This week’s we’re featuring the Australian group Shotgun Mistress in Meet The Band. The hard rock group’s lineup includes members of Akercocke, Earth and more. Guitarist Matt Wilcock introduces us to his band.
Chad Bowar: Give us a brief history of Shotgun Mistress.
Matt Wilcock: In the most straightforward sense of it, we’re a bunch of friends that over the years, have played together in different guises. In 2018 we all wound up together with the idea of playing some rock music. Everything fell into place quickly and we started making a whole lotta noise.
Describe the songwriting process for your self-titled debut album.
Me and Ben (Curnow, bass) pretty much write riffs or song structures and together we’ll work on the arrangement in the rehearsal room as a band. Glenn (Patrick, vocals) generally gets a vibe of the song and a week later will have lyrics and melodies well under way.
What will be your strongest memory of the recording of the album?
I always like when things really start to take shape, when the mix is almost there. It’s great to hear something that we’ve created really get to the point of completion; when everything’s having the final tweaks and blasting out of the speakers! That’s always a part of the process that I find rewarding.
Did the pandemic affect the process?
We actually had the album finished prior to the pandemic, so its more affected the actual release and shows obviously.
How would you characterize the album’s style/sound?
I think its just a straightforward heavy rock album. People might want to delve deeper than that for an explanation, but to me there’s a bit of rock, a bit of metal and a bunch of singalong choruses all mixed in to one explosive load of rock n roll. People will have to make their own opinion.
What lyrical topics do you cover?
Well, I ain’t entirely qualified to speak on the lyric department, but there’s lots of talk of partying/rock n roll/girls, etc. The usual suspects, really. Though there’s also a few topics that are a bit more personal, things that are based on personal experiences, etc. That’s for people to hear in context and read in the lyric sheet to really get an idea about.
How did you come to sign with Golden Robot/Crusader?
We approached a few different labels once the album was done and we were lucky enough that Mark, who’s the label owner for Golden Robot, actually heard our submission email and took a bit of interest. They were in the midst of starting Crusader which is a bit more metal based, I guess, and thought we’d be a good addition to help kick the new subsidiary label off.
What are your goals and expectations for the album?
We’re pretty excited that it’s finally being released. I guess our goal is to get out there and start playing shows in support of it. Hopefully if the live music world ever returns to ‘normal’ people will be into it. I’d like to say our expectations are that its well received by anyone that likes rock music.
What has been your most memorable Shotgun Mistress live show?
I don’t necessarily have a most memorable moment, but we have had a few shows lately and as we play more the overall vibe of the shows is getting better! We’re starting to reach that well-oiled machine level which usually comes a week into a tour. So its nice to be reaching that level and having a real synergy on stage.
What are your upcoming show/tour plans?
We’ve got a few local shows booked, and we’re also doing the Australian nationwide support for the upcoming Electric Mary tour. There’s a few other things in the pipeline but its early days yet. Fingers crossed Covid doesn’t get all these things cancelled/
How did you get started in music?
I started playing guitar as a kid and once I heard Number Of The Beast that was it! One thing led to another and since then I’ve played in metal bands all over the world. Shotgun Mistress is a bit of a departure from what I’ve usually played over the years, but I guess that’s what makes it exciting!
Who were your early influences and inspirations?
I guess as far as rock music goes I gotta say Guns n Roses and everything Slash has done since. I’ve loved those GNR albums since they were released and with Shotgun I get to pretend I can play guitar like Slash, albeit with limited success perhaps!
What was the first rock/metal concert you attended?
I can’t remember which one was first but it was either Pantera, Slayer or Cannibal Corpse. It was a long time ago. I’m gonna say it was Pantera on the Far Beyond Driven tour.
What’s currently in your heavy musical rotation?
I may seem bipolar but here goes: Heart, Marduk, Fleetwood Mac, Mayhem.
Anything else you’d like to mention or promote?
It’s a pretty miserable time to be a musician, so whatever bands anyone out there likes, make sure you go see ’em if they have shows booked and buy their albums and merch. Every shirt or album sold really does help a band out these days, particularly if its a Shotgun Mistress shirt or album!
(interview published July 17, 2021)
Watch Shotgun Mistress – “Bleed Me Out” Video