FEATURE THE SHAMEN
5 The List 3-16 Nov 1995
While others use the Internet purely as a promotional gimmick, The Shamen reckon that on-screen computer contact is the best way to get their message over to the fans — and to keep the media at arm’s length. Ellie Carr discovers a band who are definitely wired for sound.
etting in touch with The Shamen’s Colin Angus can be pretty tricky these days. Holed up in his electronic citadel of a studio flat in London, he refuses to grant interviews to the media unless they are by e-mail.
That means no cosy chats over a cuppa with a chance to check out the mannerisms and dress sense of the band’s only original member. It means no easy banter over the straightforward, mundane, but really rather handy telephone. It means the producer-songwriter’s public image is shaped by a pair of hands tapping away at a keyboard and several lines of computer- generated soundbites thrown together from the comfort of his swivel-chair.
Has this man lost all powers of verbal communication? Is he being mysterious, interesting, or a downright stroppy member of a faceless 90s dance-band? Angus’s on-screen rebuttal is swift and somewhat wry, accompanied by a smiley symbol [:)] for extra e- mail-users-do-it-differently effect. ‘[lt’s] purely out of selfless consideration for my journalistic colleagues,’ he says. ‘When you receive this [the e-mail message] there is no need for transcription from tape or notes. The text can go directly into Word or similar, to be edited and then imported into Quark or whatever, ready for pubhcaﬁonf
Nice to know he takes such a keen interest in magazinejournalism. but hell. enough about us. what about his adoring fans? Don’t they want a slightly more visible Shamen? ‘Richard [Mr C] and Victoria [Wilson-James] are now the “public face" ofThe Shamen,’ he explains. ‘To introduce a third focal point would only serve to confuse some sections of the media and, besides, I actually ﬁnd it much more pleasant to sit at home typing out replies at my leisure.’ Isn’t there anyone, not even a big. glossy publication or star interviewer he would grant a face-to-face chat to? ‘Obegodno.’ comes the grammatically-challenged reply. ‘Any “real” promo is now the domain of Richard and Victoria, and a sterling job they do too.’