Shadow of Everest (SoE) is a Canadian progressive metal band from Halifax, Nova Scotia. Formed in 2014, the band’s line-up currently consists of JV (guitars, vocals), Shaun Cowell (bass), Matt Burton (drums) and Andrew Welsman (guitars).
The band has been compared to such massive artists as Tool, Black Sabbath, Queens of the Stone Age and Pink Floyd. This isn’t a surprise as the members cite these bands as major influences as well as bands like Led Zeppelin, Metallica, Rush and Iron Maiden. It’s the perfect creative storm; fusing the atmospheric elements of prog with the unforgettable riffs of classic rock.
JV and Shaun formed the group after disbanding a previous musical project called Little King Hunter. A few months were spent writing material and searching for other musicians for what would eventually become Shadow of Everest. The band is built on heavy riffs, dissonant tones and syncopated rhythms.
Matt joined over the following year and the band began recording an EP at Echo Chamber Audio. Shadow of Everest released The Victim, their first single, in August of 2015 which was met with plenty of positive feedback. Release of the EP however, was delayed. Line-up changes and financial issues pushed the release back so far that the band decided to re-track the entire record. Shortly after, JV required throat surgery and the recovery process left Shadow of Everest treading water in the studio and unable to perform live.
In April 2017, after a small hiatus, Shadow of Everest entered Housefire Records to finish their previous recordings and the following month saw their return to the stage. The band is set to release their EP, Idle Hands, in June of 2017 and the group will be performing at Riverfest Rock the Bush in August 2017.
How would you describe your music?
We would probably be best classified as a melting pot of Black Sabbath, Tool, Mastodon, with a touch of Pink Floyd and Rush.
Tell us about how the history of the band?
JV and Shaun both performed together for a few years with Little King Hunter, and afterwards continued to jam and write like minded music together. Those tracks evolved into Shadow of Everest, where then they sought out other skilled and similarly influenced musicians to flesh out the group to what it is today. We’ve been performing and supporting the release of the Idle Hands EP since its release earlier this summer.
What are you influences/ musical heroes?
We like our rock and roll heavy and downtuned, but also admire and respect classic artists who paved the way for the big names we love today. Personally, I (Andrew) am a big fan of sludge or stoner metal, especially types that are derived from blues roots. As a kid, I admired what Monster Magnet did in the 90s, and today what Mastodon continues to do. Catchy songs can be done well with massive downtuned guitars!
What inspires you?
I love the feeling that comes from writing a riff or chord progression or series of song sections that sound like something you’d get excited over when hearing the first time on a new record of your favorite bands, but with your own personal twist. When you nail down exactly how you want it to sound, and think of how much fun it’ll be to show your bandmates and live on stage to friends and fans. Those little experiences, coupled with the thrill of performing great songs the rest of the group produced live, are what inspires me.
Do you write on the road? or do you prefer to write in the studio?
I prefer to write in my own home studio/office, where I can lock myself away and be alone with just my thoughts and jam out to anything I want in the moment. Some of the best, most challenging things can be created when no one else is looking.
What is your favourite song to perform live?
I personally really enjoy Sagarmatha off of Idle Hands, and a new unrecorded one named Dark Spiral (Crusher). It has one of the greasiest riffs possible, which explodes into a super catchy massive chorus which is a ton of fun to play.
What would be your dream tour to be a part of?
I’d be willing to bet my bandmates would be utterly elated to join Mastodon, Eagles of Death Metal, and Russian Circles on their current North American tour, even just for one night. Or to open for Tool, in any way shape or form.
What are you current thoughts on the music industry?
I have hope for rock music in North America: there seems to be a trend where a ‘revival’ scene pops up which embraces sounds from a few decades prior. The 90s were great for rock music, and the 90s is already making a huge comeback in pop. The underground scene will always be healthy though. No one who likes metal music is a casual fan – you never hear of someone say ‘oh I was really into Slayer a few summers ago’. If all else fails, there’s still Europe!
What is the funniest/weirdest experience you have had on tour?
Not with SoE, but my old band from years prior: we managed to make a 30 foot wide, 15 foot tall banner with the bands name on it painted in a messy ‘blood’ font. We started our first song as silhouettes behind that banner, and the moment the track really kicked in we had a friend in a cartoonish Satan costume punch through it and begin doing spin kicks and sick moves. I still laugh at theatrics like that, many years later. You have to be able to find humour in what you do!
What are your future plans?
We have a giant backlog of music just waiting to be recorded, which is exactly what we plan to do. Until then, we are getting our faces out there as much as we can, playing as many shows as possible, having fun doing so, and hoping we can gather a few happy followers along the way.