Upon first hearing of this union of Heavy Music’s elite joining forces to create one super group. I vividly recall the excitement and anticipation of this historic collective calling itself Shrine Builder. I awaited with an almost childlike unrest at what these Masters of Heaviness were plotting to unleash upon a loyal and dedicated following. Image four Iconic seasoned musical veterans, each legendary on their own right as architects of The Heavy Music Genre , coming together to create the one ultimate “Heavy “musical masterpiece.
Each one of these members have had a celebrated past with their own projects, and are world renowned for their talents, originality, and their true musical integrity.
When you hear the names Scott “Wino” Weinrich ,(Saint Vitus/Spirit Caravan/The Hidden Hand) , Al Cisneros ( Om/Sleep),Scott Kelly ( Neurosis/Tribes of Neurot) and Dale Crover ( The Melvins) you are wide aware that you are dealing with thee cream of the crop .The true scholars ,as you will. So when I had the opportunity to converse with The Real Monsters of Rock. I was indeed curious as to how this collaboration of the century had taken place? And many other mind boggling questions that only the Masters could answer. So shall we get right into it? Let me introduce you to ShrineBuilder
Bulldozer: Gentleman each and every one of you is well known for your own musical achievements with your own individual historic bands. You all have had a long history of molding or shaping what is now commonly referred to as the Doom Metal or Heavy Music scene. Each and every one of you has inspired countless musicians and fans with your creativity and musical integrity. Your musical endeavors are recognized around the world. This collaboration has been received with quite the enthusiasm and excitement like no other. All your fans, including I would like to know, how did this come about?
Dale Clover: Well I went into this project without having any big expectations of what would happen, I thought it would be fun to play with these guys. When they asked, I thought to myself lets just see what happens?
Scott Kelly: It’s definitely been pretty easy as far as working together and putting our heads together. Being liked minded on how we want to do things and kind of developing the bands own identity that reflects each and every one of us. A band is a collaboration, as we get to know each other more this band becomes more and more of a collaboration and an understanding of a unified belief. My expectations were fucking high! My expectations were to fucking annihilate!
Bulldozer: Were they really? You were well aware of what musical allies were standing by your side Huh?
Dale Clover: Well I always keep mine low that way if something good happens I am pleasantly surprised! (Laughter)
Scott Kelly: I do that as well, but I just knew, I could just feel it from the moment you entered the picture, (referring to Dale Clover). Before that it still sounded great, but when you entered the picture I instantly in my head knew ,there was like this little fire which started burning, I just knew ”this thing can really take off !” “Now!” “Now we can do what needs to be done!”
Bulldozer: This collaboration is fucking amazing! You are all Icons in The Heavy Music Realm; it is like “The Justice League of Heavy!”
Scott “Wino” Weinrich: We are not the type of people that dwell on that, we are all about just into making music! We have a mutual respect for each other as musicians and artists.
Bulldozer: Is all The Shrine Builder music collectively written?
Scott “Wino” Weinrich: Yes, every song!
Bulldozer: This question can be directed for each and every one of you? When you are writing music, how do you determine what riffs, or lyrics, or concepts will go where? For instance, how do you determine what will be used for Shrine Builder or for your other widely known musical projects? How do you edit yourself?
Scott “Wino” Weinrich: That is a very good question! I think we write for this band specifically, for example when I wrote “The Architect” I submitted it and I knew it would be changed eventually, because everybody will put in their two cents you know?
Scott Kelly: Or three? (Laughter!)
Scott “Wino “Weinrich: Or Three! (Laughter)
Bulldozer: Each one of you is widely respected and indeed has earned that respect that has come with the decades of hard work and struggle you have put in with your current or past musical projects, the album has been well received, and highly acclaimed. How does it feel to be able to come together and collectively create some amazing piece of work?
Scott Kelly: It is a positive thing all the way around! That’s the thing we are able to do something that is real pure for us, this is what we do as you stated earlier. We all have been doing this for a long time, now we do it together; it makes us happy as well as the people that come to see us. There is a genuine feeling of accomplishment. It is almost like a little victory for the scene of some sort? You know what I mean? We get to do this and we get to share it, and people get to become part of it in their own way.
Bulldozer: You mentioned before high expectations? How much of it is it for yourselves, or are you trying to appease others?
Scott Kelly: I don’t give a fuck what other people think? I just know what can be done, like with music and stuff I am not going to do something that does not meet high expectations! The exciting thing for me was that I noticed the same for everyone in this band! I own all of their records! I listen to all of their records! I am a fan of all of their music!
Bulldozer” So do I! (Laughter)
Scott Kelly: So I knew my expectations were high because I knew this project included four individuals who do not compromise on anything, we are going to do what the fuck we want and we are only going to do it when we feel it is right? And we really do not give a fuck what anybody else thinks!
Bulldozer: Do you find yourselves in a friendly competition? Or are all of you unified when it comes to Shrinebuilder?
Scott “Wino” Weinrich: No! There is absolutely no competition when it comes to this band, that thought has never crossed my mind.
Dale Crover: We all have big egos, but they all fit in the same room!
Scott Kelly: We are all pretty humbled by our lives and our experiences with music.
Dale Crover: I think we are all very happy to be playing music with one another. We are not young guys at this game you know? We all have been around.
Bulldozer: Let’s talk about the touring aspect of this project, again all of you are seasoned touring veterans, are all of your other musical projects on hold while this goes full throttle?
Scott Kelly: We are just making time for it! We are going to take a time out of our lives to do it.
Scott “Wino” Weinrich: Recording and touring is what “We” all do. So we make time and plan it out.
Scott Kelly: And we have the support of our other band mates and families, everybody who is close to us is in to this! When we hit Oakland we will have every member of Neurosis there, they will be in the house supporting that show.
Bulldozer: How do you feel about the new resurgence of Heavy Music with these young kids? Who are barely becoming aware of your decades past work, and are basically re-discovering your past musical masterpieces, do you think they will appreciate and truly understand what is this incredible line up and collaboration which is known as Shrinebuilder?
Scott “Wino” Weinrich: What it is you see, the internet has opened up the market and has exposed us to a whole new fan base, for example the new kid who likes “Baroness” and lets just say that one of the members of that group is wearing a Vitus shirt, or Neurosis, Om or Melvins, or whatever, all he has to do is punch up our band names and there it is in a flash of an eye, he has our history and catalogue at the palm of their hand. So it weeds out what they like or do not like, if they like it they can get it, and I think the word of mouth is just so much faster no. I think the kids today need something else? They are in dire need of some real rock! They are tired of the fucking hip hop bullshit or pop or just straight up corporate sponsored garbage that is passed on as music.
Scott Kelly: I think it is nice to see that people still want sweat and blood in their albums that is all that it is. I feel that these kids have to live in this fucked up world that is slowly falling apart! So what better way to deal with the bullshit than to listen to some real music that can some how comfort or inspire them!
Bulldozer: Do you think that your music appeals to these kids due to the reality and the honesty that the music transcends?
Scott Kelly: I remember when I first became conscience, you know you go to a show with a bunch of fucking bubble gum people around you or you go where there are a bunch of hard cases, and that is where I always felt most comfortable, being around people who had some experience in their lives, who go to these shows cause they need this shit, they need it! This is not the most comfortable thing in the world? If it fits you then you need to do some self examination as to why.
Bulldozer: Any plans to record another Shrinebuilder album?
Dale Crover: Yeah we are writing, we have been working on a couple of new things; there are some new tunes in our set already. I am sure they will end up on the next record. As soon as we come up with some more material I am sure we will release it sometime within the next year probably? Everybody else as you know plays in other bands, so once we are all free then I am sure we will all get together and do some more stuff.
Bulldozer: I just find it incredible that all of you having such busy schedules have some how found the camaraderie to collaborate and get together for writing sessions being that you are all scattered across The United States? How is that possible?
Dale Crover: These guys used the mail as well, writing material and sending it back and forth to each other.
Scott “Wino” Weinrich: Yeah there was an amazing story about that; I am still kind of stoked about that!
Bulldozer: Let’s talk about that!
Scott” Wino” Weinrich: Well we all got together in bits and pieces, we never got together as a whole band, all of us in one room until the night before we recorded the record.
Dale Crover: It was about 90% worked out before we all went in, and then when we were in the studio we would run through things, just kind of tightening things up and finally we would run it till we got it!
Bulldozer: That is truly unbelievable, that energy must have been incredible right?
Dale Crover: It was cool.
Scott “Wino “Weinrich: Yeah we were in these little booths where we could all see each other, it was kind of funny. (Laughter) The thing is one of my main dreams has always been to play with people that when I look over are fully inspired. That is pretty much where I am right now. It really makes me feel like a dream come true, to be playing with these really talented and inspired musicians.
Bulldozer: In your live performances you can clearly see that each and every one of you has a powerful musical connection, you all seem to feed off each other well and collectively you all mesh into one strong tight unit! You tend to forget that you are watching these legendary individual performers and you simple see the metamorphoses into what you call this band Shrinebuilder.
Scott Kelly: That is good! It totally feels like that to me too!
Dale Crover: Yeah but at the same time we are completely okay with the super group tag you know?
Bulldozer: I am telling you it is like watching “The Titans of Heavy!” (Laughter!)
Dale Crover: I suggested to these guys (Referring to Wino and Scott Kelly) that since we have an albums worth of material and some new songs here and there, that they should incorporate that material into their live solo acoustic shows that they have been playing as well? The Eagles would do it, so it is technically cool!
Dale Crover: Though I agree with “The Dude” (movie reference to The Big Lebowski” I fucking hate The Eagles man! I love Joe Walsh though!
Scott “Wino” Weinrich: I would prefer “America” though.
Bulldozer: Is there longevity planned with this project? Do you all see “Shrinebuilder” going for a while?
Dale Crover: I hope so.
Scott “Wino” Weinrich: I personally do not see why not? Every body has their own bands and their main commitments but I feel that I want to play all the time and this is the perfect vehicle, it is just so different for me. I mean this is just some transcend dreamy stuff! On a good night I just feel that I am going to float off stage!
Bulldozer: There certainly is a glow that is unexplainable, aside from the lights and the energy, there is a mystic feel to your performance. You recently did a “Joy Division” cover song that seemed to fly over some of your audience heads and bewildered others as to why that song in particular? Can you explain how you came to chose that “Joy Division” cover song?
Dale Crover: Well as I stated we only had an albums worth of material, not quite an hours worth’s, so we were going back and forth trying to decide what would be the best cover song but not be the typical cover song, I cannot remember who thought of it ? Was it you? (Pointing to Scott Kelly)
Scott Kelly: Yeah it was me, but it was like my thirteenth choice!
Scott “ Wino “ Weinrich: More like your thirtieth !
Bulldozer: Well that is the perfect cover song being that it is so obscure!
Scott Kelly: I was just in a freak out mood, I was just trying to come up with different ideas and it seemed like every five minutes I was like “AAH! I got another one! And another one! The original idea was a trilogy so I don’t know we will have to see.
Bulldozer: Well Gentleman I would just like to thank you for taking the time to chat with us, it has truly been a privilege and an honor speaking with each and every one of you! It is truly incredible seeing you all share the stage collectively. It is just amazing watching you all do your thing! We wish you much success with this project and we look forward to seeing you with your other musical projects as well, cheers!
Shrine Builder: Well thank you very much!
The musical project entitled “Shrinebuilder” is truly remarkable! Especially live! These four individuals are the real deal when it comes to the word “Heavy” but they also raising the bar in the musician realm as well. They each have carved a place for themselves in what real heavy music lovers would call “The Real Hall of Fame” but do not take my word for it, seek them out your self and prepare to bow down to The Shrine!
Interview: Jimmy Cabbs
Photo: Hazel Roth