Celebrating one mean career
SHIHAD has always been a rock ’ n’ roll band that doesn’t do things by halves.
So it comes as no surprise that its best- of collection, The Meanest Hits, contains a huge 38 tracks.
The New Zealand rockers have taken their time to put this career- spanning collection together and frontman Jon Toogood admits the band has fended off pressure to do it earlier for more than five years.
‘‘ Every time we made a new studio record for the last four or five we’d get ‘ yeah it’s great but let’s do this greatest hits’,’’ he says.
‘‘ We weren’t really interested in the idea but I think because we made the movie we were forced to think about our past, and I was like ‘ we’ve got eight records?’
‘‘ We should be able to put a good compilation together.’’
The movie in question that accompanies The Meanest Hits, a gritty and revealing documentary on the band, premiered last month at Splendour in the Grass.
‘‘ The movie is made about us by someone else, so it’s not a puff piece,’’ Toogood says with a laugh.
‘‘ It’s pretty brutally honest and doesn’t shy away from any of the mistakes we’ve made and also it’s done with a lot of care.
‘‘ It’s life about people that have worked together for years and the relationships that go along with it.’’
So they’ve got a movie and a greatest hits collection, but wait, there’s more.
Shihad will perform these hits in each state with a huge 90- minute set, which finds Toogood truly at home on the live stage.
‘‘ I’m home – I’m actually doing exactly what I want to be doing and right where I want to be,’’ he says.
‘‘ I give it all because it feels good. I like watching people smile and jump up and down to our music.’’
Being one of the hardest working acts on the live stage, Toogood drew inspiration from one of the best and remembers the moment that helped shape him into the rock star he is today.
Heading to a gig many years ago to see his then- idol Jimmy Barnes, it was a support act that Toogood was unfamiliar with that changed his career trajectory.
‘‘ Because I was 14 years old at the time and all I wanted to see was Working Class Man,’’ he says with a laugh.
‘‘ I’d heard of Iggy Pop but I didn’t know who he was until he came out onstage. He destroyed the stage and I was like ‘ whoa, that guy is really skinny and he is rock ’ n’ roll’.’’
THE MEANEST HITS out now ( Warner Music)