interview conducted by Ash.
I Hate Sally, one of the many great bands based out of Kingston, Ontario,
have a sound uniquely their own. A listen to the first album can confuse
anyone trying to stuff these boys in a genre box: too punk to be metal, yet
too metal to be considered hardcore. Socially-concious lyrics, rapid-fire
tempos, and the occasional thunderous bassline gives you the daily
recommended allowance of punk. Yet, the wall of sheer guitar, both skilled
and abrasive, along with growling, earthy vocals originating from the
musicians' steady diet of beer and cigarettes will have you reminiscing of
the days when Metallica never knew the name Jason Newsted. So pull out the
dusty cassettes, sit back, and read the interview I recently did via email
with Marc, co-growler and guitarist of IHS.
First off, for people who haven't heard IHS, describe
the band's sound.
M- We describe ourselves as punk-metal. A lot of our
stuff is pretty heavy, but we would definitely be too
soft for a death metal show. We get lumped in with
the punk scene it seems. Lots of people say we sound
like Propagandhi meets Iron Maiden... that's pretty
How's the tour going? What are you guys listening to
on the road?
M - Well the tour went really well. The van only broke
down once and we nearly sold all our merch and met
lots of cool people. There are lots of people we
would like to see again and play for again. To answer
part b of the question, we listened to lots Maiden:
"Seventh Son...", "Powerslave", "Fear of the Dark",
and of course "Best of the Beast." There was also
lots of Darkest Hour and Arch Enemy being played. The
"I HATE SALLY live in Bozemon, Montana" was also cool.
With the ongoing traditions of the Red Hot Chili
Peppers and VanHalen, this is the 3rd lineup switch,
how does the dynamic change within the band?
M- Everytime you get new people the dynamic totally
changes. But Ben and I have been the primary song
writers from the start, so the main elements seem to
remain in tact. We have always been into heavy music
- lots of good punk and metal. This time w/ Kev and
Nick in the band there was way more we could do in the
songs and it was much more of a band effort. We've
known Kev and Nick for a while, too, so there was never
an issue of trying to get along with them - they are
pretty cool g's.
What have Kev and Nick, from an interesting sounding
hard rock, almost Tool-like band (Obsidian), brought to
this already unique punk/metal hybrid?
M- They have made us much more unique. I don't think
we played with a band on our entire tour that sounded
anything like us. Ben and I have maintained the
riffage and punk progressions, but Nick has brought
his brand of playing into the band that is noticably
different than most punk drummers... much more random
and improvised at times. The double kick really adds
to our heavinness too - our past drummers always used
single kick. Kev is the best bass player I have ever
played with. He keeps us all together when Nick is
going crazy and Ben and I are fucking up.
After listening to the 2 new mp3s from the latest
album ("80-89" & "Death Wish"), I must say that IHS seems to have
drastically improved, was any of the writing done with Kev and
M- Although it was Ben and I who brought in the
original ideas, Kev and Nick put their pieces into each song and made them
sound totally different than I
ever imagined. If something sounded bad, someone
would say something, but Kev and Nick basically just
listened to the riffs and put their parts in with no
problems at all. I would definitely agree that we
have improved... I think it would have been hard not to
with some of those songs from our first release.
How does the new album compare (musically, lyrically,
etc.) to the last, if at all?
M- The last album was more of a compilation of riffs
and songs that Ben and I had compiled over the
years...everything from rock to metal. Although lots
of people like it, there are some hideous songs (i.e.
Alabama 2001). There was not much collaboration in
anything and everything was done really quickly, as
you can likely tell. The new album was also put
together quickly, but it was much more of a group
effort. The songs are more refined and heavier.
We actually re-recorded a couple tracks and they are
by far the weakest songs on the cd, but still much
better with the new lineup and sound. So, musically,
I would say our stuff is more genuinely punk-metal
now, whereas before there was punk and metal, but also
many other styles fused in there. Lyrically, well,
there are no " I Hit Alex" tracks on this one, I'm
sorry to say. A lot of our stuff is pretty serious,
but we'll throw in stuff like "Cliff Burton" or
"80-89" which are on the surface much less serious.
For over a year, having booked well known bands such
as D.O.A, The Slackers, Reach The Sky, Bigwig, etc., you
and Ben have held your own by booking/promoting local
shows with Kingston Punk Productions, have you
guys found a new venue for KPP, or are you gonna stick
with the 477? Do things run smoothly when you also have
your band to think about?
M- It seems like we'll be sticking w/ the 477 even
though the sound is awful. There aren't many gay bars
that hold punk shows and serve $3.25 pitchers. But,
we would like to get a better setup for big bands
though - even in the big room there is not enough room
when we get larger bands coming through. I think that
doing shows both helps and hurts our own band. By
doing shows you automatically get a lot of people
helping you out in return, but it takes time away from
writing new stuff, practicing, booking shows for your
own band, etc. Between the two, I would pick the band
in a second.
Is there any band who you haven't been able to book or
are dying to get into Kingston? (Personally, I would trek through the artic
winters of NNY/Canada to see Propagandhi at a Kingston venue.)
M - yes Propagandhi would be cool... i would like to
get Kiss to play the underground.
Lemmy is considering getting the warts removed, your
M- i have a big wart on my hand right now and I am
starting to like it - i think the warts should
stay... besides, lemmy will be the ugliest man on earth
even if he gets them burned off
Finally, this question is more for the NNYers at the
show on May 25th who had heard the band and as soon as we found out about
the no-show, the only thing we could say is "what the fuck?", what was the
M- We got stopped at the border and were anally
frisked. well, actually we didn't even get out of
Kingston. Some of the band at the time had no desire
to be in the band and when it came down to travelling,
things were usually bad. The next week the same thing
happened for an Ottawa show and that's when our old
lineup split. I would have loved to play that show
and I hope we are not blacklisted from NNY forever.
I must mention that you missed the greatest moment
I've ever seen at a local show, when the late, great, Jacob Pete of Good
Morning Reality grabbed Mike's snare and ran around the venue, beating on
the snare drum like a madman.
M- that sounds like something i would have wanted to
see. hopefully he was naked.