EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Nate Hunt of Shaman's Harvest

Shaman’s Harvest is a great new rock band. Currently they’re about to go out on the road with Fozzy to support their new album “Smokin’ Hearts & Broken Guns.” I personally cannot wait to catch these guys live later this month. I got the chance to chat with frontman Nate Hunt and I had a great time. This guy was diagnosed with throat cancer during the creation of the album. Currently he’s in remission with a great album under his belt.

I highly recommend checking out the unedited audio version right here:

Bob Zerull (BZ): How are you doing, i read that you were diagnosed with throat cancer during the recording process?

Nate Hunt (NH): Yeah, but I’m doing all right thought, I’m in remission. I’m feeling pretty good man.

BZ: How did that affect you both creatively and physically during the creation of the album “Smokin’ Hearts & Broken Guns?”

NH: Initially I had a pretty large tumor on the side of my throat and lymph nodes, which they removed. I had a pretty good sized one on my tonsils. It made it pretty difficult to track the vocals. After they removed a couple of them we started doing radiation treatments. That kind of blows because it kills your ability to create saliva which kind of sucks for a singer. Emotionally there was quite a bit of influence on the songs. From song to song I think you can hear the different levels of being pissed off and feeling alone and then the triumph you feel at the end when you’re in remission. 

BZ: Do you have to prepare differently now?

NH: I do. I started seeing a vocal coach, Juliette Jackson, she’s a genius. She helped me figure out how to work around the effects of the treatments. I do my warm ups and all that shit now, but back in the day my warm up would be a couple shots of bourbon.

BZ: How was the process of working with a record company this time around as opposed to working independently?

NH: I think the results of working with a label we’re starting to see it now. When we recorded the record we were still unsigned. I think we’re seeing it in the press and the release. We’ve never released a record world wide before, this is a first. I think we’re going to see the benefits to a label. 

BZ: You work your butt off just to get where you’re at now, you get signed, you already had two albums out, now you have to work even harder just to maintain that, have you noticed that?

NH: A lot of bands think that if they can get signed it’ll make everything easy, but that’s not the case at all. The more success you have the harder you have to work to keep it. I found we’ve put a lot of time time into stuff through a lot of hopes and let downs through out the years. The work just gets started when you get signed.

BZ: At what point in your personal life did you decide ok I’m doing this full time, I’m quitting my job and going for it?

NH: I was a union construction worker and we started seeing success with our last record. We were a local regional act. We’d do the five states around us. We had some success with “Dragonfly.” It seemed like it was happening overnight after all the years we put into it. We had to do a tour to support the record. We were on the road for 11 months straight. It’s really hard to hold a 9 to 5 job at that point. It’s almost lo completely invest in the process, it takes all the excuses out of it.

BZ: Is it scary out there for both new and veteran bands?

NH: Absolutely. I think everyone has seen the ticket sales decline, I don’t care how big you are. You have to be a little more inventive on how you put gas in the tank. I think we’re getting ready to see a resurgence in rock n roll. It’s all cyclical. We’ve had a huge surge in pop country music. I think people are starting to get fed up with that same formula about the truck and the chick in the back of the truck and some sore of liquor. It’s almost become a parody and people are smart, they want honest music. I think rock n roll has that to offer. As long as we offer that it’s easy to get caught up in a formula.

 BYLINE: Bob Zerull is the Managing Editor of Zoiks! Online. He writes pop culture commentary, does interviews with bands, and reviews music and stand-up concerts. He also administers Zoiks! Online's Facebook page. Follow Bob on twitter at bzerull. Email Bob at bob@zoiksonline.com.
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