DFW Music News

Dallas Native Sherwin Shapouri Explains How He Came To Release New Charles Manson Recordings on His Label.

Charles Manson 1969 Police Photo
Surprisingly, Charles Manson is still releasing songs while in solitary confinement.

And, believe it or not, there's a local tie-in: Dallas-turned-Austin-based Withdrawal Records just released an EP, Inner Earth Inferno, featuring two songs from Manson and two songs from Ancient VVisdom, a new Austin-based doom-folk band featuring ex-Integrity/Final Plan member Jochum. Locally, Withdrawal is known for tour managing Power Trip.

But, surely, this new development proves the label capable of working on a larger scale. It's not everyday that a label gets the go-ahead on releasing some Manson recordings. But Withdrawal has--and you can get your copy of the new split EP right here.
As for the songs, well, apparently Charles Manson's anger is these days geared towards the plight of the environment instead of race wars. And instead of having the Family, he has a new group of followers, these ones called ATWA. There are two songs on the EP from Manson, "Irony of Life" & "What Could I Do," both of which were recorded this summer.

We decided to look deeper into the bizarre phenomenon of new Charles Manson recordings and had a chat with Withdrawal Records CEO Sherwin Shapouri about how he came about the songs. Check out our full Q&A with Shapouri after the jump.

How did you get these recordings?
The most I can say is that it's from people that are close to him.

Did you get these recordings in Texas or California?

He's in Cochran Prison. Inland California. I got them from people that are close to him and close to the other band that split the EP.

How did you get to know these people?

Umm, It kinda runs with Ancient VVisdom. We were kinda showing them to our friends. and one of our friends said there's these people that have these Manson songs and they're trying to get the word out there. 

Were you able to have any form of communication with Charles Manson?
He had a lot of input on the release. I never got to talk to him directly. I just talk to the people that were a liaison between me and him.

It was his choice to release the songs?
Yeah. The people that got it to me wanted to get out his message. There is a kind of meaning to all the songs.

Do you know the meaning behind the two songs?
"Irony of Life" kinda speaks for itself--it talks about being in prison and stuff like that. It's kind of the same stuff he's been talking about for years, people taking stuff like air for granted. The stuff with the Family is done. He has this new group called the ATWA. "What Could I Do" talks about a lot of things I think he used to enjoy.

When were these recorded?
The songs were recorded this summer over two times they visited him. 

When did he write these?
I'm not sure, but he has a whole arsenal of songs. He's i9n solitary confinement so he has like 23 hours of the day.

You mentioned how hes not with the Family anymore. What's that all about?
I think it's 'cause of how the media drew up the Family. I think pretty much even when he was on trial, they kept saying "there was no Family." Some people went to prison and all that stuff. And all the other people were like "I wasn't a member of this Family," but I think it was an easy title to give them at the time. Now they give themselves the name "ATWA" 'cause the Family has kinda cult taboo around it.

So it's the same group but a different name?
I wouldn't say it's the same group.

Is it similar?
Its kind of the people that follow what he says. But I think they are more environmentally driven. A lot of the things they talk about, you can find a lot of it online. Hes still got that anger he used to have. Now, though, it's more directed towards those that are destroying earth. He hears about what's going on. He heard about the oil spill. 

Do you know if the group supports violent methods?
I don't think they are a violent group. I think they want people to be more educated. They feel like we aren't using our connected world to our advantage.

Do you have more songs by him?
It's in the works. I already have a few, but we're seeing where were gonna go with that. I think we're trying to collect a couple more before we go forward with it.

Any chance of a full-length LP?
Hopefully. I know another music label, Magic Bullet Records that is releasing an LP. I believe its half spoken word, half music.