INTERVIEW: Shihad’s Jon Toogood

Shihad FVEYShihad worship at the altar of The Riff. Few bands this side of AC/DC have managed a knack for instantly identifiable, eminently air-guitarable riffs. But although they’ve enjoyed a consistent career of killer albums and shows, new album FVEY stands above their immense catalog as The One That Will Probably Move Them Up A Notch. Produced by Killing Joke’s Jaz Coleman, this album encapsulates everything everyone has always loved about Shihad – the riffs, the song craft, the energetic performance, the melody, the thought-provoking lyrics. But there’s something more happening on this one. I caught up with vocalist/guitarist/riffmeister Jon Toogood to talk about it.

First thing we all want to know is ‘Where the hell do these riffs come from?’

Okay, we’ve been experimenting with this tuning which is basically standard E with the bottom string dropped to a bass-register A. So you’re doing the A, an octave A, and then the rest of the guitar is tuned normally. And it’s quite hard to play because the low string is really floppy but once you get used to it it makes this wall of sound. You get a decent amp and turn it up loud, and then you play with a great bass player like Karl and a great guitar player like Phil, and when you all play in unison and are in tune it sounds like Satan’s bass player. Read More …

New Shihad Album Announced

Shihad FVEYPRESS RELEASE: Shihad have announced the release of their brand new album, FVEY (pronounced, Five Eyes), on Friday, August 15.Recorded in December last year at Auckland’s legendary York Street Studio with Killing Joke frontman, Jaz Coleman at the production helm, FVEY sounds unlike anything Shihad have done before. When frontman Jon Toogood, drummer Tom Larkin, bass payer Karl Kippenberger and guitarist Phil Knight reconvened in Melbourne during the winter of 2013 for a lock down writing session it was a natural move to conjure up a brutal set of songs. “Total brutality from start to finish,” says Larkin.  Read More …