Following their sequel to last year's self-titled EP through Rack Off Records, we caught up with Shove to dive deep into their new release and hear what its been like cruising through the Naarm/Melbourne punk scene.
After the success of last year's self-titled debut EP, Naarm/Melbourne punks Shove returned back in October with their highly-anticipated second release, Shove 2, through Rack Off Records (Blonde Revolver, Future Suck, Imperial Leather). Comprised of vocalist Bella Kranjec, guitarist Adrian Vernon, bassist James Hale, and drummer Ham Storrie, Shove barrels through the new EP with a hyper-speed tension of blistering guitar lines and biting vocals that ooze with Kranjec's combative nature. The EP matches the force of the band's live sets, injecting a classic Aussie punk sound that's in the territory of Suicide Squad and Gash. The EP also includes a remix from fellow nightclub punk Our Carlson. To dive deeper into the new EP, we caught up with Shove through email to learn about its recording sessions and what its been like cruising through the Naarm/Melbourne punk scene.
Paperface Zine: I know you all came from other projects, so how did you all meet and form Shove?
Adrian Vernon: I met James when I was asked to audition for a band he was in and very quickly became best mates. Bella, Ham and I either met at gigs or through a party house (362) that James lived in, I feel like it's a similar story for most people I know.
Ham Storrie: Yeah I met everyone at house parties and gigs, and we gradually became good friends. My long-term memory is trash so I can't remember exactly. These things just kind of happen.
Bella Kranjec: I've known the guys for a while through mutual friends, we'd been in similar friendship circles for years. A few years back, I was pissed at a 362 house party (if you know, you know) and proclaimed my intention to join a band at about 5:00 a.m. to whoever would listen to me. A few months later Adrian messaged and was like, "Hey remember that thing you said? At the party? Wanna be in this band?"
PZ: Do any of you maintain other projects currently outside of Shove?
HS: I also play in a three-piece noise-punk band called Burger Chef. We're relatively inactive as we're all pretty busy, but we should be playing a few shows early 2023.
PZ: Take me through the lineup of Shove. What's something special that each member brings to the table?
AV: I think having slightly varied musical tastes and life experiences means every situation or three chords are looked at from a few different angles. I find Bella's ideas for song and lyrical structure exciting as they can very easily twist the whole sound of a song. Ham is a bit of an inspiration and driving force to go harder, faster and find new terrain. Watching them hold nothing back always pushes me to go further. James is an incredibly unique player be it on guitar or bass and I'm always in awe when they start playing something new in rehearsal. Little intonations when hitting extra strings or a slight variation to a repeating riff that makes the whole song move.
HS: Yeah echoing what Adrian said, everyone plays their instruments in pretty accidentally unconventional self-taught styles. Adrian used to play drums in previous bands, but now plays guitar, James used to play guitar now plays bass, I used to play bass and now play drums. This leads to some pretty strange but great variations, and not necessarily what you'd expect from someone who has played their instrument since they were a little kid. Bella brings very unique sounds, styles and ideas to whatever we're working on. I'm often surprised by the way it goes when we're writing new material.
PZ: Last month, you released your second self-titled EP through Rack Off Records. Talk to me about how this EP came together and what the recording sessions were like.
AV: It was a little bit crazy, I think we may have booked the session when we only had one song written. But just knew we had to get something out this year.
BK: SHOVE 2 is very much a reflection of the last few years for the band. I see both SHOVE 1 and 2 as us working our way through what the band is, what we want it to be. Lyrically, it's dismal. Musically, it's us figuring ourselves out a bit, moving in that direction.
PZ: How was the approach different compared to last year's debut?
HS: For SHOVE 2, we were really keen to get a "club remix" of one of our tracks. I always loved EPs or singles that had remixes on them, sometimes two or three variations of the same song. Our Carlson was a big enough legend to remix "Death Admin Machine" into a real banger. Maybe the best work we've ever done and we didn't even do it. It also feels like the writing for SHOVE 2 was more purpose built for the EP, but also more off the cuff. For the first EP, you kind of pick the best songs from playing live, but for the second EP, we went in with very new material. The tracks being that new, required some honing while recording. It was a pretty new experience for us.
PZ: What's been the progression like for Shove as you’ve been journeying through the Naarm/Melbourne punk scene?
AV: Like a lot of Melbourne bands getting around at the moment, we only squeezed a few shows in with Ham before the spicy cough came to town. Since then it's felt like a lot of sprints where we are allowed to be in a room together to write, play some shows and hopefully get tight enough to record before we have to stop again. We are still just as driven and goal focused and would like to tick a few more things like playing interstate in the next year. The local punk scene has been welcoming and really encouraging as our sound has slowly developed. It's an incredibly strong scene where support continues after the show is over.
BK: We've changed a lot since starting the band, musically and personally. A lot has gone down in the last few years and I think the music reflects that. It's faster and noisier. Personally, I just try to keep the energy up. Leave nothing behind sort of thing. I'm always trying to up myself. Do better. Pummel complacency. I think we all have that in common.
PZ: What do you enjoy most about the energy at Shove shows?
HS: I really enjoy looking up from the kit (when I can see) while we’re playing a fast tune and seeing everyone shredding vigorously and Bella's staunch and coiled performance. Nothing better than when it all comes together and the energy is right, which is more often than not. It always gives me a chuckle to see people jumping around out front too.
BK: It's relentless. Absolute energy.
PZ: Has there been talks about doing a full-length in the near future?
AV: There's been talk, but I think we are focused on putting out a split EP with Future Suck through Winter Garden Records in February and SHOVE 3 EP a few months later. The split is set to be launched at a new festival that Christina from Swab and Nellie from Hacker are putting on, Relentless. Maybe we will follow The Warthog formula and try for a live album.
PZ: What sort of shows do you have coming up?
BK: We've got a gig booked with new band Informant in the middle of January that I've heard great things about, plus a few opening slots for album launches. Aside from that, we'd love to get out of town to play some shows. SHOVE, coming to a town near you in 2023. Look out.
Shove 2 is out now through Rack Off Records. Purchase a copy of the 7" here.