Oi! for Canada! Our brothers to the north have been turning up the heat, creating a scene which has become an unstoppable force. This is all thanks to this group of misfits; The Prowlers, Anvil Strike, King Cans, Reckless Upstarts, Barbed Wire Braces, and Disco Aasault.
In response to all of the great music they’ve been churning out, we want to have an issue dedicated just to them…. and here it is!
So, you want radio that doesn’t suck? Yeah, so do we. Join us at On The Nod Radio. We have a half hour segment called SMASH THE DISCOS STREET ROCK BLOCK. Within the limits of the two hour show, you’ll hear our 30 min. dedicated to streetpunk and Oi! while the good people at On The Nod dig deep to bring you killer punk and great interviews. Miss it, and you’re missing out.
Download the YO RADIO free app from Google Play or the Apple Store, www.yoradio.com, click on LOS ANARCHY RADIO. Keep an eye out on https://www.facebook.com/onthenodradio/, and https://www.facebook.com/streetpunkwebzine/ for showtimes.
If you miss the show, our 30 min. segments will be archived on Mixcloud.
Who doesn’t like free music? We know we do! Make sure you download our free compilation albums at https://smashthediscos.bandcamp.com/
These are FREE. If there is a price listed, come back later and it will be free again. We are only allowed to give x amount of freebies away per month, and they go fast!
THE FOLLOWING ISSUE IS 6 INTERVIEWS FROM SOME OF CANADA’S BEST! WE’RE NOT GOING TO BOTHER WRITING SIX SEPERATE PARAGRAPHS FOR EACH BAND, AS WE ARE DIEHARD FANS OF ALL OF THEM, AND EACH PARAGRAPH WOULD BE SIMILAR. OF COURSE, THERE ARE OTHER KILLER BANDS TO THE NORTH, BUT THESE ARE THE SIX THAT GOT OUR ATTENTION FIRST. READ ON, AND LEARN MORE ABOUT THESE BANDS AND BECOME FANS JUST AS WE DID!
So, I just got done watching your video for One Life, and noticed some great hockey brawls. I always wondered why hockey wasn’t bigger within the skin scene, but you being from Montreal, and me from Detroit, I guess we just get more ice time than most. Lol. Are you guys big hockey fans, and what’s life like for a streetpunk band in Montreal?
S: Of course we are huge hockey fans. It’s like football for Europeans. The only problem is the price for the tickets that are insane, so it’s hard to go support the team at the Bell Center, so we have to stick to the pubs. As far as the scene goes, it is very good in Montreal. There is a lot of good bands, and people come out to see the gigs, so, yeah, it’s pretty cool to be part of the scene here.
Can you tell us about your bandmembers, and how The Prowlers formed as a band back in 98? I know there’s been some lineup changes over the years. Can you tell us about that as well?
S: Being around for almost 20 years, you can expect that there was several changes in the band, but Stephane the drummer, and me, Sylvain, the singer, have been in the band since the beginning. On bass, we have Marty, that has been in the band for 8 years, and Erik joined us last year on guitar. Marty and Erik also have been involved in the scene for many years, so I can say that right now we have a solid line up.
The Prowlers have definitely gotten their name out there over the years. Since your first official full length “Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow”, through multiple recordings since, including a heavy hand of eps, is there a certain period, or timeframe, that you would consider “the year of The Prowlers”? Basically, meaning when everything came together to meet your expectations as a band?
S: Well, we were fortunate to meet the right person after being a band for 1 year, which was Mike from Mad Butcher, that came to Montreal to visit in 2000. We got drunk with him and he offered to do a full length with us and we went to Germany and recorded “Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow”. So, I think that was the pinpoint for us, and since then it never really stopped. We took a 4 year break between 2006 and 2010, but it just went on again as soon as we got back.
For anyone new to The Prowlers, do you feel there is a specific Prowlers song, or songs, that completely explain who you are and what you represent, and why?
S: I guess if I would need to choose one song for someone that never heard us, I would go with either “Friday Night” or “Hate Us”. I think both songs shows well our style of music and lyrics.
Montreal is considered the hotspot for Canadian streetpunk/Oi. What do you think some of the contributing factors to that are?
S: I think many factors explain this. First, with our French background, we get to be closer to what’s happening in Europe, so we can have a balance of French and English punk. Also, people are very strict here on anti racism and there’s no BS. Also, we have several clubs that are open to having our kinds of concerts, and that allows the scene to express itself.
I know you guys just knocked out another ep, “Serial Pousser”. Are you currently working on more new material? Can you give us any spoilers on what to expect?
S: We are working on several projects, like a split ep with Thunder and Glory, and one with Rude Pride. Plus, another split with The Oppressed and a bunch of other bands. This will be the very last release of The Oppressed and, once again, we are lucky to be part of this. We are also trying to write enough songs to release a full length for our 20th anniversary in 2019.
So, what does the near future hold for The Prowlers?
S: As usual, many concerts, and we will be back on tour in Europe in May 2018. Probably more touring in 2019 for the 20 Annivesary.
You guys have been around the block once or twice, going strong since 98. The scene has had it’s fair share of drama over the years. Have you noticed any real changes, for better or for worse, over the years? Also, what’s your advice to band, and music fans, to keep the scene healthy and alive?
S: Well, social media has really been the biggest change in the scene. There is some good and some bad with this. You get to reach more people and it’s great to organize tours and discover new bands, but there is also the drama part of it that sucks, but nothing can be perfect. The biggest advice would be to buy music, attend concerts and keep your scene clean.
Thanks for taking the time to speak with us. Now for the final question that I want to make a point to ask more: What does Skinhead mean to you?
S: For me, skinhead is a way of life that I have embraced since 1994. I don’t know how to live differently. The friendship, the music, the travelling, the party. It’s all part of it, and I’m proud to be part of the best subculture there is.
Niagara Falls… I don’t think I’ve ever interviewed a band from Niagara Falls… so, tell me what is life like for a band starting off there? Is there a scene, or do you find yourself traveling abroad?
T: Niagara Falls… It’s a dead town for a scene. Nothing goes on here. We used to get good shows happening around here at The Odd One, still in St. Catherines (our neighboring town). There are also a couple die hards still putting gigs together in The Falls. Anyways, the only way to have your music heard is to play outta town. That’s why we’ve played Ontario and Quebec and are now heading to the States for a few gigs this summer.
Tell us about how Anvil Strike came together as a band and a bit about the band members.
T: I started writing songs a few years before. I also started practicing to sing in my truck while I was trucking cross county. Eventually, I thought I’d try to make a band. After a few years, a couple of attempts, and my life getting turned upside down, I decided it was time to make this happen. I got the right crew together, and we started in July. We had a goal: 1 song a month. I think we made 6 in 4 practices. Then in December, we recorded and soon after booked shows.
So, still being a relatively new band, how would you describe your sound to someone who hasn’t heard you guys yet?
T: Our sound is 90s American Oi based. It’s what I listened to and really connected with as a kid. The sound and message wasn’t a fashion. It was all passion songs that meant something. I try keeping that mentality when I do my writing. As for our sound, other people have said we have a Bruisers and a Sheer Terror feel, or sound, which is an exaggeration. Skins or punks, and I say we sound like 90s Oi.
Could you tell us about some of your set list? What themes do your songs tackle, and is there any certain song that you feel sums up what you guys are all about?
T: In our songs, I write about our lives and my sentiments on skinheads and what it is to be one. We have songs written about life, death, and everything in between. Drug addiction in family and community. What is is to be a member of the disappearing middle class in this day in age. It’s just life as I see it. We have no political agenda or cause that we rally behind. We’re just four working guys. Family men telling you where we are now and how we got here through our music. I don’t think any one song sums us up. They all have they’re place. I think it’s more where people are at individually that draws them to one song or another.
What are some of your favorite Anvil Strike lyrics, and why?
T: I don’t have a favorite lyric or song. I only take songs I’m 100% behind all the way to the finished product, so nothing really stands out to me as one that’s better than the other. Although, playing live, there are some songs I prefer over others. For whatever reason, some are a little more fun to play than others. “Skinhead Crew” and “Strength & Pride” I always enjoy.
Tell us about Northern Forge Records
T: From the ashes of the Border City rose Northern Forge Records. It’s a lable we started originally to help get our 7″ “Tales From The Border City” pressed. We ended up doing a few more records after that in partnership with Crowd Control Media. (The Hanging Judge, Unruly Boys). Also, a cassette for Reckless Upstarts. it’s slowed to a crawl currently as a label, but it’s still here. You’ll see more from it in the future.
What are some of the future goals for Anvil Strike? Are you continuously working on new material? Where can we find your music at?
T: Future goals for Anvil Strike are that we plan on releasing a full length 12″ in 2019. Currently, we’re for filling what we originally set out to do; Play our songs and tell our story. We’ve been fortunate enough to be placed on some great bills this summer along with a list of amazing bands. All we can hope for is this continues moving forward.
Keep Up the good fight. Any final words for the readers?
T: Final words… Thanks to anyone reading this,anyone who comes out to the shows and supports our music. We couldn’t do it without you.
So, my first experience with King Cans was “Fighting Drunk” off of the This Is Montreal Ep, which was 4 bands. Are you all a tight knit group up there, and what’s your overall take in the scene in Montreal and surrounding areas?
JF: Yeah, definitely. We are in the same crew and have known each other for years, and as for Torment, they are close friends. Montreal Punks and Skins scene is very united as long you walk straight. We’ve been very close to the Insurgence Records crew in Toronto for years, too. Some of them even moved to Montreal over the years. We made some good friendships with new bands like Honour Guard (Ottawa), Reckless Upstart (Windsor), and Anvil Strike (Niagara Falls) playing shows and drinking beers with them. With all the new bands popping up in Montreal, my label (LSC Records) has become very busy. Montreal, and its surrounding area, is a very clean and strong scene.
“Fighting Drunk” is a pretty violent tune. I find it’s the kind of song any skin can relate to at one point, or another, in life. Were there any specific life events that inspired song?… without saying anything incriminating, hahaha.
JF: Kind of. It’s more a combination of some stories that happened at the pub we hang at for our afterwork beers. We have so many fights stories there, I might write other songs about those.
Tell us about the band members, and how King Cans got started up as a band.
JF: We started talking about King Cans project around some beers after Dan’s old band, “Hold A Grudge” split. Dan asked me to sing, and our good friend, Rachid, to start jamming on drums. Marco, from Shotcallers, joined us on bass. We had a couple lineup changes with time. We now have Sam, from Inepsy, on drums, and Karl (Force Majeure, ex-Last Crusade and Hard Pressed) on bass, and we’re a 4 piece band now. It’s more simple.
Since your a relatively new band on the scene, I’m interested in your history. What was it like for skins coming up in Montreal?
JF: We are end of 90s generation skinheads, and we made our mark in our early years. That was wild, and we used to fight a lot. The Montreal scene is clean and strong, and nazi scums are still in danger to get beaten up. Montreal plays hard, it always has and always will.
King Cans have already found themselves on some impressive tickets so far. What have been some of the highlights of the bands career so far?
JF: We had the privilege to open for The Oppressed, Old firm Casuals, Sheer Terror, Oi Polloi, The Press, Cockney Rejects, Hub City Stompers, and our good friends, The Prowlers. We always have a blast! We don’t see that as highlights, but it’s pretty cool. For us, they are skinheads and punks just like us doing music and drinking beers.
The new song, “Not Dead Yet”, is fucking killer! Are you working on more new material, and is there anything you can tell us about it?
JF: We have a split EP with that song that is already out with “Kapø Blöd” from Bordeaux (France). We are gonna record new materials this summer for a split LP with our good friends, “Force Majeure”. We are also gonna be on a compilation on Insurgence Records with bands from Canada and the USA that should be released this autumn.
Is there anything you want music fans to know about King Cans and what they stand for?
JF: Beers, friends, no bullshit, and straight up Oi! We don’t preach about it a lot, but we are clearly anti racist. We are not afraid to fight.
Keep up the great work. We believe King Cans have got a definite future in the world of streetpunk. Any final words for the readers?
JF: I run our label, LSC Records. We only do vinyl and cassette. Our online shop will be open by the end of the summer. We have already released King Cans, Shotcallers, Offside, Ultra Razzia, Pubnight, On The Rope, City Ground, Wax, Violent State, Honour Guard, Ibrahim et les Dompteurs de Tigres, and Force Majeure. Expect a lot of new bands to be released in the coming months so keep your eyes open.
So, Windsor, ON… that’s where us US kids used to cross the border to get drunk at the bars at 19. Had a lot of good times there. What’s the punk scene like there nowadays?
That is what Windsor is known for! Bus loads of yanks from Michigan, Ohio, and Illinois coming up at 19 to drink stronger beer and piss, puke, and fight in the streets. It’s a great city with a solid punk scene that has often been overlooked by touring bands because Detroit is across the river, and Toronto a few hours up the highway. That’s starting to change now, and more bands are starting to make Windsor part of their tour schedule. From a local perspective, the scene is reflective of the city; working class and gritty. Shows are very diverse and bands are not only friends, but often interconnected by members. There’s a special level of recognition and respect that transcends genres here.
Tell us a little bit about the band members and how Reckless Upstarts formed.
Currently, the band consists of Mike Gibbons on bass/vocals, Curtis Byrne on guitar/vocals, Matt Bishop on guitar/backing vocals, and Corey Low on drums. Mike and Curtis started the band in 2014 as a three-piece after meeting at a feminist rally. In 2017 Matt, a long-time friend, joined the band. Matt played in a number of other bands in Detroit and Windsor, including Stale Phish and Disco Assault most recently, and was a natural fit for Reckless Upstarts. After our most recent drummer moved back to northern Ontario, we got lucky and found Corey who has a solid resume to his name.
Let’s talk about Rose City Cantos. We love the EP here. It gets better and better the more you hear it. For those who haven’t discovered the album yet, tell us a bit about the themes of the songs, and what inspired their creation.
Glad you guys like Rose City Cantos! Quite simply, the EP is an album about Windsor, which is commonly referred to as the City of Roses. Each track was written about events that transpired in this city or with friends from this city. The themes vary from our pride in our city, to drinking with friends, to addiction, and recovery. Generally, Mike’s writing tends to focus more on injustices and promoting a stronger social consciousness, while Curtis tends to write about people and personal experiences. It’s not unheard of to get into a bottle of whiskey to co-write songs either, as was the case with few of the tracks off Rose City Cantos.
Looking back on everything you’ve recorded to date, what song would you present to someone first to introduce them to RU, and why?
We were split on how to answer this question. It would either be “Rose City” or “Glory”. “Rose City” is a great representation of who we are as a band. It’s an honest song about who we are and where we’re from. Musically, it is both melodic and aggressive. “Glory” is a newer song that will be released on our next EP. It’s topical of what’s happening in the world while simultaneously being hard and catchy.
What’s some things you would like future potential Reckless Upstarts fans to know about the band? In a world so divided right now, what’s your overall stance amidst all of this chaos?
The world is a pretty messed up place right now, and it feels like society is regressing. It’s disgusting that we even need to discuss how to handle Nazis and white supremacists who are literally marching in the streets. Top that off with other issues like how the working class continues to fight for a living wage while the rich get richer, or how Canada hasn’t addressed hundreds of missing and/or murdered indigenous women. We think it’s important to raise awareness of topics that we feel aren’t being given adequate attention. We want people to understand (especially in the punk/Oi! community) that you shouldn’t remain quiet on issues of injustice and oppression. Racism has unfortunately become a huge factor for skins to deal with, but any form of oppression is reprehensible. Our motto is “No tolerance for intolerance” and our stance is unwavering in that we are staunchly anti-racist, anti-sexist, and anti-homophobic.
What are some of the future plans for Reckless Upstarts? Any new projects in the works?
We are currently recording our follow up EP and maybe a few other various releases (splits, comps, etc.) as well. We managed to get out on the road a little this year and hope to tour a lot more in 2018. We have a few things lined up that are pretty exciting at the moment, but hope to add more to that list. All of us love playing music, enjoy most aspects of being a band, and aren’t afraid to work hard to make things happen. That being said, as a working-class band, we are only able to do as much as our jobs allow us to. We will be releasing a split 7″ with Streetlight Saints from Calgary on Insurgence Records just in time for the Montreal Oi! Fest happening in March. We’re also working on getting another release out later in the year through Insurgence/Contra, followed by some touring.
An interview with Mark and Shane
Lets start this off by being introduced to the band. Could you tell us who the band mates are, and what you all do and where you came from?
M: I’m the lead singer and I also play drums in the band. Nick plays guitar. Adam was the first guitarist but he left the band last summer. Then there’s Shane on bass & Back up’s.. I have lived in Canada most of my life but I’m originally from England.
S: Mark answered this one, but a little bit about me. I grew up in Quispamsis, New Brunswick. (Just outside Saint John). I moved to Toronto in 96 to look for work, and eventually moved to Hamilton in 2001. I am a computer technician and I also do websites through my own business (PS Computing Inc)
So, you know I’m really big on the Brace Yourself album. Now, you guys describe yourself as mid to fast tempo punk… um…. Oi, right? Lol. I know you’re Canadian boys, but this rides the same wave as some of my favorite American Oi bands do. What do you think?
M: I prefer early 80’s/ UK82 punk sound. Though I do like the term “Streetpunk” I’m almost 52. In my teens I was into stuff on record lables such No Future/ Riot City/ Secret/ Clay. Some of the bands that really inspired me musically were the English Dogs/ GBH/ Abrasive Wheels/ Blitz/ Toxic Reasons/ DOA/ UK Subs. I also dug stuff like the Business/ Infa Riot and Cockney Rejects/ C.R.U.X/ Oppressed. Oi! came from punk. Its a term coined my Garry Bushell back then. Some of the newer bands I like are The Brass/ Oi! Scouts/ Streetlight Saints/ Stage Bottles.
S: Thanks! We’re glad that you like it. I would say we’re punk, but there is definitely an oi! Influence because Mark does the majority of the song writing and he has a strong background in the early British punk scene. I think we’re all influenced by that style of music with some newer stuff like Sick of it All, Descendents, Bad Religion and Social Distortion as well.
When you’re writing your tunes, what musical, and life, influences do you feel push you along?
M: Bigotry, corruption, war, mind games, oppression. General fucked up issues in society. We don’t take ourselves too seriously. We like to have a laugh.
S: Since Mark does the lyrics, his answer is best here.
I see “Imminent Attack” and “Urban Violence” have been redone. The new versions are killer, but what prompted you to redo them? The original “Urban Violence” is bad ass. Are there any other songs not on “Brace Yourself” you plan on recording?
M: Thanks Jason. I really like those songs. I think they are some of our best .The original recordings were ok, but I really thought they lacked power and could sound better. There are a few more that didn’t make it to vinyl that we want to re-do.
S: We were proud of the first cd, but felt that the sound was a little lacking, so when given the opportunity to redo a few of those songs, we gave it a shot. I think the sound on the new 7” and 10” records is amazing. I couldn’t be happier. I think we’re done with redoing our own stuff and will record our new songs (and maybe a couple covers) moving forward.
Ok, so let’s discuss the true meaning of the name Barbed Wire Braces.
M: Our name refers to using barbed wire for braces on your teeth. I came up with the name. I thought it sounded edgy and aggressive. We totally understand why people usually think it means barbed wire for suspenders.
S: I also thought of Barbed Wire suspenders when I first heard the name, but Mark had the teeth type of braces in mind, so that’s where it came from. It does conjure up a nasty bloody mouth image doesn’t it?
It looks like you guys are keeping busy doing shows with other zine favorites Reckless Upstarts and Anvil Strike, too mention a couple. How’s the scene been treating you guys? What are some of your favorite areas to play up there in Canada?
M: Anvil Strike and Reckless Upstarts are great bands. We’ve been supporting each other the past while. They’re straight shooters and full of heart. Some of my favorite shows we’ve played were with those hooligans! Our home base is Hamilton but around the general vicinity ( Toronto/ Hamilton) there are a number of good bands around. Some are The Strike/ Bourbon DK/ Tough Fucking Shit/ Wretched Fools and Anvil Strike from Niagara Falls. I wouldn’t say the scene is exploding but definitely solid. My favorite venue would be a local one in Hamilton called ‘This Aint Hollywood”. Its named after the title of a song by another Hamilton- The Forgotten Rebels. They have had a Sunday, All age/ licensed punk Matinee for the past 5 years now. Punk bands/ Oi! bands/ metal/ hardcore/ folk/ ska…You name it. Some big names to play at This Aint Hollywood include The Cockney Rejects/ Red Alert/ Infa Riot/ DOA/ Rezzilos. Canada is huge. With the exception of playing the east coast ( New Brunswick, Canada) we’ve only played around Ontario. However, we will be playing Montreal (Quebec) in April.
S: We have been very lucky as a band. We’ve made friends with some incredible people over these past few years, and have been honored to share the stage with them. I feel like this scene is like a big family. We gear share without question, help each other with shows and places to stay when out of town, and really support each other.
As for areas to play, I’ve enjoyed every show for different reasons, but I think my favorite places to play have been our home town of Hamilton, Brantford just down the road and also New Brunswick, where I grew up. I can’t wait to play Montreal and look forward to seeing more of the country as we get out some more.
Are you working on new material? What are the plans for a follow up? Another ep, or maybe a full length?
M: We’re always writing new material. Though we have started playing a few covers recently. Its a goal of ours to release a full 12″. That’s gonna take a while though. We still have copies of our first full length album on CD available. The original versions of Imminent Attack and Urban Violence are on it. Not to forget we also have our 4 song 7″ and our 10″ split with Nerve Button for for grabs.
S: As Mark mentioned, we have quite a few new songs since the last recording. It seems like Mark has a new song every couple of weeks. Nick and I have been working on some ideas as well and hope to add to our already long list of new songs.
Keep doing what you do. We’re looking forward to hearing more. Any final thoughts for readers?
M: We’re looking for any lables that are interested in working with us. It would be nice to get on more compilations. Our vinyl is available through Sudden Death Records and United Rebles distro. You can find downloads on iTunes/ Spotify/ Bandcamp. Thanks for the interview Jason and your continuing support!
S: I’m glad that you are enjoying our music. We’re going to keep pumping it out for the foreseeable future. Thoughts… I know that the music industry has done some serious damage to both the bands and the fans, but most of us have no label support and are doing this because we love it. The only thing I would suggest is that people get out a little more to support their scenes. It blows me away when the likes of the Reckless Upstarts and Streetlight Saints can play and only get 8 people paying at the door. I’ve seen the same bar packed on the same night of the week for bands with much less talent. Come on guys, log out of Facebook and put your cell phones down for a bit and enjoy a good punk show. There’s always one happening somewhere!
Thanks for taking a moment to speak with us. Could you introduce us to the band and give
us a little background on the band’s formation?
Current Lineup: Paul – Vox, Bishop – Guitar/Backups, Jay – Bass/Backups, Menard – Skins.
Jay: No problem, thanx for having us. My names’ Jay, I play bass, do some backing vocals and work out different logos/designs. From what I remember, late 2005 I think, Paul had told me he and Matt had started a band; I believed they jammed a couple of times before Chris and I had joined. Shortly after, we wrote 5 or so songs, learned a few covers and began playing live within a couple of months.
Bishop: The band lineup has been the same since we started in 2005 besides the drummer.
Chris Kisiel was our original drummer and no longer with us in this cruel world. RIP our
friend, without him this band would not exist. Matty has been in the band a few times, he was
young when he originally joined and ended up leaving Windsor to live in Montreal for a bit.
He’s back in town and back in the the band. It feels like it’s where it needs to be. We all have
played in other bands both past and present.
I can appreciate your style of “Reagan Era” hardcore punk. “Fuck You” is my ringtone right now. Lol. What old schoolers would we hear in your personal collection of albums, and which have you found to be most influential to you?
Jay: Ha-ha, I think the ‘Regan Era’ thing totally happened by accident. In fact, I remember
talking to Paul about wanting to play melodic Oi! Maybe following the influence of Vanilla
Muffins or Templars, but Disco Assault is what happened, and to be honest, I’m very proud
and I don’t wish for it to be anything different! As far as what initially influenced me, as a
teenager I suppose, that ‘second wave’ of British Punk- ‘Thatcher Era Punk’ was what
impacted me hardest. Subhumans, Disorder, Conflict, Oi Polloi. These were the bands that
truly challenged my thinking, ruined my religion and education, and destroyed any prospects
of following a career path-and I couldn’t be more thankful! I liked the way it reflected the world
with art, how the music was extended thru album covers, lyrics sheets, stencils, t-shirts, gig
fliers and its accessibility by people of all ages. I liked its desire to want to make us all ‘equal’.
It helped me realize that our lives don’t belong to the chaos of Authority and the Status Quo.
For anyone who thought Punk failed at its attempt to affect change, I can tell you it reached
me when my parents and teachers couldn’t; it better prepared me for reality and enabled me
to survive Society. It’s a way of thinking I haven’t found in any other genre of music, Metal
Bishop: Ha fuck you! We wrote that in the studio out of nowhere and have never played it
live. It could be AC/DC’s next hit! We almost played it live recently, didn’t happen but maybe
one day we’ll see. We’ve done covers by Blag Flag, Poison Idea, Cause For Alarm, Urban
Waste, Dayglo Abortions, Minor Threat, Cockney Rejects, Negative Approach… that’s a small
but good start on influences. There’s so many bands, both past and present. So many influences over so many genres.
Paul: Well, I listen to a healthy amount of punkrock, oi!, hardcore, classic rock, some
industrial, and some stuff that doesn’t really fit into any genre. The most influential to me
would probably be American oi! and 80’s hardcore, more so mid-west & east coast.
Menard: I came up on all of the essentials like Dead Kennedy’s, Circle Jerks, The Ramones,
Adolescents and gravitated towards the UK82 sound of bands like GBH, Discharge, Anti
Cimex and American Hardcore acts such as Black Flag, Poison Idea and Jerry’s Kids in which
I still listen to on the regular.
So, you guys have been around for a minute. Being so close to Detroit, are you familiar with
our 80s and 90s hardcore punk scene?
Paul: The Detroit 80’s and 90″s hardcore punk scene is an integral part of our appetite for
influential raw punk rock American hardcore. There has been more then a few covers
through out our time were we have tipped our hats to some great Detroit bands.
Jay: Sure. Let’s say from the mid-late 80’s to the early-mid 90’s, I had the chance to see a ton
of bands that were active during that period. For me, Social Outcast was and will always be
my favorite Detroit area band. Their presence, for the times, was rare and powerful. The vibe
was so friendly and the live gigs left me with such a good feeling, I’m glad I got to experience
it as it happened.
Bishop: I grew up in Detroit, started going out to shows as soon as I could get out of the
house and into the city in the mid 90’s. Goon Records is where it started for me. Played in a
band called the Scurvies; back then it was the Bump N Uglies, the Catfish, Gutterpunx,
HatchetJob, Anxieties, West End, Murder City Wrecks, The Epileptix, Jim Abusive & The
Throwups… Suicide Machines were always a favorite (and still are) for me. Social Scare,
Bougeois Filth, Pub Life… I know I’m missing more than a few. That was the 90’s. Other
favorites include Negative Approach, The Meatment, S.B.L.C., Beer Whores, Cold As Life…
There are so many more, it’s a loaded question!
Menard: A bit before my time, but I have certainly heard all the cliche’s like “Those were the days” and “You guys have no idea what it was like” haha… [editor’s note: “Ha!”]
Tell us about your albums. What topics inspire your songwriting and lyrical content? What are some of your favorite Disco Assault songs, and why?
Bishop: The Discography CD is a collection of works from 2005 – 2010 which consists of the “Saturday Night Bleeder 7” (Schizoprenic Records 2008), unreleased songs from that session, a demo, comp tracks… Favorite songs? Not to sound too cliche but the new ones. We’ve been playing the old ones for a while and the new ones really are killer. From the older ones, I’d say Homeland, Broken Boards, Profiles, Whiskey Werewolf… Although the last one is a pain to play.
Jay: Our first proper recording of 7 songs (called Demo 2006) was available on a cd released
in the winter of 2006. “Blood for Your God”, “City Street Kids”, and “Negative Outlook” I thought
were the best tracks from those sessions, and had an accuracy of the world/media at the height of the second Gulf War. I think those songs in particular have held up well over the years. Oddly enough, this went into a second run complete with a fold out poster sleeve and one of those Japanese style OBI strips made popular in the world of record collecting by Hard
Rock bands like Kiss and Dio. In April of 2008 our first vinyl record was a 5 song 7” released
by Schizophrenic Records (catalog #43) out of Hamilton Ontario-a variation of screen printed
sleeves were made available as well. “Work To Survive” and “Homeland Security” are 2 of our
strongest tracks from that record and 2 songs we continue to play live. In 2011 we released ‘
Discography 2005-2010’. I think it was every track from one session or another including covers that we had either jammed or played live up until that point. It was self-funded, and like our first demo, it was an official release (not a cdr) complete with cover art and lyrics. In the winter of 2016 we released our second 7” ‘Religious Kontrol’ which is actually 6 songs we recorded back in the summer of 2012. “Bored of Hate”, “Beggar and the Ballot” and the title track are my favourites to play, and maybe some of the very best songs we’ve been able to write. They’re strong musically and lyrically.
Menard: I remember first hearing songs like “Obey” and “My Fate” and being absolutely
blown away, I was a fan of the band for a few years before being asked to play drums (for the
first time) at the ripe age of 17.
Paul: I don’t sing a lot about happy shit.
To me, Disco Assault is the true definition of hard core punk. Your sound is very embedded in the roots of it all. Judging by your photo, you guys don’t look like old withered fucks like
myself. What is it that really pulled you into this old school style vs other heavy genres?
Jay: Again, I really think it happened accidentally, or naturally. When you use terms like ‘heavy
genres’, I guess you mean Crust, Grindcore, Powerviolence, Metalcore. What we do is less of
a fusion than what those genres combine.
Paul: Well, I’m not sure what pic you’ve last seen but thanks, because I sure as hell feel like
an old withered fuck. I was never impressed with overproduced pop, punk, alternative, grunge
bands all that much. I listen to a lot of different stuff, and I think we all kind of have a a little bit
of different preferences in the stuff we all listen to, but I think the music we play,that influential
era in general is a real common bond. That’s my take on it. I like the raw aggression of that
mid-west 80’s hardcore sound a lot.
Bishop: Not sure why we don’t look that way. Good genes I hope, cause we definitely like to
enjoy ourselves and have a good time. That’s what we grew up on, I love the energy and the feel. It just feels right… I’ve looked the same and been pretty much the same person since I was in high school.
I’ve been listening to your 2005-2010 discography quite a bit lately. Are you guys planning on any new works for the near future?
Bishop: Writing new stuff as we speak, keeping things fresh and moving forward. We have
an EP worth of music done, working on finishing with lyrics and writing even more… Talking
with a band from Toronto on a split. Shopping for labels to put that out as well as finding
someone to officially release the 2012 recordings that came out on an extremely limited lathe
cut 7” in 2014 called “Religious Kontrol”.
Paul: Yes, we kinda of fell back together with one of our older line ups, and , right now were on the same page as moving this in the same direction. That direction would be kick out some newer stuff and try to hit the road more.
Jay: We have a couple ideas we’re piecing together. We’ve included a new song in the live
set plus a cover of ‘All Night’ by SBLC.
What is something you’d like potential new fans to know about the band and what you’re all about?
Jay: It’s not about emulation or re-creation; it’s about giving it back to this ‘old school style’
you speak of and holding true to the spirit of its history to ensure it persists into the future.
Though there’s a political element to some of the things we do, we keep it fun and inclusive.
This music belongs to everybody and it’s given us the opportunity to prove we can function
better than Society-or function better in Society.
Bishop: We like having a good time, that’s what it’s all about. Respect and support the scene
and those who support it. It is what you make of it. We look forward to making the new “good
Out of all of the bands that fly across my desk, Disco Assault is the best name I’ve heard in
years! I like it so much, I want to steal it from you, but I won’t haha. I’m glad to hear you guys are moving forward. Keep this shit up! Any final thoughts for the readers?
Jay: Heart first, passion over fashion, come to the gigs and smash it up!
Bishop: Thanks to anyone who has supported us past and present. Schizophrenic records for
putting out our 1st official release in 2008. Local bars like the Windsor Beer Exchange, all our
friends, and most of the bands we’ve played with over the years. More to come.
Black & White photos by TJ Murphy
Older black and whites by Tim Marcus
X-Mas TBX photos by ???? (sorry, forgot who sent those to us)
Original “Smashing” disco ball logo & Saturday Night Bleeder cover by Evan Coffman
Thanks for reading to the end. There will be more Canadian Oi in the future!