If I want to do an interview with Will Shepler, formerly of Agnostic Front and Madball, about his brand new outfit The Take? And post an exclusive track while I am at it? Fuck yeah I do! Read the interview with Will below and enjoy "The Skins Are Out Tonight" playing on the background!
Hi Will, thanks a lot for taking the time to do this interview! None of the members in The Take are strangers to the Oi! and hardcore scene, so perhaps unnecessary – but we got to start somewhere, so could you please introduce The Take’s members to my readers?
Sure, we are a 3 piece band consisting of myself ,Will Shepler, on drums (formerly of Agnostic Front & Madball ), Guitarist /Vocalist Scott Roberts (formerly of: Biohazard, Spudmonsters ) and on bass is Carlos Congote (formerly of : 45 Adapters, Urban Noise).
With the history of all members in the band it’s very tempting to talk about the past, but for this interview I’d like to put my focus on The Take. However, do you consider a résumé of bands such as Agnostic Front, Madball, Biohazard, Spudmonsters, 45 Adapters and much more an advantage (reputation) or as a disadvantage (high expectations)?
It’s probably an advantage in gathering initial interest in the band and helps to promote the band , but if the music isn’t good , it really doesn’t matter. We hope that everyone will like this album and like it for what it is and not for what we have done in the past. We don’t really have high expectations because we love playing the music and if people like it , it is just a bonus.
The Take, perhaps before it even was called The Take, actually started out as a hardcore band before Carlos joined its ranks. Did Carlos had an influence on the sound and direction The Take was going, or was this a natural process?
We actually were never really a hardcore band, but I did have the concept to start a hardcore power trio a few years ago with Scott and Craig Setari and that ‘s how it all began. Craig was too busy touring with Sick of It All so we never actually played together with Craig. Scott kept writings songs that just started leaning more towards Oi! and less hardcore which was just a natural direction. There are some hardcore leaning songs on the album too so it is a really good mix of songs that are influenced by the past but have a modern sound. Carlos definitely brings a more Oi! sound and attitude to the band so with my hardcore background it is a diverse lineup that helps shape the sound.
Slow but steady songs like “The Skins Are Out Tonight” and “King Of The World” have been published online to create a buzz for your debut full-length that will be released later this year through Demons Run Amok Entertainment. How has the response been on these tracks so far?
The response has been great! I wish we could release more because I think there are a lot of really good songs on the album that people haven’t heard. So if they want to hear them , they have to come see us live in the next couple of months before the album comes out.
Can you tell a bit more about the album and what we can expect of it? Is there a release date to be revealed already, or perhaps the album-title?
There are a lot of different songs on the album and when I try to explain it to people I just say It’s sort of a combination of Oi!/ punk / Hardcore and rock-n-roll. It’s self titled, because it is so good, it doesn’t need a name. Ha!- no actually we couldn’t think of a Title. But it is good. It will be released in June on Demons Run Amok Entertainment. We will release a video for the song Elitist (Directed by Drew Stone) before the Album comes out probably April – May sometime.
How about influences? What bands would you reckon left a mark on The Take’s sound? What topics have an effect on the lyrical content of you guys?
Wow, so many bands that have probably influenced us over the years, it’s hard to say. We grew up listening to OI! , hardcore, punk , metal ,rock . Scott says that he never sat there and thought about sounding a certain way , it’ s just whatever was filtered through his system and came out at the time. It’ s the same way that I approach writing drum parts , I don’t think about it at all, it’s really just what I feel. The Lyrics are about a lot of different things from Skinhead sing alongs about drinking and hanging out with your best friends , to the widening separation of classes, to cutting shitbag people out of your life.
At the time I am writing down this interview, you guys are actually about to go on stage to perform your very first live show! How did that go?
It was great! It was a small club because we were filming for our first video but Incredible response from an enthusiastic crowd who even though they didn’t know the songs ,still bounced off the walls , the energy was great.
During this performance, you’ll also record a promotional video for the track “Elitists”. Will there be a certain story in the video, or ‘just’ pure live-footage mayhem?
The story is us hanging out with our brothers, drinking and having a good time , and there is a little mayhem too. I just saw the rough cut and it looks great, Drew stone and Jeff Pliskin did a great job. Really excited to share it with everyone.
Speaking of live shows. You guys also joined the roster of M.A.D. Tourbooking (Germany). Is there already a European tour in the works and how do you expect to be branded or booked by the agency? As an Oi! band (because that is what you guys are) or as a hardcore band (because of your history)?
Yes we are planning tour Europe August. I know for sure we are playing the Beach, Beer and Chaos Fest in Barcelona, and MAD is working on more dates around that time. We hope to do some U.S. dates before that and so far we have March 17th at the Bowery Electric in NYC, May 10th at Kingsland in Brooklyn….and more to be announced soon so check out our website: thetakenyc.com
Alright, I am about to round this one up. 2019 promises to be an exciting, busy year for The Take – how do you look at this and how do you look at the coming five years to come for the band?
I am very excited for this upcoming year, getting our music out there and playing some shows. I have not been touring for awhile so it will be great to be reconnecting with friends around the world , having a great time and playing music with my brothers. Five years is a long time to look ahead but I hope I am doing the exact same thing then, and hopefully we will have a couple more albums out as well.
Okay, that’s it. Thanks again for taking the time to do this interview! If there is anything you’d like to add, feel free to do so!
Thanks for the interview, great questions! And thanks to everyone who has supported us so far and to those in the future! Cheers!