"...Word on the street was that we weren't going to do another album. Guess what? We are. I just have a lot to write about and a lot of songs were coming out of me. I felt like a chicken who had to lay an egg..." says Shelter mainman Ray Cappo. After recording last year's successful When 20 Summers Pass with their old mate Don Fury, Shelter decided to team up with another long-time friend and 'partner in crime' for their new assembly of punk and hardcore anthems. They were more than happy with the final mixes of When 20 Summers Pass, so it was crystal clear from the beginning that The Purpose, The Passion would be recorded and produced by Ken Olden ( ex-Better Than A Thousand, Battery and Damnation AD ) at his new Monster Island studio in Washington DC. Ray would like to send greetings to all his friends on the East coast who gave him a helping hand: "A big thanks goes out to all the DC kids who sang backups - especially Jay from Fairweather." The Purpose, The Passion's opener 'True North' already marks the new, old direction of this album: old-school hardcore tunes mixed with Shelter's knack for positive and cheery melodies. Songs like "The Value Of Sitting With Myself", "We Can Make It Through", "A Greater Plan" or '"The Anatomy Of Us" will not disappoint any Shelter fan or lover of high-quality energetic and melodic punk-core. Still, they also dared to include somewhat more restrained tunes with the almost low-fi "Inner Garden".
The Present: Ray actually started the band as a solo project which has included a multitude of rotating members. Three years after the start Porcell, Ray's old time partner and friend from Youth of Today joined up, but had left just last year after touring obligations were getting too strenuous to meet his obligations as a new father and husband ( congratulations with their new son Kana! ) For the new album Porcell was replaced by 20 year old Swedish guitar whiz and friend Supergrass, an old roadie for Better Than A Thousand, who Ray nicknamed, because when they met in England four years ago he had puffy hair and sideburns similar to the British pop band Supergrass. The name stuck. After playing bass on Shelter's last, highly successful European tour Super -- or Supey, for short -- came out to Venice, California where Ray lives and they spent the next three months writing music, surfing, doing yoga and jiu jitsu... it was a great three months together, and as a result they came up with the material you now hear on The Purpose, The Passion. Franklin Rhi, their old bass player from Mantra and Beyond Planet Earth, has also rejoined the band after moving to Los Angeles a year ago. Sri, ex singer and guitarist for Victory Records' Baby Gopal, was asked to play rhythm guitar on Shelter's recent Japanese tour. Ray explains: "Sri went over great in Japan in Shelter and the Japanese found it inspirational to see girls take a more upfront role in the male dominated punk scene. Therefore when they returned to the states Shelter asked if she could join the band for their upcoming tours and luckily she said yes." Drummer and ex-Cro Mags skinsman Dave DiCenso ( a professor / instructor for percussion at Berklee School Of Music, the school which launched Al DiMeola, Aimee Mann, Steve Vai and many others ), who had already played on Mantra and Beyond Planet Earth, felt the time was right to rejoin the band for studio- duties and handle the drumming on The Purpose, The Passion. Still, it was pretty obvious from the beginning that he could not join in for months of touring. Since the new line-up is now based in L.A., Shelter decided a California drummer would be best. Sean Sellers from Good Riddance tried out and got along great with everybody, so he will be playing with Shelter on their upcoming two- month European tour.
The Past: Between Shelter and it's legendary predecessor Youth Of Today, Ray and Porcell's ground-breaking hardcore / punk tunes not only set musical standards, but also brought a new consciousness into the scene: intelligent optimism, healthy living and a drug-free lifestyle which made them one of the godfathers of the positive hardcore movement. Youth Of Today defined themselves as a counter-movement to the tough-guy attitude that often went along with self- destruction and severe drug-abuse, as well as political and social apathy. "There was a lot of slogans around, but it seemed to me that any real change would have to happen inside first," explains Ray. It did not take long until these strong beliefs and positive messages, together with his undeniable charisma, made Ray one of the most important spokesmen within this youth- culture. Since Ray was also dedicated to helping other bands spread their own music and message, he also founded Revelation Records in the '80s, which released classic singles and albums by bands such as Sick Of It All, Gorilla Biscuits, Quicksand and Inside Out ( Zach De La Rocha's first band before he joined one of the most popular crossover bands of the '90s, Rage Against The Machine ). In 1988, Ray did not feel 100% happy with what he did any longer, so he decided it would be best to sell off Revelation Records and split up his band, Youth Of Today. He bought a one-way ticket to Delhi ( India ) to study the Far Eastern and Krishna philosophies. When he met his long-time friend Porcell ( who played with Gorilla Biscuits and Judge in the meantime ) two years later, they immediately felt the urge to work on a new project, thus paving the way for the formation of Shelter. With a whole new set of musical and spiritual influences, everything was on track for their new vision, which turned out much more melodic and diverse than Youth Of Today, but still maintaining the old rebellious spirit. Their debut-album Perfection Of Desire featured the completely electronic song "Shelter", an instant classic which was a true declaration in the hardcore community and stated right from the beginning that Shelter would surely have surprises in store for everybody. Obviously their vision and approach was well-received, as their fourth album Mantra was a true breakthrough all over the globe and their hit single "Here We Go!" earned them heavy rotation on radio and TV stations not only all over Europe, but also Brazil where they finally had had not one but three hit songs.
Finally Japan embraced them, too, so things were looking great for our favourite melodic punk and hardcore machine. Shelter thus set out to conquer the whole world on successful tours with bands such as No Doubt, Goldfinger and The Mighty Mighty Bosstones. Unfortunately a dramatic accident occurred in 1997 during an American tour for Beyond Planet Earth with the Bosstones and Voodoo Glow Skulls when their van slipped off the road, tumbling down the face of a cliff and resulting in severe injuries for some of the band members and forcing a relucant break for the band. It was one of the most decisive moments in their career, which also taught them that it might be time to focus on their spiritual life once again. Therefore, after another successful European tour, they felt it was time to take a well-deserved rest and ease up on their hectic pacing. During this time Ray moved from New York over to sunny Los Angeles. In the second half of 1999, the time seemed right to go back to the raw basics and record When 20 Summers Pass at Don Fury Studios in New York. The mix was done by another long-time friend, Ken Olden ( also known for playing in Battery, Damnation A.D. and having worked together with Ray in their old-school project Better Than A Thousand ) at Olden's brand new Monster Island Studio in Washington, D.C. The world-wide reactions were stunning and pretty much everybody agreed that When 20 Summers Pass showed Shelter at their very best. Even the very few critical voices were turned into true believers as soon as they witnessed Shelter's energetic and simply exciting live- performances during their two successful European tours last summer / fall with a rousing appearance on With Full Force's skate stage.
Their latest mission to conquer the world with raging shows brought them to South America and Japan which turned out nothing but great. Whereas South America witnessed more legendary headlining shows, Shelter toured the land of the rising sun with Japan's highly successful alternative outfit Brahman - who will, by the way, hop on the first handful of shows during Shelter's upcoming European tour in May, June and July. Get ready for steamy, sweaty club shows, as well as appearances on this year's high-profile festivals like Dynamo in the Netherlands, With Full Force in Germany and Essential Music Festival in the UK - just to mention a few...
SHELTER - Eternal [ RR015 - LP ]
FOR MUSIC, CHECK: www.myspace.com/eternalshelter
PRESSING INFO: 500 yellow - 500 clear with blue splatter
The vinyl color is not 100% identical as shown here on the examples.
- Meant to be
- Built to resist
- First priority
- Back to Vrindavan
- My chance to live
- Return to eden
- In defense of reality