Shotgun Messiah Interview


In 1989, Shotgun Messiah released their debut album "Welcome To Bop City" on Relativity Records. The album charted in Billboard's Top 100, and critical acclaim followed. Then something unexpected happened — the band members no longer got along with one another. Personnel changes took place, which brings us up to the present. "Second Coming" (Roadrunner Records) marks the release of Shotgun Messiah's latest album.
Lead singer Tim Skold spoke to us about his group.

Q. Tim, how does a guy know that he can be a good frontman for a group?
A. I don't know if you're supposed to know that. There's probably people who think they are, and I don't think I am. First of all, I don't spend a lot of time thinking about who or what I am, and why I am. So, I don't know if I'm a good frontman. That's in the eye of the beholder. If it's entertaining I guess I'm a good frontman. Why I'm doing it, is because it's an opportunity to do something different. I don't know, I think I'm more inclined to a Jim Morrison style of frontman than a David Lee Roth, acrobatic type of frontman.

Q. You believe that having great songs, is the key to rock music today?
A. Yeah. Me and Harry (Shotgun Messiah guitarist) grew up with the glam thing, with the punk thing. There were all these fads going around, and people were into things just because it was a hype. I appreciate some of that value too, but it all comes down to songs. Just a year later you'll be able to tell, what was really good, and what wasn't. So, that's what we try to do, and more so now than ever. On the first album, we were more into the gimmickry of things.

Q. When you were growing up, you said you were force fed Led Zeppelin. Did you ever have any curiosity to trace Led Zeppelin's or rock'n'rolls history, at the time?
A. Not until later. My initial response was to rebel. That's what you do against your parents, even if you thoroughly enjoy your parents. (Laughs) My dad was a drummer and they were doing all these Yardbird sounding stuff. They had this big poster of Bob Dylan where I had to eat breakfast. My response was Sex Pistols to the hilt. I had this half an inch hair dyed red with food color. Rock'n'roll is spontaneity. If you go too deep into it, you lose that. You shouldn't be thinking too much about how you're doing it, because then, it's something else. It's not rock'n'roll. Rock'n'roll is rebellion, and it should be done on the top of your head. You know, just a bit out there. But, you can combine it with a little bit of thought. We're not Queensryche, but we try to hint at brain activity, or encourage thinking, without preaching.

Q. What do you think sets Shotgun Messiah apart from all the other groups out there right now? Give someone a reason to buy your album.
A. O.K. Will anyone take my word for it? (Laughs) First of all, I don't want to be like everybody else and tell people to go buy my album. I don't want anybody telling me, hey, buy my album. So, I'm not gonna do that. It's more like hey, call your radio station and see if they want to air it, listen to a track, see what you fancy, give it a shot. I mean, if you're loaded, go buy it, and see what you think. If you don't like it, you can throw it away. (Laughs) We're into songs, and so far the reviews and the criticism we've been getting, even if people don't like the band as such, they still can't deny that we are songwriters. So, that would be a plus for Shotgun Messiah, and that we thoroughly enjoy what we're doing. It’s honest. That doesn't separate us from a lot. There's still a lot of honest rock bands out there. Wow, a trick question. (Laughs)

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