The Goat plays full-bore skate rock

Pro skater, skate rocker and Shake Junt propagator Shane Heyl talks to Cult MTL about the band’s Lil Wayne collab, screaming punk at Cat Power fans and chasing fame. The Goat and the Occasional Others play the Canadian premiere of The Deathwish Video tomorrow night.

The Goat and the Occasional Others

In the tradition of the Big Boys, JFA and the Faction comes the Goat and the Occasional Others, a skate rock outfit consisting of pro skaters Andrew Reynolds and Kevin “Spanky” Long, videographer Beagle, photographer Atiba Jefferson and frontman Shane Heyl, another pro who’s also behind Shake Junt, a, um, tastefully understated line of skate accessories.

When these L.A. dudes aren’t skating, they’re composing and belting out tunes like “Ooh Ur Weird,” “Luh Dat Shit” and “Jimmy Beamin’,” all of which appear on their debut album, The Goat Speaks. And when Heyl isn’t doing the latter with his band, he’s apparently guesting on songs by Lil Wayne, the skateboard-loving, snowboard boot-wearing rapper who included him on “Hello,” a song from his latest record.

This Wednesday, self-proclaimed Goatmouf Heyl and the crew will be at Foufs for the Canadian premiere of The Deathwish Video, a long-awaited skate vid by Deathwish, another brand with which they’re affiliated. I shot the proverbial shit with Heyl via phone a few days before the show.

Lucas Wisenthal: How does travelling around playing music differ from travelling around skateboarding?
Shane Heyl: The band’s just all real tight friends, and we’re all in the skate industry, and skating comes first for all of us. And the band just happened in such a natural way. When we got together and started making music, and when we had these opportunities to travel, it always was like, “Let’s do skate rock. Let’s do these trips with skating being involved and putting some live shows together.” So everything we do with travelling, except for the most recent one we did with Cat Power — we did a small Cat Power tour, and that was different for us.

LW: I imagine Cat Power’s audience was less familiar with you than, say, a skate audience would be.
< SH: Pretty much. “Who the hell are these guys? Who are these skaters screaming punk rock shit at a Cat Power show?” This [could] be the most opposite style of music to open up for Cat Power ever.

LW: How did that tour come together?
SH: Chan — Cat Power — she’s friends with a lot of people in the skate industry. She’s really close with Spanky and knows Andrew [Reynolds], and so when she was starting her tour, she thought it would be fun to just let us guest the tail end of it. It was packed places — the Palladium, L.A., and Fox Theatre in Oakland. Very intimidating.

LW: So you’re on this Lil Wayne record now. How did that collaboration even come about? I think it came as a surprise to a lot of people.
SH: It came as a surprise to me. Even right now, I don’t even understand it. We’ve been giving Lil Wayne Shake Junt product for a little while now. I think that’s what kind of started it, by him being psyched about Shake Junt and representing it. And then one random night I get a phone call from him and he’s just like, “What’s up, man? Do you want to do a song?” He just sent over the track for me to listen to and feel it out, and I just did what I did to it, sent it back to him. And then from there it was kind of like, for me, a little bit of a waiting game, because I didn’t really know what it was gonna be for. I didn’t know if it was gonna be a mixtape, if it was gonna be a studio album, when it was really gonna come out. So when it started to get closer to his release is when I started to see on the Internet, like, I might have a chance of making the cut for his album. It just blew me away.

LW: The skate message boards have accused you of chasing fame.
SH: That is definitely not the case of, like, jumping on a bandwagon of — trying to make the company Shake Junt or even myself recognized outside of this [skate] world. I’m just a skateboarder till the end. That’s what I do, and I happen to love music, and I’m having fun with it. An opportunity came my way, and I grabbed it. I did it, and I’m psyched that I did.

LW: What would you say the Goat’s influences are? I mean, you’ve covered “Ruff Ryders Anthem.”
SH: We’ll cover “Wasted” by Black Flag and go right into a DMX fuckin’ “Ruff Ryders Anthem,” to singing about bitches in the bathroom doing blow, to a good barbecue laid-back “Luh Dat Shit” California-vibe song. All of us in the band like so many different genres of music that, once you mix all that kind of style, it just comes out naturally the way it does. And a lot of people can’t really pinpoint what genre of music the Goat does. I couldn’t even tell you that. I don’t even know. Some people are like, “It sounds a little bit like some Red Hot Chili Peppers shit or some old, classic Beastie Boys shit.” Whatever you feel like it sounds like, that’s cool with me. ■

The Goat and the Occasional Others play alongside Bearmace and Tommy Kruise at the premiere of The Deathwish Video at Foufounes Électriques (87 Ste-Catherine E.) on Wednesday, April 17, 9 p.m., free

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