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Posts Tagged ‘Canada

Horns Up Podcast: Episode 43

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Meet Lindsay Schoolcraft, a Canadian Ethereal Gothic Rock Artist best know for her Vocals, Songwriting, playing the Electric Harp, and for being part of Cradle Of Flith. Her debut solo album Martyr feat. Rocky Gray (ex-Evanescence) is out now.

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December 14, 2019 at 6:19 pm

Deep Dark River

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There have been heavy rains in Mumbai in the past couple of weeks. A album that I found myself listening during this time was King of the Forest, the latest release from Canadian act Deep Dark River. The gloomy weather further enhanced the album’s dark sound.

Deep Dark River was started by Morgan Rider (Vesperia, Crimson Shadows). He released a self titled album last year was soon after joined by Nathen Morrison on cello.

I spoke to Morgan Rider about the inspiration behind the band, King of the Forest and also performing live.

You have been performing with metal bands (Vesperia, Crimson Shadows) for some time now. What inspired you to start Deep Dark River?

Yes! Actually, I have been playing, writing, recording and touring with metal bands for over two thirds of my life. I have always loved music in every form, not ever cordoning myself into any particular ways of approaching a genre, or being too hyper critical of other styles. Music is art, afterall.

I really began going down this path when I started assembling my own recording studio close to a decade ago. I always wrote and recorded songs that simply didnt belong within the catalogue of my existing bands and after a while I had amassed a small library of unused material that I felt really strongly about.

It was in 2017 that I discovered I was to become a father the next year. I dont know why, but something clicked in me then. I immediately penned down the title ‘Deep Dark River’ on the front of a blank notebook and started writing songs without trying too hard. Within those 9 months, I had filled much of the notebook with songs and had constructed the idea of the project along with its future over the next five years.

You are now joined by Nathen Morrison on cello. How did he become of the band?

Nathen and I have been friends for a long while. He and I had shared the stage plenty of times with our previous bands, and had recruited members of eachothers’ bands to play in our bands. In 2017, I had this idea of getting a violin player on board with Deep Dark River, but found it next to impossible to find somebody talented at the instrument with available time to work on this with me.

Nathen – it turns out – had been learning the cello for the last 6-8 years and was quite formidable on the instrument already. I spoke with him a couple of times and he was eager to get involved in a project like this.

King of the Forest is a dark album. Do tell us a bit more about it.

So right out of the gate, King of the Forest is an album of lament and loss. I am a huge supporter of minimalism, helping people understand their ecological footprint and understanding how our actions are shaping the world around us. I have always been impacted heavily by what we as a species of earth are doing to our home and everything in it without much care or focus on how it will turn out for us. King of the Forest talks a little about this.

Its about a woodland guardian, a godlike figure in the element of his domain – the ancient arboreal realms of earth. He is drawn to the highest mountain of his forest and witnesses a meteor impact within his lands, which destroys and clears much of the thick forest. Much time passes and things begin to blossom anew, when the forest is finally encroached on by the humans, who come with their steel machines and poisonous air. He fights for his lands and kin, but is eventually slain by the humans who do not know what he is or what he represents.

I know as an individual, I cannot and should not dictate what other people can or should think or do. I think its important that a clean and healthy earth should be one of the most important topics people should be talking about and acting toward. Afterall, no matter what other immensely difficult topics their are to talk about today – religion, humanitarianism, the global economy – none of it matters if the world it takes place on is destroyed by us.

How different was the writing process for King of the Forest?

King of the Forest was unique for me as far as writing goes. Usually I will be couped up at home, or in my studio working on the songs for an album. But for this one, I wrote all of it on the road on my last tour. I spent over a month beside the great lakes, next to camp fires, in and on top of mountains in the Rockies, hiking, etc and really enjoying the natural beauty of Canada. I also was able to shape the new songs’ dynamics in a live setting during all the shows I did from coast to coast.

The album is the first part in a four album quadrilogy that the duo plan to release over the next 2 years. What can you tell us about the other releases?

The other three albums will be a similar format to King of the Forest. Meaning, each will be seven songs long and will feature a particular legendary animal native to Canada and the domain they call home. The next one will be about an ocean guardian in the form of a monstrous whale and we plan to release it in December.

One thing that will make each album unique is that each will have a different instrumentation. While my voice along with Nathen’s cello will be the main elements across all of the releases, the next one will feature live drums and overdriven guitars.

So far, all of the drums, guitars and pianos are done for the next one. This will give us lots of time to make cool videos and release neat artwork to accompany it.

What are you currently listening to?

At this moment I am listening to ‘Everything is Fine’ by Amigo the Devil.

King of the Forest has been release on your label North Soul Records. Do you plan on signing on other artists/bands to the label?

Actually, I hadnt considered it. Maybe one day down the road! For now, North Soul will be an avenue for me to release all of my own music.

You have been performing live quite extensively. How does the experience difference as a duo compared to a 4 piece metal band?

I have! As of this month, I have played over 170 gigs since the beginning of 2018. One thing that I am enjoying quite a bit about playing solo or as a duo is that there is far, far less equipment to haul around. On my last tour, instead of having to have a van and trailer with amps, etc, I had everything I needed plus camping equipment and luggage all packed into my little car. I even brought my little family, which was a tour first!

Do you have any upcoming shows or tour planned?

There isnt any touring plans in place right now. I have been mostly grinding away in the markets within a several hour drive – slowly building a home fanbase. I might do another solo tour next year, but that is just an idea at this point.

Otherwise, I am all over Ontario throughout the summer solo and as a duo with Nathen. Those dates can be checked at http://deepdarkriver.com

Thanks for your time. Do you have any final words?

Thank you for the interview and for your support! It is cool to see what this little project is becoming and I am so excited for all of the music we plan to release over the next two years. Cheers!

Written by trendcrusher

July 9, 2019 at 10:45 pm

Gigabastards interview

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It has been a while since I posted an interview here, I have got caught up with the year end list and also Horns Up.

Gigabastards are an international grind duo, Alexander (Horde of Worms, Sepulchre) and Johan (Stort, Hybrid Xenomorph Predator, Cyboresis, Digital Blastbeat Manifest, Saprophyte Sapiens).  The prolific act put out their 5th release V:EX in November last year. The album combines grindcore and power electronics, making it not an easy listen.

I spoke to Alexander about how the project was formed, their latest album and also his favourite grindcore releases of 2018.

 

Your 5th release V:EX was out last month. How does it feel now that EP has been released?

Alexander – It feels great to finally have this monster of an album out. We were quite ambitious this time around in terms of creating a much longer and more conceptual album than most of our previous releases.

With Johan based in Belgium and Alexander in Canada. How did the project come about?

Alexander – I have known about Johan since the first Bloodbucket Productions compilation “Buckets Of Blood Vol. 1” when he submitted his HXP (Hybrid Xenomorph Predator) release for inclusion on the comp and have followed his many musical projects since. The actual formation of Gigabastards, truth be told, happened one night when I was very intoxicated. I was listening to old school grind and lamenting the fact that the rawness and short song approach has changed and there are no people in my city that want to do this type of extreme music and I then drunkenly sent a message to Johan asking him if I were to send him drum tracks, would he make noise over it. He agreed. The next day I recorded three grind drum tracks and sent them to him, a little while later I received his tracks and that’s when Gigabastards was truly born.

How did you decide the sound for the band? What was the inspiration behind it?

Alexander – Gigabastards is unique in approach, as I record the drums, bass, vocals all analog to retain that underground old school sound and Johan does his thing digitally, so the sound is a blended mix of those elements. The inspiration simply was and is to create violent and extreme music.

V:EX is an intense listen with 47 tracks in just over 31 minutes. Tell us a bit more about it.

Alexander – V:EX is a gnarly concept album about the deadliest nerve agent mankind has ever created, namely VX. The title is a play on words seeing as the record is very angry and extreme from start to finish.

 

You have been quite prolific, putting out 5 releases in the past 3 years. What is the writing process you follow?

Alexander – The writing process hasn’t changed and begins with myself recording drum tracks and sending them to Johan. We work on our parts independently and then add them together over the drums. There is little or no editing musically and then once all the parts are done, I record the vocals. All of this is done via email and file sharing. When the album is finished, I then try to capture what the album sounds like visually in album art.

2018 was a good year for grindcore/powerviolence. What are your favorite releases?

Alexander – Yes, there has been a resurgance of grind based music, which to me is great because I love grindcore. I’m not sure if these releases are of this year but a couple of my favorites are: Chepang/Test split, Bleeding Out demo, Flash Out demo, Holy Cost and Massgrave,

What is currently in your playlist?

Alexander – My playlist looks like this:

Mysticum – Planet Satan
Ultrarat – 7”
Bleeding Out – Demo
Chthe’Ilist – Le Dernier Crépuscule
Weregoat – Pestilential Rites Of Infernal Fornication

V:EX is being released as a deluxe edition on via Bloodbucket productions. What can we expect as a part of it?

Alexander – It will be a digipak and will include our first EP “Fright Of The Isoceles” as a bonus!!

Thanks for answering all our questions. Do you have any final words?

Alexander – Thanks for the opportunity to spread the word about Gigabastards! There will be more music released in the new year. Connect with Gigabastards and Bloodbucket Productions on social media and support the underground/your local scene!! Stay heavy \m/

 

Written by trendcrusher

February 19, 2019 at 10:59 pm

Striker interview

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Last week, I interviewed Skull Fist for The Metal Wanderlust; the band are currently touring Europe with another killer Canadian act Striker. Play to Win is their 6th album in a decade and is definitive release. I found the songs to be quite catchy, ‘The Front’ is one of my favourite along with the first single ‘Head First’.

I spoke to Guitarist Tim Brown about Play to Win, being an independent act and also his current playlist.

You recently wrapped up a North American tour with Unleash the Archers and Helion Prime. What was the highlight of the tour?

The whole tour was a highlight! Great package, great friends. We had a run of about 10 sold out shows on the east coast, plus a bunch of other sold out shows. The Canadian dates were also off the hook!

Play to Win is a classic heavy metal album. Do tell us more about it.

We wanted to experiment with some slower tempos and different sounds on this album. Even snuck in a ballad! We listen to so much music; we wanted to stretch our writing a bit. Try some new things, get weird with it.

What was the writing and recording process for the album?

We basically sit down and rank all our song ideas, and whatever comes out on top goes on an album. We recorded and produced everything ourselves at our home studio then sent it out for a mix/master by Henrik Udd. Super happy with the results, this album is easily our most monstrous!

Play to Win is your third release as an independent artist. Why you have chosen to stay independent and not sign up with any label?

Short answer: labels suck! They take everything and you get very little back. You aren’t in control. No one will work harder for you than you will. You are your best resource. Might as well do it yourself.

What’s currently on your playlist?

Myrone – drift stage volume 1
Toto – the seventh one
Unleash The Archers – follow me to apex
Skullfist – way of the road

What are your thoughts on the current state of heavy metal?

It’s good! Tons of new acts coming out. I think as soon as more bands realize they can do it themselves and don’t need labels, we will have a resurgence of metal. There are already tons of independent acts, but once it becomes the norm not the exception, I think music will be in a better place

Do recommend bands from that the readers should check out?

Skull Fist, Unleash the Archers, Dance With The Dead, tons of good stuff!

You have a European tour with Skull Fist coming up next month. What are you looking forward to at the shows?

Shredding with our European fans! And the beer

Thanks for answering all our questions. Do you have any final words?

Thanks for the support! Check out our website http://www.striker-metal.com for all your Striker needs

Cheers
Tim

Written by trendcrusher

November 12, 2018 at 11:20 pm

Into Eternity

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A couple months ago, I interviewed Blood of Christ a band that was making a comeback after a decade. Another Canadian band, Into Eternity is back after close to a decade. I discovered the band when I heard their track Spiraling into Depression on the Metal for the Masses II compilation from Century Media. 

I spoke to band founder Tim Roth about their 6 album The Sirens and also keeping the band going for over 2 decades. Post the interview the band signed with M-Theory Audio and the album will be released on 26th October.

Into Eternity

Read my interview on The Metal Wanderlust

 

 

 

 

Written by trendcrusher

August 1, 2018 at 10:00 pm

Blood of Christ

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Canada is well known for it’s death metal bands. One of the most underrated bands in my opinion is Blood of Christ. The band released 3 albums before calling it quits in 2006. A decade later, Blood of Christ marked their return with the release of a single Echoes From The 7th Dimension. Their fourth album, Unrelenting Declivity of Anguish (Anthology IV) is now out via CDN Records. The album is quite an intense listen, exploring new territory while retaining the sound of their previous releases.

I spoke to the band about starting again, their first album in 15 years and also their plans for the year.

Read my interview on The Metal Wanderlust

 

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June 1, 2018 at 5:04 pm

Mesrine

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Mesrine are a legendary Candian grindcore band. They have released 4 full length albums and innumerable splits in their career that spans  over two decades. A couple months ago, the band released their 5th full length album, Source of Hatred; after multiple listens, I can say it is one of the best grindcore releases I have heard recently. 23 tracks in just over 30 minutes, the album is another fine slab of grindcore.

Read my interview with Fred and Seb on Transcending Obscurity

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September 12, 2017 at 11:39 pm

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Comet Control interview

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Comet Control are a psychedelic rock band from Toronto, Canada. The band was formed after Quest for Fire split up in 2013. Earlier this year in June, they released their second album Centre of the Maze via Teepee Records.

I spoke to Chad Ross about the album. recording it and also their shift in sound.

Photo by laura lynn petrick

Photo by laura lynn petrick

Chad Ross and Andrew Moszynski were in Quest for Fire. How did Nicole Howell (bass), Jay Anderson (drums) and Christopher Sandes (keys) become part of the band?

After quest for fire broke up… nicole, jay, andrew and i immediately started talking about the possibilities of a new band. We’ve all know each other for years in Toronto. It was definitely a natural fit.

Your second album ‘Centre of the Maze’ released a couple months ago. Tell us a bit about the album.

for our self-titled debut, Andrew and I were consciously trying to write tighter, more melodic songs. Center of the maze sticks with that principal… but we took more time to develop sounds and concentrate on production.

It has been 2 years since the release of your self-titled album. What was the writing process for this album?

We got back from a European tour in the winter of 2015 and immediately started to work on the songs that would become the album. Andrew and I would bring in ideas, then we’d sit down with Nicole in our jam space and arrange everything. Jay came in towards the end of the process and we fine-tuned tempos/dynamics and solidified the songs with drums.

What was the recording process for the ‘Centre of the Maze’? How long did it take?

The bed tracks took a couple of days in the spring, at candle recording in Toronto with josh korody. We took the summer to record all of the overdubs at different spots around Toronto, at my home studio and a couple of backyard jam spaces around the city. I recorded all of the guitars with Andrew, my own vocals and the percussion. Chris recorded all of his keyboard wizardry in his home studio.

The band has more psychedelic sound compared to your previous band Quest from Fire. Was that a conscious decision?

It was a conscious decision to focus on tighter song arrangements, whereas qff was more centered around heavy long jams. The addition of chris sandes on keys definitely brought more psych elements to the production. We’re all into classic garage/psych… those influences came out more in our songwriting when we started paying less attention to riffs, and more attention to melody.

CC_cover

‘Centre of the Maze’ is your second release through Tee Pee Records. How has it been working with the label?

This is actually my 5th release on teepee if you include both qff records and the Nordic nomadic record I did with them. It’s a pleasure… and it’s a great group of people working behind the scene.

What have you been listening to lately? Are there any band that have inspired you of late?

Morgan delt has been blowing my mind lately.

Do you have any interests/hobbies outside music?

My day job is a finish carpenter. I find great pleasure in that from time to time. Also camping and nature in Ontario’s north country. It’s quite beautiful to venture north of Toronto through all of the lake systems.

What are bands from the Toronto/Canada that you recommend that our readers check out?

Some Canadian favorites are the shooting guns, radiation flowers, the soupcans, elevator, black walls,….

What are your plans to promote the album? Do you have any other shows planned for the rest of the year?

We have some shows coming up in September in Canada, and a European tour in November.

Written by trendcrusher

September 13, 2016 at 10:00 am

Intervals Interview

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Intervals are a progressive metal band from Toronto, Canada. They have release 2 EPs(The Space Between and In Time) and an album (A Voice Within). Their latest album ‘The Shape of Colour‘ releases today and I feel it is their best album yet; my favourite track is ‘Meridian‘. The album features a new line up alongside guests like Plini and Leland Whitty (BadBadNotGood). I spoke to founder Aaron Marshall about the album, the new line up and more.

Intervals

Hi Aaron, how does it feel now that you are on the brink of the release of ‘The Shape of Colour’?

Aaron: It feels great! This year has definitely been building towards getting this one out and its awesome to see people enjoying what they’ve heard thus far. I can’t wait to officially have it out there and flying around!

Writing an album like this is not an easy task. What kept you going during the tough times?
Aaron: Playing music has always been my absolute passion. Regardless of everything that went on this year, I knew that I would be making this record, and more, no matter what. That’s just the way it is and the way it always will be.

How did it feel to write music alone again?
Aaron: The truth is, the Intervals “sound” and the entire back catalogue (barring a few tunes that we were able to collaborate on) were all written by myself, as it is. Nothing really changed in that regard. For those who aren’t aware, Intervals is sort of an accident that stemmed from an early “play through” video that a friend shot for me. I had no plan and no idea what I was doing. I always wanted to collaborate much more with the collective, but distance and other factors always seemed to play into the matter, so I found myself composing everything anyway. That was a long response to say “the same”, haha.

The Shape of Colour

The album features Cameron McLellan on bass and Travis Orbin on drums. How did they become part of ‘The Shape of Colour’ album?
Aaron: It does indeed! I met Cam through working on Protest The Hero’s last record (Volition). Cam was producing and engineering their record and Luke Hoskin (guitar) asked me to help shape guitar tones for the record. From there I ended up working on the previous Intervals record with Cam to track bass (which I played) and he contributed about 20% of the bass parts for the record. We work really well together and discussed working on the next album together. Cam co-produced, engineered and played bass on The Shape of Colour. The dude is a machine. Travis came into play in order to facilitate a live drum recording on the record (which I am fairly adamant about). He is such a professional and was really easy to work with in order to get the parts where they needed to be. I always compose drums as I write and a lot of what I had written for the record is in there. He created a version of each song with his own parts and we sort split the difference on everything and it came out sounding great. Travis is such a consistent player and such a versatile drummer.

‘A Voice Within’ charted in the Billboard Top 100, a impressive feat for an independent band. I am sure that attracted some attention from labels towards the band. Is there a reason why you have chosen to stay independent and not sign up with any label?
Aaron: This can become a lengthy discussion quite quickly, but I will just say that as a musician, you need to know who you’re catering to and what the best way to do that is. With, or without vocals, this music is definitely considered “niche” which is not a bad word. In fact, with how much music there is these days, I think fitting into a niche is a good place to be. That implies that there is a network or culture that revolves around the movement you’re affiliated with. What I’m getting at is, if you know how to market your art to that crowd, and you’re doing it with intent and resource, you need to ask yourself “is trading my art, the only thing I actually own, for a nominal amount of money, something I NEED to do at this point?” I want to be clear and say I don’t think there is anything wrong with being affiliated to a label and there is a lot of good that can come from it, but these days, there are so many mediums in which to create growth for your act or yourself as an artist, that I don’t think it’s a necessity. If signing to a label is something you aspire to do, you’re going to be in a much better situation if you’ve built your worth to a sustainable level yourself before signing that deal. Clout is everything. If not signing the deal is something that’s on your mind, that’s cool too. You just need to come to terms with how hard you’re willing to devote yourself to the 50+ other hats you need to wear to make it work yourself. Its incredibly gratifying to create a piece of art, and see it through every step of the way. I’m always learning new things about the “industry” and I feel like I’m much better off for that.

You’ve toured across North America and Europe multiple times in the past few years. What is your best touring memory so far?
Aaron: Touring Europe with Protest The Hero, Tesseract, and The Safety Fire was by far, the best touring experience I’ve had to date. There were so many ridiculously epic memories from that tour. I’m not sure I can even really chose one in particular, haha. January 2014 was easily one of the best times of my life.

What are your plans for the coming year? Do you plan on touring in support of the album?
Aaron: Absolutely. I have a really awesome tour that I can’t wait to announce, and hopefully there will be some more of that to follow. I also plan on collaborating with a few individuals and I’d love to find time to write a new EP as well!

Listen to ‘The Shape of Colour’ below

Written by trendcrusher

December 4, 2015 at 4:26 am

Introducing:Vantablack Warship

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Vantablack Warship

Who: Vantablack Warship The band consists of  Yannick “Pil” Pilon (Vocals), Pat Gordon (Guitars) Thierry Hivon (Guitars), Kurt Clifford (Bass) and Pierre Pitre (Drums)

Where: Montreal, Canada

What: Vantablack Warship released their self titled EP last month. “The EP is simply put a homage to the music we have always listened to and enjoyed as individuals and as a collective but morphed into a collection of riffs‎ and tunes which with a touch of 2015.” said bassist Kurtis Clifford “This is not so much a thematic EP, but more so a collection of ideas and thoughts on current day events or subjects of interest.”

How: “The song writing process was pretty straight forward. A member would come to the jam space with a riff or general skeleton for a song, the band jammed it out. If the song seemed solid, we would Pil (vocals) and Kurt ‎(Bass) hash some lyrics and have Pil throw something on the tunes once they were pretty much final mode.  We worked on this off and on for a year. But it all came together in about 12 to 15 jam sessions. Very spontaneous and easy process.” said Kurtis about how the wrote the album.

“The recording was also relatively painless. Once everything was set up in the studio, it took us basically 8 hours to pull it all together, i.e. lay down the tracks. ( Very S.O.D.ish…).” said Kurtis about the recording process.  “We spent more time though fine tuning lyrics in the studio and getting those just write. The band is made up of experienced players and the songs aren’t that complex to play, it was therefore relatively simple to record.”

Listen to “Vantablack Warship“below

(Band Pic by Wayne William Archibald)

Written by trendcrusher

November 6, 2015 at 7:33 pm