Q&A: Adebisi Shank's Mick Roe
On Arcade Fire, Going Incognito and Prizes
Adebisi Shank seem to be one of those bands that people either love without reservation or are completely baffled by.
We're always very surprised when anyone likes what we do. We're kind of blown away if more than ourselves or our mams are into it. It is really weird music, I guess. It's not going to be everyone's cup of tea, we totally realise that. To be honest, a lot more people are into it than we ever expected there to be.
You've certainly got loads of cheer-leaders on the internet. According to a recent survey, Adebisi were one of the most-blogged-about bands on the web, ahead of Arcade Fire.
It's a bit mental, isn't it? Out of a thousand blogs worldwide, I think they surveyed who is being talked about the most. I don't know how exactly it came together.
Your bassist, Vinny, wears a mask on stage. Did he listen to too much Slipknot as a teenager? Or is he simply shy?
Vinny, yeah... He has so many reasons for why he has the mask. He says he's horrifically ugly so he likes to wear the mask. I don't agree with him, but, you know...
The band name is inspired by a character from prison drama Oz. Have fans of the show stumbled upon Adebisi by accident?
We do get people who discover us through YouTube. Half the time, they're kind of pissed off because they want to see clips of Oz. They get a bit upset when there's a band taking up the searches.
On the subject of people being pissed off, there was a minor furore when your debut album missed out on a Choice Music Prize nomination two years ago.
I don't expect to get nominated for anything. I was kind of more irritated by people who were like, "well, they deserve to get it, or he deserves to get it". That's not really the way it should work. It should be based on the judges. That kind of stuff irritates me more than anything. You need to keep your head down. If someone gives you a nod for some award or if people like you in the press, that's a bonus. I'd love to get a big load of prize money. At the same time, I don't sit around bummed out that we didn't get nominated.
Conor O'Brien of Villagers has a cameo on the new record. How did that happen?
We played with him in Canada a few years ago. He apparently likes us. He's one of the few people... I get really... he's such... I don't know how to say it... I'm kind of star-struck.
Deep breaths, Mick, deep breaths.
He's such an amazing musician. I was really nervous talking to him. We've met a lot of technically bigger stars., but I'm star-struck by him because he's so talented.
This Is The Second Album Of a Band Called Adebisi Shank is out now