We talk to The Shabeen about their new album and tour plans.

Tell us more about your new album, “Folk is Dead”. Which song stands out for you and why?

Swords is a song that stands out for us. We wrote it a while back and released it on our debut EP. It got a great response so we worked on it a little bit more and decided to re-record it for the album. We invited a bunch of friends to sing on it and also ran a campaign where the public could pre-buy the album and sing on it. It was a fun process and the song sounds great now with all the extra vocals on it.

How did you achieve song and lyrical cohesion when you were creating Folk is Dead?

Jon has been performing as a solo artist for a bit longer than the band has been around so the singer songwriter thing comes naturally to him. Usually the songs start with an idea by Jon and then the band works on the actual music together. The lyrics are then usually fitted to what works.

What was it like working with StelthUlvang (of The Lumineers) on your new album?

Absolutely horrible. Nah. Jokes. He was great. He’s a normal dude just like the rest of us. We’ve got loads in common when it comes to musical taste. He enjoyed our music which was a massive help.

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You’ve just kicked off your nationwide tour. Where are you most excited to perform and why?

Durban and surrounds has always been good to us. We’re also super amped to play at Mieliepop and Outland Festival for the first time.

You’re going to be on tour for a while. How are you going to maintain your energy levels while you’re on tour?

Lots of sleep. Not too much drinking. Berocca. Eating as healthily as possible.

What is your ultimate musical success?

Musical success for us means finding a good balance between playing full time and getting enough fulfilment out of it. Sometimes you need too many cover or background gigs in order to live off music. It’s great when you can get your original stuff out there as well. Obviously it’s different for everybody. It’s also important to play regularly and keep momentum and release content in order to succeed.

Photos by Tash Montlake