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Which is to say that Venice Beach’s The Shrine, who formed in 2008, play the kind of psychedelic, beer-drenched, riff-blasting rock and roll that could have existed 35 or 40 years ago, but is instead happening right now. Josh Landau (guitar/vocals), Courtland Murphy (bass) and Jeff Murray (drums) are here to remind us that it’s fun to break stuff, it’s fun to crank the amps up to “antisocial” and it’s fun to give yourself over to the power of the riff. 


The Cherry Rock Festival, which you will be playing this May almost seems custom-built for you guys and the style you play.
Yeah! It’s gonna be so rad. We’ve toured a lot with Red Fang. We’ve done two European tours and an American tour with them so we’re always stoked to see those guys. We’re good buddies. We came down once to Australia in 2013 or 2014 and we played about eight shows. And we drove everywhere and we went out of our fucking minds doing overnight drive after overnight drive! But we had an awesome time. We played a last-minute gig in Fitzroy Park in Melbourne, at the skate park, and we set up all our stuff on the edge of the bowl and played. The cops walked up and they said “As long as this finishes in a couple of minutes this is cool.”


Was it always a goal for your band to have that kind of direct, honest vintage sound, or was it more a matter of economics?
It’s only as intentional as the music we like is, the records we listen to and the shit that inspires us,
really. Things are a lot more complicated, a lot more unnecessarily complicated these days in terms of the way records sound. I mean sure, there were plenty of bad records being made throughout time… but we always try to capture the band as we play live. We want it to sound like Robin Trower sitting on Lemmy’s face. We met Lemmy once at a strip club in Hollywood and he was so awesome and friendly. He talked to us for a while. I talked to him about the MC5 for a minute. I told him I saw Wayne Kramer play an acoustic show and that it was awesome, and Lemmy said “Of course it was!”


So tell me about your guitar gear. What are you using? I see you with a Les Paul-looking thing but it doesn’t quite look like a Les Paul. 
Yeah! I’ve got the most unsuspecting setup I’ve ever had in my life. Right now I’ve got a 70s Univox fake Japan black Les Paul with a pickup in it that I spray-painted gold so the pickup would match the rest of the hardware. And I’m playing through an amp that used to belong to Greg Ginn from Black Flag. It’s a Peavey four-channel PA head that our friend Chuck Dukowski the bass player gave to me. And I’ve got an old Marshall that I tour with too, a 71 Super Lead, which I love also. But when I’m at home I only play the Peavey, the Greg Ginn amp.


Are you much of a gear collector?
Well if we’re flying out we just borrow whatever is there, whatever we can borrow from people. We’re so grateful to people letting us use their gear, coughing up their stuff, y’know? You know how that can be. But we’re going in kinda blind, we don’t know what gear we’ll be using at any of the shows until we show up, apart from our guitars and pedals. I have a Jen wah-wah. It belonged to my dad. It’s his old wah-wah and he doesn’t use it and I’m too stubborn to give it up. I keep getting new pots for it year after year because it sounds too awesome.


So what’s your background as a guitarist?
At about 14 years old somebody gave me a Black Flag CD and a Misfits CD and I didn’t listen to anything except punk and hardcore all through high school. Eventually I started listening to what those bands were listening to. I found out Black Flag were listening to Hendrix and Mahavishnu Orchestra and King Crimson so I checked that stuff out, and KISS, and I got way deep into Bob Dylan, Radio Birdman – probably my favourite Australian band – then Slayer and Metallica. We try and just funnel all that down the toilet and have the shit that comes out the other end be our sound.