DYINGSCENE 06Posted by Dyingscene.com on Friday, July 25, 2014 at 10:48 AM (PST)

In good news, the guys in Toronto punk act The Class Assassins have released a music video for their song “Start Again.” In not so good news, they have also announced the departure of longtime guitarist Cactus Vella, who is leaving the band to focus on his solo work.

The music video and a statement from Vella can be found below.

“Start Again” appears on The Class Assassins’ Treason 7-inch, which was released back in 2011 through Rebel Time Records. The band’s latest release, a 9-minute ‘concept single’ entitled The Addiction & The Solution came out last March.

 

theclassassassins-1370727904After 8 awesome years of guitar slaying with my brothers in The Class Assassins I’ll be playing my last couple of gigs as a full-time member.

I’ll be playing my final shows on July 19th in Guelph Ontario, and on July 25th in Toronto Ontario.  I hope many of you can make it out and catch the sets.

I’ve had a great run with the boys as we’ve played some of the best shows of my musical career. We’ve shared the stage with Bad Religion, The Dropkick Murphys, The Bronx, Black Flag, GBH, Agnostic Front, DOA, Angelic Upstarts, The Business, Red Alert, Tiltwheel, Horropops, Jello Biafra, Hard Skin, NOFX, Pennywise, Face To Face and others

We’ve had an amazing support system and I really need to thank a few people. Big thanks to Randy from Rebel Time Records. Randy is probably our biggest fan and he always showed us a great deal of respect. Also thanks to Dave Baksh. Dave is the best producer I’ve ever had the opportunity to work with. His generosity, kindness and wisdom will always be appreciated.  I also need to thank Dan Farr. He handpicked me as his replacement when he left the band. I was honored and so damn appreciative of the gesture. He left some big shoes to fill. Stinky shoes. Thanks Dan!

Chris, Gary, Chad and Dave, I will always be grateful for my time as a Class Assassin.
Thank you very much my brothers. I’ve learned so much from all of you.

 

Cactus Sings Springsteen coverThis past week Cactus released a free download of “Cactus Sings Springsteen”, two Bruce Springsteen covers. The download features “Going Down” from the “Thunder Road” compilation released earlier this year, as well as “Hungry Heart”, an out-take from that same recording session.

Both songs feature Katie Kaboom of The Mahones on accordion and were recorded by Moby Holman who also recorded the “Sailin’ On” EP in 2012.

Speaking of the “Thunder Road” comp, a big thank you to everyone who has supported it. We’ve reached over 100000 plays from the bandcamp page alone!

CACTUS SINGS SPRINGSTEEN 2The good people at DyingScene wrote this little blurb about the release of “Cactus Sings Springsteen”.

Posted by DyingScene.com on Thursday, July 10, 2014 at 1:51 PM (PST)

Toronto’s favorite punk rock solo artist Cactus Vella has released a short EP entitled Cactus Covers Springsteen, featuring covers of Bruce Springsteen’s “Going Down” and “Hungry Heart.” You can stream and/or download it for free below.

Vella’s debut EP Sailin’ On was released in December of 2012. That’s also available on his Bandcamp page.

DYING SCENE 04Posted by JerryLowLife on Tuesday, May 13, 2014 at 9:26 AM (PST)

Anxiety Attack Recordings have released a new compilation album called Thunder Road.  The album is a folk-punk tribute to Bruce Springsteen and features Cactus VellaJon Creeden, Jesse LeBourdais, The Matchup, and more!

Give it a listen below, and if you like what you hear, you can download it for free.

DYING SCENE 03Posted by JerryLowLife on Tuesday, May 13, 2014 at 11:12 AM (PST)
Toronto’s own punk rockers Dogs are streaming their new self-titled 7 inch EP, and you can check it out below.Dogs features members of Summer of 92 as well as Cactus Vella of The Class Assassins and Whiskey Hearts.  They will be playing at Pouzza Fest in Montreal on May 17.

The EP was released by Rubber Factory Records.

Nightrider1Back in 2006 the Dogs recorded what was supposed to be our debut album at Rumenal Records. The sessions were lost and we were left with the raw unmixed recordings. We never released them. Recently JDM put together this music video for the track “Nightrider”from that very session. The song and video are a tribute to the 1979 movie Mad Max. Click here to check out the video.

Last month we returned to the recording studio, this time choosing to work with Dave Baksh at the Gentlemens Den. We recorded three songs and plan on releasing them as our debut 7inch this summer on Rubber Factory Records.

POUZZAFESTHey friends, there’s lots going on these days. Last night I was interviewed on StenchRadio.com and we talked about Punk rock, Wrestling, the snow, Johnny Cash, Chicago vs Toronto, and Pouzza Fest. Thanks to Starsky Starcevich for the great interview!

My good friend Hugo (Sainte Catherines, Yesterdays Ring, and Miracles) hosts the Pouzza Fest every year in downtown Montreal. I was fortunate enough to play it a couple of years ago with The Class Assassins and it was a great time! This year I’ll be playing two sets. One of which will be a solo set on the same bill as Tim Barry. The second set will be with none other than a band called Dogs. I was a member of Dogs for several years before parting ways with them a few years ago. I was recently asked to play the Pouzza Fest set with them and possibly a new recording. I’m really looking forward to jamming out those tunes once again. The Fest takes place from May 16th to the 18th and there’s a whole lot of awesome bands playing. Check out this link for more info.

The newest release from Anxiety Attack Recordings will be a folk-punk tribute to Bruce Springsteen featuring an all-Canadian line up. Some of the artists confirmed so far include Jesse LeBourdais, Ben Sir, The Matchup, Jon Creeden, James Renton, Swiss Knife, Summer Of 92 and myself just to name a few. Expect a digital download spring release. There will be more info coming very soon.

I am very happy to be playing a gig next month with Chi Pig, the legendary front man of Canadian punk icons SNFU. He’ll be performing an acoustic set as he tours Canada with punk rock author Chris Walter. The show is taking place at the Bovine Sex Club on Sat March 2st. For more info check out the event page. I met Chi many years ago at a boozcan late one night. He was a really cool guy and I’m stoked to have this opportunity to share the stage with him.

STENCHRADIOThis Monday I’ll be the special guest on Stench Radio out of Illinois. I’m pretty excited to talk about some new stuff like upcoming Cactus shows, The Class Assassins, Whiskey Hearts, Pouzzafest, the new Anxiety Attack Recording, the Toronto scene, and more. I’ll also be making a very special announcement…. The show airs Monday Feb 17th at 10pm on stenchradio.com

REVERBNATION CHARTS 01Just a reminder for all of you who use ReverbNation to check out my page. I have songs and videos posted, as well all of my show listings are kept up to date. I’ve also created some cool tshirts that you can order directly from the site. Click here to check out my page and become a ‘fan’.

KXKW 01I recently was asked to play the King X King West 2013 Music Festival at Bar Hop.The Music Festival is already in its 4th year I shared the stage with my friends The Deforesters as well as Joan Smith (Little Foot Long Foot). The night was sponsored by Beau’s Beer, and if you ever get the chance to play an event with beer sponsorship chances are you’ll be drinking for free! I stage-tested some new material that night and some of it went over very well. Some not so much…. Ha! 

I also recently played a great show with my friends Jesse Lebourdais and Jon Creeden who just released a split inch. Jesse and Jon were making their way across Canada on tour and I booked us a gig at the Bovine Sex Club. Those two dudes are some of the hardest working Canadian folk-punkers I know!Be sure to check out their split 7inch here.

MRNR 01And lastly, I forgot to share this a few months ago. I’m really honored to have been included in the most recent Toronto Scene Report in Maximum Rock And Roll Magazine. The report incuded Sinkin’ Ships, The Class Assassins, Whiskey Hearts and my solo stuff! I’ve been reading MRNR since 1991 and it always makes me happy to get any kind of mention.

WHISKEY HEARTS RECORDSummer is over, and it was a great one! I was fortunate enough to play 4 festivals including CMW, NXNE, SceneFest and Envol Et Macadam. But more important than that, The debut 7inch from Whiskey Hearts was released! The good people at Stereo Dynamite Recordings have released this limited edition record in 4 colors. It’s available for purchase at all shows I play, as well you can order it directly from Stereo Dynamite at this link.

I have been writing away for my next solo album. I have about 4 completed songs and 6 half finished songs. My goal is to get to about 15 songs and choose the 8 or 9 strongest for my next release. I am also thinking about  releasing a covers EP in the meantime.

And finally, The Class Assassins filmed some live footage for a music video recently while we were opening up for The Dropkick Murphys. The footage was shot by our good friend JDM of Rubber Factory Records. Hopefully we’ll have something to show everyone later this winter.

G33K 01Published on July 24th, 2013 | by MISTY

5 Questions with Whiskey Hearts

Toronto’s Whiskey Hearts are proof that punk rockers don’t just get old and get put out to pasture. Instead, they get together with some of their best friends and make music that is every bit as rebellious, without rules but including a few new instruments. Gone are the distorted, electric guitars and heavy drums, replaced with acoustics; stand up bass, banjo, fiddle and whatever else is part of their collective that day.

G33KPRON were present for Whiskey Hearts’  NXNE show with Saint Alvia at the Hard Luck Bar last month, and couldn’t leave without wanting to know more so we spoke to one of the band’s founders, Toronto musician Cactus Vella to ask him our famous five questions.

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