Today, we are taking our eyes to the metal scene in Chicago, where we find the band Shokker! Influenced by old school metal bands such as Y&T, Accept, Diamond Head, Thin Lizzy, Iron Maiden, Saxon, UFO, Death, Van Halen, Kix, Judas Priest, Ratt, Led Zeppelin, Racer X, and Rush they really bring their best foot forward!
Formed on Valentine’s Day of 2011, they really made their presence known, especially after the release of their EP in 2015. When I heard their song “Blessed Be”, I was immediately hooked and wanted to hear more! The power of this song completely took me by surprise and the place in my heart where 80’s metal lives on forever was like “Whhaaaa!?”
At times, I tend to be stubborn when introducing a female vocalist onto my list of bands that I love, but Rachl “Raxx” Quinn won my heart in an instant! I was blown away by the power and force of her voice. Followed up by the other extremely talented members Casey Tremont (lead guitar/vocals), Jorey Guillermo (bass) and Dan Dash (drums), there is just no way I could resist adding this band into my favorites and of course my list of must-sees! Just from what I have heard, I can only imagine how that energy must feel when they are on stage. I’m sure that much like when I saw Anthrax perform, it will be like time travelling back to the 80’s, one of the greatest eras in metal history!
Inspired by what I had heard, I wanted to know more about Shokker, so, naturally I set up an interview with them.
I have to say, as an old school metalhead myself, I am not only very impressed, but also relieved to know that there are musicians out there continuing this bloodline of metal, especially here in the Midwest! What can you say about your journey so far in the metal scene?
Our metal journey has been awesome so far. There have been many high points, and it has been incredible connecting with many fans and creating music. It’s a fantastic feeling to have people identify with what we write. We’re doing what we love to do, and having a great time doing it.
Your first EP was released in 2015 and it received a lot of positive feedback. Since then, you have released your debut album III, which was selected as metal album of the year on drmusic.org and in the Top 20 albums of 2017 on glisteningmetal.com. I can definitely see why! What was the inspiration behind this album and where can fans find it?
We were sitting on material we had been working on for a long time, and really wanted to put out an ass-kicker of a metal album. We play our own special brand of metal, and we feel we write it well. We just had the desire to show the world who we are as a band and what we have to offer in our music, and we let them be the judge. You can find “lll” at Reckless Records on Milwaukee Ave. and Broadway St., Laurie’s Planet of Sound, and Raffe’s Records in Chicago. We also take orders via online people can email us at email@example.com.
You all have quite the following! Do you have any kind of national tour planned?
We have many ideas, we just need to figure out how to implement them. We’ve played across the United States and are very much looking forward to getting overseas to Europe, the UK, South America, etc. We have plans, but we want to make sure it’s done right. We want to share our music with the rest of the world.
You opened for Queensryche, one of my FAVORITE metal bands of all time–I miss them so much! What was that show like? Did you get to meet them?
It was an incredible experience! We love Queensryche! Yes, we did get to meet them, and they are a very nice and talented group of people. They were very genuine and gave us some great compliments about our set and advice for the future. We got a standing ovation of a sold-out room of Queensryche fans that didn’t know us, and that was the best feeling in the world. The theatre owner was impressed by our set and invited us back the next night to open for Y&T as well. We had one hell of a great time.
I’m sure you all have SO many amazing shows coming up this year! One of them is AMB Fest in Barrington IL. What can you tell us about this show?
AMB Fest is a show that a booking agent, who is a good friend of ours, puts on every year. It’s always filled with great bands and is always a complete blast. We’re looking forward to playing it. We are also opening for Saxon in a few weeks, we were invited back to play the M-“Pre” Party in Columbia, Maryland, and are looking into booking various festival dates going forward.
Keep your eyes open for more news on Shokker! They are always doing something new so don’t miss out! You can follow them in the links below!!
Also check out their song “Blessed Be” off of their new album III and others as well on Youtube!