Shamrock of 20XIII talks Colorado rock scene, identity, and more



Mike Shamrock of 20XIII shredding on guitar at a gig, January 2019

Sydney Lammey, Staff Writer

From the Filmore to Aggie Theater, Mike Shamrock is no stranger to the Colorado music scene. Currently, Shamrock can be seen on stage with his band 20XIII (Twenty Thirteen), Porno Addiction (Jane’s Addiction and Porno for Pyros tribute), Sabotage (Beastie Boys tribute), Guerrilla Radio (Rage Against the Machine tribute), Behind (Candlebox tribute), Loungefly (Stone Temple Pilots tribute), and Sonic Temple (Culture of the Band tribute). He is also working on a solo project called the Mike Shamrock Project.

With seven bands in his back pocket, eight including his solo project, Shamrock has worked with a variety of different types of musicians. Sometimes, running into creative differences. 

“That’s the most annoying part, finding like-minded people, and people that also have an open schedule. I’ll bend over backward to play this gig or this show or to book this show or something. And I don’t feel that from a lot of the other people I play with. And then they don’t come prepared sometimes like they don’t take it as serious. Rehearsals are to make the band tight. You’re supposed to learn your parts at home.”

With all these hours of stage time racked up, Shamrock definitely has a unique presence on stage. 

“When I first started playing, all I cared about was not hitting any wrong notes, which didn’t happen, like, I hit wrong notes. But I just stood there. So it wasn’t as cool and the way I put it is, I like to listen to Tool. But I like to watch Rage Against the Machine play. When they play live, Maynard moves around, and the bass player kind of does a little bit, but their guitar player likes to stand still, like, Adam Jones doesn’t move around. He needs to move.”

In the rock scene, we see lots of musicians struggling with their identities. Some even credit their insecurities as the reason they got to where they are today. Shamrock recalls moments in his childhood when he struggled with insecurity.

“As a child, I had wicked acne. And I was on a drug, or whatever, called Accutane. Which after a while, they found that it wasn’t the best thing. You’re supposed to be on it for a certain amount of months and after that, they get you off for at least a year. I was on it back to back for almost a year and a half which is really not good. So, I liked to be alone a lot when I was a child. It was perfect for me. So I was really into Green Day, my first favorite band, then Rage, and like Primus, and then there’s a band called 36 Crazy Fists that really caught my ear. So I was just emulating them, learning all their songs. So it went from power chord punk rock songs to like, nowadays, like Joe Satriani, Steve Vai like crazy guitar nerdery so I like to tell it.”

Since the dawn of Rock and Roll, musicians have been turning to drugs and alcohol, either to cope, to party, or both. While Shamrock never got into using, he has had experiences with people who have.

“I moved here to Fort Collins when I was 21. My dad’s a police officer so he really didn’t want me getting into it, he was weary of it. Like he supported me but he was like, maybe something else. I know what happens there. So I’ve always been a good boy. Yeah, but um, I’ve seen a lot of friends go down the wrong rabbit hole, so to say. And a lot of them come out of it. Some haven’t. We’ve lost some and in recent years, so yeah, I’d say it’s still there.”

Fort Collins and Denver are totally different scene-wise. Fort Collins is more folk-punk, while Denver has more variety. Playing all around Colorado, Shamrock has a lot to say about both scenes.

“My band 20XIII won KBPS best band member in 2008 Going into 2009 so we got to play all the big venues in Denver, we got to play the Fillmore I think three or four times, we had to open for Slipknot. The Fillmore was Korn. When we played the Coliseum, it was us and Trivium. I, I love Trivium, Coheed, Cambria, and Slipknot. So we got to play quite a few big shows and they played us on the radio like once a week at least we interviewed with KVP. When we come back here we could play Hoodie’s or something but when we would try to go play the Aggie or Mr. Walker, like, a bit bigger venues. It would be a lot harder for us to get in there and we wouldn’t really get any love. We try to get on the radio stations here in town, but not much love. Like, I don’t know, something about Fort Collins is that they don’t want that heavier in-your-face rock music, they prefer the quiet college vibe. Nothing cool.”

Local bands are consistently putting in the work. We urge you to check out venues like Surfside, Aggie Theatre, or The Downtown Artery for upcoming shows.