Shannon Selberg Interview

thoughts that you should fill the role of a man jumping around on the stage for Cows, did you have some theater training that you wanted to bring to the stage?

A: I was going to community college, and had always been really shy, and I was majoring in history and political science. I wanted to become a teacher. I took a speech class just for the hell of it. I noticed that when I got in front of people that something kind of came over me. I put my speech down and kind of went crazy, and the whole room clapped. I thought that was great. During that time is when I saw Cows play, and I thought that if I got up there, and whatever that was that came over me happened while I was singing for them, then that would be pretty intense and be fun to watch.

Q: What led you to coming out to New York after the end of Cows, and eventually forming The Heroine Sheiks?

A: Cows at this point had been around for about 11 years, and had put out a lot of albums. We had three alpha males together for an awful long time, and communication started breaking down. We had a tour schedule in 1997 that was too much for us; it was like 9 months. It wore us down. Not much was

happening that summer, and nobody wanted to practice. Also, I really hate Minnesota winters, so I told the guys that I was going to leave before the snow flies, if we are going to do anything. I had a chance to come here for free with really cheap rent, so I just jumped on it. We still put out an album after that.

Q: There seems to be a little bit of similarity between some of the later Cows works, and some of the Heroine Sheiks material, which makes me think that you probably had a bit more to do with the songwriting than I think that you are given credit for. Am I correct in thinking that you were lending a bit to the songwriting?

A: We were all sort of just developed. For most of us, it was our first band. We didn’t know what we were doing all that well. People would comment on how shitty the early albums

sounded. We didn’t mix them that way on purpose. We thought that we were really tight, and that the albums sounded really good. We played them in front of other people and they stated that it really sounded fucked up and primitive. We didn’t dislike it, but we were surprised by the reaction to it. The comments were that it was just a bunch of unhinged music and barely music. We didn’t know that. It sounded like music to us.

Q: You moved through a few different sound engineers in recording your albums; do you credit them with the change in the sound of the band?

A: In the early days, I don’t think that Kevin and Thor were much concerned with whether the tones were actually meshed together very well. They played in a lot of the same frequencies, and I think that was pretty hard to mix. However, by the last couple of records I think that they were more aware of that, and especially Buzz, I think was aware that was something to work on. The thing everyone said about Cows was that the albums couldn’t really capture the live set, and every producer we had said that we had to capture whatever it is in the live set, and try to make the band sound live. Buzz was the first guy that came in and said, “Fuck it, I don’t care about that. We need to put out a great studio album, and whatever it is