Musical gimmicks and trends aside, there’s nothing quite like a straight up shot of down and dirty rock n’ roll. Toronto’s Sound and Fury are no-bullshit rock ‘n roll, the kind that hits on your girlfriend while you’re in the bathroom or screams in your face after a show. The band just recently completed a Canadian and UK tour alongside punk-rockers SUM 41 and are now preparing for the release of their debut self-titled debut on June 24th via Rebel Youth Records/MRI-RED Distribution. We caught up with frontman Luke Metcalf and bassist John Kerns (ex- Age of Electric, Static In Stereo) to discuss the band’s debut, squatting in abandoned California houses and the positives/negatives of being pro-active online in today’s music business.
John you were previously in Canadian rockers Age of Electric and Static In Stereo where you had a fair amount of success. Did your previous experience in the music business help Sound & Fury as you prepare to release your debut?
John: No, every band is different. Of course playing live a lot helped but every band situation is different. Also a lot has changed in the industry… I guess really what it comes down to is I may not know what to do all the time, but I know what not to do. [laughs]
Sound & Fury’s sound is stripped down rock n’ roll, where do you think you fit into today’s music scene with bands like My Chemical Romance, Linkin Park and Fall Out Boy topping the rock charts?
Luke: We fit in great! Fans of these bands aren’t stupid or narrow minded and they are very open to checking out new stuff. When we opened for Sum 41 we got a great response. They were totally excited about the fact that a lot of them have never heard music like ours before.
What are some of the bands out there now that people should take notice of?
Luke, you left Canada and moved to California where you lived on the streets and squatted in an abandoned house. How did that impact you as a person and the music you create?
Luke: Like everyone I’ve had a lot of hard times and a lot of good times. Mainly I write about the fact that no matter how fucked up the situation, you can still say, “Fuck this, I’m gonna have a good time” and take it back.
Luke wrote the majority of these songs by himself in a basement in Toronto, at what point did the other members get involved and what was it that drew them to the music?
Luke: Basically, for the early demos I recorded the drums, bass and rhythm guitars myself on a crappy 8-track. Then I called up Griffin, a buddy from high school, to lay down lead guitars. Then we started talking about forming a band and eventually we auditioned some guys and John and Chris joined. Later we found Daz and after rehearsing the songs, bashing them around and kicking them into shape, we recorded the album. We all love hard rock and 70’s punk.
The album has a very stripped down sound, who did you work with to produce it and did you have a sound/band that you modeled the album after?
Luke: I produced it with the help from a buddy, Christian Collingham and an engineer friend Adrian Gorrizan. We recorded it in our rehearsal space. I’m a huge fan of AC/DC and their albums are stripped down no bullshit.
Lyrically the album is quite straight forward, which is refreshing from the typical rock you hear today. Were you just striving for that feel good, crank up the tunes in your car and sing along feeling when you wrote the songs?
Luke: I wrote the lyrics about my experience in high school and the crazy times I had right after. Right from the start I wanted to create an album just to party your ass off to.
You have a fairly large online following through MySpace and other online sites, how important is it to be proactive in the online world in today’s music business?
John: It’s essential; you can have direct one-on-one contact with your fans which is not only exciting for them but I also really enjoy getting to know who they are too because most of them are really cool.
Being proactive in the online world could be viewed as a double edge sword as you can make fans very quickly, but your album is also available for download for nothing on peer to peer sites. How do you combat the fact that the fans you’re creating can be the same ones stealing your tunes?
John: It means that our bread and butter will be live shows, which is good for us because we are very much a live band. That’s really what we’re all about and the quicker our music spreads by word of mouth the more people will want to see us live and come out and party with us. Of course it is really nice when fans actually decide to support you by buying your album when they can just get it for free; that’s a dedicated fan.
You toured the UK with Sum 41, what was that like and was there a difference between British fans and fans in North America?
Luke: Touring the UK was one of the greatest experiences of my life! The UK is absolutely one of the best markets in the world. The fans live and breathe rock n’ roll and that means every show is wild. They are usually high energy and passionate about music. [ END ]