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Interview: Shawn Adolph

Interview: Shawn Adolph
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by Shelby Hohl   Photo by Jordan Graber

Shawn Adolph has played an integral role in the formation of what Houston is now starting to affectionately call it’s “scene”. Having been one of the founding members of the Fatal Flying Guilloteens, and now the singer for Weird Party, Adolph has consistently been ahead of the “curve”, playing a unique brand of energetic, blues-riff laden punk that will knock your fucking teeth out if you get too close. Between a hectic work/ school schedule and Weird party rehearsals, FPH was fortunate enough to have Adolph chat with us about everything from not liking his band’s name to the reality of no one caring whether or not T-Pain ever releases another record.
What constitutes a “Weird Party”?
I knew you would ask this and I loathe you for doing so.  You know that question  “If you could have any super power, what would it be?”  Mine would be the power to travel back in time and veto Weird Party as the name of the band.  Don’t get me wrong, I like the name.  It just doesn’t mean to me what I think most people think it means, but then again I’m not sure what most people think it means.  Perhaps  a weird party is simply  a gathering of odd folks engaging in deviant and strange behaviors.  I get that.   That’s fine.  Those parties can be good times.   Let’s change directions.  What if it had more of a political slant, although we are far from a political band.  For example,  the tea baggers (who claim not to be a political party) are odd characters.  Their way of thinking fascinates me to some degree. Not in a positive way, but in a way that a car crash fascinates people.  For the record, the band is not influenced by the tea baggers.   I leave it up to you, the listener to draw your own conclusions.
Give the kids a list of records to go out and get so that their bands will stop sucking.

Listen up kids, your band sucks. Stop playing music!!   All kidding aside and without sounding too cliche,  I’d say go back to the basics.  Early American music is where it’s at.  Jazz, Blues, Soul, R&B, early Punk.  Pick up these following records: anything by Charlie Parker, Howlin’ Wolf, Jimmy Reed,  The Bar-Kays, Wilson Pickett, Birthday Party (actually from Australia),  Tales of Terror, Big Boys, etc. and so forth.  Buy these records, borrow these records, steal these records, just get your hands on them and listen to them every day, over and over again. Listen to them with an intensity and an understanding of what music is supposed to be. Listen to them because they’re great fucking records.  They were pioneers and rightfully so.  Most importantly don’t emulate these bands or any band.  Be your own creation. Put yourself  into your music.
Does Weird Party have any plans to put out another EP or full length soon? Would you be pressing vinyl?

Weird Party have yet to put anything out.  We’re in the process of recording and have  discussed releasing some of that material  on a 12” EP, glow in the dark vinyl in 3D,  not sure with who or whom yet.

How do you feel about file sharing and digital availability of music? Do you think it has it’s place in music or is it destroying everything we know?

File sharing is a great way to find out a lot about bands you wouldn’t think about. I can’t say if it’s hurting or helping music. I can’t say if it’s right or wrong.    I do know  that T-Pain is refusing to release his newly mastered album  because according to him, people aren’t buying music anymore.   But who gives a shit about T-pain?

Whats the best part about being in a band with Dirty Jeff?

I didn’t know Jeff before we started this thing  so in a sense I’m glad Weird Party exists because Jeff is one of the nicest guys I know.

What makes Houston the musical epicenter of the Universe?

I’ve heard this before and I’ll repeat it.  Houston is the redheaded step child when it comes to the music “scene”.  We are neglected, no doubt.  But, that doesn’t mean we aren’t at fault.  I think it takes a lot of work to be a relevant city (scene) in music.  You have to have passionate people that promote the shows.  You have to have passionate venue owners that work well with bands and promoters.  You have to have a passionate audience that wants to support music and not be so fickle.  I remember when I first started going to shows in Houston and I loved every thing about it.  Even if the bands were sub-par, it was still a great time.  Back then there were so many venues to go and see  a lot of great local and national acts.  There still are great local bands but something’s just not the same anymore.

Suggested listening: Fatal Flying Guilloteens – “Quantum Fucking”, Weird Party – s/t demo (available only at their shows)