In the third part of this series, LondonFuse’s Gerard Creces continues scouring bandcamp.com, reaching out to the musicians who are tagged London, Ontario. Some are local artists, some live elsewhere but have written songs about London, Ontario.
Regardless, they are all worth a listen. Grab your headphones and enjoy!
Saudade’s Diary of Voices delivers plenty of both plodding, black, half-time metal and hammering double kick blast beats. It’s a very noisy recording, but it wouldn’t be metal otherwise.
Diary of Voices was released in September, 2016, and features Preston Lobzun and Brandon Gruber. New recruit Rachel Simpson was added to the band after the album’s release.
The cassette version of Diary of Voices contains exclusive live content… Too bad it’s sold out!
Vocally, there is a good range and mix between bowel-churning growls and high octane screaming. A good example of this is on Collapse Through Beauty, where a grimy bass intro gives way to growl, gives way to raw-throated mayhem octaves down the line.
Saudade tags the album as ‘depressive black metal’ but it has the opposite effect.
If you need to pump yourself up before a job interview or church, this album will leave you headbanging and full of energy. LondonFuse reached Lobzun via email.
Q: Why cassette? Seriously! The more people love the music and listen to it, the faster the tape degrades. (As a follow-up, will the bonus tracks be made available on CD now that the tapes are sold out?)
Cassettes are more of a novelty than anything. There is no real “superior” format in regards to analog versus digital. Rather, they are just different listening experiences with analog being something you sort of enjoy front to back versus digital where you pick your tracks individually on most occasions.
(Not even the most devout are listening to tapes that frequently anyways.)
Tapes also represent a tradition in the underground extreme scene that is only followed by die-hards. That’s why they’re often done in small batches for those who really want something special. This is especially true for black metal, old school death metal, and grind. Thus there likely won’t be any bonus tracks put out for awhile because I want to keep that tape release unique.
Q: How would you describe London, Ontario? What is your experience here?
All three of us are from Essex-Kent county. None of us are native to London but we all moved here for school one way or another. I think I can speak for the others in saying that living in a city versus a very small town is a massive readjustment to life. Towns are little bubbles where nothing changes so you have to learn how to adapt to the different kinds of people and situations you encounter here. I think we all like that.
Q: What makes you feel saudade?
Saudade is a sort of melancholy feeling that is difficult to explain. It’s the idea of missing something so we felt it was very relevant to the common lyrical topics in our music (mental health, specifically depression) and that’s why we picked it. Going back to the previous question, there are lots of people who get stuck in smaller towns because they miss how things “used to be” and this kind of nostalgia expends a lot of emotional energy. We don’t feel that way necessarily but it’s easy to remember when life was simpler.
Q: What has changed about your music now that you are a three-piece?
We added Rachel after about a year of playing as a two piece. As much as our music may be raw, we need to have a low end that is being attended to and Rachel has been extremely good at keeping up.
She is someone we have known for years and her plans to move to London solidified the choice to fill that gap just shy of when we finished recording the album last year. Her first recordings with us will be on an upcoming split that we will announce soon.
Q: Most of the tracks are under three minutes long, but What Death Will Solve is a 9+ minute epic. What is different about the writing approach for such a long composition as opposed to a 2:10 in-and-out?
I don’t really try to write long tracks intentionally but when I do, I enjoy using them for closure pieces to drive home an idea. Contrary to more progressive elements that I may use in my solo work, that track is intentionally repetitive and simple. We felt it would be a good closure as the last half is pretty much the same thing over and over again and we could close the album in a very precise way.
Recommend three London bands to check out:
We’re quite close with the bands Vow of Thorns and Yeti On Horseback as we’ve played a lot of shows for each other. They always bring a good show and put a lot of effort into the writing aspect of their music. Battlesoul is also another really good local band which does the pagan/folk metal thing extremely well. All of these bands are doing quite well beyond this region so we’re glad to be on the same soil as them.
Veterans of London’s punk rock scene since its inception, TVD first formed in 2011 on a quest to take back rock and roll in the City of London. They’re a riff-heavy group that makes no bones about their love of all things punk.
TVD’s Salvation Through Distraction could easily be a Tony Hawk Pro Skater soundtrack. The album is billed on bandcamp as “a shared vision of what rock and roll should be.”
Most of the tracks on Salvation Through Distraction are straight up rockers, with the occasional Sabbath-esque breakdown inserted in the mix.
Riff heavy anthems like Wait! Wait! Wait! have a very Dayglo Abortions feel, but overall the music stays original and entertaining. Attention Deficit is a good example of the latter, with an impossible amount of sounds to live up to the track’s name.
The lyrics are a bit cliched at times, but sometimes you just wanna rock. What would rock and roll be without drinkin’, partying and smoking weed? All told, the bangers far outnumber the snoozers, so be sure to check it out.
Q: 1- What is your experience with London, Ontario? How would you describe it?
Mike has always lived in London, Paul moved here in 1967 and has lived here ever since, Pete moved to London from Exeter 40 years ago. Living and playing music in London all these years has been good most of the time and GREAT at other times…
Q: 2 – If you bill this album as a vision of what rock and roll should be, how would you describe what rock and roll currently is?
More like what we would want it to be. Punk Rock/ Underground/ Rebel Music continues to evolve and morph. It’s what we play and listen to. If you are exposed to mainstream entertainment only then you won’t even know what I’m talking about. I don’t even hear guitars in most popular muzak. Neil Young used a vocoder in 1982 and now it’s the “new sound”. How about a radio station that plays Lucinda Williams, Neko Case, OFF, Hellacopters, Muddy Waters, Angry Somoans, ZEKE, Supersuckers, Howlin’ Wolf, Thin Lizzy, TAD, NoMeansNo, Dictators, Ramones, DMZ, Buzzcocks, Wire, Hank Williams(all 3), Discharge, Damned, Viletones, Demics, Teenage Head, DOA, UIC, 63 Monroe…
Q: 3 – Why did you decide to use double-tracked vocals? What’s your recording process?
Pete’s vocals are double tracked, Mike’s are not. Pete prefers that sound, Mike does not.
Recorded and engineered by Paul in Pete’s basement. Bed tracks recorded live. Singing and guitars are done during separate sessions. Then Paul takes it and makes a magic soup.
Q: 4 – There’s some smoking, drinking and carrying on throughout Salvation Through Distraction. What is the band’s experience in that area?
On 2 of 14 songs these themes come up. One of the best themes you could ever write a song about and one of my personal favs. Our first on this theme on the album is called SMOKE WEED. An anthem that I wrote for the people of the world that enjoy what they enjoy… The second song that delves into this theme is CRUCIFY and it is a commentary on political correctness.
The band likes to party by rockin’ out and having a great time. Playing songs that we like, songs that we believe in and songs that make us laugh. I will probably write a song about your question. Smokin’, Drinkin’ and Carryin’ On…
Q: What does TVD stand for and what is the origin of the name?
Timmins Venno Dekoker… TV Decay… TV Distraction
Recommend three London bands:
Paul’s picks The Black Holes, Dustbin Flowers and Johnny Terrian and the Bad Lieutenants.