With a penchant for extreme sports in general and skateboarding in particular, the London-based hard rocking outfit from New Zealand who call themselves I Am Giant have been quite the noisemakers since they were formed back in 2009.
They possess a propulsive yet catchy sound that can be best described as somewhere along the alleys of Foo Fighters, Rage Against The Machine, and Incubus. It’s unfortunate that not much has been known about this band in our part of the globe.
The members, namely New Zealanders Shelton Woolright on drums, Paul Matthews on bass, Andrew Kerr on guitars and lone Englishman Ed Martin on vocals, actually come from familiar backgrounds, though.
Woolright used to pound the skins for Blindspott, the only band to make history in New Zealand by having both of their triple platinum debut and follow-up albums enter the charts at number 1.
Matthews, on the other hand, also enjoyed double platinum success with the bands Tadpole and Stylus. And if Martin’s name rings a bell, it’s because he used to front the UK band Volume and has also lent his ferocious pipes with the likes of The Artful Dodger, Mark Hill and Bruno Ellingham who has produced Elbow, New Order and KT Tunstall.
The band will open the Asian leg of their current world tour by performing at the Hard Rock Café in Makati on July 9.
Interaksyon caught up with drummer Shelton Woolright online and gave him five questions to answer.
What exactly is the deal with the name I Am Giant?
When looking for a name we wanted something that would reflect the music we play. We were playing around with words like Oceanic and Gigantic and then came across the word Giant and really liked it.
We played with a bunch of sentences with the word Giant in them until we eventually arrived at I Am Giant. We were like, “Hey that’s cool, it’s different and it fits with our sound.” So that’s it, that’s us! I Am Giant.
We noticed that your brand of rock music is very much tied to surfing and skateboard culture. Do you guys consider yourself to be fans of both sports?
Extreme sports have always been a part of our lives growing up. Being interested in popular culture, I actually think I had a skateboard before I had a bike.
Music has always gone hand-in-hand with extreme sports, there’s nothing better than cutting through some fresh powder on the mountain listening to your favorite tunes or playing “Tony Hawk’s Skateboarding” on your PlayStation with the audio cranked up. We just wanted to be the soundtrack as fans and participators.
Luckily our friends at Quiksilver saw our vision and started using our music which also led to us having skateboarding superstars Kelly Slater and Tony Hawk in our videos. Our music haven’t been included in any videogames yet but that would be great.
I can really hear our music on a Tony Hawks Skateboarding or Shawn White’s Snowboarding or, if he has one, Manny Pacquiao’s boxing!
What are your musical influences while you were growing up in New Zealand and later, when you started to be based in the UK?
I think any country has its own iconic musicians that are exclusive to them. That’s what’s great about being in a touring band you get to travel and discover a lot of unique music. Actually, I’m looking forward to hearing some Filipino artists.
But to answer your question, yes I did grow up on a heavy dose of New Zealand and Australian music with bands like Dragon which my mother went to school with and Hello Sailor where my uncle played bass.
These have a special place in my heart but it’s really hard to compete with the monstrous UK bands like Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin.
What is your album, “The Horrifying Truth” all about?
The common theme on the album would have to be that the songs are based on all our combined experiences, thoughts and philosophies. It’s a very honest album written from the heart.
What are your expectations from your upcoming gig here in Manila?
We are very excited to play in Manila as it will be our first time in the Philippines. We are really looking forward to getting out and experiencing the culture and trying some of the local cuisine. We are normal guys so if you see us just about come up and say, “Hi.”
I Am Giant will perform live at the Hard Rock Café on Monday, July 9. Their album, “The Horrifying Truth” is distributed by Ivory Music and Video, the exclusive licensee and distributor of Sony Music in the Philippines.