Punk Acoustics: A Quick but Thorough Interview with The Shabs

The Shabs are one of the acts who will be jamming at Punk Acoustics in Pretoria this coming weekend. This Cape Town based Folk Punk band have been making waves in the SA Music industry over the last few years.

I recently conducted a The Shabs Interview. We talked about Punk Acoustics and a few other things. This is what the band had to say…

Please give Running Wolf’s Rant readers your names, instruments and preferred super-power

Jon Shaban – Guitar and Vocals – Teleportation
Ryan – Bass and Vocals – Time Travel
Jon C – Drums – The power to sing
Sophie – Vocals and Melodica – Invisibility

The Shabs

Where did you guys get the band name?

The name is a short version of our old band name which was a play on Jon’s surname

4. I have to commend your song-writing. It’s filled with hope and simplicity. What is your song-writing process?

Thanks dude! The process is usually along the lines of one of writing a core idea and then workshopping it in the band room and letting each of us bring our own vibe into the mix.

5. Jon, How do you combine the calm, steady vocals with the energetic guitars? Was it your intention to create ear-worm melodies that get stuck in your head for days?

I don’t know hey. It just kinda happened haha. I guess a lot of it comes from various influences over the years. I’ve always been into Punk Rock so the energetic guitar work probably comes from that. The melodies were not done on purpose but I’m stoked that it happens that way

6. Your latest singles have stepped away a little from the acoustic guitar, why the change?

It was just a natural progression in our sound. It was never a conscious or forced decision. I still mostly play acoustic live.

7. Ryan, have you always played upright? The latest singles still have that upright bass tone. Do you tour with an upright or with an electric bass?

I started out on electric bass for years and started on the upright around 10 years ago. I’ve always played upright with The Shabs and we do tour with it.

8. JC (Jon Case), I really appreciate your drumming style. It leaves a lot of space for the subtleties in the other instruments. Do you ever just want to go mad and do a drum solo while the string-ticklers stand in awe?

Every now and again we throw a sneaky little solo into the middle of ‘Quit Your Job’ but that’s all you’re getting for now.

The Shabs Cape Town Folk Band

9. I remember a time I sent your YouTube video for Swords to my lady, it’s a damn great song man! Whats the history behind the lyrics?

It’s basically about not being too proud to ask for help from your friends. Life’s always a bit better and easier with friends at our sides.

10. We’re stoked for you show at Punk Acoustics! Any hints on the setlist, so new fans can learn the lyrics and sing along?

We have a rad set planned with a good mix of older material and stuff off the new album. It’s Punk Acoustics so we’re going to be playing an intense set. Go learn everything. You should rather be overprepared

So this was my The Shabs Interview. I’d like to thank the band for it and I wish them all of the best with their set at Punk Acoustics this weekend and their future musical endeavors.

Watch this space for updates in the Music category on Running Wolf’s Rant.


Matt Haddon

Business, leadership and career consultant, coach and columnist.

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