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Maniac frontman Shawn Harris on going vegan

Shawn Harris, long-time vegan and co-frontman of the indie/pop band Maniac, says since going vegan, not only is his health better (he's sure he's going to live until age 110), he is also less prone to getting in fisticuffs. Here's how veganism has change

Shawn Harris, long-time vegan and co-frontman of the indie/pop band Maniac, says since going vegan, not only is his health better (he's sure he's going to live until age 110), he is also less prone to getting into fisticuffs. We talked with Harris about how veganism has changed his life and got the deets on his new album, Mania, which debuts March 15.
Shawn Harris, long-time vegan and co-frontman of the indie/pop band Maniac, says since going vegan, not only is his health better (he's sure he's going to live until age 110), he is also less prone to getting into fisticuffs. We talked with Harris about how veganism has changed his life and got the deets on his new album, Mania, which debuts March 15.

Q&A with Shawn Harris, co-frontman of Maniac

Maniac, the cross-continental indie/pop duo co-fronted by Shawn Harris, formerly of the California-based band The Matches, and Jake Grigg of the Australian band Something with Numbers, will release their long-anticipated debut, Mania, on March 15. An immediate digital download of the album comes with all vinyl preorders on the band’s official website www.ManiacMania.com. Produced by Maniac and Matt Radosevich, Mania features 11 tracks recorded in America and Australia. The album’s first single Give It Up was added to Australia’s hit station Triple J this summer. If you aren't familiar with Maniac's tunes, check them out -- in Mania, the band explores the highs and lows of life and love through a sound that’s got both a retro vibe but a thoroughly modern, unique twist. Here's what Harris has to say about his vegan lifestyle.

Miso Vegan: What inspired you to go vegan?

Shawn Harris: I've been vegan for about eight years. I can attribute it all to a head chef where I was working on the line at the time, before I was touring full-time. He was vegan, and I didn't understand how he could cook dishes that he hadn't ever tried. His response was something like, "I don't care what the rest of you clogged-arteried fat [expletive] eat." But he did care, I found out. He scheduled me to come in early and unthaw the steaks and other cuts after the kitchen had been on a two-week holiday. It turned out, he had pulled the plug on it, and everything in there had been thawed and turning all sorts of living over the break. I haven't much thought about eating flesh since.

Miso Vegan: How has veganism changed your life?

Shawn Harris: I never get sick. Let me think ... hmmm ... there are not really any other changes! I don't fight people anymore -- I don't know if that can be directly associated. OH! I'm gonna live until I'm 110.

Miso Vegan: How has veganism changed your music?

Shawn Harris: Well, I'm in totally un-conflicted love with animals now, so I am happier altogether, being one of them myself. My new group Maniac chucked out the distortion boxes and the crash symbols, perhaps in part because Jake and I are far more confident with ourselves and our voices and how much we love to use them (together) in a weird animal sort of way. 

Miso Vegan: What is your favorite vegan meal?

Shawn Harris: I'm very psyched about the first vegan cheese that fools my non-vegan friends -- Daiya. So I've been making all kinds of simple quesadillas and grilled cheese sams. Also, my favorite restaurants on tour are the Soul Vegetarian spots in DC and Atlanta. Bangin greens, wings, and mac 'n cheese.

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