BY: MICHELLE PEREZ-VEGA
While Melbourne, Australia is currently under a strict lockdown due to COVID-19, Shotgun Mistress Vocalist Glenn Patrick is making the best out of a difficult situation.
“We can’t even go five kilometers from my house at the moment,” he said via Skype. “The guys have struggled a lot with not being able to play. The past four gigs for us have been canceled literally the day before, which really put a lot of pressure on us and the venues as well. Me personally, I’m fine. I’ve been making the best out of a bad situation. I’m just trying to push the band as much as possible on a commercial level. So, we’re doing okay. We just can’t wait to get out and start playing.”
Shotgun Mistress was formed in 2018, when Patrick teamed up with Guitarist Matt Wilcock, Bassist Ben Curnow, and Drummer “Diamond” David Lee. The band signed in 2020 with Golden Robot’s Metal label, Crusader Records, and released its eponymous debut album in July, which ricocheted up into the single digits of numerous music charts in the band’s home country. In a matter of speaking, what has taken many bands several years to accomplish, Shotgun Mistress has managed it in three years. What’s the secret?
PINNING DOWN THE SOUND
Melbourne is a city of a rich variety of musical genres and viewed by many as the live music capital of the world. Bands like Air Supply, Little River Band, Men At Work, and Jet, along with artists such as Nick Cave and Angry Anderson, are some of the more identifiable acts that have achieved international recognition. Shotgun Mistress has a great chance of being added to that list outside of the band’s native country.
With such an array of musical genres and influences, however, listeners have been trying to pin down and duly describe the sound that is Shotgun Mistress: some have ventured to say they hear overtones and influences of Soundgarden, Mötley Crüe, and Stone Temple Pilots, or echoes of the infamous LA Sunset Strip bands of the 1980s. This attempt to classify causes mild amusement to Patrick.
“Yeah, and I love that,” he laughed. “I love the fact that, you know, that people are taking a stab at what they think it sounds like. And I love the fact that a lot of people are giving out different opinions on it. I think the reason for that is because there have been so many of those influences with this band. Some of us grew up listening to Stone Temple Pilots, others grew up listening to Mötley Crüe. There’s King Diamond, there is Pantera. We’re not trying to reinvent the wheel, but we’re trying to sort of bring all that together and just put it all together in our own little way.”
What Shotgun Mistress wants is for listeners to simply connect with the band on whatever level the listener chooses to associate them with. Patrick himself wants to leave Shotgun Mistress open to interpretation.
“Most music, should I say, is very subjective,” Patrick opined. “So you never want to give out the reasons of how you want people to perceive you as a rock act or an artist in general. Even artists that we have listened to; like, we’ll take away what we want to take away from that particular band, and that’s it. I think it’s a really good system in keeping it subjective.”
With their debut, the members of Shotgun Mistress wanted to create an album that was simply fun, rock ‘n roll. With 13 tracks to choose from, complete with topics ranging from the ramifications of domestic violence (No Friend Of Mine) to a heart-rendering ballad (May She Never Walk Alone), members hope that listeners will be bound to connect in some positive way or another with the band.
“We just wanted to convey something that was high energy,” Patrick stated, “something that you hear straight away that would allow people to reminisce on the classic rock music from the seventies and the eighties, but also something the younger generation would love as well.”
And Patrick is wont to say: so far, so good, attributing each member to the band’s success and steady climb.
“Our band is a democracy,” stated Patrick. “It’s just really putting our heads together and being a part of a group that works collectively together really well. You know, having everyone’s input and everyone sharing the load. We all get along really well. We’ve been very lucky things have gone so smoothly.”
CATCHY AS HELL!
For want of a better word, the songs of Shotgun Mistress are indeed “catchy,” extremely memorable and appealing to the ear.
“Not a bad word at all,” Patrick laughed. “Catchy is great! I mean, I come from a commercial background, and then you have Matt and Ben, who comes from like a death metal background. We’ve definitely have come together and we kind of met in the middle, I suppose.”
Patrick said that he believes what makes the band, as far as writing is concerned, comes down to the streamlined way of how the members of Shotgun Mistress write.
“A lot of it comes from Matt at the start,” Patrick shared. “He just pretty much writes all the guitar lines. Matt’s a prolific writer when it comes to guitars and metal. So it comes really easy for him. He sends it over to the rest of us and then I’ll put the melodies together. Then Ben and Dave will put their stuff on it after that. So it’s a really easy way of doing it. Ben writes as well, and then you’ll see Matt and Ben kind of collaborate together. So it’s a really, really streamlined way of doing it. And it’s probably by far the quickest and easiest way of writing.”
Pressed as to which song was his favorite and just screams SHOTGUN MISTRESS off the album, Patrick was hard to compel to cite just one.
“No Friend Of Mine is great because it was our first single,” he mused. “We actually released that as a separate recording back in 2019, and then we recorded it for the album. So yeah, going back to our roots, that was great. But Glorious Machine was awesome, because that was our very first song that we wrote together. I think probably the best song that we all like playing as a whole collectively would probably be Bleed Me Out and Save Me From Myself. It’s impossible to pick one!”
With the pandemic always looming in the background regarding plans, Shotgun Mistress has one goal: to play live.
“I think we would be happy just playing live,” Patrick stated. “Unfortunately, like I said, it’s been something that we’ve been stripped of. We’re at home live and onstage more than anything else. So we’re really looking forward to getting back out and playing again. Hopefully, we’ll be able to start in mid-to-late October.”
While the debut album from Shotgun Mistress has just been released, it was actually recorded two years prior, which means the second album from the band is already in the works.
“We’ve literally just finished pretty much writing the second album and we’re going to be going in to do the recording for the second album at the end of the year,” Patrick shared. And he expressed his appreciation to Golden Robot and its subsidiary, Crusader Records, for the support of the band.
“We put up like a private EPK online and we just sent it out to maybe five labels that we were interested in,” Patrick said. “We actually got two labels interested within 48 hours, which was amazing. So we got to choose who we wanted to sign with. We heard a lot of good things about Golden Robot and Crusader. We were actually the first band to be signed to Crusader Records. I think we chose right, because they’ve been great. They’ve been so supportive. And the artists all support the other artists on here. We’re not, you know, out for ourselves. We really like supporting each other. That’s just part of this label. Hats off to them for doing that.”
Patrick said Shotgun Mistress is just taking things cautiously, step by step, to ensure musical permanence on the grand scale of things.
“I’m absolutely stoked to be a part of a band that was brought together, had some songs that we’re really happy with, and that we have fun playing,” he ended. “The reaction of the people who have listened to it has been more positive than negative. They’re clapping at our gigs instead of throwing shit in our faces! So yeah, I guess that’s how we would measure that we’ve been successful so far!”