Thunder Issue 16

*NOTE: Due to a mis-count, Simon Marshall’s issue wold have been Thunder Issue 15, not 13 as it is written. Sorry about that!

This interview, when it happened, could not have had me any more nervous.

Chris Walter, who is known as a writer of Punk Rock fiction and nonfiction, is someone I really respect.

As always in my mind though, I jumped to worst case scenario. (I call it my case of the ‘What Ifs?’)

What if I stumbled over my words so bad, I couldn’t get a sentence out; let alone an interview?

What if I had a really bad panic attack and had to leave? (It’s happened before.)

Or; an extreme What If:  What If Chris Walter was really snooty?

As usual, my worry blows thing way out of proportion. Chris was fantastic to interview, and it was great to meet a fellow writer.

*Note: I did this interview in two part. Asking some questions during the Q&A, and later on one on one.

During Q&A:

KW: I was wondering; I was told that you started out by writing a zine. What was your zine like? What was it about?

CW: In 1982, I was trying to hack it together on a borrowed typewriter and you know, my friend asked me ‘What are yo doing?’ And I told him, ‘I’m going to write a fan zine.’ And he said ‘What are you going to call it?’ and I said I’m going to call it ‘Pages Of Rage.’ So he said, ‘Oh, o.k.’ I thought for sure he was going to tell I was an idiot and that it was never going to work, because that’s what he generally used to tell me. But he didn’t discourage me for it, so we actually got it together. You know, we misspelled, mistyped, and we took it down to the library and collated the thing. I was surprised when we actually sold it all for a dollar a copy. You couldn’t do that nowadays, because alot of stuff is paid for by the advertising. The first few issues were really crappy photocopy jobs, but an overachiever friend of mine, he had it printed in a place in town that used offset printing, and we started doing runs of a thousand, distributing them all over North America. And I was surprised at the success we were getting. But then we realized it was alot like real work. And that was kind of a problem. So we stopped doing it. (Laughs in room.)

 

KW: How do you pick the bands you write about?

CW: I thought I’d pick bands maybe I knew personally. And bands I listen to. And SNFU, Personality Crisis, and DayGlo Abortions certainly fit those catrgories. I also wanted to cover Canadian bands first, but I’m not going to limit mysef to them. Personally, I’m running out of bands that fit the criteria, so my next book might be about a British or American band. But I wanted to cover the Canadian stuff that was important to me first.

 

During One On One:

KW: How do you get started when you start a story or subject? Do you start on paper, on a computer?….

CW: On a computer. I used to write stuff by hand before I had a computer, but that’s the hard way to do it. You know, I revise and edit so much, it’s carpal tunnel material.

KW: How do you pick a subject for a book that you’re working on?

CW: I try to go with what’s currently happening in the scene, and who’s active and put out a new album. I just listen around and see who’s doing what. You do stories around them, not some band that broke up 10 years ago. You know what I mean right? Isn’t that what you do?

KW: What made you want to write about SNFU?

CW: They’ve been around for 30 years, influenced people all over the world, hell I’ve known two of the members for 30 years so it made perfect sense to do it.

 

KW: What makes you want to write about Punk in Canada?

CW: I’ll write about Punk anywhere, but Canada is where I live. My next book might not be about a Canadian Punk band, but I wrote aboutte bands that were important to me first.

KW: I know you just completed a project, but I have to ask. Do you anything for a next book in mind?

CW: I have a few ideas. A few bands I’m considering. But I won’t say who they are until it’s finalized.

KW: You write fiction and nonfiction. Is there one genre you perfer?

CW: They’re both so different. Like fiction is great because you can explore your creativity. But I also like writing nonficition. It’s rewarding to do music biographies because you learn so much about the bands you like. It’s a learning process.

KW:Did you think that when you started writing it would ever come to this point?

CW: No. I had no idea. I was writing because I had nothing better to do. But I knew I had to do something because I felt like I was wasting my life.

(After that we exchanged good-byes, as Chris had to go.)

You can get Chris’s books here in Hamilton,Ontario, Canada at Crash Landing Punk and Music store or at Hammer City Records.

Or to get an idea of his books, hit up punkbooks.com

SOME BANDS TO WATCH:

Frankie and Jimmy.

Even though they are a duo, this pair kicks some major musical a*s. (They make as much noise as a band.)

They’re unique, as they aim to blend Punk and Classic Blues with guitar, a harmonica, and a voice that won’t be forgotten soon.

They have a free download. Their rendition of ‘Maggie Campbell Blues’ available on Bandcamp.com.

frankieandjimmy.bandcamp.com.

Dismantle.

A band I have yet to see, (and I look forward to when I do), Dismantle sounds like Hamilton. I know you probably ask how, but just go with me on this.  They’re Punk, they’re gritty, they’re great. And their 2 free downloads are available at:

dismantle.bandcamp.com

Spanner.

They’re from the U.K, but Spanner have been making waves in my scene. Quite a few people talk up this Ska-Punk band, and for good reason. Their music covers everything border patrols to the government and other important issues, all set to awesome music. They have a 13 track album up free at: rebeltimerecords.bandcamp.com

SOME UPCOMING SHOWS/ EVENTS:

As it’s the 3rd Tuesday of the month, the Lyric Theatre will be hosting it’s monthly Youth Poetry Slam and Open Mic. Not to mention it’s workshop with the featured poet. (This month it’s Lisa Slater.) Things kick off at 6pm for the workshop, 7pm for the poetry. Admission is $2 for 18 and under, $5 for 19 and over.

Janice Lee and The Free Rads play the Artword Artbar on January 18th with Lorimer Longhaul, Jon The Bassit and more. The event is Pay What You Can, and gets started at 8pm. I don’t know if it’s All-Ages or not.

Panzerfaust, Unbowed, Erimha, and Necrodios play the Doors Pub January 18th. It’s $12 at the door, $8 for advance tickets. (Advance tickets can be purchased at Dr. Disc or at Hammer City Records.) This event is 19+, and starts at 8pm.

In response to recent crimes that have taken place in the city, this months Slamfest (we’re at number 19. Awesome!) will have an anti-violence theme. I’m always a big advocate for Slamfest, but I especially encourage attending this one. Slamfest starts at 3pm, admission is $6, and this show is All-Ages.

This issue I would like to thank:

Chris Walter, for agreeing to be interviewed
Suzanne Kirkwood and Chris Crash for helping to get me this interview
My Mom and Dad
My Friends
Anyone who reads this zine
The City Of Hamilton

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Hamilton Poetry Nights At The Lyric Theatre.

I find Hamilton an intriguing place.

It’s full of places to explore, people to meet, and a lot of stuff to do.

One of the latest things to do are poetry nights at the Lyric Theatre.

Consisting of 4 portions (a workshop, an Open Mic for all ages, a Slam portion for 22 years and under, and a reading from a feature author), these evenings have captivated me since I heard about them last month.

I actually went to last month’s edition, and I loved it. I haven’t read my poetry aloud since high school, so it was great to get back to it. The crowd was receptive, and my anxiety was made things worse in my head than they actually were.

If anyone is interested in attending, the event takes place the third Tuesday of every month at the Lyric Theatre. Start time is 6pm for the workshop, 7pm for the Open Mic and Slam. It’s $2 for everyone 18 and under to compete, and $5 for everyone 19 and over. (For rules and things like that, the site is: burlingtonslam.wordpress.com)

Good luck to everyone who comes out and reads!

 

 

The 2012 Thunder Music Awards.

I think by now, most people who know me know two things:

1: I have a zine called Thunder.

2: Every year, I compile a list of what I personally think is the best in Ontario’s Punk and Alternative Rock. Whoever wins gets my unwavering support and some kind of candy in a golden wrapper to mark the occasion. (If I had the money for actual trophies, the zine probably wouldn’t exist.)

This was a, pardon my language, a fu*king fantastic year for music in Ontario. Metal, Punk, and much more filled the clubs, streets, and headphones. Whether you were taking in a free show this summer at one of many festivals, or taking in a show in the colder weather, you were sure to be in awe. (I know I was.)

Now, a few things. I’ve added some new categories for this year; I allowed for more ties, and I vow to hand out the momentos. (So bug me if you don’t get your gold-encased chocolate.)

Best Album (Punk) Tie:

Adelleda ‘Let’s Talk About Adelleda’

Born Wrong/ Klein96 Split 10″

Best Album (Non-Punk) Tie:

Gatling ‘Beforemath’

The Barettas ‘The Night Is Young’

Best Album Not From This Decade:

UXB ‘Tick Tock Boom’

Best Bassist (Female): Lindsay Campbell Beaudoin. (Rackula.)

 

Best Bassist (Male): John “Uprise” Kedini.   (The Pre-Nods.)

 

Best Guitarist (Female):Candice Skullian.    (Skullians.)

 

Best Guitarist (Male): Brandon Kummer.     (Web Society.)

 

Best Drummer (Female): Justine Cowie.                                                                                                                                                                                        (The Boys.)

 

Best Drummer (Male): Alex Sallas.                                                                                                                                                                                                (Gatling.)

 

Best Vocalist (Female): Samantha Rutherford.                                                                                                                                                                            (The Boys.)

Best Vocalist (Male): Glen Faulman.                                                                                                                                                                                                (The Steeltown Spoilers.)

Best Musician Who Plays An Instrument Uncommon To Their Genre:

Female: Alisun (no last available) Band: The Saints Are Coming. Instrument: Violin.

Male: Jim Fitzgerald. Band: The Pre-Nods. Instrument: Harmonica.

Best ‘Intense’ Performer: Nathan Ivanco. Band: NOT.

Best Duo: Frankie And Jimmy.

Best Band (All Members Under 25): NOT.

Best Band (That Sounds Like Another Decade): Wiggler!?! And The Tiny Humans.

Best Band (Mixed Gender): Skatalyst.

Best Band (All Members Over 25): The Steeltown Spoilers.

Best Band (Female-Led): Rackula.

Best Band (Male-Led): The Safety Collective.

Best Band (From Outside Of Hamilton): Armed And Hammered.

Best New Band: The Sketchbooks.

Best Band (Cover Band): The Krumones.

Best Band. (This Year. Period.): Web Society.

Best Song (Tie):

‘Champion’ Adelleda

‘Threat From The Deep’  Wiggler!?! And The Tiny Humans.

Best Band Name: Nothing Helper.

Best Album Name (Tie):

‘Lets Taco Boat Life’ NOT

‘Summertime Blues’ Wiggler!?! And The Tiny Humans

Best Solo Project (Tie):

Steve Hanson In Transit

Nathaniel Blizzard

Best Reunion:

Razor Eater.

Best Record Label (Tie):

Schizophrenic Records

Rebel Time Records

Best Event: Rebel Fest.

Best Way To Spend A Weekend: At a show.

Best Store (Punk Rock): Crash Landing.

Best Store (Non-Punk Rock): The Button Pushers.

Best Place For Rare Music (Tie):

Hammer City Records

Cheapies

Best Venue (Indoors): Crash Landing basement (R.I.P!)

Best Venue (Outdoors): Gage Park.

Best Festival (Tie):

It’s Your Festival (New Music Expo)

Burlington Sound Of Music

Best Venue Outside The City: The Horseshoe Tavern.

Best Idea: Zines Becoming Widespread Again.

 

Even though they did not win, I would like to thank the following bands/ artists. I’ve been listening to them all year, and I think they’re fantastic. I encourage everyone to check them out!

Stick and Bone

Nanochrist

Weekend Riot Club

T.V Freaks

Thunderdykes

Trampled By Turtles

The Cola Heads

The Stragglers

Paul Federici

Theatre Crisp

The Waterbodies

The Snips

Sondra Du Ville

Snakecharmer

Poison Spur

Gag Order

Bourbon DK

The Safety Collective

Slender Loris

Swords Of Texas

Sailboats Are White

Paper Lions

Senile Feline

Social Club No. 27

Ophelia Syndrome

Mean Tangerine

The Lucky Ones

Gabrielle Papillion

Emma Hill And Her Gentlemen Callers

Greasemarks

Devils Hotrod

Charlotte Cornfield

The Balconies

The Rebel Arms

Alert The Medic

Aetherborn

413s

Hold A Grudge

Nine Eleven

The Dinner Belles

Brixton Robbers (R.I.P!)

Jesse LeBourdais

Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra

Darcy Hepner Jazz Band

Problem Children

Hockey Teeth

Sexbeast

Review Of The Safety Collective & Web Society at Homegrown Hamilton.

*Note: I did a few things in one night, so I’ll be doing one of my rare combination reviews.

There are some nights in Hamilton. I don’t know where they’ll take me, and I’m glad they went that way.

I had one such night on the 12th.

After viewing artist Pat Bellamy’s latest collection at Hammer City Records, I headed to Homegrown Hamilton to see The Safety Collective and Web Society. (The poster had the show tagged as ‘2 bands, 3 hours of music’ or something along that line. So I was all for going.)

Along with a great show by the artist and the bands, I got a preview of a new zine, I tried my hand at bass, and stumbled on either the beginning or end of a secret show.

This was my night:

1st event: Viewing Pat Bellamy’s collection.

The style of Pat Bellamy, no matter the medium he chooses to expresses himself in, demands either a good long look or a couple of quick takes where you see something different each time.

The reason?  The art contains a lot. Little jokes. Great colours. Things we can relate to. And that’s just what I’m took away from it. As with all art, I’m sure others see different things from me, and I’m sure Pat himself has a completely different take as the actually creator of the collection.

The collection is fantastic, and I encourage everyone to see it before the next Art Crawl. It’s on display at Hammer City Records. (228 James St. North.)

2nd event: Seeing A Little Bit Of A Secret Show.

I won’t reveal the band, (it’s a secret), but I got to see the either the end or beginning of their show in the alleyway of Hammer City Records. While I obviously wish I could have seen more, it was really fun to stumble into something I hadn’t even been looking for. That’s what I think adventures are.

3rd Event: Receiving and reading the preview of Clusterbomb.

Along with being the drummer of Web Society, Stephen Petrina is also a great artist and has a fantastic way with words. He’s been talking about doing a zine for a while, and I’ve been waiting impatiently for a while.

Well, the preview for the zine finally got here. And let’s say I’m waiting impatiently again. For the first issue. (The preview was telling everyone what they could expect, some drawings, and the like.)  I think Clusterbomb is going to be good.

4th Event: Seeing The Bands.

This was the last part of my night, and I had expected it to be quiet and a sit-down kind of event. Not so, and that isn’t a bad thing.

1st Band: Web Society.

I’ve seen Web Society a fair number of times, and the best sets are always the ones where they mix things up.

The night of Art Crawl, the band had one of those sets. They gave one of the best performances I’ve seen them give. (Rivaled only by their hometown Stoney Creek show.) They played much of their ‘Gutter’ demo material, which I thought was awesome. (Those songs are my personal favorites of theirs.) And the three generally kicked ass through their words and instruments.

It’s not often I’ll give a show Historical status, but there you have it. Web Society had a set that I’ll keep in my Historical files. (Believe me, it’s a select few.)

10 out of 10.

 

2nd Band: The Safety Collective.

Lest anyone get the wrong idea, The Safety Collective was not to be out-done.

Singer Stephen James Hanson was sick, but he played awesomely to the end of the set. The other two band members were no slack-a*ses either. The drummer broke out a mini hip-hop set, and the bass player was lightning quick and capable when it came to switching between all three instruments.

And that’s what I think the band’s two strengths are. Switching, and social activism.

They change instruments regularly. They mix genres.  All the vocal stylings are different. But in-between songs, and the songs content themselves, talk about either our city or world; and what can be done to make it better.

But if two things also remain the same for The Safety Collective, it’s that they seem to put their fans enjoyment and knowledge first.

I’m giving this set a Historical stamp too. I’ve never seen live hip-hop before, I’m all for a good cause, and I love awesome music.

10 out of 10.