Article 20071210

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Date Published: 10 December 2007

Title: Shihad: Warming Up At Pyramid Rock

Writen by: melan1 (fasterlouder member)

Original Link:


After a couple of false starts (he forgot to ring me, then I forgot to ring him) I finally get Phil Knight, Shihad guitarist on the phone: me mucking around in my home office, he a couple of suburbs over in his.

With a couple of warm-up gigs in sunnier climes, Shihad will be thrashing Phillip Island at Pyramid Rock this New Years Eve. Like any interviewer who does a half-arsed job of researching I ask if they have done this festival before. ‘Never before,’ says a laidback Phil. ‘That’ll be exciting. I’ve only ever been down there to see the penguins.’ Hmmm, don’t think there’s much chance of seeing a penguin this time mate.

He agrees: ‘It’s gonna be a big night—get to see the Cog guys and The Grinners .’ I admit to a fear of being trapped on that bloody island with tens of thousands of young hoons. He empathises, ‘You have to be young sometimes to put up with festivals don’t you?’

Er, I think I just showed my age… Anyway, it’s easy for him to say: he’ll be on stage—at Pyramid and then home to New Zealand for the Auckland Big Day Out.

‘We’re playing before Bjork. We were freaking out that they were gonna put us on before Rage Against The Machine. It’s like, fuck. There’s no way in hell we’re gonna do that.’

Briefly discussing the relocation of the Melbourne Big Day Out it sounds like Phil will be feeling the loss more than I: ‘I live in Fitzoy and this year I was listening to Butterfly Effect in my backyard…it sounded great.’

Three quarters of Shihad (Phil, Karl Kippenberger, bass, and Tom Larkin, drums) now live in Melbourne. So surely we can now officially adopt them – like we do with all other Kiwi bands? ‘I’m the only Australian in the band,’ he informs me. ‘I got my citizenship about six months ago. There was no way I was going to let that man call an election and then not be able to vote.’ Phil also gives me the scoop that Jon Toogood (vocalist) and his lady wife are currently house hunting in Melbourne. It’s for logistical purposes of course: ‘Next years going to be busy for us – we do most of our work over here…’

‘In February, we’re doing a tour for the single [ One Will Hear The Other ] with Horsell Common and The Galvatons. We’ve been off the radar for the past three years. It feels good to be doing smaller shows and building up a base again.’

With new album Beautiful Machine currently being mastered, fans will be hearing some new tunes ahead of the release date. Shihad were so angry doing the last album – where’s their head at for this one?

‘With Love Is The New Hate we spent four weeks on a farm in New Zealand and just thrashed out some quite heavy music. It was a bit of a bonfire to burn the old Pacifier. This album we’re moving forward with our music, doing different things and experimenting again.’

Now all you little lab rats can find out what the new offerings are like—as well as getting blasted with some pure Shihad classics—on New Years at Pyramid. Have the boys got their list of New Years resolutions all drafted?

Phil ponders this for a moment. ‘Be nice to liberal voters. After being cruel to them all year… They’re people too you know?’