Sunday, September 30, 2007

Interview: Blackjacket

Welcome to the show guys
Doug (D): Thanks for having us.
Mike (M): This is amazing.
Thanks for coming in especially all the way from Quebec City. Which I understand wasn’t an easy drive, even in a normal drive, but then again there was construction.
D: Yeah Highway 20, which is supposed to be three lanes; was closed to one so we were pretty much stopped there for a half hour.
M: We got to know our inner selves you know, reflect for a bit. It was nice.
While breathing carbon monoxide. So introduce yourselves and tell us what you do in the band.
Kenny (K): Okay, we’ll start with me. I’m Kenny Chaos (everyone laughs). I’m the guitar player/lyricist in the band.
D: My name is Doug and I play bass. I do vocals.
M: Since we’ll follow the theme of Kenny Chaos my name is Mike Mayhem. (laughs) Drums and vocals.
D: Or Mike Massacre
Brandon (B): Uh, yeah my name is Brandon bitch. It’s all I got.
M: Alliteration aside we are BLACKJACKET I guess.
Okay so how long has BLACKJACKET been around for?
D: Well, we started in early 2004 and had a couple of line up changes but we’ve been going strong with playing shows and releasing CD’s.
M: Yeah, three years.
And how did the band form?
D: Myself, Kenny and Mike were in another band together and decided that we wanted to form this one because we were really into what this was, so we just decided to start it.
K: We all kind of got together in a basement and said ‘here, this is what we want to do.’
M: I guess like minded kids think alike since we all, you know we’re losers I guess since we didn’t drink or do drugs or whatever. We decided that we just wanted to focus on playing music but we weren’t really a self-proclaimed straight edge band per se, so.
D: And Brandon, he’s been with us for about a week. So..
B: Yeah I’m the new guy.
K: That’s why he’s Brandon bitch.
M: He also plays in a band called I KILLED JESUS around Toronto as well. So you should check them out.
B: That’s right!
So tell us about the band you were in before, what was the band’s name?
D: We were called SLAVES OF SOCIETY, and it was fun for the amount of time we were in the band right up until we started this one.
M: We were only kids then.
What did you sound like?
M: We were pretty much just straight ahead punk rock.
D: More like punk/ska though, it was more like a slower pace like the CLASH almost.
M: The ’77 punk I guess, if you want to label something like that. With a bit of ska.
K: We kind of switched it up a bit too, Mike and the other singer/drummer used to switch it up on drums and vocals.
M: So we used to change.
K: So it used to go from more of a ska to more of a hardcore sound.
M: We all thought “hey, MINOR THREAT was pretty cool.” Since we were all young we tried to emulate that. We just wanted to play fast paced music.
So that’s the difference between the two bands?
Everyone: Yeah, pretty much.
M: And maybe the lyrical content. We focus more on well…
D: Socio-political issues that are pretty important, not a lot of people care but they should.
B: Pfff, whatever.
K: The old band, since two of the guys were kind of party guys and stuff like that there were songs about partying and that was where we parted ways. Because we were the straight edge kids.
D: But we’re not a straight edge band.
K: No.
You were kind of explaining it to me earlier that someone came up to you and said that you were straight edge but you were like ‘Oh, that’s fine. Whatever.’
M: In grade 9 we were like…
K: What the hell is straight edge?
M: Exactly, just walking to school I didn’t find any use to actually do any of that stuff. I’d rather play drums right but people like to label people or things.
It’s like so ‘good, being a nerd has a cool name’.
M: Yeah, it’s like ‘wow, I finally have a place and there’s this cool scene going on’.
The difference is that most of the straight edge bands feel like they have to go on about it.
M: Yeah, we don’t have any songs about straight edge or preaching a lifestyle, we find that kind of redundant. People have said it before, we don’t need to repeat that, but there are issues that are going on that really really need attention and that need to be repeated because these affect more people than just the straight edge culture.
K: It’s far beyond us.
B: I’m the only drinker by the way.
D: Brandon, you’re good. He’ll give you a high five if you buy him a beer.
B: That’s right.
I’m going to ask you a bit about the lyrics but first I wanted to ask you about musical influences. We started talking about things like MINOR THREAT and you do a 7 SECONDS cover. Can you tell us about who you consider influences on the band because actually before when I was listening to your CD’s I sort of though … well you reminded me of an old band called GRIMPLE and some early CHRIST ON PARADE so I wasn’t thinking of those things actually until I saw you tonight.
K: Well, thanks.
M: Cool.
D: I guess my influences, they range everywhere. I guess I’m a lame kid, I like some BEATLES. I’m a really big RUSH fan, but the thing that hits me the most is fast music. So when I hear fast music it automatically catches my attention and playing it is when I feel the best.
M: Did you want bands in particular? There’s so many bands that I enjoy listening to.
I’m mostly interested in punk bands really.
D: Oh, sorry. Um, I remember the first punk band that I ever heard, that had fast picking and everything like that was NO FX, and the first political band I heard was RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE and that was back in Grade eight.
K: That seems to be it for a lot of people.
M: What drives you right now when you pick up that bass?
D: Oh right now? That’s tough.
M: I never asked you this…
There’s lots of stickers on your bass.
D: There is, well…
I’m sure that doesn’t cover it all.
D: It’s tough, right now I like a lot of political bands like INTERNATIONAL NOISE CONSPIRACY, I’m really into them. REFUSED and a lot of hard bands…
M: It’s really hard to think on the spot, there are so many bands.
K: Obviously, our obvious interests from the beginning from what Mike and I and Doug started with were just bands like ANTI-FLAG who brought out more of a political view.
D: They’re a good gateway band mixing politics and punk…
M: For all the kids. Only the past couple years I’ve been getting into WOLFPACK and DYS and SSD and all those types of bands. It’s really exciting to hear these old bands but it sounds new to you and just think ‘wow, where have I been?’ It influences to a certain degree in the actual pace and speed of the music but we don’t just sit down and say ‘yeah, I really like this sound and this particular band so lets pretty much try and emulate that band.
K: The bands that I started with were bands like the unseen and a global threat.
B: Why are you guys laughing?
K: They’re laughing at me. I’m trying to take over here.
B: I’ll take this one. Ah, I got nothing.
K: In the beginning we listened to bands like ANTI-FLAG and the UNSEEN and a GLOBAL THREAT and covered them early. From there we established our own fast power chord driven punk.
M: The first time we heard 7 SECONDS was like ‘whoa’. And that sums it up, the whoas.
If you had to limit your record collection to five releases what would they be?
D: Alright, that’s tough. I guess I’ll start, THE SAINTE CATHERINES album ‘Dancing for Decadence’ would definitely be on there, BEATLES ‘Abbey Road’. Still three more? Can we trade it off so now Mike does two off the top of his head?
Yeah, you can actually do a collective if that helps.
M: There’s so many, uh recently I’ve been into a band on Black Noise called I OBJECT ‘Teaching Revenge’. That album is wicked awesome, fell in love with it. “Blood Red States” by WITCH HUNT is a really really good album…
D: The DC scene
M: The DC scene, YOUTH OF TODAY ‘Break Down Walls’. Anyone else want to step in or…
D: How about Brandon?
B: I’m a pop/punk guy so, this is embarrassing
Everyone: Go Brandon,
M: You’re credibility is totally shot now, you realize that
B: I dig LIFETIME a lot. They’re a hardcore punk kinda thing uh…
B: Yeah, LEFTOVER CRACK I guess, they are awesome.
M: What are you’re albums Stephe, I’m always interested when I listened to the station…
D: Actually, yeah, what was your gateway band into punk?
M: Seriously, I’m very interested.
My gateway record? One of the first two records I bought, I think I bought a MDC record, “Millions of Dead Cops” the first LP, I think… let’s see, I started getting into it when I was punk first so the first bands I ever listened to were the SEX PISTOLS “Nevermind the Bullocks”, I listened to a lot of the STRANGLERS “No More Heroes” was the LP I listened to. I only found out about “Rattus Norvegicus” later, because “No More Heroes” was the second release and “Rattus Norvegicus” was the first. DEVO were a huge influence, I love them, ‘Are We Not Men’ was the record I listened to the most. SKIDS ‘Scared to Dance’, they were a band from Scotland. Mostly, I first found out about punk through the UK sort of thing and then the only North American band that I had heard at that point was the DEAD KENNEDYS, and I had only heard “California Uber Alles” so I only knew that song and then I started finding out…. You know, the UK scene was fun and all, it was great, it was angry whatever… once I found out about North American hardcore…. That was it. But I think also the CLASH came later to me, that first LP is the only thing I ever listen to, later I found out about the other stuff but “London Calling” when it came out I was like whatever. It paled in comparison to the first LP. And I think after that I found out about the CIRCLE JERKS, CHANNEL 3 and that kind of stuff in the California scene. Then I mail-ordered for a MINOR THREAT LP, the 12” with the two 7”s on it and that’s when I started to love North American hardcore and just went in sort of head over heels because before it was sort of cautiously I was listening to other stuff so I was listening to rock and other stuff like that. I was also listening to ska, the second generation; the second revival of ska, the ENGLISH BEAT and the SPECIALS and all that stuff. That was happening at the same time I was getting involved in punk/hardcore so. And then I first started finding out about local bands.
M: It just sort of consumes you, like you were saying. It’s this overwhelming feeling, you just look around and all of these bands pop up. Yeah, when you find out about local bands then you’re just sucked in for the rest of your life. I forgot. As well as DEATHSIDE, DEATHREAT, I totally forgot, I like bands like TRAGEDY, HIS HERO’S GONE. We don’t really have D-tuning but there’s a lot of connection. As well as AUS ROTTEN, BEHIND ENEMY LINES, CAUSTIC CHRIST.
Yeah, all those bands have great lyrics. I would see that you can draw from that stuff.
M: But we also like to have that Dan Yemin type element.
K: Yeah, we like listening to all kinds of stuff so that we can write a good melody. Yeah…
So we started talking about lyrics. There are three of you that sing?
M: Yeah.
Do you all contribute to lyrics?
D: Yeah we try to, we start off with writing kind of like an essay putting the lyrics in paragraph form because then it’s easier to address most of the issues that way then we bring it to a like, a band practice? I forgot the word practice… and then we decide ‘what do we want to change’ and stuff like that and then we try to..
Lyricize it?
D: Lyricize it, put it to the song but have it so it still makes sense so it’s not just a bunch of words here and there.
That’s a good way of writing actually. I never heard anyone talk about it that way but that’s an awesome way of writing.
M: And we recently stumbled upon something; you can either go in a direct manner with your lyrics and pretty much say what you actually mean literally, some people might take it to a different context and might get wrapped up or you can be really subtle and kind of poetic depending on if you like that artsy type of approach. But in the hardcore scene there’s really a tough sort of divide with compensating for maybe a bit of poetic/artistic approach or just pretty much directly saying how you feel.
Yeah, hitting people over the head with it.
D: And then there’s one where you can kind of paint a scenario with the words. If someone’s listening to a song or reading the lyrics they can kind of just picture in their head where the lyrics are pointing them, like an actual scenario. Okay, what are some of the things you sing about?
D: Well, the first song ‘a poetic device can only go so far…’, being into politics and going to political shows you kind of wonder when you see ANTI-FLAG and they have a big turn-out, what’s the percentage of the people who will actually take what they’re singing about passed the venue doors, like once the show’s over what are they going to do type of thing.
M: Is it all just raised fists and chants….
Buying a CD…
M: Bottles on the ground….
Or is it something else…
M: I guess it’s just a critical thought on apathy and saying….. you actually like to take a look at yourself and say “I truly do care” but how far will I go to make myself feel comfortable and stepping out of that comfort zone I guess and living a different lifestyle whether it a straight edge lifestyle, or vegan lifestyle. People can be comfortable for so long and be comfortable with their excess and not really care about having to change anything. It just really asks people to take a self-examination.
D: Not only that, people think that as soon as they hit a certain age they have to start growing up. And that’s why we like to cover the 7 SECONDS song “Young ‘til I Die”, because it seems someone will hit 18 or 19 years old and then will just stop listening to punk, stop going to shows, stop caring, go to college, get a wife, start the whole economic family structure and stuff like that you know. Uh, we like to sing one song we didn’t play, it’s on our newer CD called “Silent Partners, Sleepless Nights”. The CPP, our Canadian Pension Plan, the funds from those deductions are invested into the stock market and some of the companies that it’s invested in are kind of unethical on our stance and if people actually knew the companies that their pension plan was being invested into they would really not like it, Haliburton is one, Exxon-Mobil, Lockheed Martin, the Tobacco companies, Alcohol companies…
M: Monsanto, huge agri-business…
D: It’s really frustrating and hopefully people will hear it and look into it more. The companies that really devastate people and the planet, and the deductions…. They’re not really told about it. There’s a website where you can see but who’s really told about that website anyways. (here’s the link
You have to do the homework to find out about the companies.
M: Yeah
We only find out about them from different… really by accident. Like Monsanto, there was some information about them in “The Corporation”, the Tobacco companies, they conceal so much about what’s in tobacco. We all know that they can kill you but they still deny it to this day.
D: It’s the poisons they use as insecticides and it stays with the plant, not to mention the jet fuel that dries the actual tobacco and that’s what you’re smoking pretty much.
Arsenic is used for flavouring.
M: Pretty much, the bio-amplification… if animals consume it and we consume animals it’s multiplied and people don’t actually take a step back and realize that, it’s really really sad.
D: And that’s what we write about.
K: The saddest part is that people know about it and just don’t care.
D: Some people are really apathetic.
M: It comes full circle to the apathy question and we examine that in one of the new tracks in “Citizens’ Epidemic.”
K: You’ll hear lots of things about examining apathy in a lot of the music so…
Sometimes it’s just too much for people to deal with.
M: It’s overwhelming.
They don’t want to… it’s just too much to say.
M: It’s like you said it’s the comfort zone.
And that acceptance is too much of a hurdle to make, they just make jokes about you instead.
M: Yeah, the butt-end I guess.
D: We’re the butt-end of jokes I guess.
K: You got it.
What would be your favourite BLACKJACKET song from a lyrical standpoint and why?
D: That’s a tough one,
M: Brandon, what do you think?
You’re going to give it to the new guy first? Let’s do Brandon last because I think he’s still learning the songs.
B: They also know I actually don’t read lyrics, ever. I don’t know why, I’m just a music guy.
So they’re taking the butt-end of the joke and made you it, that’s not nice guys.
M: That’s alright.
He’s the new member.
D: The good thing about Brandon is that he does care and it does reflect in his lifestyle. He knows what we’re singing about, we tell him. So it’s all good. But my favourite song lyrically? “Light It Up” because it’s a lot about racial profiling and police brutality. I just like the way or how it turned out in the end.
M: Really it’s on a personal note I guess. We examined a couple of cases we heard through independent media, certain cases like the Maher Arar case where he got deported to Syria, it’s Canadian based. People don’t think Canada is as bad as the United States but we are one entity, and saying you’re better than the United States is kind of redundant, on the patriotic sense, it’s kind of funny.
D: Not only that, driving on the 401, it’s named the “Highway of Heroes” now. And everything is becoming so patriotic now, there’s people on overpasses hanging Canadian flags, there’s Canadian flags and Support Your Troops stickers, and we don’t even know what’s relayed to the troops. Everyone here is saying “you gotta keep the morale up, you should say that you don’t hate the troops but you hate the mission” but what’s relayed to the troops? All they see is probably pictures of people cheering them on saying “yeah, you’re doing a good job” so they think “yeah, our mission is okay”.
M: So we pretty much went from racial profiling to foreign occupation in just a split second.
That’s because the American… not the American the Canadian Armed Forces has developed a more sophisticated communication network, they’ve got all kinds of… they’ve been able to bring the media into their group.
D: Yeah, they call it the 4th block I think.
D: It used to be called the 3rd block…
M: 3rd block offensive.
Now you have more cheerleading going on from information sources which is creating a lot more blind patriotism.
M: Exactly, and demonize anyone who thinks opposite. It’s the sad truth of challenging, why do we have to support something that I’m against. Do you hate the troops? No, I don’t hate the troops personally, but I don’t support the mission. They demonize you as saying “well, if you’re against the mission you’re against the troops”. It’s pretty much double speak.
Which is a bunch of bullshit
M: Exactly.
I mean, you can support the troops and bring them home. I think that’s more support than anything.
D: And then, you know, give people another option instead of having to join a violent institution. Because some people join because they need the money and those people don’t really have a choice. But then again, when you join the military you know you’re going to be holding a gun and possibly firing at other people.
K: And you have a chance of dying.
And possibly screwing up somebody else’s life. What about the rest of you.
M: Kenny, what do you feel…
K: I’m going to go back two albums and go with “Until the Day” because it approaches the whole thing of homeless people and taking a kind of approach or look at that and just letting people in on the fact that sometimes you don’t know the whole story from the people that are out there.
D: People really don’t care and make fun of them and the whole song is like “Until the day you lose your voice, until the day you have no choice” and there’s a line in there as well “ what will happen when you have to decide which of your children to feed” because there isn’t enough food… People don’t understand…
M: You can either pay the rent of get groceries, it’s your pick. People are forced to choose.
D: People won’t care until it happens to them.
K: And I don’t know if anyone’s been paying attention but recently on TV they’re doing commercials saying a large percentage of people in Ontario or in Southern Ontario they have to choose whether they eat or pay the rent.
M: This is not a problem that just pops up, the media all of sudden plays “it’s world poverty week, or world hunger week”. Just for a week and not for the rest of your life.
D: And it’s election time most of the networks are Conservative so they want to show how bad the Liberals are doing. The Liberals are just as bad as the Conservatives, NDP, we don’t even really know… you vote for a political party for someone who could be a Conservative but is under the NDP mask. What happens if you don’t want to vote for any of the people, you can’t really express your vote. Voting for the lesser of two evils is still going to be a brutal decision on your part.
M: What is the slogan, “if you don’t vote, you let someone else speak for you”. I never understood that.
D: No, “If you don’t vote, then you have no right to complain”. And that’s annoying.
M: I guess that’s what people say if you don’t vote. I guess the vote is not to vote but people don’t really see it that way.
K: What if they had that on a ballot box and you were able to say “you know what? I choose none”
Well, the majority of the people don’t vote do they?
M: Exactly.
D: Then really there should be no leaders then right? because no one voted anyone in.
It’s really what it’s saying isn’t it?
M: It’s pretty funny, just the disenfranchised and disillusioned people that actually still stick up for voting but don’t even take the time out of their day to go vote themselves.
But I’ll also say this, the times that the Conservatives win are the times that they’ve scared people into apathy regarding the vote. So if you don’t vote, you’re more than likely to get a Conservative in. So you’re right, it’s the devil you don’t know then they’re all awful choices.
M: But there are also other ways to create change other than voting.
D: Just getting involved in your community…
M: And activism, you take a look at a procedural role like voting which is once every four years and that’s nothing but true substance. If you want to actually get involved and truly be empowered and see things change for yourself, it is something with community involvement and activism which truly helps.
D: If you look at the community, like in Oshawa, there’s place called The Refuge… in Oshawa they have this mayor that was elected in and he’s trying to clean up the downtown and he’s trying to get rid of … he’s calling…
M: Full on gentrification pretty much.
D: Yeah, so the lower… the buildings that are older, you know a couple of shelters are in those older buildings downtown, they’re getting bought up and the shelters are having to move elsewhere farther away from the downtown, so it’s kind of displacing where the disenfranchised people would go… So just people getting involved in their community, being like “okay well you know there’s this poverty in our area, what can we do about?” you know what I mean? You don’t even have to quit your job to do it, you can get together with people for like an hour meeting a week, it’s not even that much.
M: And these are the things that affect you directly, you can’t separate yourself from a poor person down the street who is desperate and might have to scrounge for food or beg or maybe have to put themselves in an uncompromising situation, forced to maybe actually steal, maybe from you. It’s really a tough situation.
D: And then there are those laws that get you a criminal record that keep you from getting a job and then you’re stuck in that cycle of poverty.
M: There are other topics we can discuss.
D: Yeah, we’re being Debbie Downer right now.
K: Just listen to the CD’s.
It’s not a great world so… anyone else want to answer this question, about their favourite song from a lyrical standpoint?
M: There’s a song called “Cite Soleil” which is a city in Haiti which is affected by Canada whether people know or not, the country has had it’s president overthrown in a coup….
M: Yeah, I pretty much got inspired, Doug and I watched this documentary called “The Agronomist”.
D: It was about a guy who ran a radio station actually, he was called Jean Dominique.
Yeah, I saw this one. I rented it from the library.
M: As did we, it was so powerful.
It’s an amazing movie, I don’t know anyone else who has ever seen it. They actually try to shoot him.
D: They actually did assassinate him.
He knew he was going to get killed.
D: He was the only political voice who was doing it through the radio that everybody could get.
M: Local.
D: Yeah, that the local community could get, he actually had to flee or what is it called… go into exile.
M: A couple times.
And when he came back it was really like a hero’s welcome, kind of putting him on the shoulders.
M: It was truly amazing, inspiring, especially since we are talking on local community radio, the effect that it truly has. Like I said I’ve been listening to it for years and it actually got me into this whole sort of scene so I have this station to thank as well as you.
M: The song truly takes a look at community involvement and actual oppression and brutality faced by the people of Haiti due to certain imperialist countries like Canada, France, United States who actually deposed the actual elected president. And I pretty much focused on that just because… the movie touched on the actual….
The guy in the documentary too, he was talking about, the guy who ran the radio station, I remember him, he did an interview with who was it Aristide? And this was after he had been put back in power but it was like, it seemed like when he was talking to him, it seemed like he was the shadow of his former self because he had basically got all of these conditions now that from the… I think it was from the World Bank and the IMF which is essentially the U.S. ….
D: That pretty much destroys any country that signs those “development” deals too.
And he went to town on Aristide.
D: Yeah, he pretty much ripped him on his decisions.
And they were friends initially and basically severed their friendship. It was awesome because… that’s when he was talking about how he had respected his voice. But the Ton-Ton Macoute didn’t think that was a good idea.
M: Yeah, it’s a terrible situation and it’s still going on right now and that’s why I focused on…
The Ton-Ton Macoute hasn’t been replaced, they’re still there.
M: Yeah, the actual place “Cite Soleil” has been victim to brutal UN Peacekeeping, so called “peacekeeping missions”, brutality and shootings of so-called gangs and we do list a couple of documentaries like “The Agronomist” or a new one that just came out by a fellow… and it’s called “Haiti: We must kill the bandits” and it actually focuses on the town of Cite Soleil and the sheer poverty and brutality and how they label anyone associated with the Lavalas family or the Lavalas party bandits and brutal gangsters which gives the UN or the actual “?” government to actually come down on them with a vicious blow and shoot people and get away. Political prisoners like Sohan and …..
D: There’s also a website you can go to it’s called Canada-Haiti Action Network… (
M: If you are interested.
D: Yeah, if you are interested in the Canadian government’s involvement, because we obviously didn’t vote for our troops to be there so that’s not really a democratic decision. But if you are interested in seeing what the government is doing in your name checking out these issues is pretty important.
M: But that would be the song to answer your question.
Let’s talk about the scene… so you’re not from Bowmanville, you’re from Oshawa.
K: It depends on where everybody lives. Doug used to live in Bowmanville.
D: I’m in Oshawa now living with Mike.
M: We all came together pretty much from different bands and just different areas and just decided that “hey, this is pretty cool, you play bass, I play drums, and we just got together”… we don’t really have a center town, we come out of Oshawa but….
Do you play much in the ‘shwa?
D: We actually had a CD release party scheduled but it got cancelled because the venue had to get shutdown because where the venue was there was a used car dealership and a repair garage…
M: It was pretty much just a record shop…
D: It was a record shop, it could hold 30 people. It’s perfect to start doing cheap shows in Oshawa again and some kids really like to drink outside and do damage to the neighbouring businesses and that’s not the first time that’s happened where we lose a venue. We’ve lost the Polish Hall for doing shows for the same reason. I don’t really want to say “yeah, I’m against drinking” and stuff like that but I mean people really don’t know how hard it is put on a show… for a promoter to put on a show and have to deal with the cops, it’s such a headache to go through.
M: Mike Majewski from F.A.T.O. has been the guy who had to take the brunt of that. He’s tried so hard to get venues and every venue seems to be the same old story.
K: And really the promoters and the bands are doing this for the kids that are showing up so they would expect to get a little bit of respect for doing it. They’re putting their money into it, a lot of the times the smaller venues you have to rent gear, you’re getting in bands from out of town so a lot of the times you’re paying them to get out of town you know give them some gas money.
M: And just give kids a new outlet in the local scene.
K: Yeah, guys like Mike and Doug and Brandon I’m sure if we had the chance to go see a show for two or three dollars when we were a kid that was a bunch of really cool bands that were either touring or local or whatever, it would have been awesome and we’re trying to do these shows and they get cancelled because some people decide that they want to….
D: It’s not even the venue owner’s fault.
M: It’s tough.
D: Where’s Brandon from?
B: Richmond Hill I guess you could say.
I’m just near there, I live close to there. I grew up in that area.
B: Not the greatest area.
It’s a great place to raise kids isn’t it?
Yeah, exactly. If you don’t have a car though you’re screwed.
It’s Pleasantville.
B: I live in Aurora.
The water’s great there.
B: The water? They must put something in the water because everyone there looks the same.
A friend of mine lives up there and he said that when he turns on the tap it comes out rust.
D: That happens in Oshawa too.
K: It’s just the pipes, they’re getting old. Whatever.
Anyway, I love slaggin’ around in hometowns. Is there much of a scene going on in Oshawa?
D: Sometimes, there isn’t like a steady scene of kids that come out, if a big band will come into town…
Is there a lot of shows that take place constantly? I remember seeing some stuff for the Polish Hall. Is there local bands?
D: There are local bands but, in Oshawa the Indie scene is doing really good. As far as punk bands? I think there’s like four or five punk bands maybe.
M: Like I said Mike from F.A.T.O. really does his best to actually bring out outside music ranging from like power-grind, crust, hardcore…
You were playing a record store, that’s positive. Is there punk stuff in the store?
D: Well actually he did have some punk stuff. He’s more of a metal guy but he did carry some DOA tapes and stuff like that.
M: I think he had a GANG GREEN record as well which is pretty awesome. I think they just played in Montreal with LIMP WRIST a while ago.
M: Yeah.
D: Like the metal GANG GREEN or ..
M: Yeah, I think it was August ?
Yeah, they played here too recently.
K: There’s a big focus on metal in Oshawa.
D: Yeah, if you want a metal scene ‘shwa is the place to go.
K: There’s so many metal bands like when you walk through the rehearsal space that we play at, ninety percent of the bands are chug-chugga-chug metal bands and you know, great because all these guys are really technical players and can kick some ass…
M: As far as a local hardcore 80’s style….
D: There really isn’t a huge united scene. Kids will come out if there’s a big band but there isn’t like the kids who always come out for locals.
M: Especially when they can go and watch a show on youtube or something you know what I mean?
D: It’s true, kids don’t leave their computer, as well, I think.
K: Even if there are big bands, it’s still a 50/50 chance that people are actually going to show up.
We don’t have much time left…
M: Sorry…
No, no apologies needed here, I just wanted to quickly talk about your discography, the stuff that you’ve released so far, I think there was, “System Shutdown” was first release that I know of but I think there was an earlier recording before then.
D: Yeah, we did a 4 song demo that we released probably 2 months in to being in this band, we only did 100 of those on CD-R and they sold out.
M: We pressed them ourselves.
And “System Shutdown” is a self-release as well?
D: All of our stuff is self-released.
M: Except we actually tried to go the different route and try the plastic and all that. It pretty much cost a lot of money so we reverted back to the old ways and we’ve found out, Doug really…
Was this recorded in a studio?
M: A basement.
D: A basement on an 8-track.
It sounds amazing.
D: Then “Hello Profit, Goodbye Humanity”, that was recorded on a 12-track that we bought that is really old.
M: In a basement.
D: No, in our jam space.
M: Oh yeah.
D: In Kenny’s basement.
M: Then the new album, “Citizens’ Epidemic” was recorded in a basement as well so I mean it’s all low budget things.
When did, let’s do some times when did “Hello Profit, Goodbye Humanity” come out?
D: It came out in 2006, “System Shutdown” was 2005 and “Citizens Epidemic” was just released this month.
M: This past Thursday in Montreal because we didn’t have a Toronto show, or an Oshawa show sorry.
So Thursday.
M: Yeah.
K: There’s basically a release every year because our first year we did the demo, basically right away.
D: We’ve released something every year.
You have some comps too ‘We don’t die, We multiply’?
D: Yeah, which is on 3rd Generation Records.
M: Davey Brat from the BRAT ATTACK put that out.
D: And then there was the “Rock Against Harper” compilation…
M: Which is doing really well.
What is this, tell me a bit about it because I never heard of it before.
D: The ‘Rock Against Harper’ compilation it was kind of smart how DPS records, they were like a small distro type of release and they had a good idea of doing this kind of spawning off the “Rock Against Bush” except some of the money went to charity not to a political party, and there’s lots of essays about Canadian involvement and different issues…
M: As well as topics on Anarchy.
D: Something that’s going on, I’m not really educated on but it’s called Atlantica and I think everyone should Google that or go to a search engine and look into that. I haven’t really looked into it but it’s pretty important. It’s talking about, I think it’s
M: Unification.
D: Unification of the Maritimes and some of the United States’ Maritimes’ states.
M: A giant, one little territory for economic, for people to have a playground or heyday… it makes NAFTA look silly.
Who was the label DPS?
M: Emily and Justin.
D: But I don’t know if it’s still going on but I know each of them are doing their own thing separately right now so…
M: Justin has a solo-acoustic-crust project called CAP’N KOP$.
K: We toured with him and the BRAT ATTACK last year.
M: This comp is doing really well.
D: It’s got a lot of good bands. It’s got the FALLOUT, a Toronto punk band.
Wow, those are all awesome bands
D: There’s like 30 tracks on it or something like that. It’s 5 bucks.
M: Two dollars go to the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan, Native Youth Movement and Canada-Haiti Action Network. (for more info go to
So what are the band’s plans for the next little while? You just released a record? So maybe not writing or maybe?
D: We always write. We always have ideas and we just sit down and jam then out.
Is this 12-track a new addition to your studio space? Did you record recently on that 12-track?
D: Well we just had fun. I know Mike had fun with one of his friends Matt.
M: Just trying to get tech on it.
D: Just so we can do some demo tracks of when we start writing again.
M: As for the plans I guess, Brandon just joined the band and we are pretty much doing a sort of DESCENDENTS/ALL type of thing where we play in I KILLED JESUS as well, the three of us Doug, Brandon, and I and we’re doing BLACKJACKET so we have both bands running so either one you’d like to check out and appreciate either of the sounds.
D: We both have the same message as well.
I KILLED JESUS now has a myspace site?
B: Yeah, we’ve got a comeback show coming up November 24th with LEFTOVER CRACK.It should be good.
You got kicked off of myspace.
B: Yeah, a few times.
Oh, more than once. Mostly just because of the name?
B: Yeah, I actually forget the song title up there, it was called ‘Kill God’ and yeah,
K: “Grenade in a Christian’s mouth”.
D: Well Tom doesn’t seem to have a problem with that song
M: Or “Recipe to Burn Down a School”.
B: Yeah, and I’ve gotten so many messages from Tom saying “get your name off there” or something like that. No joke, I get these.
D: What is it,
B: Yeah.
M: Yeah, so if you’re interested in either of these bands.
B: If you want to piss off myspace add us.
D: As you have more friends, then you become an advertising commodity and then they’re forced to keep you on.
M: If you’re interested in either of these bands we’re playing in both of them and we’ll be doing that for a little while. That kind of band community you know HIS HERO IS GONE, FROM ASHES RISE and TRAGEDY they all are rotating and that’s sort of the same.
It’s totally not uncommon.
M: We said, ‘why not’ we enjoy playing music so why not get double the actual fun.
K: I’m kind of just in and out of the band. I play locally but I can’t tour as much as I used to.
D: Kenny is our local show guy, like the Mr. Brett to BAD RELIGION.
M: If you want to call it that.
K: Eyyyyyy.
B: Good luck with that Epitaph deal.
D: That’s gonna keep you pretty busy.
Are there others ways to reach other than myspace?
D: BLACKJACKET, we’re trying to get a site up. We have to wait until our domain expires from another server, so hopefully October 1st, which is tomorrow, we will re-buy it I guess and put it up which will be hopefully.
M: We did have a P.O. Box but we couldn’t afford it at the time so…
D: If you e-mail us we’ll e-mail you back…
M: And send you some CD’s. We can go that way.
How can people e-mail you?
D: They can go to
M: You actually have a really nice voice in radio, I didn’t notice. You and Kenny, Really soothing.
D: I was actually maybe thinking of doing like a Podcast maybe.
M: I know, that’s pretty cool.
A popular thing these days, I don’t know if you’ve seen Hardware Media. They do website, a dude, it used to be from New York, who basically promotes a lot of these radio podcasts.
M: Have you ever thought of doing a podcast or anything like that?
I think the technology curve is killing me for that…
D: Plus this is a rad show so…
M: I mean you could put the shows for download after if some kid missed it.
You know we have, actually, the show streams live and we’re able to download it into some thing but I never figured out how to do it. We’re working on re-launching our website, because our site is down now too and one of the things we’re talking about is putting up the show in a downloadable file.
M: Yeah, sometimes, in the past couple of years I’ve been missing the show and it’s sad, if I could get.
K: Make it a podcast or make it on an internet site that is available…
D: In due time.
It’s in the works, well we’re talking about it. We’ll see if it’s possible, I don’t know yet.
K: We’ll encourage it.
Any last comments?
D: Thanks for having us, it was a blast. It actually still felt like a live show, it felt pretty good.
M: Being able to give back to something that I’ve listened to for five or six years, I appreciate you doing this as well as having us on here.
You guys were amazing, you don’t need to be thanking me,
M: It just gives another kid, maybe his first chance to actually hear something. Not everything will be new, you can’t re-invent the wheel but at least we might be new to someone. Thanks for giving us that chance.
I’m glad you brought the CD’s in because now we can actually play them on the air.
M: Yeah, you have the new one a couple of days after it’s been released.
We’re going to hear something off of that, we’re going to hear the song ‘Student Pulse’, which is, you know, school’s back insession. So this is off of the new CD called “Citizens Epidemic”. And you can get it through the band?
D: Through the e-mail
Can you mention it one more time?

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