Shaman's Harvest

 

Matt Fisher - Bass

Nathan Hunt - Vocals & Acoustic Guitar 

Josh Hamler - Rhythm Guitar 

It has been a long road for Shaman's Harvest filled with moments of triumph 

alongside challenges that few bands have the strength to overcome. Through 

it all, the band looks optimistically towards a future with a record that 

exhibits their strongest, most meaningful recordings to date. Long-time 

brothers in arms, they are stronger than ever with enduring souls that never 

cease to persevere. Singer Nathan Hunt overcame a bout with cancer while 

the band created Smokin' Hearts & Broken Guns, so perhaps fate is now

unequivocally on their side.

 

The story begins years ago in the Midwestern town of Jefferson City, Missouri. 

Bassist Matt Fisher and singer Nathan Hunt began a collaboration with 

guitarist Josh Hamler that has remained the foundation and core of Shaman's 

Harvest. Fisher reflects, "Drake and I have been through a tremendous 

amount of high's and low's together in our years. We have somehow 

managed to keep this music marriage together. Playing music has squashed 

our differences, and it is our synergy. I believe we share a soul in it. From the 

moment I meet him in his mother's basement in August, 1996 I've held the 

conviction he is a rare talent you might find once in your life." Rhythm 

guitarist Josh Hamler echoes these sentiments sharing, "Nate has the gift of 

voice. A voice that almost any vocalist would dream of having. He brings a 

very artistic approach to song writing making even the simplest songs very 

unique, original, and very much that Shaman's Harvest sound."

 

Musically, the years together have created an intuitive symbiosis amongst 

them, which truly only comes with comfort and familiarity. Hunt offers, 

"Josh and Matt I've known just as long as I've known anybody. We can play 

something new together and not have to think, and we know where it's going. 

Those boys capture the essence of the soul in the rhythm section. It’s 

effortless playing with the both of um."

 

They are all grew up together, sharing dreams, and becoming men in the 

heartland of the U.S.A. Hunt shares, "Living in Missouri is awesome. I grew 

up moving around quite a bit, but knew Missouri as home. There's a beauty in 

the grit of us Midwesterners. We work hard, make babies, drink too damn 

much, and we're not afraid to rebuild and start over when we get God-

smacked. We have an art community all our own, inspired by wind in the 

wheat fields, and summer morning haze off the rivers and streams. If shit is 

broke we either fix it ourselves, or put it up on blocks for yard art. There's 

enough musicians in the city jungles of New York and Los Angeles and they 

don't need three more of us. Here we have artistic elbow room."

 

After moments of significant heights, there were moments where it seemed 

as though the band was going to break wide open. Their early years saw the 

release three albums which capture the band defining their sound: Last Call 

for Goose Creek (1999), Synergy (2002) and March of the Bastards (2006). It 

was the arrival of Shine in 2009 though that presented optimism that their 

time had arrived. The single "Dragonfly" hit #16 on Billboard's Active Rock 

chart and #9 at Heritage Rock, selling a significant number of singles, and 

tens of thousands of albums. It was featured on the soundtrack of the major 

motion picture Legendary, and with momentum in early 2010 Shaman's 

Harvest recorded "Broken Dreams" for the WWE as the theme song for 

wrestler Drew McIntyre. They continued that relationship delivering "End of 

Days" as the entrance track for Wade Barrett and The Corre, alongside 

"Anger" which ended up in the feature film No One Lives. There was no 

doubt the band was on the verge. 

 

It wasn't long before the band was on the road, being flown to New York City 

to play for major record labels, appearing in front of huge crowds on tour, and

enjoying a hit at radio. 

 

There truly is a brotherhood amongst these guys. Hunt offers, "My band 

mates are my brothers in the truest sense. Like blood family in the way you 

embrace one minute and the next your rolling in the yard kickin' up blood and 

dust. But so help the person who slanders or lays hands on one of us. The best

kind of family." 

 

As they approached the next album and began recording, singer Hunt was 

diagnosed with throat cancer. As opposed to scrapping their plans to march 

forward, the band stayed the course recording Smokin' Hearts & Broken 

Guns. Hunt remembers, "While recording I was struggling vocally, and got a 

lump in my throat biopsied that came up malignant. It was a rare, aggressive 

lymph cancer that was making a home in my throat. Bummer. I got the news 

on my way to the studio, and it took about five seconds to realize I wasn't 

gonna deal with it mentally. I completely submerged myself in this record, 

committed to not missing a day working on this. I didn't know if it was gonna 

be my last record or what. So it was treatment, then studio, then some days 

back for more treatment. The different treatments do funny things to you 

vocally, and I had a lot of help from my vocal coach ,Juliet Jackson, who taught 

me how to manipulate my voice to hold up to the sessions. Everyone deals 

with cancer differently. There was a period I felt alone and a couple tracks 

speak to that directly and other times I felt overwhelming love for my mates 

and people who were there for me. The bottom line is I was lucky enough to 

be recording a record during it and it's all there. That's the best therapy in 

The World. Once I became cancer free it was like a reset button was hit and I 

was like o.k. now let's do something with this record."

 

The album is pure in the way it breathes feel and emotions that are diverse 

track to track. They are cinematic, and offer audio beds for flashback 

memories or present experiences that are our lives. Hunt states, "Whether 

they're driving down the highway, at work, or doin' the nasty, these songs 

should be the soundtrack. I think people will accept the diversity from song to 

song whether it's a riff rock vibe like 'Here It Comes' or it's a darker, 

emotional anthem such as 'Ten Million Voices' without categorizing

Shaman's."

 

As the repertoire came together for Smokin' Hearts & Broken Guns it became 

clear that the band was delivering an album without a typecast template for 

the rock market. The simple AC/DC reminiscent groove of "Dangerous" rests 

comfortably side by side with the stomp clap bombastic Southern feel of 

"Blood In The Water." With "Here It Comes" the band offers what Hunt 

describes as a, "Sleazy jam with sexy harmonies, and full steam ahead riffs 

about a fella in love with a Hooker, the poor bastard." The track "Country As 

Fuck" is a blistering blues song that the singer offers features, "Silly Midwest 

lyrics that basically say if you ain't country as fuck, then fuck you." At the end 

of the day though it is "In The End" that the band looks upon across the board 

as their favorite composition on the record. It was the first track Hunt sang 

while enduring the cancer treatments, and it reaffirmed his belief that he 

could execute the vision. He reveals, "It was such an emotional release for 

me, and I really think it comes across to the listener." And for the future, they 

collectively want nothing more than to thrive another day, making every 

solitary appearance on stage bring those in their presence to another place, 

far away from their normal routines for that brief euphoric peace

through escape.