After forming in 2012, student band Shattuck has gained a reputation for shows packed with fans dancing maniacally to their blend of post-punk and garage. The band is composed of Kieran McManus, a senior majoring in English, on lead vocals and guitar; Joseph Charalel, also a senior majoring in English, on lead guitar; John Van Schultz, a senior majoring in accounting, on bass; and Ciano Massa, a senior at Broome Community College, on keyboard. Release sat down with them after a recent concert to talk about the group, from their humble beginnings to their rise as one of our most prominent campus bands.
Release: How did you guys start performing as Shattuck?
Kieran McManus: Joe and I played together in high school and then during sophomore year, we lived with John and decided to put something together for Battle of the Bands. We got a friend to play drums for it and then eventually found a permanent drummer. Then our friend from high school, Ciano, started playing keyboard and singing backup vocals for us.
R: There’s a lot of interesting guitar interplay. What’s the writing process for Shattuck like?
KM: I kind of make the backbone for the song, and then give them freedom. I don’t try to write too complicated guitar parts so it gives them the freedom to do some cool stuff.
Joseph Charalel: Yeah, especially with the more recent songs, like over summer break when Kieran has more time to develop them. The songs end up being really good when we get to hear them and fill them out.
KM: I write most of the songs, but we’re also working on new stuff. For the most part, we’ve focused on the live show for the last month or two because we’ve been so busy. We try to keep our favorite songs, our “crowd pleasers,” in.
John Van Schultz: Now that our drummer is gone, we’re definitely going to focus on writing.
KM: We’re actually going to be working with professional analogue recording soon. I found out about the studio called the Business District in Pipe Dream. It’s just we’re going to end up paying a lot of money, but we’re definitely focused on recording in the near future.
R: There is definitely a strong sense of camaraderie between you and other campus bands — specifically Captive and JSLJ. Is this a conscious decision to have a collective, and do you think it’s mutually beneficial for bands to have a support system?
JVS: Well, all of the guys in these bands were all friends originally, so it kind of just happened that way, but definitely … we all jam with each other and hang out. We actually almost considered asking a member of Captive to join our band at one point. But when we first got here, there wasn’t too much of a scene, and these house shows with everyone are a lot of fun.
R: Beside house shows, what is the quintessential live gig for you?
JC: Well, the Mandela Room is a lot of fun when we get to play there with the huge stage, but living room shows are probably the best.
R: Say at one of these shows, you could open for three acts. Who would they be?
JVS: Joy Division.
JC: The Beatles.
KM: The Smiths.
JVS: Those are all English bands, I feel bad … I’ll include The Stooges too.
R: Lastly, possibly the most asked question. How did you get the name? Is it really a cashier in Chenango Champlain Collegiate Center?
KM: Well, we kind of needed a name for when we played at Battle of the Bands a few years back, so we kind of just put it down as a joke … but we haven’t come up with a better name yet.
JVS: It’s also the name of the recently fired Pixies bassist.