Big things have happened and are continuing to happen

SOS coverKill Matilda‘s Songs of Survival is now finally out on Little Heart Records! You can get it in CD or cassette form, or download on iTunes.

The lead single is Needle & Thread. We premiered it on Exclaim.ca, along with our announcement of signing to Little Heart from Louisville, KY.

In high school, I was learning to play the drums and idolizing bands like Rage Against the Machine and Red Hot Chili Peppers. Now I’ve released a record produced by Garth Richardson, the same producer who worked with those bands and helped them make their iconic records.

GGGarth tuning drums

The man is tuning my snare drum. Sweet Jesus John Frusciante Christ!!

Dusty, Mykel, Dave and I started the initial recording process for this record with Garth in 2012. 2012!! We moved across the country to reach more fans in Ontario and Quebec, leaving behind friends and family (and Dave) in Vancouver. We lived out of a van for half a year to bring our music all over the US, and one particular town in Mexico.

One hundred twenty eight. That’s so many shows, the poster is completely illegible.

It’s been a long journey, filled with struggle and sacrifice. But here we are, and so is the new music. The kid I was in high school could never have imagined that I would actually have something in common with my musical heroes, but now I do.

Buy it!


We stayed hella busy through the summer too.

We recorded a cover of Nirvana’s “Breed”. Then, while brainstorming ideas for a video, we ran out of gas and I had to skate to the gas station with a jerry can and back. So we made that the video. All in a day’s work.


We played a bunch of festivals in Montreal too. First there was Anachronik.

anachronik


Canadian Music Week was in Toronto. We got Drunk as F@#k after the show and BS’d into the night.


Pouzza Fest took us back to Montreal and into a gnarly skate bowl. We got some sweet press too.

pouzza

We’re near the bottom right in black print


Punk-O-Rama took us back to Montreal and got us more press love.

punkorama

“And that drummer! He was like a battering ram with two arms and two legs.” – someone else wrote that about me and I didn’t pay them to do it I SWEAR.

punkorama sorelfest


Sorel Fest was in Sorel-Tracy, which is kind of like Montreal.

sorel


In September we are maintaining eye contact and establishing dominance throughout ON/QC with Voltang on the Tabarnak and Back tour.

And that’s just the half of our warpath. Western Canada and Europe are next. Follow us on social media and come get you some!


UPDATE: Over the release weekend, we broke the Top Ten on the Art of the Mix iTunes New Releases chart!

art of mix #10 screenshot

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The #punk#zombie#rocknroll tour so far

Kill Matilda’s #punk#zombie#rocknroll Tour Extravaganza 2014  in which we reduced the band to a 3-piece and all moved from Vancouver to Toronto to stay probably forever  has been pretty successful thus far, by all counts.

A few points to note, before they fade into the oblivion of my memory/the Internet:

Bucketlist review of the Montreal show:

dude’s a beast – he pounds away at his kit like he’s got a sponsor hook up for new skins while never letting the tempo waver.

In the Walleye review of the Thunder Bay show, first he calls me “demure-looking”, but then:

By the end of their set, Mr. Quiet Drummer has gone full Animal.

Okay. Enough about the drummer, devilishly handsome as he is.

Leading up to the start of the tour, an animated video for Law Abiding Citizen was released.

On April 9, national music mag Exclaim! premiered the video for I Want Revenge, title track from our 2011 debut full-length album, complete with exclusive written feature. I should also mention the video and tour were partially sponsored by my beloved local Cascadian boozemakers Cariboo Brewing.

The Georgia Straight reviewed our #punk#zombie#rocknroll release on the same day. It’s nice to be in Vancouver’s major news and entertainment publication, online and onpaper.

Georgia Straight

See? I told you the drummer was devilishly handsome and incredibly smart.

To top it all off, the night before all this press, we had played in our new home of Toronto to a packed house at the Bovine Sex Club. Later that evening at the Bovine, we ran into Laura Jane Grace of Against Me!, Ian D’Sa from Billy Talent, and the legendary PJ Phil from everyone’s favourite childhood memory, YTV.

Pretty surreal coincidence for a bunch of traveling musicians freshly landed in the big city…

Here’s the complete tour poster of 30 dates, for posterity. Artwork by my good buddy Lee – dethkamp.tumblr.com.

Final tour poster

Song of the Month: Interior Two

The month of March 2011 has been consumed by a song.

John Frusciante – “Interior Two” (Inside of Emptiness, 2004)

Things That I Think Are Cool About This Song:

  • High notes = excitement, intensity. Natural logic, really. When you hit the highest note of a song, you’re kind of blowing your load. In this song, John Frusciante turns that on its head in a pretty spectacular way. In my opinion, the payload in this song comes at the bridge, at 2:03. The best songs always have the payload coming at the bridge. Think about it…
  • The notes being played totally make this a classic 60’s doo-wop song. The sounds being recorded are like 90’s lo-fi/noise rock. And the song was released in the 21st century. Insanity!

I finally got around to checking out John Frusciante’s solo discography this month, which is something I’ve always meant to do. A lot of the stuff is incredibly fascinating. Just a crazy man armed with a tape recorder and a guitar, screaming in his bedroom, doing whatever the hell he wanted.

A funny thing about the definitive Red Hot Chili Peppers lineup (Anthony Kiedis, John Frusciante, Flea, and Chad Smith) is that everyone was born in either 1961 or 1962, which makes them 48–49 right now. Everyone except John, who was born in 1970 and is 41.

As the years have gone on, the Chili Peppers have gotten pretty stagnant, writing the same upbeat song about California, and alternately, the slower introspective song about some girl from California, over and over again. It became pretty clear to me that John Frusciante was the one who was pushing the creativity of the band. He still had places to go, he wasn’t trapped in his own signature sound/style, unable to evolve musically. It really wasn’t too much of a surprise when he left the band a few years back.

Loser Cruiser

I wrote a guest rant on my good friend Ian’s website. Quite the honour actually, because Ian is always full of interesting ideas, and writing them down in his unique, straightforward voice. I’m truly thankful for his encouragement and invitation to write down my own little thoughts, of which I have many, almost all of which I have not written down.

I was sitting on the 160 cross-town bus, half-asleep after the work Christmas party (which featured a disappointing lack of table-dancing), when I became aware of some minor commotion at the front entrance.

“I’ve had a long day, I just want to go home.”

“If he’s using the pass, you’re not using the pass.”

“I just want to go home, it’s been a long day.”

“Get off the bus.”

The person at the entrance who had been talking to the driver waved over a friend who had sat down at the back of the bus. He handed what looked like a bus pass to his friend who had just walked up from the back. I can only assume his friend had gotten on first with that bus pass, then tried to slip it to the person at the door to use, right under the driver’s nose.

They both got off quietly. As the driver began to pull away, the person who “just wanted to go home” turned around on the sidewalk to face the bus. “Fuck you you FUCKING PIECE OF SHIT!” Complete with middle finger.

The driver didn’t react, thankfully. It’s not always that way, from what I’ve seen.

The driver was probably used to this aggression and didn’t think much of it. I hope he didn’t. He hadn’t been nice or gentle about anything, but if anyone was being a “fucking piece of shit,” surely it couldn’t have been him?

I’ve seen all sorts of people try to ride buses for free in Vancouver. Many of them don’t even appear homeless, or approaching homeless. Sometimes the driver allows it, sometimes they don’t. It’s mostly a non-event, but sometimes it gets ugly.

Why? Why do people react violently when they can’t ride the bus for free?

A few months ago, I bore witness to another event that boggled my mind. This person, on her way to the back of the bus to find a seat, threw some coins at the machine and declared, “That’s all the change I have.” All in one swift motion, without even so much as glancing in the direction of the driver.

“You. Big. Idiot. The bus fare is not equal to whatever change you happen to have in your pocket, and the driver can’t open the coin/ticket machine, so congratulations! You’re now a few cents poorer and you have to walk in the rain!”

That’s the scathing comeback I formulated in my mind, after I got home and took a few hours to wrap my mind around the unbelievable audacity of this person.

Could she not see the driver would be doing her a favour by letting her ride the bus for less than the price that everybody else rides the same freaking bus for? Should she not therefore have at least acknowledged the driver’s existence as a human being?

In reality the bus driver said nothing and kept on trucking.

I’m neither proud to admit, nor overly ashamed to tell that I’ve been caught for fare evasion on the Skytrain twice within a 12-month period. The fine is $173. The first time, I got my fine reduced to $50. The second time, it was $100.

For whatever reason, I didn’t have a decent income in this recent past. I remember I would pass through Commercial/Broadway, trying my best to ignore the mighty Megabite/Buddha’s/A&W combo, trying to tell myself I wasn’t that hungry, that I could save a few bucks, make it home in an hour or so and eat then. And when I did cave and buy some food, I’d always feel guilty after eating it. Money was tight.

But no matter how little I had in my bank account, I had at least enough sense in my head to understand basic pillars of society, like:

  • You have to pay for goods and services.
  • If you don’t pay the full amount of money, you don’t get those goods or services.

That stuff applies to delicious junk food and public transit fares alike.

I’m lucky I only had to pay $150 for two violations. They had every right to fine me $173 each time, for a grand total of $346 that I did not have. And here are these people, running around like they’re entitled to free public transportation. They get indignant, and outright aggressive, when they’re told to pay the fare or get off the bus.

Excuse me Vancouver, but what the hell? If you’re going to ride a bus, especially a bus like the 160, which takes you all the way across Metro Vancouver even faster than the Skytrain can, maybe you shouldn’t be so goddamn surprised when you can’t do it for free. Stop being such an entitled brat; stop acting like free public transportation is a God-given right.

Not having to pay is the exception, not the rule. I know the cost of living is ridiculous here, I know the bus system is subpar and Translink’s zone map is kind of stupid. But do you really think treating the bus driver like crap is your best revenge?

Perhaps try taking some of that outspokenness and complaining to Translink or our local government. What you definitely shouldn’t do, is act like a loser and be rude to some hapless fellow who’s only doing his job, but might go out of his way to let you ride the bus for free anyway, from time to time, just because.

Public Service Announcement: If you feel you’ve been unfairly targeted for fare evasion in Vancouver, take a gander at this here document from the Bus Rider’s Union. Definitely don’t read it if you’re some sort of loser who regularly doesn’t pay Skytrain fare and finally got caught and now you’re trying to weasel your way out of paying what you owe.

Transforming Tama Snare Stand: A Horror Story

One Monday morning, in my usual zombie-like state, I went to the kitchen to get water. I noticed the microwave clock was one hour behind, so I changed it. Then I saw the wall clock was also one hour behind but I was like, forget this noise, I have to get to work.

When I got outside, it was darker than usual and there were less people around. Halfway to the station I started getting suspicious. An exchange with a lone pedestrian confirmed my worst fears. It turns out my cellphone had ruined my life.

You know how phones sync their clocks with satellites or something so they’re always right? Well apparently my phone decided to jump forward an hour, making me an hour early for work. What a way to start the week.

By the time I got there, my phone had corrected itself, so my morning alarm went off again. It was like one of those bad nightmares where you wake up twice except this one was ALL REAL.

I used the extra time to post this ad on craigslist. The cursed item was sold by the afternoon, and my cell phone has never woken me up extra early since. Coincidence? Doubtful…

Transforming Tama snare stand

Look at this frikkin Tama snare stand. It’s heavy duty, it’s industrial, it’s a god damn Transformer. Probably a Decepticon.

I’m serious, the feet swivel out to transform from rubber pads to deadly metal spikes. This bad boy will hold up your snare drum on carpeted terrain or hardwood floors.

The thing that adjusts the tilt of the drum is fused shut by some dark alien space goo, probably AllSpark residue. Now you have no choice but to play with your snare laying flat, the chosen snare angle of battling alien robots from outer space.

Buy this thing already before it tears my face open in the middle of the night with its spiky metal feet of doom.

I don’t listen to what’s important, I listen to what I like

On the train home from work, a local music mag told me, “it’s time to make a list of what was important that happened in music this year.” And I thought to myself, “Crap.”

I don’t listen to what’s important, new, or innovative. I just listen to what I like. I’m like that bratty kid who only eats the orange peppers, not the yellow or red ones, and I’m not eating that chicken with the skin on it, you can see the hairs eww GROSS!!

Proper music journalists and their year end top 10 lists make me feel pretty guilty for claiming to be a music nerd, what with all the hyperbolic praise for a new handful bands I’ve never heard of. This post started out as an attempt to make my own top 10 list for 2010, but it turns out I haven’t taken in enough fresh music to even make an interesting top 5 list. For shame.

So now I arrive at a compromise and a resolution: 3 recommendations from this past year in no particular order, and a reminder to myself to stop burying my head in decade-old albums, as undeniably awesome as they might be.

Autolux — Transit, Transit

Carla Azar is probably the most creative drummer alive, playing in a cool as hell band. She plays with traditional grip, thereby rendering all criticism against this band invalid.

Sufjan Stevens — All Delighted People EP

Go read about what a genius this guy is on some other blog. All I know is that it’s stupid to call 59 minutes of music an EP. And even if the raucous electronic noises of the full-length album Age of Adz (also released this year) don’t strike you as the sonic equivalent of cacti projected at your face and groin, overall, the songwriting is still stronger on All Delighted People, making it the victor of Sufjan’s post-modern battle against himself.

Carney — Mr. Green, Volume 1

(Overly-)polished blues pop straight from the soul and into your gut. If that description doesn’t intrigue you, know that ringleader Reeve Carney is starring as Spiderman, in a Broadway musical about Spiderman, with music written by U2. If I were making this up, I’d be a New York Times best-selling fiction author right now, instead of… you know, this.

Canada Day Surprise

Yesterday I celebrated the glorious 143rd birthday of America’s Hat by going to the festivities at the Vancouver Convention Centre, where local favorites Hey Ocean! played a cool set against the backdrop of the Vancouver Harbour. Super groovy drummer Daniel Klenner got his own drum solo, which was certainly not what I was expecting from a jazzy pop band. More on him later.

The real surprise came when the singer Ashleigh gave a shout out to the drummer they’d been working with in the studio for the past while — Mike Marsh.

Now at one point during the set, Dave the bassist announced on the mic that he could see his car being towed. Hilarity ensued, and he threw his keys to the producer of their upcoming album, who went to move the car. I saw the producer man talking to a couple of dudes after the crowd had dispersed, so I went up to talk to them, and lo, one of them was Mike Marsh.

But was he the Mike Marsh? From Dashboard Confessional, I asked?

Why yes, yes he was.

So I borrowed a random guy’s pen and got him to sign the only thing I had on hand. The back of one of my own band’s sticker.

It’s too bad that Chris Carrabba was the King of Emo at one point and there’s a kind of stigma among musicians who listen to Dashboard. Because that band is awesome and Mike Marsh is unreal. Check it out.

Here’s him in the studio tracking drums for the song “Hey Girl” from the album A Mark, A Mission, A Brand, A Scar:

And “Carry This Picture” from the same album. The creativity and the relaxed feel of this shuffle beat is just astounding. Mike starts at 0:38, and the unbelieva-shuffle starts in the second verse at 1:46:

I found Daniel after that and talked to him for a bit. He had a super funky fat sounding snare, but I could see it was only a piccolo, which was weird. Apparently it was just the snare that came with his first Mapex kit which cost $300 altogether, and he had the snare side skin tuned barely above wrinkles. I guess it goes to show that when the drummer knows what he’s doing, it’s never really about the drums.