Los Angeles scuzz-rockers the Shrine have teamed up with Keith Morris (of Black Flag, Circle Jerks, and OFF! fame) for a new, fiery collaborative track, "Never More Than Now."
Originally conceived last year, the unfussed punk assault and its accompanying live video came together through a combination of serendipity, perseverance, pre-owned amps, and the enthusiastic support of artist Shepard Fairey, who put out the song (with the Thin Lizzy–flavored b-side "I Can't Control It," recorded earlier this year) as a 7-inch, on his Obey Records label. Check it out now, and order the Shrine's new 7-inch here; for your sing-a-long pleasure, check out the lyrics below, handwritten by Morris himself.
"The Shrine had been doing a lot of projects with Converse, skateboard parties, and stuff like that," says singer-guitarist Josh Landau. "They told us they wanted us to record a track with someone out of our element; I had just run into Keith Morris at Fred 62 Cafe in Los Feliz, where he said, 'Hey, you're the guy that has my amp.' I have the amp that Greg Ginn played guitar through on all the early Black Flag records. It's a Peavey PA, and so it turns out it was Keith's vocal PA before Greg used it for guitar. I was worried he was gonna ask for it back, I had actually gotten it through [Black Flag bassist] Chuck Dukowski who asked me to help him sell it on Craigslist at one point. I'm playing it on this record.
"So Keith shows up, had called before and said he was all pumped on the song and was stoked to do this. He walks in the door and goes 'I can't do it: my band Off! just did something with Vans, and this is fucking stupid but I just can't; that's the world we're living in.' So we said 'Fuck it, Keith, just do it and we won't do this stupid project; we'll save it for our own thing later' — and he was totally in. He had already written the lyrics out big on two pieces of paper taped together, and he ripped through the vocals in two takes.
"A year later, the track had still never made it to vinyl when Shepard Fairey asked us to do a 7-inch on his own boutique labe, Obey Records. He whipped up the cover art and we played his 'Damaged' art show with Keith, doing five Flag songs and our tune 'Never More Than Now.' My friend Matt Gadsby, who I met skating in a empty backyard swimming pool at Lena Horne's house ... anyway, Gadsby brought one roll of Super 8 film with him and this is what he got.
"It was a fucking dream come true to play those songs and hear Keith sing 'em in practice and at the show — a total surreal artifact to have a piece of vinyl with him singing a song I wrote," he concludes. "Gonna trip out on this for the rest of my life."
The Shrine - Never More Than Now 7" track listing
01. "Never More Than Now" [ft. Keith Morris]
02. "I Can't Control It"