METAL PULP AND PAPER: Hello Shawn, or I guess as most people know you as, Shawn The Butcher, so glad to be catching up with you. Thank you for taking the time to speak with us here at Metal Pulp And Paper. We appreciate it.
How are you? How has 2019 started for you so far?
SHAWN THE BUTCHER: 2019 has been good so far. Listening to some great music, going on adventures, attempting to step out of my comfort zone more often, eating healthier, and taking more time to myself to get some peace and quiet.
MPAP: I want to get this out of the way before we continue with the interview, I’ve been following Brian Brown for so long, and it’s been amazing seeing him grow as a photographer over the years. Anyways, when I announced I was going to be interviewing you, he told me to say 'what’s up' to you. So, 'what’s up' from Brian.
SHAWN: I love Brian! He’s my inspiration in photography and life. He introduced himself to me at GWAR-B-Q one year when I used to cover those in Virginia for Liquid Metal. We became friends and he inspired me to pick up a camera and capture these amazing live concert moments. My photo site is HailsFromTheCrypt.com. And we shot guns in his backyard! And his mom made us pizza! And she shot guns with us! Brian and I covered the Decibel Metal and Beer Fest in Philly and had one of the greatest weekends ever. I’m so happy I met that dude. He will be my friend for life! Check out Brian Browns photos!
MPAP: Yes, he is definitely a killer photographer. So, now let's start the interview. Please tell everyone what you want them to know about you?
SHAWN: I’ve been a metal head since Jr. High School. My introduction to metal was Metallica. I’m also a huge fan of hip hop. I love it as much as heavy metal. I have a deep love for music and wanted to work with it in some way. I went to school for audio and immersed myself in the business and began kicking ass at Sirius XM on Liquid Metal and Ozzy’s Boneyard for the last 11 years. Had some of the greatest experiences of my life. All of it came with hard work, and a lot of partying. Maybe too much partying.
MPAP: I've been listening to you on Liquid Metal for a long time now. Now I just asked Hyro The Hero, and Ben Savage from Whitechapel this question, and I wanted you to be the next one. This was taken from a recent headline, and I thought it might be interesting to keep asking. The headline is: 'Robbie Williams wins pool planning victory over Jimmy Page.' I guess Robbie Williams is an English singer-songwriter and was once in a group called Take That, and of course, Jimmy Page is the guitarist and founding member of the heavy metal group Led Zeppelin. I guess the two have been battling it out for five years or so now because Jimmy didn’t want Robbie building an underground pool close to his house in fear it might do some damage to his mansion that was built in 1781. Long story short, at some point during all this Robbie began blasting Black Sabbath, and various other bands, knowing it would upset the Led Zeppelin star. So, my question to you is, if you had a neighbor that was causing you some problems; would band would you blast out loud to piss them off?
MPAP: Let’s talk about iconic musicians for a moment. Thankfully, Ozzy Osbourne is recovering, and doing much better after he was recently hospitalized for flu complications, but over the years we’ve lost some iconic rock stars, from Ronnie James Dio, Lemmy from Motorhead, Dimebag Darrel, and of course most recently, Dimebag’s brother Vinnie Paul. There are still plenty of iconic rock stars out there. We've still got Ozzy of course, and then there's Geddy Lee of Rush, Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath, and the mighty Rob Halford of Judas Priest. Who do you think are some of the next up and coming icons to step forward and take the stage? I mean is it too soon to say someone like Corey Taylor from Slipknot, or even Mark Morton from Lamb Of God can be considered an iconic musician? What makes an icon musician to you?
SHAWN: I mean, James Hetfield. Hand’s down. Hetfield is god. To me! If you disagree that’s fine. To me, James Hetfield is god. He is just the king of cool! Corey Taylor is 100% an iconic musician. Randy Blythe as well. To be an icon I feel you need to be more than the best at what you do. You need to be the best at a lot of things. It’s cool to see Corey doing so much music with Slipknot and Stone Sour. Corey is also an author, as well as Randy Blythe. Randy also faced his court trial like a man, and is now out there fighting for people’s rights, taking photos, writing books, way more than just being the front man of Lamb Of God. They’re just very driven and inspiring people, they work their ass off, and it shows.
MPAP: I totally agree with you. Moving forward, Clean vocals vs. growl vocals. Examples: Lamb Of God and Whitechapel. Randy Blythe made his Lamb Of God 'cleaning singing' debut on the song "Overlord", a track that appeared on the band's 2015 album VII: Sturm Und Drang. And then, Phil Bozeman made his clean singing debut on Whitechapel’s 2016 Mark Of The Blade release, with the song "Bring Me Home." Even Suicide Silence got in on the action in 2017 with their clean vocal song called "Doris" with new singer Eddie Hermida. What did you think when the growling singers we were all getting so used to did this?
SHAWN: These guys have to evolve. It must bore the hell out of them to sing in one style over and over. It’s like a guitarist never playing clean chords. Sometimes you need a change. I’ll say it straight out I am mostly not a fan of clean vocals. It’s just not for me. However, there are some clean vocals I love! And I don’t know why that is. I love Type O Negative, Killswitch Engage, Astronoid, Spirit Adrift, Poison The Well, Baroness, Fear Factory, Life Of Agony, Red Fang and more! There’s bands I love, that sing, but it’s a certain type of singing. It’s just whatever is pleasing to my ear, I guess. Everyone’s tastes are different. But most of the time I just like vocals that sound like a dude vomiting in a toilet.
MPAP: I’m sure you heard about this, but recently a bunch of friends and family came together for a Chris Cornell tribute show that was held in Los Angeles, California. Members from Soundgarden and Audioslave, along with Metallica, Dave Grohl, and Josh Homme from Queens Of The Stone Age, and even Miley Cyrus did a great version of "Say Hello 2 Heaven." How does that make you feel when an artist from an entirely different genre of music comes along and plays a different genre?
SHAWN: Judgement Night Soundtrack/Too Legit For The Pit compilation – Hip Hop/Heavy Metal. I love when metal bands cover hip hop songs. And I love when hip hop samples stuff from heavy metal. I love when they combine the genres too. Yes, the ever-hated rap metal! Honestly, some of it I love! E-Town Concrete is one of my favorite hardcore bands on the planet and also the first band I ever saw live. They combine the hip hop and hardcore element I love perfectly! It’s the same as clean and growling vocals. It’s certain types of rap metal I like, not all of it. Again, whatever is pleasing to my ear.
MPAP: Before we bring this interview to a close. A couple more questions. What is the typical day in the life of Shawn The Butcher?
SHAWN: Not as interesting as my Instagram, @ShawnTheButcher, may lead to believe. Most of my day I’m stressed, mostly for no reason, and that’s just because of anxiety. I suffer from it like everyone else. I love life, but my life has the same bullshit as everyone else’s. Wake up, sit in silence, prep myself to face the day, make a health shake, shower, smoke a bowl and head to work. I have an equally rough, amazing day kicking ass on Sirius XM Satellite Radio. Go home cook, do dishes, and lay on my couch in the dark and watch TV, Wrestling, Netflix. That’s my normal day. But all work and no play makes me a fucking lunatic, so I spend as much free time as possible either at metal concerts, doing interviews, and taking pictures for my website HailsFromTheCrypt.com. I try to keep myself busy, because when I get bored, I tend to get a little nuts. I love hanging out with my friends and talking about wrestling and music and Ashley Graham. Just a normal dude.
MPAP: Final question. You see it now and then on Facebook called a starter pack meme. For example; there is the undercover cop at a festival, 90s emo kid, and they all have like four various pictures. So, tell us, what does the 'Shawn The Butcher' starter pack meme look like?
SHAWN: Black heavy metal t shirt, camera, microphone, and a fat joint!