Back to menu
Shocore Takes the Fast Track
Metal is a big touchstone on the hard-charging Devil Rock Disco
You don’t spend time in a band without learning something, whether it be about business, music, or yourself. Looking back on his previous project, the Vancouver indie act Nefro, Shocore’s Terry "Sho" Murray realizes he could have done things differently.
"I felt like the entire weight of that band was resting on my shoulders," the easygoing guitarist says, interviewed at Profile Studios on the city’s East Side. Laughing, he continues: "And after I started working with Cory when Nefro split up, I realized that having songs with a chorus and verse was actually a huge thing."
The Cory that Murray is referring to is Cory White, who handles the vocals in Shocore, a Vancouver band that’s made a large amount of noise in a short amount of time. White also has experience in the world of rock ‘n’ roll; for a half-decade he sang with locals DDT, whose pinnacle of success was releasing a largely ignored album on a vanity label run by Metallica’s Lars Ulrich. Even though he was unhappy with the direction DDT was going, he was shocked to get his walking papers the day after Christmas in 1999. In hindsight, he realizes he should have quit long before then.
"We had this show on Boxing Day, and someone in the crowd came up and said, ‘Hey, I heard this was your last show with the band,’" the extroverted White says. "I was like, ‘Oh really, that’s interesting.’ I didn’t say anything to the guys in the band—I just went out and did the show, a little extra-aggressively, I might add. The next day I got the call from management confirming I was being kicked out."
"I always said that if DDT stopped being fun, then I would stop doing it," he continues. "I lied to myself, because I didn’t."
Neither Murray nor White found himself unemployed for long, because Nefro had imploded shortly before the palace coup in DDT.
"Terry phoned me the day after I got my phone call," White says. "he said, ‘I heard you’re not busy right now. What are you doing?’ I was basically sitting around feeling sorry for myself, getting stupid drunk. He said, ‘Well, put down the beer and come to the studio, because I’ve got some time booked.’ I didn’t put down the beer—I picked up some more—and we started making a record."
The title Devil Rock Disco pretty much sums up where Shocore is coming from sonically. As much as Murray is hell-bent on putting on a metal-mayhem guitar clinic, the band’s not afraid to make you want to dance. In fact, if you think White Zombie did an unassailable job of fusing big beats and modern metal with Supersexy Swingin’ Sounds, just wait until you hear Devil Rock Disco’s "Get Up". And the hard-rock block party doesn’t stop there. Shocore—which includes guitarist Steve Ericson, bassist Paul Floyd, drummer Andy Simpson, and Chôchi on samples—counterbalances half-ton riffage with a stomping backbeat on "Rudy", outsexes Prince on the slinky stunner "Delila’s", and busts a move in a big, bad way with "Bonecracker". Elsewhere, the band takes a more straightforward route, putting the pedal to that metal with "Highschool Punk", bulldozing its way through "Legendary Camaro", and firing off distortion fireballs on "My Girlfriend Is the Devil". On the topic of the great horned one, Murray owns up to being the member of Shocore who most put the "devil rock" in Devil Rock Disco, which hit record stores on September 4 on the Warner-distributed indie label Linus.
"I always thought that I’d be a drummer," Murray says, "but when I was a teenager I picked up the guitar, mainly because I wanted to be in Iron Maiden and early Metallica. Then Slayer’s Reign in Blood came out and that changed my life completely. To this day, metal is a determining factor in my songwriting."
Reluctantly, the Kamloops-raised guitarist allows that he started to realize he was good during the end of his tenure with Nefro. Conversely, it takes almost no prodding to get him to admit that he’s onto something with Shocore. The band’s been together less than a year, and from its much-ballyhooed coming-out party at New Music West 2001 (highlights included go-go dancers, whipped cream, and fire code-violating pyrotechnics) to high-profile slots at Sno-Jam and Edgefest, Shocore has people talking. White and Murray must have learned something from their pasts, because, reflecting on the band’s short, already sweet history, they say there’s nothing they’d do differently.
"Cory and I were pretty clear at the beginning that we both wanted to be in control of this project," Murray says. "We had a plan for where we wanted Shocore to go—it’s just gone a little faster than we thought it would."
White adds: "I’m glad that we made Devil Rock Disco on our own rather than getting a lot of money from a record company and then paying a producer an exorbitant amount of money to do something that wasn’t what we wanted. Because we paid for the recording ourselves, we had full rein to do whatever we wanted, to have as much fun as we could have. And we definitely did that."
Article by Mike Usinger
Georgia Straight, September 6-13, 2001