Photo Courtesy of Strut Entertainment
Recently I sat down with Roger Costa from the estate of Canadian rock icon Jeff Healey to talk about Heal My Soul, a newly-released album featuring a set of lost Healey tracks from the late nineties. We spoke about why these songs remained buried for so long, the challenges involved in the album’s production, and the legacy of Jeff Healey in what would have been his 50th year.
The Jeff Healey 50th Celebration will take place on May 27th at Massey Hall, and you can check out an extended trailer for Heal My Soul here.
Photo Courtesy of EarsplitPR
I recently spoke to the Calgary grind ensemble Wake, who were touring across Canada in support of their third album Sowing the Seeds of a Worthless Tomorrow. They’re known for the diverse array of sounds that they inject into the grindcore template, particularly their use of black metal riffs.
Before their set at Toronto’s Coalition I spoke with guitarist Rob and vocalist Kyle about how they arrived at their sound, the target of their venomous lyrics, and why they’re convinced that their new drummer Josh is taking over the band.
Sowing the Seeds of a Worthless Tomorrow is available now, and you can check out the video for the track “Burn Well” here.
Photo Courtesy of Venom Inc. / Alpha Omega Management
Metal legends Venom are primarily known for their early eighties material created by the original line-up, as well as scaring more than a few parents with their over-the-top Satanic imagery. This material would go on to inspire legions of bands across the spectrum of heavy metal.
These days there are two versions of the band. Bassist/vocalist Cronos tours with new members under the Venom name, while guitarist Mantas and drummer Abaddon have been joined by frontman Tony “Demolition Man” Dolan under the banner of Venom Inc. Dolan is a familiar face to Venom fans, as he took over for Cronos when he originally left the band in the late eighties.
Last month Venom Inc. rolled through Toronto’s Hard Luck Bar and delivered a set of classics to a loud and receptive audience. The show initially seemed under threat, as it had been downgraded from the spacious Danforth Music Hall. The thing is, the band sounds really good. In fact it sounds like vintage Venom, and good thing too because that’s pretty much what they’re going for. I sat down with Abaddon before their set to talk about why this lineup is concentrating on the early Venom material rather than the songs they recorded together, re-starting their careers, and how he’s happy for there to be two versions of Venom... even if Cronos is using the original band logos he created.
Photo by Barry Roden
I recently had a chance to sit down with Canadian rock and metal icon Lee Aaron at a benefit for Musicounts, a charity associated with the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences that helps fund music education programs in schools. The evening took place at Toronto’s Phoenix Concert Theatre, and featured artists like God Made Me Funky and Simone Denny collaborating on a number of covers and originals. Aaron herself belted out a memorable take on the Foo Fighters’ “Everlong.”
Aaron initially became well known in the Eighties heavy metal and glam rock scenes, but grew dissatisfied with the genre as well as her image. She’s since made well-received forays into alternative rock, blues, and jazz. I spoke to Aaron between sets about her personal connection to Musicounts’ cause, what you can expect from her live show these days, and the modern perception of her early material.