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Manifest a substantial presence

There is an undeniable transcendent or spiritual tie-in with doom metal band, YOB. “My focus is to reach within and try to unravel the mess inside of myself, and then to reach out to others who are working on this as well,” explains guitarist and vocalist Mike Scheidt. “I think the mystical or spiritual connect comes from the attempt to be fully present…. but the most important piece is what we as band and people as audience bring to those ideas and symbols, in the moment.” Scheidt revealed an interest in the teaching of Ramana Maharshi, Sri Nisargadatta, HWL Poonja, Shunryu Suzuki, amongst others.


GOATWHORE photo by Nathaniel Shannon
Nathaniel Shannon photo

Revitalizing American metal

There’s a new wave of American extreme metal. Have you heard of it? No?

Well, take notice. 

One of the forefathers of the movement are the Louisiana swamp lords, Goatwhore.  Since 1997 the band has been a staple in this relatively unknown revolution.  For the last few years bands like High on Fire, Cephalic Carnage, Pig Destroyer and The Black Dahlia Murder, among others, have been carving a hidden tunnel of evil that smuggles in the sounds of the American underground. A revolution that has taken over from the Florida death metal scene left dormant in the 1990s.

Forging the way with European influences and instilling a definitive American sound, Goatwhore continues being kings of the vibrant Louisiana metal scene. It just so happens that Louisiana is only a stone’s throw away from the land of FLA, the birthplace of death.  So they packed up camp and made the drive across the state border to the land of Saint Petersburg to record with legendary producer and death metal aficionado Eric Rutland.  The outcome was Goatwhore’s fifth album, Blood for the Master. It sounds like a brewing pot of violent volume and good old-fashioned American angst.

Drumming up the demons is vocalist Ben Falgoust, who was recruited for the open position after a Baton Rouge punch up involving original vocalist, and current guitarist Sammy Duet. “Sammy got in a bar fight in Baton Rouge and he got his jaw broken.  I was into a lot of the shit he was doing and I kind of stepped in and helped out and did some shows and after that things sort of fell into place and they kept going from there,” says Falgoust of his Goatwhore apprenticeship.  A wired jaw later, Ben is in the fold and Goatwhore takes hold.  It’s now been over ten years and Zack Simmons and James Harvey were summoned on drums and bass respectively.

It may be a small coincidence to reach Ben by phone in the Goatwhore tour van on their way to Baton Rouge. The same town of that fateful dust up after a riverboat show at Austin’s South By South West (SXSW).  People have been sticking the black metal label onto Goatwhore like sand on a fresh wound. However, extreme metal is a more deserving term to describe them.  Because, in reality, they are just straight up Southern-fried badass heavy music that covers a number of the many so-called metal sub genres. “People like to put things in categories but using the term extreme leaves it a little bit more open,” Falgoust explains. “We have the angles of death metal, black metal, thrash metal and things like that all kind of blended in even to the point of full on crust, punk and hardcore.” Goatwhore are not a band to be pigeonholed, they just play music that they grew up with and love.

The Vancouver show will mark the beginning of a small Canadian tour that runs from coast to coast. 3 Inches of Blood will jump on the tour to co-headline after the Vancouver date. “The common thing we think about Canada is the cold weather of course but overall, our experiences through the years from the first time until now have been really good,” says Falgoust.Goatwhore are no strangers to Canadian soil and this will actually be their third stop in the last three years.

-Heath Fenton

Goatwhore play the Rickshaw Theatre April 10 with Tyrant’s Blood, M16 and Galgamex.


Kentucky Womanizer photo by Matt Leaf
Matt Leaf photo

Spark their own kinda light

Burlesque artist Calamity Kate is the rocking seducer of roller Troy Zak, or is it the opposite? Either way, Kentucky Womanizer is a punk ‘n’ roll band with a namesake. “It's my tribute to the real King of Rock 'n' Roll, Neil Diamond,” says bass player and vocalist Zak. “A master song writer. He is so romantic,” adds Kate. “I made it clear to Troy that I get a 'hall pass' should the opportunity ever arise.

“We had been talking about doing something together,” explains Zak. “Calamity Kate, hands down, is one of the most engaging people I've ever seen on a stage.

“I told Troy that I'd sleep with him if he started a band with me, and it worked,” laughs Kate.

“We made a deal I would write the music, sing and Calamity Kate would do all of the back up vocals and light some shit on fire, grind sparks off her smokin' hot body,” says Zak, and “give people something to remember. It's more than music. It's entertainment and we both love that.”

Kate had been on tour with Big John Bates and the Voodoo Dollz. “I loved being a part of that band,” explains Kate, “but I wanted to do something a little different and since I'm dating such an incredible musician, we thought that we could combine both of our talents.”

Zak has toured with the Vibrators, Last of the Bad Men and is on the road with the Real McKenzies. Kentucky Womanizer is a project with Kate and Zak at the core. Add Corporal Ninny from SNFU, the Hookers and the Red Hot Lovers on drums. Guitarist Justin Jeske, from the Wanna-Be's on Lookout! Records, recorded on the album as well. “We have a talented pool of musicians in this city to pull from,” says Troy, “whether or not they stick around depends on if they can get through the set while Calamity Kate is on stage half naked and starting fires.”

The provoking number “Get Down Get On It” is proof of that. “It makes me want to get up, dance and drink a lot of beer!” exclaims Kate. “It's not about sex,” explains Zak, “but it could be. It's about getting off your ass and achieving your goals. For me it meant fronting my own band.”

Three of those songs are out on a comp called Love Thy Beaver including the latter and two covers that feature Calamity Kate on vocals and Greg Kuehn of T.S.O.L. on organ. Look for a 10-inch on SHAKE! Records from Victoria.  An EP of eight punk ‘n' roll songs recorded at the House of Payne.

Kentucky Womanizer is a modern day rock ‘n’ roll ceremony of Vaudeville. “As far as punk rock making a comeback? I didn't know it left town. I've still got my records so it's here forever,” says Zak. It’s a ditto for burlesque. “Lucky for us, Vancouver has some of the best performers in the world.  I see it fitting together beautifully as myself and many of my fellow artists are always creating numbers to punk/rock songs,” explains Kate. “Traditionally, burlesque had always been performed along with a live band…”

Be tempted by Kentucky Womanizer, The Injectors and The Stockers April 25th at Gators Pub in Abbotsford

- More Betty


Napkin Records photo by tiina liimu
basement punks get a year wiser

Emphasizing creativity and innovation above budget and sanity, this has been a challenging and productive year for Napkin Records. To celebrate their first birthday, Napkin hosted an all-day bash with some of their label's best talents, including Hemogoblin, Lesser Pissers, Bertha Cool, and Industrial Priest Overcoats playing a showcase at Neptoon Records. Even more promising, a 20-track tape was released free-of-charge, featuring some great art work and the rest of a largely new but impressive roster, including Gender Dog and Night Detective.

“Basement punk bands with no way to facilitate producing their music” are Napkin's focus according to label co-founder Rob Tunold, who started the label with Ben Beckett in 2012. They’ve populated their roster with acts “so focused on making music that they don't have anything to do with it,” says Tunold. This includes two completed EPs by Lesser Pisser and Girl Dracula, a cassette by Industrial Priest Overcoats, and two compilation cassettes—including their anniversary release—featuring all of their talents.

They follow in the ambitious vein of several other Vancouver start-ups, promoting a local roster and distributing them amongst independent record stores and through repeated live appearances. But they can't take their influences too seriously. “Richard Branson is kind of always been the guy. My dream date has been windsurfing with Richard Branson. Give me Richard Branson, a hot air balloon and a Jeep Wrangler,” Beckett jokes. 

In addition to operating as a label, they publish an online magazine called the Weekly Douche, which includes “doing band and show reviews, crosswords also an advice column with Mel Venus,” says Beckett. The contents are satirical, subversive, and, at times, surreal as their writers take the form of characters and caricatures of various stereotypes. “We're doing everything a paper would do, but better,” Tunold quips. 

“We're also actively recording anybody who wants to record, for a fraction of what anyone's charging,” Tunold makes clear. Although they began in a promising location filled with many of their friends, they've since moved homes to Frownstairs.

We were treated to complimentary performances by many of their acts throughout the night. Hemogoblin were ferocious during their set. A uniquely heavy two-piece, head banging their way through nearly metal psychedelic thrash. Though their performance was an exception to the post punk influence of their label contemporaries, they were welcomed with wild applause tonight.  A split with them and Bertha Cool, who also performed that night, is due from Napkin later this year.

Industrial Priest Overcoat followed with a high energy, shrieking performance that saw all the members of the act trading instruments and roles with adept ability. Beckett alleges they're the reason for Napkins creation. “That's the kind of band Napkin Records is about, our flagship band, as opposed to any kind of mission statements we might have,” Beckett asserts. “It's the work of Trevor McEachron, who records everything in his bedroom, all instruments himself, for years. We put together a band for him, and we're putting out his record, and the music is amazing.”

In autumn, Napkin Records is embarking on its first American tour through the East Coast, starting in Ohio and hitting many notable cities. Before they leave they'll be making additions to the current roster, including the Whirlies, Gender Dog, and Barrett's Syndrome. They're also very willing to pick favourites, referring to Industrial Priest Overcoats as their current flagship band and looking forward to scheduling a fundraiser. 

The no-cost, community-dependent performances like Neptoon's celebration are what keep Robert Tunold and Ben Beckett motivated to continue their label. “Anything we've done that's been free, we've been happy to do. Whether it’s house parties such as Frownstairs or at Neptoon records today.” With as much progress, we can't help but look forward to their next exhibition.

Napkin records are co presenting Bertha Cool, Industrial Priest Overcoats, and Night Detective at Astorinos, on April 28th with the Safe Amplifcation Society

by Matthew Youdan


Astoria Pub, March 15 2013

Back at the Astoria the excitement was running high for the return of the insanely rocking Hookers; who originated from Louisville Kentucky in 1994. They have toured all over the US and Europe as they were kindred spirits in the punk/garage scene in the 90's. Two nights with different support each evening was the menu this weekend. Their first album Satan's Highway came out in 1998 and a succession of 7- inch singles and a split 12" with Electric Frankenstein followed. They bring wild RNR and thrash to the table with high-speed rhythms and screaming vocals - The crowd just went crazy as singer Adam Neal laid down a raging sermon for the fans. Like the Misfits in the past they bring the old school back.


SUBCULTURE by wendythirteen
So I thought this month I would talk about our dear ol' Government's border crossing policy.... What is needed for a non-Canadian band to play in Canada is a minimum five page form called an LMO... A 'Labour Market Opinion’.... You can Google 'CRA LMO' and it will take you to a Service Canada website where you can download the PDF to print out the forms...

Now the trick to these, is making sure you just keep your answers to the 69 questions simple... YES / NO is good! ... I use the terms 'original band' and 'job retention' a lot!