In the mere four years since the release of the bands’ inaugural LP, Marriage, Attack in Black has seen major line up changes, the move from external production to self production, sonic shifts that have transgressed genres, solo ventures from band members, and much of the turmoil generally experienced by far more seasoned performers. A question comes to mind when overlooking the shifting career of this young band: what is the cause behind their endless revision of form and sound?
August 27th, 2010, punk rock turned pseudo-folk act Attack in Black returned to the Niagara Region to play in one of Canada’s longest running taverns, St. Catharines’ Mansion House, giving me the opportunity to interview the two witty spokesmen of the band, lead singer, Dan Romano and guitarist, Spencer Burton about the past and future of the band.
Dan Romano: So what did you want to talk about?
Darryl Block: Well I was interested in your progression. It’s been a big one right?
Spencer Burton: Like what chord progressions we use?
DB: No, not at all. Not even remotely. I was wondering—your sound changed a lot—very quickly. You self produced your second album. Why?
DR: Well fuck everybody man. Fuck the people who are trying to tell us what to do and what to sound like.
DB: I had heard that that was your attitude towards your albums. You guys release an album like Marriage, that gets a lot of plays and then you completely change your sound three months later on The Curve of the Earth.
DR: What we did is skyrocket to success and then we just fucked everybody up after that–just for kicks. We don’t even like the shit that we’re doing now. It sucks. It’s like Linkin Park. They’re a good band. They just play shitty music because people like it.
SB: Actually—I wasn’t going tell you guys but this is my last show with Attack in Black. I’m in Linkin Park now.
DB: Really? Next question: your lyrics have a down tone to them all the way through your albums. Where is that coming from?
DR: Well, the ones that I write don’t really mean anything.
SB: I just go to the thesaurus and look up sad and then just use all those words.
DB: Your albums are a lot of death and love. Where is this coming from? Your sound changed and the lyrical themes stayed the same. Are you guys bummed out? Do you have to be bummed out to write?
DR: I only write when I’m happy.
DB: So music bums you out. You guys are happy and then you write music and it bums you out?
DR: Maybe. I don’t want to think too much about it.
SB: I make up stories sometimes like saying that the next song is about a woman who left me. But no one ever leaves me.
DB: Obviously. I saw you guys at The Horseshoe Tavern in February. You [Dan] fucked up the lyrics and started making it up as you went along.
DR: I feel like my brain is shrinking. My memory section is just like, all gone. I don’t remember dates—I don’t remember words to songs that I’ve written.
DB: I noticed you guys wouldn’t play your song, Marriage.
DR: I know. It’s kind of weird, but I don’t even know what that song sounds like. I really don’t.
SB: Marriage? I tried actually learning it today because I thought it would be really cool to play. I tried it like, 2 or 3 times but I didn’t have a copy of the CD.
DB: You guys don’t play those songs together anymore?
SB: Well, we play other songs together; we have some new songs and stuff.
DB: Well you guys are releasing another album together—or so the Wikipedia article says.
SB: I run the Wikipedia article for Attack in Black and it’s true. Seriously though, we’re going to play a lot of new songs tonight that may or may not be released in the near future. If they are released that’s sweet. If they are released, may the people be well prepared.
DR: Well, what do you say we go play a set?
SB: Yeah, we should play a set.
DB: Thanks for your time guys.
Check out Attack in Black at their MySpace page:
.any and all images by Darryl Block.
see the rest here:
Club Richelieu was founded by French Canadian Christians in the Niagara Region as a special events hall. On July 31, 2001, this venue was host to one of Niagara’s largest punk rock shows of the summer, The River Road Rager. The picnic tables crowding the area in front of the outdoor stage, often host to flabby, balding, middle aged club members, were crammed with Niagara’s tattooed, pierced, and belligerent in anticipation of a line up comprised of Black Majik Movement, Street Pharmacy, The Flatliners, Murder thy Maker, and The Snips–who organized and headlined the show.
This Welland concert represented a homecoming for The Snips after summer stints with Vans Warped Tour; a chance to reconnect with the fans that helped sustain them over the past ten years as they grew into the band they are today. On paper, the show looked like an unquestionable recipe for success, a show with a diverse sound and an abundance of energy to charge the enthusiasm of their local following. But in reality, the night’s greatest effect was to prove how much The Snips have developed beyond their Welland roots—having moved from the choppy metal/ska reflected in their first album, Check Your Audio, to the energetic, pop-punk of their more recent Ep, Blackouts.
The first indication of this may have been when Murder Thy Maker took to the stage, a band with a devoted Welland following that has only played the occasional reunion show over the past half decade. Their inclusion in the line-up drew the old guard, a faction of fans whose tastes haven’t changed the way the sound of The Snips has. Maybe that’s what resulted in an exodus of attendees before The Snips could even begin their set. Maybe that’s what inspired the guest appearance of former singer Mike Podio, an unfortunate symbol of the Snips as they once were. Maybe that’s what caused a fight to break out in the crowd mid-set, an incident that halted the show and drew considerably more attention than the band’s music. But then maybe it was all inevitable, a side effect of returning to a town loyal to a vibe that the band no longer represents.
The Snips are an evolving band, with an evolving sound. Their schedule in the coming months is already booked with shows across Canada and the US, with overseas tour dates not far in the future. When the potential fans in these far-flung places are exposed to the sound of The Snips, it won’t be the sound that many of those kids at the Rager were looking for. Instead, it will be a deeper sound, a more mature sound, and a sound that has the potential to take them far beyond their humble Welland beginnings.
Check out The Snips at the website:
.any and all images by Darryl Block.
see the rest here: