mikey who is the lead singer for Mr Shiraz.
Mikey is a promoter for The Parish, and won ‘UK Promoter of The Year’ this year at the Pure Rawk Awards. “It was awesome, I love being a promoter and to see that people enjoy me doing it too was killer.” He has been the singer with “Huddersfield groove punks (we invented that) Mr Shiraz for the last 10000 years.” The band formed at the turn of the 21st century when they were an eight piece party Ska/Punk band. Over the years the line-up has changed multiple times and Mikey and Tori, the bassist, are now the only two members left from when the band started up. “We are still friends with all the old members, just life shit got in the way meaning they couldn’t continue, but it happens and Shiraz (version 52) may be my favourite yet.”
The style of the band has gradually changed into what it has become today. “So many people and things have inspired us. Mike Patton is God. I am an huge fan of the animal known as the dog. I have one myself called Bear, he’s a good pooch. 80’s films are killer. Cult Leaders are nuts. Sublime are wondrous. Spiders are the scariest thing in the world.”
For some people performing is pure enjoyment and that’s exactly why Mikey does it. “I couldn’t even imagine life without the band. It has been a huge, if not the main, part of my entire life. It’s sooo much fun! Surely it’s the main reason anyone actually joins a band, to play the songs that you and your buddies created in front of strangers. When we first started it was just a case of looking forward to the next gig, we never saw it as more than that.”
Mr Shiraz had no idea what was to come. “It’s crazy to look back over the years and see what we have accomplished. We’ve played at some huge festivals like Leeds which we’ve played twice, and also performed with some of our favourite bands and biggest influences. We once played with Bouncing Souls, who are one of my favourite bands ever. We have been featured in magazines like Metal Hammer, Kerrang! and Big Cheese, played on radio stations from the UK including Radio 1’s Punk Show and Xfm, as well as others from around the world. We’ve also won some awards, but most importantly, have made so many friends all over the place. Not bad for a bunch of 90’s Punk fans from Huddersfield.”
Mr Shiraz have toured across Europe playing gigs and festivals across Belgium, Germany, Holland, Switzerland, Austria, Czech Republic and more. “As you can probably guess there is a lot of travelling, a lot of waiting about, and you’re stuck with the same group of people, so you end up going a little stir crazy. You do stuff just to pass the time, things you wouldn’t normally do and that you normally wouldn’t find funny, but when you’re in this mindset, everything is hilarious. On one European tour we kept a poo chart of all our individual bowel movements and then posted it on the internet! Hilarious to us, but not so much for others.”
Along the way Mr Shiraz have had deal with a number of things which could’ve easily broken up the band. “There have been some tough times. Like stuff that we have been promised and got so excited about, things that could change your life/band forever, only to have it dragged away at the last second. We have never been a band which argues though and that has been a total blessing, I think the fact that over all these years of great times, shitty times and everything in between, the fact we are still here playing gigs, writing, releasing stuff and still really good friends is the greatest thing.”
Some of Mikey’s favourite moments with the band are pretty amazing. “Getting kicked off tour with OPM after just two dates has to rate up there, they were terrible! Therapy dedicating a song to us was rad (admittedly it was the track ‘Nowhere’ but still pretty cool right?) When we released our first album and saw it in HMV, that was awesome. It made my mum proud too. Coming back after some huge changes in line up and style and people digging it and winning Best Single for ‘No Prophecy’ was killer. I think a lot of people expected us to fall on our faces so that made me truly stoked.”
Mr Shiraz have just finished their new mini-album ’21 Grams’ and have plans to release it in the near future. Then they just want to “get out and play all the gigs all the time. Then play more gigs and hopefully people will dig it, and come and watch us, and give us some great tours, and maybe pay us some petrol money. You know? Live the dream!”
If you want to see Mr Shiraz they’re playing at one of their favourite venues, The Underworld Camden, where they will be supporting Suburban Legends on the 15th of November. For more details on the event click here.