SHANE EMBURY: 'There's A Lot More To Me Than Just Being The Bass Player In NAPALM DEATH'
June 4, 2023
NAPALM DEATH bassist Shane Embury will release his autobiography, "Life?… And Napalm Death", later this year via Rocket 88, an imprint of the established British book production company Essential Works.
For Birmingham-based Embury, music is more than just a passion. It's a force that brings meaning to his life, an outlet for his creativity and a channel for his obsession. It's also given him a career as unlikely as it is groundbreaking, a testament to staying true to what you believe in, even if what you believe in sometimes seems incomprehensible or even unlistenable to others. And yet his vision has endured into a four decade long career, taking him around the world a hundred times, and led to some of the most seminal, iconic and important music ever to spew forth from the British underground scene.
If you know anything about Embury at all, you'll know him for his work in NAPALM DEATH. Largely misunderstood and widely mocked in their early days, NAPALM DEATH nonetheless became the benchmark for uncompromising extremity, as well as a political force for good. Dismissed by many as a ridiculous noise, NAPALM DEATH became the credible face of extreme art rock, beloved of John Peel, NME cover stars and indie music darlings. Embury's debut studio release with the band, 1988's "From Enslavement To Obliteration", remains a seminal work of raging sonic violence coupled with ultra-credible punk critiques of corrupt politics, capitalist opportunism and societal collapse. The record remains as revered today as it ever was.
Fast forward 35 years and Embury has seen and done it all with NAPALM DEATH. But that is only half the story of a man propelled by creativity to make music seemingly without end, a constant flow of ideas leading to a wide variety of projects from BRUJERIA (ultra-violent Mexican drug grind),VENOMOUS CONCEPT (hardcore punk rock),DARK SKY BURIAL (experimental sci-fi-influenced ambience) and TRONOS (progressive rock),among others. His fellow collaborators include members of FAITH NO MORE, DEAD KENNEDYS, MELVINS, SICK OF IT ALL, DIMMU BORGIR and… THE WONDER STUFF.
Although music still drives him, Embury now wrestles with the responsibilities of being a husband and a father, trying to balance his time between what he loves doing, and those he loves being with. In the course of "Life?... And Napalm Death", the bassist talks openly about his struggles with mental and physical health, his battles with addiction and the bullying that affected him in his teenage years. Although his musical career has been prolific and largely successful, there have been plenty of dark times which have led Embury to question his chosen career path.
Shane himself remains modest but proud of his achievements. "If you're growing up in a village in Shropshire, you never imagine that 30-odd years later you'll still be doing this," he says. "I just went for it because, well, why not? After a while, it becomes, like, 'Bloody hell, this is what I do.'"
The idea for the book seeded itself a while ago. "After so many years, the idea of doing a book seemed like the right timing, I suppose," he says. "I guess the diehard fans know something about me, but hopefully people will find out about different sides of me, because there's a lot more to me than just being the bass player in NAPALM DEATH."
In essence though, "Life?... And Napalm Death" is a riotous celebration of following your dreams, unleashing your creativity, and retaining a positive sense that anything is possible. From humble beginnings, Embury has forged a career that serves as an inspiration to anyone, musician or otherwise, that life really is what you make it.
BLABBERMOUTH.NET uses the Facebook Comments plugin to let people comment on content on the site using their Facebook account. The comments reside on Facebook servers and are not stored on BLABBERMOUTH.NET. To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@)gmail.com with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).