Virals is the new band from Shaun Hencher, the former singer in LOVVERS. It was very sad for everyone when they split up but with this and Sharm El Shakes we’ve still got music in our lives from the guys. Virals have had a 7″ out on Sexbeat and on May 7th their first EP drops on Tough Love. Ahead of this and their live debut we caught a few words…
BOOM. Some ‘magic’ has ‘happened’ (ahem) and you’re suddenly in a room – mic in hand -surrounded by people who’re dying to know more about Virals. What do you say to them?
Hello. My name is Shaun Hencher.
Speaking of that (great) song ‘Magic Happens’, who’s your favourite magician and/or magic trick?
Probably that David Blaine chap. Saw him taking a nap in a clear box once. That was pretty bizarre. I’m more into comedians.
The sound of VIRALS is much cleaner and crisper than what you produced with LOVVERS. What new influences do you think have affected the transition between LOVVERS and Virals?
There really aren’t any new influences, the main difference is it isn’t recorded live. Or with a band. Also the guy pushing the buttons is interested in other things so it’s about exploring his interests as well as mine.
You’ve chosen to go with the flow of picking a pretty simple word for your new alias. Do you think the rising trend of these ‘ungoogleable’ band names is something that benefits artists?
I can’t see why something you can’t google is gonna benefit you? If there’s a rising trend then I’m probably the wrong guy to ask, for me it was just an idea for a band name and then a word I kept hearing and couldn’t believe there wasn’t a band already called that. Maybe there is, google probably let me down.
Was it a conscious decision or did the name just kind of have a ring to it to you and stick?
I think I said this to someone before but I honestly had a dream about a band called VIRALS, I just woke up and remembered this vivid dream and wrote it down. It’s been the title of all my demos since 2009. You gotta be called something.
What’s your opinion on all the social media that’s available for new artists? Are sites like Bandcamp and Soundcloud something the industry should love or hate?
I don’t really know much about it, I set up a bandcamp and that seemed pretty easy to do. I tried to upload a mix to soundcloud and it wouldn’t let me because the first track was a GIRLSCHOOL song and I was infringing their copyright. So I haven’t bothered since. Social media is what it is. We all use it. It’s the world we live in, good or bad I don’t really have a strong opinion. But without such things, I doubt you’d be sending me these questions.
Your live debut is coming up at The Shacklewell Arms on 11th May. How have you found translating your songs live? Does the raw punk energy of LOVVERS still seep through?
Yep, RAW and PUNK. If it was a sandwich it would be a layer Van Halen, with plenty of dickies but no mayonnaise.
SEXBEAT must be a completely different scene to Wichita, right? How much of an influence has being in the DIY scene had on Virals?
I don’t want to be in a scene. I live in a fairly small town where there is no scene. I stopped thinking about DIY when FUGAZI split up. I’m more into building stuff in my garden.
Who do reckon are the main contenders in that scene at the minute? Is there anyone currently flying under the radar you’d recommend / tip for big things?
The main contender is the Shacklewell Arms dog. I heard he’s on the next series of Britain Got Talent but he’s not very good at DIY. My big tip for 2012 is the fat strange looking guy from the Voice. He’ll go far. Black Sabbath are putting out a new record. Supporting a younger generation.
Let’s imagine for a second your band have just walked out on you and you can have anyone in the world jam with you. Who’s in your band dream team?
Saving the best till last. DRUMS- Keith GUITAR- George BASS- Geezer TRUMPET- Chet- KEYS- Herbie- VOCALS- Elvis TAMBOURINE- Dolly
They’d make a noise and I’d chill at the back of the room taking pictures.
Words: Tom Walters