By Nicholas Jason Lopez
Sometimes, things are meant to come full circle.
Just like The Buzzcocks played their first show in support of The Sex Pistols in Manchester in 1976, Sheffield-based band Shanghai Treason played their first show in support of The Buzzcocks.
The hillbilly punkers signed with Italian record label Black Dingo Productions last Summer and worked with producers Dan Booth (Ferocious Dog), Gianluca Amendolara (The Rumjacks) and engineer Luke Wheatley at Arch Audio Recording Studio in Mansfield on their upcoming self-titled debut album slated for release this June.
The Music Bugle had the chance to talk with singer Sam Christie about their new music and more.
Music Bugle – How did you decide the name “Shanghai Treason”?
Sam Christie – It’s a play on the term “High Treason” and a little hint at what we’re about – standing up for the little guy, anti-elitism, rooting for the underdog, living by your own rules… all that good stuff!
Music Bugle – What was your goal for your single “Wildfire”?
Sam Christie – Our goal at the moment is to make a bit of a splash on the United Kingdom Celtic punk scene, get our music out there, so when we tour in the near future, we’ve got a nice body of work for people to check out. It’s been surprising how fast everything is kicking off, really. Covid slowed us down, but that’s cool. We used the time to write an album. “Wildfire” is one of the tracks off the upcoming record and features fiddle from Dan Booth of Ferocious Dog. It really lifted the track and added a new dimension to what we do.
Music Bugle – Does social media help or hurt musicians?
Sam Christie – It’s certainly seems like a necessary evil these days, doesn’t it? It’s undeniable that it has worked wonders for us. There aren’t too many Celtic Punk bands out there, especially in our neck of the woods, so it’s helped get our music in front of a lot of people fast, which is great. What I don’t like is being at the mercy of an algorithm. If people follow us, they should see our stuff without us having to pay billionaires for the privilege.
Music Bugle – How have you been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?
Sam Christie – I’m a concert promoter, so it’s been rough, man. I’ve managed to keep a roof over my head and food in the fridge though, so can’t complain too much. On the band front, it forced us to slow down and focus on writing, which i’m sure will only be a good thing in the long run.
Music Bugle – Who are you listening to right now, music-wise?
Sam Christie – Mr. Irish Bastard, Roughneck Riot, Rumjacks, Peat And Diesel, Ferocious Dog, Walker Roaders and Black Water County. All that good stuff, I’d recommend.
Music Bugle – What’s a quote that motivates you to keep doing what you do?
Sam Christie – Not sure if it’s a direct quote or perhaps more of a general ethos – “I’d rather die trying than get old and to wonder, ‘What if.'”
Music Bugle – What do you hope for from the rest of 2021?
Sam Christie – I’m hoping to record more music, run some concerts, that’s gonna be great fun. Maybe get out to the coast a few times this Summer and play some festivals. 2022 is the year for our tours, so this year’s more about getting everything ready to blow.
Music Bugle – What has been your hardest challenge lately?
Sam Christie – I’ve been trying to stay fit. I’m still stuck working from home, so been trying to get out there and jog every morning. Not doing too bad. We’ve all put on some lockdown timber. Gotta shake it off now! (Laughs)
Music Bugle – What’s something people might be surprised to know about you?
Sam Christie – I’m a total TV and film nerd. I love psychological thrillers, crime series and true crime docs. I love sci-fi as well, but nothing with superheroes. That blockbuster popcorn stuff is shite! (Laughs)
Music Bugle – What are three of your favorite all-time albums?
Sam Christie – Probably something like Propagandhi’s ‘Victory Lap’ or ‘Supporting Caste,’ System Of A Down’s ‘Toxicity’ and Hot Water Music’s ‘Exister.’ We could be here all day though, talking about albums. I love all sorts, play music all day nine-to-five. I could have anything on, from metal to funk and soul, hip hop to punk. For me, if it bangs, it bangs!