Interview by Cristina M and Fruitbat
Altsounds: Welcome to Download!
Shawn: Thanks for having us!
Altsounds: This is not your first time at Download...
Shawn: Nah, no this is our third or fourth, it’s been a while.
Altsounds: Do you remember your first time here? How was it?
Shawn: Scary. Scary and exhilarating all at the same time. Especially having seen Slipknot play here, it’s just great to be a part of it.
Altsounds: Do you still get the same buzz?
Shawn: I still enjoy it, absolutely.
Altsounds: What’s it like being part of this festivals 30th anniversary?
Shawn: I know right! It’s absolutely amazing, just great to be a part of it.
Altsounds: You’re up against Aerosmith in terms of time slots...who’s going to win?
Shawn: We’re just gonna get up there and play. Gonna do what we do, if people want to come see us then they’re gonna come see us.
Altsounds: Your new album, "Audio Secrecy" – what’s the meaning behind the title?
Shawn: Urm, honestly you’d have to ask Corey, he came up with it, unfortunately...I can’t answer right now, it’s escaping me.
Altsounds: He kept it to himself then [both laugh]. Tell us about the album then...
Shawn: The albums great it’s the best stuff we’ve ever done. It truly is, I know it’s only our third album but the musicianship, the level of writing, the level of performance everyone brought to the part is better than ever before.
Altsounds: What do you think the reaction is going to be to the new material here in the UK?
Shawn: I think they are going to love it. I also think they are gonna be shocked at how diverse it is. We’ve been diverse with our previous albums but this one we ride the full scale. We've got songs that will kick your teeth in, we’ve even got pretty love songs...
Altsounds: That’s unexpected, are you going to be playing any of those tonight?
Shawn: No! [laughs] We’re playing three new songs tonight but no love songs.
Altsounds: Have you road tested the new material yet?
Shawn: Yeah, we have been testing it on tour.
Altsounds: How’s the reaction been so far?
Shawn: Yeah, great! Absolutely.
Altsounds: Have you heard the estimated numbers for the weekend in terms of attendance?
Shawn: I heard there was like a hundred thousand people here yesterday.
Altsounds: 170,000 was the last estimate we heard.
Shawn: Really! Wow....
Altsounds: You made one of your songs available for download.... why did you pick that one?
Shawn: Yes! It’s, er, going to be the title track and the first track on the album as well as being one of the best representations of the energy we put out.
Altsounds: What’s your favourite track off the album?
Shawn: I get asked this all the time, and it’s like choosing between your children, because that’s what they are, they are all my babies. There are standout tracks like 'Threadbearer.' The song is nearly 6 minutes long, it’s an amazing song, epic is the only way I can think to describe it, Corey really outdid himself.
Altsounds: When is it going to be released exactly?
Shawn: The beginning of September.
Altsounds: ...and is there going to be a tour to follow? Will we see you in the UK?
Shawn: Yeah, if everything goes right, I hope I don’t shoot myself in the foot here, but we should be back over in the UK and Europe end of October, beginning of November time.
Altsounds: Which song today, do you think is going to generate the largest circle pit?
Shawn: I have no idea! Probably 'Get Inside' or '30.30.50' would be my guess. We will just have to wait and see.
Altsounds: Five Finger Death Punch actually had the plug pulled briefly on them yesterday...
Shawn: Yeah, to calm the crowd down and stop crowd surfing. I saw Rage stop yesterday as well briefly because the crowd was getting a little too wild. We won’t discourage crowd surfing but we won’t encourage it either. As long as no-one’s getting hurt, the crowd can do whatever they want.
Altsounds: Are you looking forward to the Uproar Tour?
Shawn: Yeah, Yeah, it’s gonna be great. Will be a good opportunity for us to get out in front of a larger crowd and a different fan base than normal, so it’s going to be good, will be a lot of fun.
Altsounds: Have you played with Disturbed and Avenged Sevenfold before?
Shawn: Yes, not together on the same package but separately, two different gigs. We toured with Disturbed for about a month and a half last time, they’re good guys, we always enjoy touring with them.
Altsounds: When did you guys actually roll in?
Shawn: At about 9pm last night. Right before Rage were on.
Altsounds: Are you camping?
Shawn: Only on the tour bus! [Laughs]