SHARP SHOCK New EP “Casual As” with Dan Smith, Davey Warsop and Floss

What do you get when you mix perfectly twisted British humor, skateboarding, tattooing, earth grounding symbolism, 3 badass musicians, and a bit of salt? SHARP/SHOCK. This powerful triple threat of U.K. transplants is the band you can listen to once and immediately get hooked. Read on for some raw SHARP/SHOCK insight with world-renowned tattoo artist, Dan Smith, (bass/vocals), and respected record producer, Davey Warsop, (vocals/guitar) as well as savior of stray animals, Chris ‘Floss’ Erickson (drums).

Tune in and turn up the volume for a proper listen to the single “Casual As” off the new SHARP/SHOCK ‘Casual As‘ six-song EP, which is packed to the gills with hardcore and Oi-pop tracks titled, “Last Xmas I Pissed In Your Petrol Tank”, “I Do What I Want”, “The Ploy In Employment”, “Hooky Street”, and “I Don’t Wanna Go Back To School”, available now from Contra Records.




JUICE: What is your band’s skateboarding connection? 

SMITH: I still skate and we all grew up on it. Skateboard art was probably the biggest influence on me. 

JUICE: Favorite skate team of any era?

SMITH: Bones Brigade in “Gleaming the Cube”. 

JUICE: Band you wish you saw?

SMITH: The Jam.

JUICE: Favorite skateboarding photo of all time?

SMITH: Any Christ air from Hosoi.

JUICE: Best punk band of all time?

SMITH: Descendents.

JUICE: Favorite skateboarder of all time?

SMITH: Matt Hensley.

JUICE: Best punk singer of all time?

SMITH: Joey Ramone.

JUICE: Best show you ever saw?

SMITH: The Cure at the Troubadour.

JUICE: Best punk rock album cover?

SMITH: Ramones “Rocket to Russia”.

JUICE: Favorite show you ever played?

SMITH: Descendents LA Palladium.

JUICE: Favorite skate sticker of all time?

SMITH: The ripper.

JUICE: Perfect punk record?

SMITH: Rancid “…And Out Come the Wolves.”

JUICE: Favorite skateboard graphic of all time?

SMITH: Maybe the Ugly Face, or Psycho Stick.

JUICE: Pick your perfect punk band.

SMITH: Bodyjar.

JUICE: First skateboard t-shirt you ever bought?

SMITH: Tony Hawk skull cross.

JUICE: Favorite person to watch on stage?

SMITH: Nick Cave.

JUICE: Song that you recorded that you’re most proud of?

SMITH: “Endless Holiday” on a split with Bodyjar. 

SHARP/SHOCK is Dan Smith, Davey Warsop and Chris ‘Floss’ Erickson.

JUICE: You were born in England and grew up in New Zealand where you were part of building the music scene in Auckland. How did your early experiences in punk rock influence this new SHARP/SHOCK EP? 

SMITH: Well, the whole band is English, but lives in the U.S. now, so between all three of us, we have a fairly similar outlook or reference point about being imports. Davey and I had very similar experiences with discovering then contributing to small punk scenes in our teens and I think that carries with you throughout all elements of life. 

JUICE: What was your first skateboard? 

SMITH: I got my first board in ’87 from Stirling Sports in Henderson [New Zealand]. It was a Santa Cruz Claus Grabke and I loved that board so much. I had a couple of shitty boards from The Warehouse. It’s like a shitty Kmart. I guess my parents wanted to make sure I was ‘really serious’ about it before they bought me the Santa Cruz. All skate stuff cost a fortune down there as the exchange rate was so poor. 

JUICE: Which skate shop did you work in as a teenager in New Zealand and what was the skate scene in Auckland like at that time?

SMITH: When I was 16, I did a few months of work experience at Cheapskates in Papatoetoe, Auckland. There was a solid crew of skaters from out there that were a couple years older than me and were quite pivotal in introducing me to certain punk bands and also really pushing skating. It was the perfect goof off as I had to do something for school, but there wasn’t much work to be done. Skate style in NZ at that time was very street orientated, but there was always the crusty old skateparks and ramps that the local city councils paid for that we all came up skating first. We used to always hit Auckland City where we were all about trying to do everything big and fast. No matter how many times you bail on a studded belt, it never clicked that it was making the fall so much worse. Haha. 

JUICE: Hanging out at Dean Sacred’s shop in New Zealand as a kid, what impressions made the most impact on you there?

SMITH: Almost everything left an impression because it was a world that I knew I wanted to be a part of, but had no idea about. There are so many parts of tattooing. The style, the application, the technique, the influence… I was a human sponge, until 2001, when I left Auckland to live in Australia for three years. It was there that I kinda soaked up everything again, and really… you learn something from every shop or tattooer you meet. 

JUICE: What was your first tattoo? 

SMITH: The logo from my favorite band – Descendents. Milo from the ‘I Don’t Wanna Grow Up’ album art. I knew I would never regret it. 

JUICE: You’ve gone from England to New Zealand to Australia to a warehouse in Santa Ana to Los Angeles and being on TV to Orange County and opening your own tattoo studio in Tustin, California, which is a diverse list of places to live. How did each of those places influence your art and music? 

SMITH: I just saw traveling and living away from home as being a mental passport and I wanted to fill it with as much as I could. New Zealand is an extremely multicultural place and I love the similarities of say – living in Santa Ana and parts of LA – where shit is very real and honest that broadens your vision of life and what’s important. The bells and whistles of a place like Hollywood or Vegas has always made me think of how vastly different where I came from is, and that as much as some people think that they are everything, it makes me think of how false and disposable they are. Playing music was a great way to visit cities and countries that you usually wouldn’t, even for a day, you get the feel of a place. All those decisions played a crucial role in the next, but now the older I get I feel like I long for the same stuff I wanted to escape from when I was a kid in little old NZ. Funny how that works. 

JUICE: What do you enjoy most about living in California now and what do you miss the most about living in New Zealand?

SMITH: I love that, in one day in California, I can go snowboarding, surfing, skate, eat tacos, go and see a legendary band and wonder if I should do it all again the next day. There is truly no other place like it. I think I miss the peace and quiet in NZ. Family and long time friends, not being around for important things, the clean air, water and familiar surroundings. Covid has made it extremely difficult and expensive to visit. 

JUICE: How long have you owned Captured Tattoo in Tustin, California and where did you come up with the name?

SMITH: We will celebrate our 9th birthday in May. I had the name tattooed on my hand after a Bic Runga song of the same name. The EP ‘Birds’ is one of the greatest pieces of music and floored me when it came out. When it came time to open a shop, the name that I had been staring at jumped out first and it seemed perfect.

JUICE: What is the most rewarding part of having your own tattoo studio?

SMITH: I think there will always be pros and cons of owning and operating your own business but, ultimately, doing things my way is why I chose to. 

Vans Slip On Tattoo Art by Dan Smith

JUICE: Which micro-shoes tattoos win the top honor of you having done the most tattoos of them on people? Vans, Nike, Adidas? 

SMITH: I think it’s a close tie between the Vans slip on or Authentic and the Nike Airmax 1. I love doing the weird stuff more. The obscure track shoes, from when you were 15, or the fake Reebok pumps that your parents got you when they thought you weren’t old enough to realize, etc. 

JUICE: Which skate or surf tattoos have you done that you really dug?

SMITH: Any Jim Phillips art will always be an honor to tattoo. I think the giant skateboard covered in band and skate stickers on Toby Morse’s thigh would be favorite and you can alway find something new whenever you look at it. 

JUICE: What were the coolest aspects and most surprising aspects of being on TV in “LA Inked?” 

SMITH: It’s probably when the people or fans of bands or small businesses reached out after seeing me wear their t-shirts, etc. It was so cool to be able to promote that stuff on a huge platform such as mainstream TV. That show was a phenomenon, but I loved being the guy that could take it or leave it. There’s a lot of ladder climbers in that world, so to try to keep it as real as possible was a goal. 

JUICE: You were also in season 5 of the TV show “Dexter”, which was filmed at Jason Brown’s S.T. Tattoo Shop in Venice. What parts of the Venice and S.T. legacy left an impression on you?

SMITH: I met Mike Muir in 1994 in New Zealand when I was roaming around the streets at the show I was at. I was too young to get in, but he helped me get in and I’m still a huge Suicidal fan. I got art from the ‘Join the Army’ record tattooed when I was 18 and we have since then played shows together and remain in contact. That was a trip to film ‘Dexter’, but I was just as excited to be doing it at S.T. Tattoo. I just tattooed a (normal size) pair of Cortez shoes on Jason Brown at my shop a few months ago. I’m psyched to get my tattoo from him. 

JUICE: What is one of the most humorous tattoo designs that someone has brought to you to tattoo on them? 

SMITH: Honestly, I have the best story and I basically did this tattoo, so I always would. I did it in a Hollywood hotel room, on someone that had no tattoos. He was getting married in a couple of days and, for some reason, he wanted a tuxedo jacket and bow tie on his taint! He said he wanted it so that he would always be dressed for the occasion. 

“The Good Book” Vol 1 by Dan Smith and Shaun Topper with 25 chapters of line drawings by over 100 of the world’s best tattoo artists.

JUICE: Talk about the books that you have put out and the rewards and challenges of publishing printed material in a digital age.

SMITH: I’ve been pretty lucky to do well with my books as most are tattoo reference style that are small enough to travel with and are basically the most intensive source of tattoo reference material you can find. I have put out “The Good Book” 1 and 2 with Shaun Topper, featuring 25 chapters of line drawings, by over 100 of the world’s best. Keep an eye out for a book I’m doing with my little shoe tattoos. I think anyone considering putting out printed matter, should try to make it happen as much as possible as nothing beats printed matter. It’s nice in a digital age to be able to hold something and turn pages. 

SHARP/SHOCK ‘Casual As’ EP cover photo by John Johnson

JUICE: What is the meaning behind SHARP/SHOCK’s new EP’s name: “Casual As”?

SMITH: Being from NZ and spending time living in Australia, we usually add ‘AS’ to the end of sentences. ‘Im hungry as.’ Or ‘I’m tired as’. I think it came about after Davey was asking me what I was gonna wear on stage one night. He was asking if I was gonna keep it casual? I replied with….yeah ‘casual as’. He got a real kick out of it and the rest is history. We also got to use a brilliant and iconic picture for the cover of the record by photographer, John Johnson. Thank you John! 

JUICE: What message do you hope people will take away from this SHARP/SHOCK EP?

SMITH: I hope they like the light-hearted approach and narrative of life that “Casual As” is. I think we always can take ourselves too seriously, so reflecting on funny or frustrating moments in life and being able to write songs about it can be therapeutic in a way. 

JUICE: Do you have a favorite lyric from “Casual As”?

SMITH: Well, I think “Last Christmas I Pissed in Your Petrol Tank” is a fabulous tale about sweet revenge and not taking any shit, even when you’re working a shitty job for no money! Every line is a crack up. 

SHARP/SHOCK ‘Casual As’ T-shirts Available now at

JUICE: What do you think are the essential parts of a good song?

SMITH: If you’re gonna do it, make it strong. Make it memorable. Don’t faff around unless it really calls for it. I’m a sucker for a good melody, but if the song doesn’t stick in your head, then is it a good song?

JUICE: What was SHARP/SHOCK’s method behind writing the songs for ‘Casual As’? Were you all in one place or did you work on it remotely and individually as well?

SMITH: Well, we wanted to write a handful of songs that were more aggressive and Oi! inspired. We’d written a few in the past, but thought an EP of all of them would be great. We had recorded them a couple of years ago and, as soon as Contra Records heard them, they wanted to put them out. I’m not sure they would have even been released otherwise. 

JUICE: What does SHARP/SHOCK’s symbol mean and what was the inspiration for the name SHARP/SHOCK?

SMITH: All great bands have great logos and we wanted one that obviously connected the band name and ‘electricity’. I came up with it after learning about the grounding earth symbol and thought it was perfect. 

JUICE: Are there any musical influences or artists that inspire some of your music?

SMITH: All of us originally being from England helps with the direction I think, as we all grew up on the same kind of stuff. Whether it’s Madness, Cocksparrer, The Jam or Elvis Costello, we get all of the references we all bring to the table, so I think it contributes to the impact we are trying to bring with SHARP/SHOCK. Less is more. That’s what we wanted to do from the beginning. 

JUICE: Describe the album art for Sharp/Shock that you have created and the messages you wanted to convey?

SMITH: We just try to keep it simple, strong and honest. The first record was inspired by some of our favorite simplistic record covers such as Crass and Joy Division. The black and white aesthetic is something we have always run with and we think it keeps more of a timeless feel. 

JUICE: Talk about the “ploy in employment”?

SMITH: It’s about the social norm that’s expected of you from a young age. Being pushed towards what society deems a good job, rather than working towards being happy by doing something you love. It touches on the mundane and the emptiness that is felt when you’re just a cog in the machine, ultimately making money for someone else, and seeing above that to push to a better place. 

JUICE: How did the COVID-19 pandemic change the dynamics for the band and how you spend your time?

SMITH: Well, as most bands would agree, it left us not really knowing what to do and the band was in a bit of a holding pattern with no ending. We’re not a band that has regular rehearsals or songwriting sessions, since our drummer lives in Minneapolis, so I guess we were there for each other on a more personal level than a ‘we are an active band’ level to try to figure it all out. I have the tattoo shop, and Davey has his studio in Long Beach, and Floss works with animals at a shelter in Minneapolis, so we were all lucky to not 100% rely on the band, and we have respect for those bands that didn’t have anything else to fall back on. 

JUICE: During the pandemic, SHARP/SHOCK played benefits for live music venues like South Bay Customs in Los Angeles and Alex’s Bar in Long Beach. Are there causes like these and others that you are currently pushing to help out?

SMITH: Yeah. We were happy to do that with Face To Face for South Bay Customs and for local venue, Alex’s Bar. Ultimately, we’re all just trying to do what we can to get through this mess as unscathed as possible. We all have our own businesses that have suffered so we’re right there with everyone that’s going though it and can only really hope for the best. 

JUICE: Is there a self-imposed time limit to the songs you write?

SMITH: No, but there’s something to be said about not overthinking a song and letting it be as natural of a process as possible. It’s always easy to dress something up, but a strong song should be that way in a very minimal manner too. 

JUICE: Where can people go check out your new Sharp/Shock EP?

SMITH: All the usuals. Wherever you stream music, or if you want the physical versions, go to Contra Records or

JUICE: What’s next for SHARP/SHOCK and what are you guys most excited for in the future?

SMITH: We were scheduled to support Face To Face on a big U.S. and Canadian tour and right now are waiting for those dates to be rescheduled. Very much looking forward to those!



JUICE: First band you were in and how did that lead you to forming SHARP/SHOCK?

WARSOP: Well, I played in several bands growing up, but my first “pro” band was Beat Union. We were all from Birmingham, England, but signed a record deal in the USA. This was the band that brought me overseas and that was when I first met Dan [Smith] as he was signed to the same label. So really, if it wasn’t for that connection that started in 2007, SHARP/SHOCK would have never formed. It’s really funny how that’s all worked out. I remember the first time that I met Dan. I had no idea that we would end up sharing vans and buses around the world together all these years later.

JUICE: First record you bought and last record you bought?

WARSOP: The first was Dinosaur Jr. ‘Where You Been’ and the last was a Supergrass ‘Best of’.

JUICE: How did you get a job working at the Hurley studios and how was it being part of the Hurley family?

WARSOP: My old band, Beat Union, was signed to Science Records. Science was part of Warner Bros., but all the bands on the label were endorsed by Hurley. That was the original connection. Hurley had asked me to model for them in the past and, when my band finally broke up, they offered me some more work in that field. I took the chance because I wanted to stay in America, although my heart was never in modeling, so I always hung out with Greg Teal (Warped Tour and roadie legend) who was in charge of anything music-related for the company. I just showed up every day and helped out as much as I could in the recording studio – taking initiative, wrapping cables and cleaning the place. I was couch surfing and just taking a chance on trying to grab hold of a better life for myself than the one I had back home working for minimum wage in a warehouse. I was probably trying so hard that I was almost a pest or a bother to people, honestly, but I was desperate and somehow it paid off and it all kind of morphed into an engineer gig at the studio and working for Greg. The Hurley brand really embraced me and it became my home away from home. I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for them seeing me as that desperate broke musician showing up each day and trying to help and then pulling me into the family and giving me an actual full time job. I will always have so much love for the Hurley’s because of this. Working for Hurley was a dream job. One day I would be recording Salba’s band, Powerflex 5, or assistant engineering for Bill Stevenson and NOFX. The next day I would be setting up a PA for a gig in Bob Hurley’s garden and eating the free ice cream given to every employee. I had co-workers like Craig Stecyk and Jay Adams (R.I.P). That in itself is crazy. Once you’ve worked for Hurley, you’ll never have another job like it. Incredible! 

JUICE: What was the hardest part of transitioning from the U.K. to California, and what has made you feel the most at home in California?

WARSOP: Firstly, immigrant life is a strange one, and one I never imagined I’d have. The hardest parts don’t neccesarily become past tense. Some of the hardest parts are STILL in my every day life. Covid, for example, has made me feel alone here more than ever and made me feel the strain of being so far from family. People think hopping the pond to California is the dream life, which it absolutely is, but it comes at a cost. You have to work for it and never give up, so it can be a double-edged sword also. I’ve had constant challenges to overcome and constant legal battles and paperwork. I’ve had travel blackouts where I couldn’t leave the country for a couple of years, living on visas and never knowing if they would be renewed or if you would be told to leave the country. All this stuff ripples and makes life insecure. Significant others feel the worry also. That stuff all takes its toll. They definitely don’t let you become a citizen easily. You have to go through the ringer for years and put the work in. What has made me feel most at home is probably the warmth and friendliness from Americans in general. For the most part, America seems to react fondly towards the English accent. I feel incredibly lucky for this, because I realize not ALL immigrants are treated this way. Maybe it’s actually positive discrimination. Either way I’m grateful to be accepted. 

JUICE: Which record in your collection could you not ever part with?

WARSOP: I’ve got an original U.K. copy of Oasis ‘What’s the Story Morning Glory?’ from when it first came out, complete with “Our Price 9.99” sticker still on it. (Our Price was a ’90s U.K. record shop). I think that’s a special one in my collection.

JUICE: New music/bands you are digging?

WARSOP: A band I produced recently – Catbite – is a two-tone influenced ska band from Philadelphia. Check out the new album “Nice One”. They named it after me. Apparently, I say “Nice one,” 100 times a day in the studio?

JUICE: U.K. Punk Rock vs. U.S. Punk Rock? Which did you hear first, and what bands/musicians do you have the most respect for from the earliest days of punk rock on both sides of the pond?

WARSOP: I actually heard American hardcore first, believe it or not, and I was exposed SO young. My older brother got a copy of Santa Cruz’s ‘Streets on Fire’ VHS and it changed our lives. I was about 7 years old and hearing Black Flag, Descendents, Sonic Youth, Minutemen, etc. I still find it funny that this music connected with me when I was so young. I loved all the melodies. However, this was all music from the past, when I was hearing it in the late ’80s. Once I became a teenager, I discovered the small DIY U.K. punk network, in the ’90s, that was happening around me and I think, when you’re that age, that is always going to mean more. So I jumped in and started mail-ordering 7″s and fanzines and going to DIY gigs underage. THIS is what really stuck in my heart – those bands and labels that only ever pressed 500 copies and it’s a case of ‘if you know, then you KNOW’ how special it was. ’90s U.K. punk was something extremely underground and under-appreciated in my opinion, when compared to the millionaire stars doing it overseas. Frankie from Leatherface was recording bands in his studio and there was a great little scene and sound for a minute. I often find it so interesting that this was the equivalent to Gilman Street and Lookout Records, Epitaph and Fat Wreck Chords, yet somehow the U.K. never made punk a viable business or industry like the Americans did. The U.K. was very DIY when it came to punk in the ’90s. I gotta respect Paul Weller for being in the original punk boom and having made an unstoppable, not to mention diverse, career out of it. I might have the most respect for someone like Bill Stevenson, when it comes to American punk. Descendents formed in the ’70s and are still going. Him also being a producer/ engineer alongside musician has always connected and influenced me to start my own recording studio.

JUICE: How is Strong Studios doing and what are your hopes for it for the future?

WARSOP: I’ll be honest, it’s been such a shaky year that right now, to have had it this long and to just keep it going is complete success for me. Trying to survive through the pandemic has made me a bit more humble and I don’t have any massive dreams or delusions of grandeur. It would just be nice to continue helping bands make their art. I love Long Beach. It’s a really great and diverse city that seems to be a little more inclusive of the counterculture than other parts of Southern California. It would just be nice to grow and be a significant staple of the Long Beach arts and music scene. Bands… come and make a record with me… it’s beautiful here! 

JUICE: Which record stores would you add to a Top 10 Record Stores list?

WARSOP: Fingerprints Music in Long Beach is awesome! They have regular in-store shows, an awesome selection, friendly staff and a coffee shop and cafe on the premises. 

JUICE: What bands that you have produced were the coolest to hang out with?

WARSOP: I have assistant engineered for Green Day… and Tre definitely cracked me up. Also for Weezer… I got to do donuts with Pat (drummer) in his car.

JUICE: Which records that you have produced are you most stoked on?

WARSOP: I’m really proud of Bad Cop Bad Cop’s ‘Warriors’ record. I was lucky enough to co-write some songs on that one. I also co-produced with Fat Mike from NOFX, which was an experience, and it is just a modern day punk classic in my opinion. Lovebreakers from Birmingham, England, I produced their debut album, “Primary Colours”. Check it out if you like classics like – Green Day, Replacements, Oasis, The Who… They have been getting played by Steve Lamacq on Radio 1 in the U.K. too, which is just a watermark in anyone’s career really. 

JUICE: Which Sharp/Shock songs mean the most to you and why? 

WARSOP: Probably “W’hey the Lads”. It’s honestly just a quick fuck-around, tongue-in-cheek, hardcore song. but the chorus hook was actually written by my dad. It was my dad’s satirical impression of what hardcore punk was to mock me and brother when we first became interested in it as kids. My dad is not a musician, by any means, so I just felt it was heartwarming to essentially have his name credited next to mine in ownership of a song inside a record. I’m not sure if he actually cares though. Haha! 

JUICE: Do you think you’re harder on yourself when it comes to producing your own music than you are when you are producing music by other bands? 

WARSOP: Interesting question. Yes and no. I believe the song is king. I’m pretty confident in my vision when it comes to songwriting, so I don’t really argue with myself so much over writing and arrangement in regards to SHARP/SHOCK, however, if I feel a band that I’m producing has a bad arrangement or a weak part in the song, then I’m going to have to be harder on them in order to try and challenge them to make it different. Arguing diplomatically with a band can be one of the most tricky aspects of my job. However, when it comes to tones and mixes for other bands, I’m probably less involved and tend to work faster and more confidently. For some reason, when tracking SHARP/SHOCK, I probably labor and stress over this backend part of the process way more. 

JUICE: What is one compelling reason that people should listen to the new SHARP/SHOCK EP?

WARSOP: It will make you laugh whilst wanting to smash up ya living room at the same time. Fookin ‘ave it! 



If I ruled the world for a day I would…

Make spaying and neutering your cats and dogs law, like your taxes are.

The easiest way to piss me off is…

Talk about yourself for longer than 10 minutes.

What I do to piss people off is…

Use loads of toilet paper.

Best place to buy band equipment is…

Online… the place to find the good deals.

The nastiest thing I’ve ever seen on a tour bus is…

Running out of internet data.

If I could hang with anyone in history for a day, it would be…

Tom Hardy.

Describe your music in 5 words or less:

Vital, swift, optimistic, strong.

In 10 years, I hope I’ll be…

Saving stray cats and dogs!

Interviews by Vanessa Soriano and Juice

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