It’s been 11 years since Shrug’s last album, “Whole Hog for the Macho Jesus,” so forgive the local rockers for making a big deal about the long-awaited full-length, “Age of Ashes.” The release show, at the “Old” Yellow Cab bldg. in Dayton on Saturday, June 11, features special guests the New Old-Fashioned and a photo exhibition featuring work by Jennifer Taylor, Chris Corn and Bill Cunningham.
In addition to playing new songs and old favorites from Shrug’s 22-year career, the set will feature the band’s take on a classic album. The selection is secret but past release shows featured the Beatles’ “Abbey Road” and David Bowie’s “Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars.”
Band leader Tod Weidner recently discussed “Age of Ashes” and Shrug, which features Tim Pritchard (guitar, vocals), Ken Hall (keyboards), Bryan Lakatos (bass) and Dan Stahl (drums).
Q: Why did it take 10 years for a new album?
A: “You blink your eyes and a decade has gone by. It’s embarrassing but everybody’s got side projects and then you add in all the families and jobs and it gets crazy. There’s no way an album could stand up to the expectations of people who’ve been waiting a decade. I’m not expecting to hear, ‘It was totally worth the wait.’ I feel like I’m in Guns N’ Roses territory but it’s exciting to finally have something new.”
Q: Shrug recorded an entire album with former guitarist Eric Cassidy between “Whole Hog” and “Ashes” but never released it. What happened?
A: “It has some really cool stuff but we got a little overdub heavy, and I have nobody to blame but myself. Tim and Ken joined us and it didn’t make sense to release an album with the lineup change. And, we knew we wanted to go in a fresh direction and make it little more live with less overdubs. We have a lot of stuff mixed and it’s ready to master so it’ll eventually come out.”
Q: Will Shrug be playing more shows after the release?
A: “We’re not planning on doing any extensive traveling but it would be nice to get out of town a little more often and play around town more often. A lot of people thought we were broken up but we never really did. We were just busy with other things. We’ll be playing more, but we’ll let it happen as it happens. We’re not out to rule the world — that was 1995. We just like getting together, making music and having a handful of people enjoy it.”