BIO

In my music, I tell stories. Many shine a light on the underbelly of this world. I stand with anyone who is oppressed and underrepresented, today and always. – Cactus Vella

A voice that sounds like he’s singing “through” his beard, and a guitar style of his own, Cactus Vella brings his fortitude and grit to the Acoustic-Punk genre.

Performing and touring with such bands as Sinkin’ Ships, Plan 37, Whiskey Hearts, and The Class Assassins for the last 30 years, Cactus has a wealth of experiences and stories.

His songs are about addiction and recovery, love, loss and hurt, the good times, the bad times, and growing old.

Blending the energy, three-chord patterns and rebellion of punk, with the raw, simple beauty of folk, Cactus has created a sound truly unique.

CAREER NOTES

1994 Cactus forms Rejected

1996 forms Bombshelter

1997 Cactus moves to Toronto and begins his solo career

1998 maintains a bi-weekly residency at Toronto’s Rancho Relaxo that lasts a full year

1999 joins 2-Pump Louie

2002 forms Sinkin’ Ships

2002 forms DOGS. 

2005 Sinkin’ Ships release their 2nd full length CD “All Signs Are Wrong” , and just a few months later the CD is picked up for worldwide distribution through Universal Records

2005 DOGS win a Toronto Independent Music Award for Punk Band of the Year

2006 joins The Class Assassins

2010 Cactus is one of 120 performers to take place in the largest and longest ever burlesque/Musical/Arts performance. Organized by Mysterion and Great Canadian Burlesque as part of Nuit Blanche, the event lasts 12 hours and sets the world record

2010 Cactus starts his own Indie record label Anxiety Attack Recordings

2012 forms Whiskey Hearts. A collective of acoustic musicians, as well as a monthly event.

2013 Whiskey Hearts releases their debut 7inch record on Stereo Dynamite Recordings with full distribution through EMI.

2013 Cactus performs on 4 releases. A solo CD, a Sinkin’ Ships CD, a digital EP from The Class Assassins and the aforementioned Whiskey Hearts 7″ record

2014 Cactus releases a Folk-Punk Tribute compilation of Bruce Springsteen covers. Recorded by many of the Canadian acoustic-punk musicians he has met and played gigs with over the years, the comp was released as a free download on his own label Anxiety Attack Recordings.

2015 forms The Mud, The Blood & The Beer

2015 joins Plan 37

2020 Cactus releases the Yonge EP on Little Rocket Records out of the UK

2021 Cactus releases Let Me Go: An Acoustic-Punk Tribute To Rancid. Produced by Cactus, the compilation feature 20 Canadian bands/artists all doing acoustic covers of Rancid songs. The comp was released as a free download on Anxiety Attack Recordings.

To date, Cactus Vella, and his various bands have toured / shared the stage with Leatherface, Off With Their Heads, Rise Against, Bad Religion, Black Flag, NoMeansNo, Jello Biafra, Steve Ignorants’ Crass, Fucked Up, Glen Matlock, Dropkick Murphys, The Ataris, The Queers, The Bronx, Tommy Ramone, Face To Face, The Deftones, Yesterday’s Ring, Agnostic Front, GBH, The Mahones, The Creepshow, Saint Catherines, None More Black, Pennywise, NOFX, The Business, Chi Pig, Eddy Spaghetti & DOA

Cactus has recorded with producers Ian Blurton, Dave Baksh, Jon Drew and Rob Sanzo

Cactus has performed at NXNE, CMW, KXKW, SCENEFEST,  Envol et Macadam and Pouzza Fest

Cactus has appeared in several TV and film soundtracks such as CTV’s “The Bridge“, indie films “The Third Eye,  “Relax, I’m from the Future“, and “Zombie Beach Party.

Cactus has worked with Wounded Paw Records, Spine Razor Records, Insurgence Records, Rebel Time Records, Stereo Dynamite Recordings, My Fingers My Brain Records, and Little Rocket Records

To date, Cactus Vella has performed on over twenty-five releases with various bands and projects.

DISCOGRAPHY

1994: Rejected  “Demo” Cassette tape
1995: Rejected  “3 Songs” Cassette tape
1997: Two Bombs “S/T” Previously Unreleased
1998: Bombshelter “The Rumenal Recordings” Previously Unreleased
2000: 2-Pump Louie “The Possessed Sessions” CD Previously Unreleased
2002: Cactus Vella “Rose Bitch” 
2003: Cactus Vella “Dovercourt” Demo CD
2004: Cactus Vella “Treble & The Devil” Demo CD (limited to 100)
2004: Sinkin’ Ships “No Time” CD  (limited to 100)
2004: Sinkin’ Ships “Mayday” CD
2004: Dogs “Wheels/Scorpions”
2005: Sinkin’ Ships “All Signs Are Wrong” CD
2006: Sinkin’ Ships “Split w/ The Threat” 7inch
2006: Dogs “Nightrider And More…” Previously Unreleased
2011: Sinkin’ Ships “The Outside Alone” Digital EP
2011: The Class Assassins “Treason” 7inch
2012: The Class Assassins “Studio 3 Sessions” CD
2013: Cactus Vella “Sailin’ On” CD
2013: The Class Assassins “The Addiction & The Solution” Digital EP
2013: Sinkin’ Ships “Late For Everything” CD
2013: Whiskey Hearts “So Cold/Got Away” 7inch
2014: Cactus Vella “Going Down” From the “Thunder Road” comp Digital Release
2014: Dogs “S/T” 7inch & Cassette
2014: Cactus Vella “Cactus Sings Springsteen”  Digital Release
2017: Plan 37 “Say Goodbye” CD
2020: Cactus Vella “Yonge” Digital Release
2021: Cactus Vella “Olympia WA” From the “Let Me Go” comp Digital Release