Odin: A Big Happy Reunion At The Whisky – And Beyond

Odin: A Big Happy Reunion At The Whisky – And Beyond

The band Odin has lived found themselves living on in infamy ever since their days and nights on the Sunset Strip in the late 80’s – some of it well documented within the cult movie The Decline Of Western Civilization – The Metal Years.  After a very well received set at last year’s Hair Nation Festival in Irvine, the metal masses wanted to hear a whole lot more from these underground legends. The Los Angeles collective would deliver the goods in an epic way on a Saturday night at the Whisky a Go-Go on the Sunset Strip, unleashing a full set of crowd favorites such as Don’t Take No For An Answer and One Day To Live.  Prior to the packed to the rafters performance at The Whisky, we caught up with drummer Shawn Duncan to find out more about the notorious past, present, and even future of the almighty Odin!  Read on…

We’re here with Shawn Duncan from Odin.What are you looking forward to the most about your show at The Whisky tonight?
I am looking forward to playing with my brother again and Randy and Aaron. We go back. We learned together. We learned how to play music together. So when we play together it’s always an experience. It always takes you way back. We grew up together, we learned how to play music together. We went through a lot of incredible stuff together. So when we’re like this it’s like a big happy reunion.

What was the experience like playing Hair Nation last year?
Well, I played 2 shows last year (at Hair Nation). It was an absolute blast. With Odin, I was really surprised that when we went on how many people were there to see us. I didn’t expect it. Unfortunately, we were supposed to go on later but it would have clashed with my show I was doing with the Bulletboys on the main stage. We had to switch time frames that put us earlier. But I’m hoping to do more. We will do more stuff. We’re at the point now in our lives where we all can afford to go out and do some more stuff and have some fun. So that was a blast though. We had a good time.

Was there a lot of pressure doing both bands?
Not really. Not until we worked out the time schedule thing. Prior to that, it was kind of stressful. But once that got worked out it was fine. I had a good hour and a half between sets. It worked out great.

When you look back on those albums and EPs you did between 85 and 90, what do you think of them now when you listen to them in retrospect?
Well, it’s funny. When we were gearing up for I was listening to everything. And you know, what a lot of people don’t know about Odin was the first EP we did, the ‘Don’t Take No For An Answer,‘ the white vinyl, the white album – Jeff was 17 and I was 18 and Aaron was 17 and Randy was 18. We were really young. When I listen to songs like ‘The Writer‘ and ‘Solar Eye‘ – and I’m like, you know for high school kids that was like pretty good. Then the Japanese album which unfortunately was never released in the states which was ‘Fight For Your Life‘ I really liked a lot. There’s some really good stuff on it. Then we did ‘The Gods Must Be Crazy‘ which was an EP. You know they all have their own thing to it which is great.

The Human Animal in 2008 – how did that come about?
Well, that was more like a demo. Somehow it ended up getting released. We really weren’t into a big release – it really wasn’t ready for it.

What was it like working with director Penelope Spheeris on The Decline Of Western Civilization – The Metal Years?
She was awesome. We were actually at her house. We were in her jacuzzi. It was a good time. She was an awesome woman, still is. That whole experience was a lot of fun. I mean I enjoyed it. It’s funny because when I would go out on the road sometimes people were like ‘you were in Odin‘ and they wanna take a picture with me and stuff because of that movie. It’s not because of what Odin did it’s – because of the movie.

When you look at that Decline movie today what do you think of it?
That’s exactly what was going on at that time. That was totally and completely uninhibitedly us. We weren’t doing anything everyone else was doing at that time. So when I look at it, we’re on camera doing it and you know I can’t look back at that time and not smile. I probably lived more in that little 4 years, 5-year span than most people do in their entire lives. I look back and I love it because that’s exactly what we were.

After Odin, your brother Jeff was in a band called Lostboys. What do you think of that project?
Yeah, Jeff and Randy. Yeah, it was good. I mean, it was on Atlantic. The songs on it are good. I really don’t know that much about it because it kind of disappeared real quick. We all went on and did other stuff and that’s what had to happen at the time.

What’s currently going on with DC4?
I just finished drum tracks for a new album. We got a new album coming out, it’ll probably be out in September or October on HighVol Music / Sony Red. It’s gonna be a strong record, I really like the songs. We’ve got a lot of stuff coming up in October that I can’t talk about yet, but there’s some touring and there’s some really big dates that we have booked. As soon as we can let the cat out of the bag we will.

Do you have any messages for Odin fans reading this right now?
Thank you for being there for all those years but the main thing is, we will do more shows. We’re gonna play more often now than in the past. We’re looking to do more like the Monsters of Rock Cruise. More of the 80’s Hair Nation type things. Hopefully maybe like, M3. That kind of festival stuff. That’s kind of what we want to do, because now Odin for us is fun. So, that’s all that matters. Is that we have fun and everybody has fun. So, we all love each other and it’s good – we’re original members. It’s the four of us, we’re all still alive and healthy and we can do it. So, let’s go do it. Let’s go have fun.

New music for Odin perhaps?
I don’t know. Well, we’re all so busy. Everybody’s got something. So, getting us – it was hard enough just to get me to do the drum tracks for the DC4 stuff. Now Jeff is going to go in and do guitars and vocals and we’re working on that album. So when that album is done, then – I do know that Jeff has a couple of Odin songs in the bank. So the possibility of us recording maybe in the winter is not out of the question. So, there you go…

This just in!  Odin will be playing a FREE show at The Slidebar on June 10th at 4PM!!!

Odin is:
Jeff Duncan – Guitars
Shawn Duncan – Drums
Randy O. – Vocals
Aaron Samson – Bass

(Interview by Ken Morton – Photos by Kevin Estrada and Joe Schaeffer )

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