In September 2012, I was offered an opportunity to travel to New York with Vancouver designer Katherine Soucie of Sans Soucie. Her partner, musician Shockk Mongoose, also came along to enjoy a little sightseeing, offer Soucie support during her busy schedule, and provide live music for her section of a local fashion showcase. At the show, his music stood out as it perfectly blended Sans Soucie’s styling with the unique feel of this event.
Over the course of our ten day visit, we slowly got to know each other a little better. He’s soft-spoken, but what he says is to the point. Relaxed by nature, Mongoose seems to just accept life’s journey as it comes.
The depth of his artistic nature came to light when I had a chance to view some of the amazing photography he had captured. While a lot of it was focused on the city, there was one black and white image of me. I was sitting on the floor, taking a break between model fittings and the show’s start. Normally I don’t enjoy seeing photos of myself, but this one took my breath away. I am honoured to have one of his photographs displayed in my home .
8Q Spotlight Shockk Mongoose
What is your current career(s) – paid and unpaid?
I am a guitar player in the band, The Slip-Ons, as well as many others including The Spitfires, Suicide Ring, Tiger Prawn (I play drums) and Interior Design (my solo ambient/experimental stuff). I also played in Mongoose for 10 years and have been in the Vancouver music scene for 20 years.
My day gig is teaching guitar at the Neil Douglas guitar shop in New Westminster where I have over 40 students of all ages. It’s a great time to teach guitar. I find a lot of the younger students are discovering classic rock which is an excellent place to start. That’s exciting for me. I specialize in teaching beginners, rock and improv, but I love all styles.
Can you share an interesting thing (or two) about your journey to reach this moment?
Pretty much every one of my jobs in the last 20 years have been music related – playing in bars, working in guitar shops, doing quality control on instruments and teaching music. I’ve been lucky.
Which 3 things would you like people to know about you to give them a sense of who you really are?
Highest moment so far?
Touring Japan in 2010 with my old band Mongoose was awesome. Meeting and talking to Japanese musicians was a highlight, as was getting to play in Berlin. Then there was an improv show with Agente Costura, who plays music on a sewing machine! Playing New York fashion week was also a high moment. Lastly there was having three of my photos shown at the Shadbolt Centre for the City of Burnaby’s 120th birthday. This was special because I grew up in Burnaby. Having my photos picked by The Georgia Straight paper was cool too!
What are you working on right now? In the next 6 months?
My band, The Slip-Ons, are working on a new record. I’m also learning some different styles of music.
Who and/or what inspires you?
Photography is big one for me. I love taking pictures of freight trains at night and old heritage buildings. In my shots, I try to capture when new meets old. When I see a image, I always imagine the music that would go with it. I actually compose that way sometimes.
How do you personally define success?
Doing what you love to do and being respected by your peers.
What is your guilty pleasure?
Definitely veggie dogs and fries!
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