Monday, October 31, 2011


SHAPESHIFTER’s SAM TREVETHICKtakes time out from planning a summer tour to talk to RACHEL BARNES about being signed by Hospital Records, moving to Berlin and touring where nobody knows their name.

Producing four acclaimed albums and live shows that are a must-see, Shapeshifter have been bringing unique beats since 1999. Sam Trevethick can’t even remember who their first albums were released through, because after creating their own label, True Tone Recordings, the boys successfully released three number one independent albums. “This was 10 years ago and the scene was just coming around,” Trevethick says. “It was before MySpace and all that kind of stuff and we just realised that major record companies kinda suck,” he laughs. “They wanted to take everything and maybe, maybe give us a little bit of a hand. So we were like, “Nah, fuck that.”

With such negative experiences of labels it came as a shock to some when the band announced they had signed with well-known UK drum and bass label Hospital Records in July of last year. Despite True Tone Recordings still being their label in New Zealand and Australia, Trevethick says it was a no-brainer. “They’re definitely one of the biggest labels in drum and bass music,” he says. Despite any doubts, the label globally released Shapeshifter’s platinum selling album, The System Is A Vampire, and now they’re hoping to do it all over again.

When it came to thinking about their next album the band decided to move their studio to Berlin to give them a chance to take a breath and focus. “We were just touring a lot... The process was quite time-intensive so it was good to have a little bit of a breather and just potter away on some other things,” Trevethick says. Despite moving to the other side of the world the band’s recording experience wasn’t that much different. “It wasn’t really different, because we’ve always had our own studio so we just took bits of that with us. So it was all quite familiar. But we had never been to Berlin before that... It was great,” he laughs.

The boys just came off a successful European tour where they played shows with only a couple of people in the audience knowing who they were, which was a change from the massive recognition the boys are used to back home. “It was really exciting, it was really good. It’s a completely different vibe then when you’re playing to people who know your music. It’s really exciting for us,” he says.

Shapeshifter now have their feet now firmly back on home soil and are ready to show their fans just what exactly they’ve been up to. Throughout their summer tour through Australia and New Zealand the band promises to produce live shows influenced by the sights and sounds of Europe that will only leave audiences wanting more. “We love coming here in summer, we’ve got a great show set up and we really put a lot of effort into it. It’s a big motivator factor when there’s gonna be a lot of people that know your music. You’ve gotta strive to do better and do things differently,” he says.

SHAPESHIFTER play The Hi-Fi on Friday Nov 4. for more.

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