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BeatRoute Magazine BC Print Edition April 2018

BeatRoute Magazine is a monthly arts and entertainment paper with a predominant focus on music – local, independent or otherwise. The paper started in June 2004 and continues to provide a healthy dose of perversity while exercising rock ‘n’ roll ethics. Currently BeatRoute’s AB edition is distributed in Calgary, Edmonton (by S*A*R*G*E), Banff and Canmore. The BC edition is distributed in Vancouver, Victoria and Nanaimo. BeatRoute (AB) Mission PO 23045 Calgary, AB T2S 3A8 E. editor@beatroute.ca BeatRoute (BC) #202 – 2405 E Hastings Vancouver, BC V5K 1Y8 P. 778-888-1120

YOU BIG IDIOT DON’T

YOU BIG IDIOT DON’T GET MAD, GET HILARIOUS COLE YOUNG You Big Idiot serve up a tasty dose of comedy with their pop punk on Mega Donair. “Every time we go to some Music BC workshop they always say ‘you need to look like you belong together,’” says Shafer Carson about why You Big Photo by Trav Anema Idiot always play in costume. “So we just took that to the extreme.” You Big Idiot, which consists of Carson (Vocals, Bass), Colin Pearson (Vocals, “Easy” Guitar), Chris Hogan (“Hard” Guitar), Kurt Anderson (Guitar) and Steve Pearson (Drums), is a fun punk band that’s made a big splash in the Vancouver local music scene. They choose to use comedy as a way to express themselves, peeling away from the usual more serious attitude you might get from their scene counterparts. “We all came from angrier punk bands,” Pearson explains. “I don’t know if our name was meant to be angry or not but we’ve evolved into a comedy band anyway and I like that. I like getting mad but comedy is such a more fun way to get mad.” You can tell by the album, this band of friends and brothers like to laugh. Mega Donair is the name of their sophomore release and it boasts subtle comedic references to everything from Seinfeld to the Barenaked Ladies. Mega Donair was self recorded and mixed by Shafer in a studio the band made in the Pearson’s family home basement. Although it’s a homemade album, you’d never guess it. They spent two years perfecting each track and it shows. The album was also mastered at the legendary Blasting Room in Colorado to give it that final spit shine. The album is packed full of fast, fun songs, most of which are at over 200 BPM. “Usually he or I write a song,” Shafer says, nodding to Colin. “And that’s like chord structure and lyrics, then we’ll all jam it out together.” They’re also quick to acknowledge that everyone contributes to the songwriting. While discussing the pro’s of playing in a band with old friends for so long Shafer says, “It’s always tight, you can take breaks and the groove is still there.” One of the mega standout moments on Mega Donair is the incredible jazz jam as the outro to the track “Selfie.” It takes you from feeling like you’re at a crazy show at Pub 340 to suddenly an old smoky jazz bar. It’s a unique and beautiful end to the song. All of the parts where recorded by the talented Kristy-Lee Audette, Shafer explains the recording process. “I kept sending her into the booth with different instruments, trumpet, trombone, glockenspiel etc. I never played her anything we had previously done so she just did track after track and I mixed it all together later.” At the end of the day You Big Idiot are some cool guys playing music for all the right reasons. They take their craft seriously without taking themselves too seriously, a nice change of pace in this day and age. Mega Donair is available April 20. You Big Idiot performs April 27 at SBC Café. 22 April 2018

NECK OF THE WOODS AN EMOTIONAL TRIBUTE FALLS VICTIM TO DECEIT Neck Of The Woods refuse to let a photo scandal get in the way of their greatness. JOHNNY PAPAN Neck of the Woods are a progressive death metal quintet from Vancouver, British Columbia. For the last five years, they have been destructing stages of all grandeur, spreading their macabremeets-machine gun sound throughout the lower mainland, performing alongside notable artists including Converge, Every Time I Die, The Devin Townsend Project, The Faceless, Misery Signals, and many more. In September 2017, Neck of the Woods released their sophomore record, The Passenger, an album with a deep-rooted emotional connection. “Lyrically, I tend to speak of personal struggles and development,” explains lead vocalist Jeff Radomsky. “In the Passenger, the bulk of the lyrics are directed towards extending support to my sister who suffers from brain cancer. A good chunk of the lyrics were written in the waiting room during her craniotomy.” Neck of the Woods are an extremely heavy band who were stricken under the weight of an even heavier reality. Though the soundscape of the group is inflamed with aggression, Radomsky clarifies that together, the group reached deep within their darkness to find a shining light for his Photo by Shimon Karmel sister, Sarah. “All the songs that draw attention to her torturous battle with this disease are uplifting, positive statements of support, a reminder that she can beat it,” he says. “The other guys in the band all harbour personal relationships with her as well: she’s come on tours with us, she illustrates a bunch of our merch, often works our merch booth at shows, and has bent over backwards to help us. The Passenger was for her.” Though it’s inevitable that any band would be more than ecstatic to reveal their latest work to the world, especially one so vulnerable in expression, Radomsky admits there’s a whole other side to this story involving lies, deceit and deception. The band has held this tale in secrecy until now. Christopher McKenney is a surrealist photographer from Pennsylvania. One of his images recently graced the cover of the upcoming album, In Becoming A Ghost, by tech-death band The Faceless. “I found McKenney through Instagram years ago,” Radomsky explains. “I had been a big fan of his work for quite some time. I purchased a few framed prints of his photography for my apartment over the years and interacted with him via Instagram prior to purchasing the photo for our record cover.” The photo in question was one of McKenney’s pieces entitled “Them.” This was the initial shot meant to cover the Passenger. “The dark subject matter paired with an unsettling surreal aspect grabbed my attention immediately,” says the vocalist. “I’m a big fan of surrealist art, be it photography, illustration or painting. If it’s weird and dark, I’m usually into it. When I first laid eyes on the piece, I was struck like a deer in the headlights. It spoke to me. I could hear the subject of the photo crying out like a banshee in the night; I could feel its pain and knew it was level to mine. I felt it encompassed the themes of the lyrical content, sound and overall feeling of the record so well that we had to use it.” In preparation for the record’s release, the band contacted McKenney and eventually purchased the rights to use his image as their album cover for $400 USD. Things seemed to be going smoothly for the band. That is, until they caught wind of an Australian shoegaze band called Vagrond, who used the exact same image as the cover for their 2014 album Regret. “I stumbled upon an article about Chris’ photography,” explains the lead vocalist and instrumentalist for Vagrond, who performs under the name Atheos. “I hadn’t previously seen his work, but as soon as I saw the photo in question I felt it was a perfect image to represent our album. I sent an email to Chris asking if he sold his images for album cover use and if that particular image was available. He told me that the image had not previously been used and was available to purchase. We bought the image and he said it was ours exclusively. The album was released digitally in December 2014 and physically, on CD and vinyl, in mid-2015.” When Neck of the Woods and Vagrond discovered their shared artwork, the Vancouver band’s picture-perfect album promotion was distraught. Neck of the Woods brought the artwork-epidemic to the photographer’s attention. McKenney allegedly stated that Vagrond had used the photo without his permission and he knew nothing about this. Atheos says otherwise: “Jeff and myself shared our emails showing that we both had bought exclusive rights to the image, and it was therefore Chris’ mistake that the image had been sold twice.” When Radomsky confronted McKenney after exchanging emails and receipts with Atheos, both bands would soon lose all contact with the photographer. “Because I used Neck of the Woods as an outlet to deal with my sister’s condition, McKenney’s actions struck me like a knife in the chest,” Radomsky reveals. “I had a strong connection with the piece we had bought from him. When he took our money and ran, I felt like he took more than mere dollars. I felt he robbed me of a piece of my outlet.” With only a few days to remedy the situation, Radomsky partnered with Kevin Moore of Soft Surrogate Design to reimagine The Passenger’s cover image. After reviewing hundreds of photos, illustrations, and paintings from artists around the world, they decided they would have to create something original. They took to the woods with borrowed camera gear, limited supplies, and a few friends. Chasing the setting sun, the pair managed to get the shot they wanted with only minutes to spare. Overnight, Moore reworked an entirely new layout for the record, produced all-new marketing graphics, and created an animated video for the next single. The record, with its new cover, was released a few weeks later. “Ultimately we’re much, much happier with our cover,” he says. “It’s a more accurate portrayal of the record in every respect, right down to the little details. I feel the whole experience sprouted a few grey hairs on my head, but it taught me a lesson I needed to learn: it’s always worth trying to do it yourself. Restrictions breed creativity.” Christopher McKenney was contacted via email and did not respond. Neck of the Woods plays the Astoria on April 6. April 2018 23

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