Interview with
vocalist Matthias Schenk, Shylock (November 19th 2007)


How has the response been on your new album “Devotion” and what kind of expectations do you have for it?

Schenky – The feedback is really great so far and I’m sure we did a great job. Some online magazines name Devotion “Album of the year” and we never reached that before. So I guess we reached our expectations for this album. The most important thing for us is to make our fans happy and give them the best songs they deserve!

If you should choose one song on the new album, which represents the essence of Shylock, which one would that be… Personally I would choose ‘Music’, a song I feel captures the essence of Shylock pretty well…

Schenky – I think you got the message from “Music” and I agree that this song certainly represents different styles of our past and Shylock in the year 2007. By the way I believe that “Eternal Life” is also a great example for the power and strength of my band. Listen to the lyrics and keep in mind to “live your life and don't let anybody tell you, what you should do”! Both songs represent the essence of Shylock and always remember: We can't live without music!! :-)

If you had to describe your music to a complete musical ignorant – what would you tell him? I call your music hard rock somewhere in the grey zone between Bob Jovi, Bonfire and PC 69.

Schenky – I wouldn’t compare our music too much with other bands. Surely, our style is nothing essential new but I’d describe our music as a kind of medicine for your soul: Hear the music and you’ll feel better. A short but right description.

Tell us a bit about the album art work…

Schenky – The cover artwork was done by German Artist Gaby Hylla. It was a kind of coincidence that we got in contact with her and she just translated our main ideas into the whole artwork. We just combined our deep love and devotion to the music with typically stereotypes for Hard Rock. It’s a kind of satirical cover…if you know, what we mean ;-)

The production is good, who produced and mixed the album?

Schenky – Thanx for the compliment. The whole album was produced, mixed, recorded and mastered by Majo from V-Laundry-Studios and me. We’ve tried to create an individual sound and I think we did a good job. Thanks a lot to Majo, he’s now back in the States and he guided the recordings in a very good way.

How did you get your name Shylock and is there strange story behind?

Schenky – Don’t tell me you never heard about Shakespeare’s drama “The Merchant Of Venice”? Shylock is one of the main characters and our former bassist Chris (Hannes’ brother) got the idea to name the band this way. So you see, strange story: yes and no!

What do you consider to be the biggest accomplishment for you personally and for Shylock?

Schenky – I consider two things as biggest accomplishments for Shylock and for me:

Performing our song “Farewell” in front of 20.000 people in the Cologne RheinEnergieStadion at the last soccer game of Thomas “Icke” Hässler. The whole event was shown on TV and over 1.000.000 people watched it. Furthermore, the support tour with Bonfire in Spain…awesome!

What are the strengths and where can Shylock improve?

Schenky – I think the strengths are – without a doubt – the catchy refrains of our songs, the power in live performance and the whole arrangements who deliver a special kind of atmosphere. Some dudes didn’t like the booklet. Maybe we should improve that next time. But you know: a musician is never 100% content with the things he next question, please ;-)

What immediately tasks lay ahead of you, any touring plans?

Schenky – The last few weeks, we did a lot of interviews and I already started with the songwriting for the next album. In some more days we’ll check out our touring plans for 2008, but nothing special is confirmed yet. Just feel free to visit us at for more information and you’ll be updated right from the start.

Name an album, person or event that has had a huge influence on your life … and why?

Schenky – Big influence got the new album Devotion now, because I have no closing time and a lot of stress.

Who were the first bands to inspire you to get into music?

Schenky I was a big fan of Metallica, AC/DC and ZZ Top. These are really awesome bands, they contributed a lot to the global music history and without them some great songs would have never been heard on our planet.

Give me your shot at some albums you’d rip for your iPod if you were to be sent to the ISS space station tonight…

Schenky – Oh my God – I would be lost in space, because I don’t have an iPod! But if I had one I surely would take every Shylock CD with me…just for my new friends called the aliens ;-)

Which album(s) have put a big smile on your face and has made you bang your head in the past year?

Schenky – That was Sunrise Ave with “Fairytale Gone Bad”, an awesome song and a great hit. But the complete album did not make me smile at all. Don't get me wrong, I invest a lot of time in writing songs and maybe that's the reason why I don't know so many new releases.

I thank you very much for participating in this interview and sharing this information and your thoughts with us - these last lines are entirely for you. Any final words you would like to round off with?

Schenky – Big thanx to everyone at, many greetz to all our fans and everyone who's reading this!

Interviewed by Kenn Jensen.


Shylock - Devotion

Album available on Artist Service.

For more info on Shylock - click on the album cover.