Design By Humans
Published On: Tue, Oct 7th, 2014

We talk with Nathan Hunt, lead singer of Shaman’s Harvest

Shamans HarvestI had the good fortune to speak with Nathan Hunt, lead singer of Shaman’s Harvest (see my review of the band’s new CD Smokin’ Hearts & Broken Guns here.) The powerful vocalist/front man is very ‘vocal’ about his recent battle with a rare lymph cancer in his throat (for anyone a huge blow, to a singer double so) and having come out the other side of that ordeal, with a smashing new album with his bandmates, I think Nathan’s perspective is ever-so-interesting and informed. What follows is a great chat with an honest and forthcoming guy who is stronger than ever.

So, throat cancer, huh? How does one weather that storm while trying to sing?

Well, initially it certainly fucking sucked, but the very recording of the album fortunately gave me something to do, to focus on and take my mind off of being sick. I think that’s the key to getting better, whether you’re diagnosed with cancer or anything major, being occupied.

Well, you certainly seemed to not have let it stop you at all. I listened to a song “Blood In The Water” with those very cool opening vocals and was thinking, ‘here is a singer at the top of his game.

Well thank you man, really. But I think it all helped that by the time I was at the stage to record the vocals I was in a ‘fuck you cancer’ mode, pissed-off and I got to get that aggression out, even on the softer tunes, something to power through.

Let’s talk about the CD a bit. It really rocks through-out, as you said, even the slower tunes, but what I liked especially was that there are a lot of different styles here, a good variety, but it’s all still distinctly your band, ya know?

Yes, the beauty for me is exactly that. I do think the songs travel from style to style all the way through so you can listen to the record from first song to last and not get bored. I feel it is strong from beginning to end

I know Ryan Tomlinson plays lead and Josh Hamlet rhythm, but many times I feel that they have a double guitar thing happening…or am I not hearing that right?

Sometimes they’re playing leads off each other, but then there are those specific lead and rhythm parts.

And Josh is the newest member, right?

Yes he came in and things changed a bit. He added another flavor to the gumbo, gave it all a swampy blues added level-though we were all pretty bluesy to begin with-and added another level of honesty to it all as well.

And where is this all going to take you, what’s the band’s plans for the immediate future?

Well we’ve been doing some one-off shows, but things will be picking-up soon. We will do some House of Blues shows, probably in the winter it’ll be three-day-a-week shows, then plenty of time for radio-the record is already starting to spin a bit on radio. Then in the Spring we’ll probably try and partner with someone on a national level, then get over to Europe.

That’s got to be exciting, considering Europe, seeing your fan base grow there.

Yeah, I mean we are generally new to Europe but we are seeing a good U.K. response, Austria. Holland, Norway, places like that. I think our music does well in those spots where people can’t get out much, are more isolated.

For some reason, which I can’t rightly explain, I kind of agree with you there about your sound. I’m assuming that’s as much informed by the players in the band (and let’s not forget to mention bassist Matt Fisher) as where you guys are from, no? (Shaman’s Harvest is from Missouri)

Yes, I think that’s probably true. Where we come from you don’t whine when you’re sick, you go about your day and do it, power through. We have to rebuild whole towns after tornadoes that come through and usually get the town rebuilt in a year, better than it was before. We don’t make much money in that part of the country so we’re all usually working through poverty to find a way to make ends meat and all that translates I think to what you do.

And translates to a great new CD, I’d say. Get your hands on Smokin’ Hearts & Broken Guns here.

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We talk with Nathan Hunt, lead singer of Shaman’s Harvest