Earlier this year American Sharks issued its ‘Weedwizard’ 7” to enthusiastic response. Fans loved it. Critics loved it. Everybody wanted more. Word emerged that the enigmatic band would spend some time woodshedding this summer to get a proper full-length out. Jibbies & Loond decided it was time to investigate and American Sharks vocalist/guitarist Mike Hardin and drummer Nick Cornetti were happy to oblige.
J&L: ‘Weedwizard’ was a great introduction for those who weren’t yet familiar with American Sharks. Now we want more. How’s the songwriting coming for a full-length?
Mike: We are ready to start recording the full-length in July. The writing process has taken place over a few years so it will be some new stuff and some old songs we never got down to recording.
J&L: What is this process like for American Sharks? Part of ‘Weedwizard’s appeal was its simultaneously off-the-cuff yet finished feel.
Mike: Basically I'll come up with a song idea or Will will have one and we just sort of work it out in practice. I'm not one for unstructured sounding songs so there isn't a lot of "jamming" or nonsense. Just try to get the good stuff and skip the filler. That kind of gives things a more polished feel too.
J&L: Any concrete plans to get into the studio yet? Or who you might be working with?
Nick: Yea sorta. Bryan Richie from The Sword is going to produce it. Frenchie is going to mix it. We’re supposed to start recording as soon as Bryan gets home from recording The Sword's new album.
J&L: Frenchie mixed ‘Indian Man’ [on ‘Weedwizard’]. He’s done a lot of really big name stuff over the years. How did he get involved with ya’ll?
Nick: Frenchie lives in Austin and usually works at a studio called The Bubble. We got to know him while he was producing our friend’s band and we asked him to mix some home recordings for us. He's a really great dude and producer.
J&L: Despite the limited recorded output, the band is a live fixture in both Austin and Houston. What can one expect when checking American Sharks out live?
Mike: We take pride in playing a tight set. We like it loud and you'll likely be sprayed with beer. That tends to be a fixture of our live shows.
Nick: Yeah. Lots of energy and probably a couple beer cans flying around. Fast riffs mosh pits girls tits and bong rips.
J&L: Austin is such a huge music scene. A certain amount of interconnectedness has to be necessary to survive, much less thrive. You guys seem to be very well wired, yet on the outside at the same time. Your roots are in Houston. How do you see your place in the Austin music community?
Mike: The band started in Houston with Will and I but I'd say we are a long way from where or what we were then. Austin has been a great home to us and we have managed to find a place playing along side and garnering support from a lot of well-respected music folk.
J&L: And outside of that, in the world at large, precious little is known about American Sharks. Are you purposefully under the radar? Is an air of mystery part of what makes American Sharks work?
Mike: Absolutely! We went for a long time not releasing records. The focus was the live show and you didn't want to miss it. We start sending out text messages and Facebook messages just a few hours before we were supposed to play and word of mouth would get folks out. We had some really great shows that way. These days we have done a lot more "regular" shows and are releasing records this year because we would like to spread our wings a little and do more touring. I doubt we will ever get away from doing secret spontaneous shows in small places, though. It's the sort of thing we love to do.
Nick: We see music like we see weed. Good weed sells itself; likewise, if we make good music it should have no problem selling itself. I think the "I don't give a fuck, we'll get ours" approach helps us stay focused.