We are in March already and it is high time to introduce another band to the never ending pages of Indieterria. We are back to the Kingdom of Mancunia to meet the wildest hard-rocking bunch in the North. And what fun gang they are! This five piece is truly international – with members coming from four different nations – all making a wonderful racket around Northern Quarter. Don`t expect the usual brit-pop-y sounds from them. This band is unlike anything you can hear in Manchester – they mix punk, hard rock, metal and even J-Rock to arrive at their own, very distinctive musical voice. A bonus is sense of humour, loyalty to their collaborators and friendship for each other. Show us another group like this in the region and we will buy you a lunch at Night & Day.
Grab your hair spray, your torn jeans and Motley Crue tees – its time to meet Shiva May Care!
Shiva May Care
Michael Morris – vox
Jet Lag (Federico Cossu) – guitar, vox
Jenny (Giorgia di Pancrazio) – bass
Raul Ochoa – guitar
Luke Thorpe – drums, vox
Official bio: Born in 2017 as an collaboration between Federico Cossu (J3T L4g) and Stefano Carbone (who left the band few months later) Shiva May Care is a five piece based in Manchester. They play hard rock with glam, punk and metal inspirations. The band is actively gigging on the local scene with sold out shows at Hula Bar, Rebellion, Night People and Pop Bar in Hyde under their belt.
You are one of the most outstanding bands that came out Manchester scene recently music wise. Please introduce yourselves to readers of Indiererria.
Federico Cossu: Thanks for calling us outstanding. We really appreciate it. Hello Indierreria, we are Shiva May Care: Federio Cossu on guitar, Michael Morris on vocals, Raul Ochoa on guitar, Luke Thorpe on drums and Giorgia “Jenny” Di Pancrazio on bass. How are you doing?
Is there any story behind the band`s name? Who is the mysterious Shiva?
Federico Cossu: Well, we liked the idea of a band with a “Devil May Care” attitude, but we needed something more exclusive than that, more personal. We are not hot-headed guys, we try to be good! For this reason Shiva takes place of the Devil.
Shiva May Care was born just two years ago as a collaboration between guitarist Federico Cossu (known on the Manc scene as J3T L4G) and another local musician Stefano Carbone. Now you expanded to a five piece. Can you tell us about the beginnings of the band and how this particular line up came together?
Federico Cossu: We all met in pubs and clubs, we were friends of friends. I met Stefano at an house party and we decided to start a band out of the blue. At that time, I used to work in the same company as our first singer, Massimo Zitti, so it was natural to ask him to join the band. We just wanted to have fun and play loud rock and roll. Stefano introduced me to Raul and I met Luke at Whiskey Jar in Manchester, amazing place, great vibes and inspiring music environment. Massimo had to leave for Canada so Michael joined the band and our sound went in the hard rock/ metal direction. Our bassist Giorgia joined us last year to complete the line up.
The band is a proper international affair – with members coming from UK, Italy and Mexico. Your work with a producer from New Caledonia. You are basically a heavier version of Superorganism! Do you think that coming from different cultures and speaking different languages is an advantage when it comes to song writing process? How do you overcome potential misunderstandings?
Federico Cossu: Oh yes, it’s definitely an advantage. But to answer your question – coming from different countries where you struggle to find good music allows you to get deeper into the genres as you are not being constantly bombed by the big hits. And we love Manchester, it’s a multicultural hive where people can express themselves as they wish.
I come from a small town where probably only me and my brother know “The Gift” by the Jam! In Manchester you hear these tunes being played every night at bars! It’s great, it`s like a dream!
Different backgrounds bring more points of view to the song writing process and, fortunately, the language misunderstandings are not present as we work really naturally on our songs. I often show a lyric or idea to the band and Michael and the guys will make their own interpretation of it, in order to make it sound personal and more to their liking.
Even if we wanted to squeeze you into a musical box, we would not be able to. There is so much going on in your sound – traditional hard rock, glam, punk, metal and even visual kei (Japanese rock). If we were to summarize your style we would have to define it as Motley Crew meets L`Arc-En-Ciel at a party in Mother Love Bone`s basement. You have your own name for the genre you play: punk`n`roll. Where did your sound originate?
Federico Cossu: Wow, that sounds like a good party. No one has invited us though!
Well, the genre punk’n’roll is something I know since I was a kid, we didn’t invented it. I’m personally a big fun of Social Distortion, Backyard Babies, The Hives, Hardcore Superstar, Radio Birdman, Gluecifer, Turbonegro and Hellacopters. I’ve always known these bands as punk`n`roll bands, especially referring to all the Scandinavian rock scene.
To summarize, you pick The Stooges, Ramones, MC5, New York Dolls, Dictators and stick a distorted rocket under their asses: congrats, you`ve got punk and roll, action rock, death punk and so on.
All these influences have been probably mixed up with Luke, Michael, Raul and Georgia’s influences, such as ’80 classic rock and new romantic, metal and hair metal, blues and stoner rock. However, I wouldn’t get stuck with genres names and labels, it’s a never-ending battle, it’s only rock and roll after all.
Hopefully in the future, you will find us on the soundtrack to a new anime or a video game (laughs).
You have just released your debut A side single “Til The Music Is Loud”/”Stubborn Lovers” produced by Mathieu Garcia at Red Sand Studio. We know Mathieu from his project Gold For Kids and incredible single he released last year “City of Your Name”. How did you find working with Red Sand Studio?
Federico Cossu: We felt at home! Mathieu is a friend and we love his solo projects. I remember he was working on his track “Plastic Guns” when we started talking about recording Shiva`s first songs. His music knowledge and skills are impressive and he has been able to catch the essence of Shiva May Care as a band. He also added effects, keyboards and backing vocals ideas to our songs.
Have you recorded any other songs with Mathieu Garcia?
Federico Cossu: We recorded together “Shiva Dance” – our live show opening track, which you will find on streaming platforms in the coming months. It is a small ethnic rock composition that became incredible thanks to Mathieu`s arrangement skills and taste. He added deep Asian and tribal percussions mixed up with modern sounds, giving it a “V for Vendetta” kind of vibe. For this song, we collaborated with two close friends: Nina Bakhshayesh on cello and Kitty “Albino” Tha Eastankittan on vocals.
Mathieu contributed to the maturing of the band and we wish him the very best in his own career.
You are also teasing release of another single in mid March entitled “Stay With Me”. Do you plan any promotional videos for this song? What can we expect?
Federico Cossu: We are working with Luca de Falco on music video for Stay With Me. We tried to think out of the box, avoiding the usual hard rock clichés when it comes up to video clips. It will be great, we had such a positive feedback towards the single so far. It’s a song that everyone can relate to and for the video we are bringing in this great Manchester dancer, Aisha Clasen. You will be able to enjoy her interpretation of the song through her performance next month.
Shiva May Care is regularly playing live shows around Manchester, recently at Lock 91. And your shows are always described as very upbeat and dynamic. What`s the best part of playing on stage?
Federico Cossu: The best part of playing on stage is playing on stage I guess. There’s nothing better than expressing yourself, high on adrenaline in front of people who are waiting to have some fun. That’s the best drug ever. However, everything happens too quickly, as my ex used to tell me, so you need another gig ASAP.
We are definitely seeing you live this year. Are you planning a tour perhaps?
Federico Cossu: We won’t plan any tours at the moment, we wish to see our fan base grow locally first. We will definitely be planning some gigs to promote Stay with Me. The next show will be at Jimmy’s on the 2nd of April and we will appear at Zombie Shack on the 5th of May for Below The Bridge event.
Radio Salford described your bassist Giorgia di Pancrazio as the best bass player to come out of Manchester since Peter Hook himself. Any comments on that?
Federico Cossu: We will take the compliment with pleasure, thanks for that. Georgia is great. And we will do our best to honour her talent at our future live shows. Hopefully, love won’t tear us apart.
We love your merch. The Shiva logo that appears on your t-shirts is one of the best designs we have seen in a long time. Can you reveal who is the artist behind it?
Federico Cossu: The artwork comes from the mind of Matt Shock, Sardinian art designer. With him, just like with Mathieu, we immediately got the essence of Shiva May Care. The design was born from a photo I’ve taken in Market Street in Manchester of a girl wearing a jacket with a snake emblem on it. Matt added some Hellacopters influences and our Shiva logo was born. You definitely have to check Matt`s works, he is currently working on all our next artworks too.
Last question – but we have to ask. What are the things that Shiva may care about? Any ideas?
Federico Cossu: Shiva may care about making good music. And we definitely care about people who will listen to our songs. We want the public to have fun while we are striving to encourage people not to waste their lives, all between a jump, a shout and a good riff. We really wish to see boys and girls of Manchester (and beyond) beating depression, drug and alcohol abuse if they are suffering of any of these problems. There’s a huge potential within each of us and it would be a shame not to use it. We also care about our pets… God, we love our pets and good coffee.
You can follow the band on social media:
Federico Cossu (aka J3T-L4G)
We hope you found Shiva May Care interesting and we will surely report back on their musical endeavours in the future. For now, turn the volume up and enjoy the wild ride with the awesome band!