wax sonic mileage and landscapes
By More Betty
Photo by Don Pyle
Canada’s favourite touring band The Sadies are dropping a new record! Internal Sounds is a record infused with psychedelics, garage, a country lineage, Detroit RNR undertone and the geography of their native Ontario runs through its veins. The autumn hued gold-orange cover of this 2013 release is actually an image of guitarist Dallas Good’s shattered leg. “An accident [happened] before a show in Saskatoon a couple of years back. So, that was the inspiration for the title. I remember right after, he wanted to call the next record, Internal Sounds referring to the noise his leg made when it popped,” explains sibling, guitarist Travis Good as he chats from his Ontario farmhouse.
The contrast and harmony between the brothers, Dallas and Travis Good, a pairing of guitars and vocals, is consistently paced by the backbone of Sean Dean on upright bass and drummer Mike Belitsky. The original four-piece is still intact. “It’s really rare for a band like us,” he says, “to continue on with the same line-up this long. No members have ever changed, no-one has ever dropped out as we move along.” The accomplished catalogue from Favourite Colours, New Seasons and 2010’s Darker Circles segues seamlessly into Internal Sounds and the narrative and musicality of the recent recording unfolds from the inside out with tracks from “The Very Beginning” to “Leave This World Behind.” Dallas Good produced this album, which afforded the band space to work within their own timeline. “He’s learned a lot of tricks from a lot of people,” says Travis Good of his brother Dallas. “He always had [producer] Gary Louris’ voice ringing in his ear.” These experiences have guided their process. “He always knew what Gary was going to say,” he adds.
Travis Good wrote “So Much Blood,” with an acoustic guitar in mind, something folks could play at a campfire. “All my songs are just weird. Something you can’t play without The Sadies,” he says. “So I consciously made a decision to make it a real simple song.”
The lyrics of the second last song, “Story 19,” are written by Mike Stacks of The Loons along with Dallas. “It became our tribute to Ronnie Splinter, as opposed to a collaboration,” says Travis. It’s a song about the guitarist from ’60s Dutch garage group, The Outsiders, who passed away during the recording of this album.
This band has been blessed with stellar associations. “I just have to pinch myself for our luck,” says bassist Sean Dean. One track, and quite possibly the biggest surprise on the album, includes a guest appearance by Buffy Sainte-Marie.
“It was a sonic experiment that turned into my favourite song on the record,” echoes Travis. They met in Winnipeg, where she joined them onstage for a few songs and Dallas stayed in touch. “We heard that in the old days that standard tuning was a different,” explains Travis, which led to a noise experiment with the tuning. “We had had two, three minutes of this droning psychedelic music. So we sent it to Buffy to see if she would play, maybe her mouth harp,” he says. “She had lyrics for it that [went], way, way, way beyond our expectations and hopes. We just hoped she would contribute anything, strum a guitar and then she gave us that!”
This well-humored four-piece hits the road once more, this time extending their show. “We are going to do two sets,” Travis explains, as he considers the pacing of their live shows, working this time without an opener. A spirit reflective upon the days when a band would play all night, as it was with his father’s group, The Good Brothers. To add, these dates are rumored to bring along a light show of projections. “We don’t take ourselves seriously, but we take our rock ‘n’ roll very seriously,” says Sean Dean. If you haven’t ‘experienced a Sadies event, be prepared and if you don’t normally dance, you probably will here.
Join the Sadies for an evening at the Rickshaw Theatre, Oct 24th.
as ugly as they want to be
Remember when music was ugly, despicable and repulsive? Nirvana glamorized it. Eyehategod and Buzzoven disfigured it beyond recognition. Music played with anguish, desperation and hate. No shine, no polish, just greasy notes buried in mud, crust and chaos. Violence thrusting forth, screams of the depraved slaves. Haggatha captures this lost art with pure dissonance and disregard for anyone’s eardrums. Dirgy scowls and a raw slow grinding of the bowls. They are creating Vancouver’s ugliest music as they staple beer goggles to your ears and force you to fall in love with them.
“Creates, builds, destroys”
Something feral makes it’s way to all points rock ‘n’ roll. Seiji a.k.a. Guitarwolf, Toru a.k.a. Drumwolf and U.G. a.k.a. Basswolf comprise Japan’s Guitar Wolf and are set unleash their inner beast on this side of the Pacific. This ferocious trio touched down in Memphis late September and is set to prowl and stalk across North America equipped with a state of the art 12-inch vinyl titled, Beast Vibrator. A moment of acuity and keen observation spawned this recording. “Everyone was looking at smart phones while walking in the street. One day, surrounded by the telephone junkies, the anger exploded in me. That was the moment the album title track “Beast Vibrator” was born.” Seiji believes there is a solution to the technological malaise of the soul. “Recently, I noticed people saying, ‘I want to be healed,’” says the guitarist. Instead, he sees the real need is a matter of energy, to become “wild beasts” and to transform. “Move your body, shake your body more and more!” he exclaims.
There is a well-documented Japanese fascination with American rock ‘n’ roll; both masters of raw intensity, colliding, yet distinctive. “It’s like a difference between King Kong and Godzilla. I bet the longing for King Kong motivated the creator of Godzilla. “The rockers in Japan admire rock ’n’ roll in America strongly,” says Seiji. He mentions variances between Japanese and American culture, as well as physical characteristics, so Japanese R&R has come through the filter differently. “It’s like trying to be King Kong but turning out to be Godzilla with a long tail. I’m one of those rockers in Japan, clumsy but aiming at one of a kind R&R,” he explains.
Seems appropriate that Guitar Wolf lands in the birthplace of rock ‘n’ roll. This relationship was established because of a demo tape handed over to a man at the end of a live show. “Six months later, a vinyl record of the tape was delivered to me. The man was Eric of The Oblivians, a founder of The Goner Records in Memphis,” he says. It was a place that accepted the band when no one else was interested. “Sometimes, some interviewers do not know we are from Japan and ask us ‘Where are you from?’ Then, of course, I answer ‘Memphis, Tennessee,’ ” he adds.
“Energy” is a constant with Guitar Wolf’s music; it reads like a science fiction novel. “When I was in high school, I had sleep paralysis, old hag attack … it seemed I was taken away to UFO and they embedded a chip inside my body. I write the songs when I receive the messages or the commands from the star,” he says and explicates further, “It might be a memory of the past of the aliens. The source of my power and energy is UFO and a cool Alien chick I haven’t met yet.”
There is further evidence of this phenomenon on Beast Vibrator with titles like, “EARTH vs. ALIEN.” Stories of time travel with “Mesopotamia Lonely,” a motorbike ride to “Sapphire City,” the power of “Magma Nobunaga,” the prophetic “Gasoline Lullaby,” the motivation of “Ghost You,” and technological love story with “Maria Robot,” to the ferocity of “Female Machine Gun.”
Science Fiction is evident; distortion obliterates and lays waste to the doubt of non-believers of the robust power. “There are two types of human beings in the world: Ones who can play the guitar with clean sound and ones who can’t. I’m the one who can’t,” he says, “I’m the one who wants to destroy the sound. I guess those of us who like noise and distortion want to explode ourselves all the time. That’s right, the rockers who rode on such a sound were always exploding.”
Guitar Wolf live is a transformational experience. A connective ritual and Seiji is the master of ceremonies, harnessing and molding the energy. “Of course! You haven’t looked at the movement of my throat when I gulp down a beer. It’s the Morse code. I’m sending a message to everyone, “Fire up tonight!”
Get set to create, build, destroy and vibrate with Guitar Wolf at the Rickshaw Theatre October 9th.
Keeping it real
Los Angeles’ Terror is one of the hardest-working bands that has more than earned its place and keep at the top of the hardcore mountain. Certainly, they’re a tall order alongside legendary contemporaries like Hatebreed, Agnostic Front, Sick Of It All, Cro-Mags, Madball and H20. Together since 2002, one of the most dedicated and respected, known internationally for the intensely powerful and energetic live shows. The last 11 years has seen this band tour the world, back and forth, relentlessly, and still constantly destroying stages and representing real hardcore to the kids.
I had really hoped that the public outrage over the new labour market opinion [LMO] fees would carry more weight than it has ... Jason Kenney doesn't seem to give a shit at all ... That being said, I'm sure Stephen Harper doesn't care either, even with nearly 137 thousand signatures opposing those changes ... I personally find it outrageous that musicians are lumped in with mine workers from China with multi-billion dollar corporations behind them...