Interview: Melbourne’s Shiva and the Hazards talk “East India Empress”

Earlier this month, Melbourne’s Shiva and The Hazards released their debut EP Future Cult Classics – a record rich in groove and nods to psych-rock classics of decades gone by. With their single “East India Empress”, Shiva and The Hazards embrace some serious throwback vibes, further exploring mesmerising sound and visuals with their recently released music video.

We found some more about the group this week…

What did the making of your new EP teach you about the band’s dynamic and how you work together?

A lot! It taught me that the singer doesn’t know how long a bar is! Yes that was a conversation at some point, with award winning producer Chris Potter. Ha! What it did teach us all, is that music is a profession and is easily thought of as not! Everything was planned out perfectly and it was business like, but super fun. Those two things rarely go together.

It was your debut EP – is there anything, in hindsight, you would have done differently?

We are super happy with the result, but we are always looking for the perfect time to release. Perfect this perfect that! There’s no such thing, so I would say, take the “We should probably do this on this date” thought out of it and just write, record, release, all when it feels right. If that’s a date that’s not on the list of ours or whoever’s… well, so be it! It must be authentic in all possible ways.

Aside from current single “East India Empress”, are there any songs that have struck you as being favourites or particularly significant in terms of capturing the essence of the band as you are now?

There are two other tracks on the EP, “False Prophets” and “Queen without a King”, both produced by Mark Gardener from UK band RIDE. We love Mark, and his ability to give those songs character, was incredible. Something we were struggling with. The fourth track is a surprise. It’s a song called “My Dear Maryanne”, (produced by Ruari Meehan in London) however as a remix version. The drums are super chaotic and it genuinely takes you on a journey for 4 mins. It’s a big surprise that one. It’s dreamy… I love it. There’s a song for all tastes on this EP.

What inspired the Bollywood vintage vibe of “East India Empress”? Did the initial visions for the song and music video match what we got in the end?

It’s very close to what we wanted, without spending a bag of cash. We just wanted something dreamy and mesmerising, not necessarily complicated. It syncs well with the song.

You’ve got a few Melbourne dates for this new music in the bag now, what’s coming up next for the band?

Yep we do. We are super happy with the result and the reaction. Everybody seems to not only like the single, but the whole EP. That’s a win. We are currently doing demos for our new release, with a new single coming soon. Also, get down to festival season this year… we’ll be there!

Future Cult Classics – what music trends from today do you see becoming ‘classic’ down the line (for good or for bad!)?

Ya know what?! Everything I like, is a recycled version of my favourite bands from years ago. There’s more recycled music than ever at the moment. There’ll always be someone with a hit. Pop is king with the general population, however you’re only as good as the opposition, so the quality of that hit, is circumstantial. It’s competitive these days, which is good, but ya can’t beat rock n roll. That’s my bag! Just write a rock n roll song. Job done!

Follow Shiva and The Hazards online here.