Shadow of Everest (SoE) is a Canadian progressive metal band from Halifax, Nova Scotia. Formed in 2014, the band’s line-up currently consists of JV (guitars, vocals), Shaun Cowell (bass), Matt Burton (drums) and Andrew Welsman (guitars).

The band has been compared to such massive artists as Tool, Black Sabbath, Queens of the Stone Age and Pink Floyd. This isn’t a surprise as the members cite these bands as major influences as well as bands like Led Zeppelin, Metallica, Rush and Iron Maiden. It’s the perfect creative storm; fusing the atmospheric elements of prog with the unforgettable riffs of classic rock.

JV and Shaun formed the group after disbanding a previous musical project called Little King Hunter. A few months were spent writing material and searching for other musicians for what would eventually become Shadow of Everest. The band is built on heavy riffs, dissonant tones and syncopated rhythms.

Matt joined over the following year and the band began recording an EP at Echo Chamber Audio. Shadow of Everest released The Victim, their first single, in August of 2015 which was met with plenty of positive feedback. Release of the EP however, was delayed. Line-up changes and financial issues pushed the release back so far that the band decided to re-track the entire record. Shortly after, JV required throat surgery and the recovery process left Shadow of Everest treading water in the studio and unable to perform live.

In April 2017, after a small hiatus, Shadow of Everest entered Housefire Records to finish their previous recordings and the following month saw their return to the stage. The band is set to release their EP, Idle Hands, in June of 2017 and the group will be performing at Riverfest Rock the Bush in August 2017.

Time for Rock ‘N’ Load to catch up with these crazy kids: 

I first wanted to take the time and thank you for doing this interview with me today. For our readers who haven’t heard of you yet, can you tell us about yourself and anything about the band you’d want us to know? Who have been your major influences in your writing style?

We’re grateful for the opportunity, thank you for interviewing us. Well, we’re Shadow of Everest. A 4-piece mashup of groove metal and progressive rock. We just like to write music and even though we’re labeled as a heavy band we’ll play anything that is self-satisfying. We’re mostly influenced by bands like Mastodon, Tool, Black Sabbath and Pink Floyd.

2.  Let’s talk about what you currently have going on. Any new music or new tours in the works? If you were to say one song of your own perfectly sums up what you are all about which song would that be?

We’re actually just about to get into some studio space and dress up another single for its first day of school. It’s called “Dark Spiral” and we’ve been playing it live for the last couple of months. We think it’s a pretty good reflection of what we’re writing these days. In terms of songs that are already working full-time jobs and paying their taxes like good little citizens, we think Idle Hands best represents all of our different styles at once.

3. When you write any new music, can you tell us what the process is like? Describe to us what happens in a typical writing session.

We probably write the same way everyone else does. One of us will have a riff we like and we’ll play it for everyone. If everyone likes it we just play that same few seconds of music and let it sink in. Sometimes it will trigger another part from someone else and other times we take it away individually and expand on it. Once in a while someone will come to the table with most of a song already thought out and complete.

4. With the music industry always changing and evolving, what are the things you like and don’t like about it? What aspects of the industry do you feel have hurt or helped your career? If you could change anything about it, what would it be?

These are really loaded questions. The best part about music is just how much there is and how deep you can go into all the various genres. There is something for everyone and there are really no limits on what you can create. The worst part about the industry is how music has been turned into a kind of consumable junk food. I think the best and worst thing to happen to music is probably the Internet. Everything is so easily accessed it forces a level of consumerism on the art. It has also made it extremely easy to produce music and suddenly anyone with a computer or smartphone can microwave a song and feed it to the masses. I would never tell anyone not to make music but it has flooded the market with less-than-stellar quality recordings and people have gotten used to it. It drags the industry down in a big way.

5. Do you or any of your band members have any side projects? If so, what are they?

Shaun plays in another band called Chaos Theory (they’re really good, check them out and I’ve thrown together some songs just by myself. Nothing serious just stuff that went from my brain to paper.

6. When you’re preforming how do you handle any mistakes on stage if they ever happen? Do you have any stories that stand out to you that you had to make a memorable recovery?

Everyone makes mistakes but the best approach is to just play through it and try not to react. More often than not the mistake is so small that you’re probably the only one who noticed in the first place. Sometimes shit just happens; one time we were playing this live webcast show and a cymbal stand fell over and the cymbal actually cut Shaun’s bass cord in half. Bam. No more bass for the rest of that song.

7. How do you decide which songs go into a set when you perform live? Do you change up the sets or stick to a regular set list? Do you have any covers?

We gauge our set according to the other acts on the bill. If we’re playing with other heavy bands we just play all of our heavy stuff. If there is a variety we’ll play a mix of our more moody songs with the energetic stuff. We’ve always talked about covers but we just end up writing more of our own stuff.

8. If you had a choice to go on any bands tour, which tour would you pick and why?

Tell the boys in Tool that we’ll support them on the tour they go on for their next album. That should give us lots of time to prepare for it before it happens.

9. Do you have any advice for any upcoming artists? What’s the best piece of advice someone gave you when you realized you wanted to be a musician?

The best advice I can give is be careful who you take advice from. There are all kinds of hacks out there who think they know the “right way” to do something but the truth is that the best things can be created from experimenting. Find your own “right way” to do whatever it is you’re trying to do. Why would you want to do something everyone else has already done anyway? The best advice I ever got was from my dad. “You’re only going to be taken seriously if you take yourself seriously.” – JV’s Dad 2010

10. Any last words?

Thanks for giving us a little spotlight we really appreciate it.


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