POST-POUZZA BLUES

June 6, 2017

Pouzza Fest 7 was everything that is  great about Punk Rock Fests! It’s awesome bands, good people, great beer, a variety of food and all happening in a wicked city.

I was fortunate enough to once again get to play twice this year. First on the Friday night with Plan 37. We played to a packed Foufs 2.0. It was only my second gig back with the band and it felt awesome. We had a few minor challenges with the back-line that was provided but like true punk soldiers we locked in on our sound and groove and delivered a solid 30 minute set. My first gig back with Plan 37 took place a few days earlier in Toronto when we supported Off With Their Heads at The Bovine Sex Club.

Saturday at Pouzza was mostly Megan and I hopping around from venue to venue catching some great bands including a stellar set from Iron Chic with guest vocals from RVIVR.  I was also interviewed by the great people at Bucketlist Music Reviews.

Sunday afternoon I performed my solo set at the Foufs BBQ and Merch Tent. I had a nice crowd come out and got to perform a Leatherface cover for Graeme from Leatherface. No pressure there of course… After my set Seth Anderson did his thing. Seth was amazing as always.

By the end of the weekend Megan and I caught roughly 25 performances, ate several slices of pizza and crushed a ton of PBRs. As always its a great so amazing to get to perform at these kinds of events for such passionate people. Montreal is a beautiful and I can’t wait to return.

HBD EJV

 

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02-plan-37-11We’ve been having a fun year so far playing some great gigs and getting some rough mixes of our debut album. We recently played shows with The Headlines, The Queers, The Boids and so many others. Here’s a link to some photos from the Queers show. As well, here’s a link to photos from the Boids show.

We recently played a great show in New Market, Ontario. It’s been a while since I’ve been there. I’ve always had a great relationship with New Market. Bombshelter played a few shows there, as well Sinkin’ Ships. The Ships played there at least a dozen times.

I played New Market twice with Bombsheter in the 90s. The first time was in 1997 with Warface. It took place in the basement of an Internet cafe. I had no idea what an Internet cafe was at the time. I remember a lot of guys in track pants playing computer games and drinking cans of Diet Coke. But that was upstairs. Downstairs was a different scene. I can’t recall the opening bands, however I do recall someone shooting off a fire extinguisher midway through Warface’s set and the place clearing out pretty fast. When we all filed back in Bombshleter took the stage for our set. A lot of beer bottles were smashed that night and the promoter lost his deposit. No one got paid. None of us cared.

We returned one year later, this time we had 2 Pump Louie opening for us. We played some outdoor park. JJ’s parents were there. It was a weird vibe, like really weird. The York Region police showed up while we were playing and tried to shut us down. I remember us playing with some serious ferocity in front of those cops. Every song suddenly became about them. That may have been our last show. I believe Bombshelter broke up shortly after. That’s enough old-time memories for now…  However, if that story makes you feel inclined to listen to Bombshelter, you can do some here.

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Coming up we have a gig in Toronto supporting The Mahones, a Barrie show with the Murderburgers and a gig with The Copyrights as well. I’ve been loving the Copyrights these days since my wife turned me on to them a couple of years ago. She always has the best taste in punk rock.

After those shows I’ll be taking some time off from Plan 37 to focus on starting a family. My wife and I are expecting a child in June and we couldn’t be more stoked! I’m still planning on playing the record release show whenever that happens. But a break is needed. 

Speaking of the record, the mixes have been coming in and they’re sounding pretty cool so far. I’ll be sure to provide an update as soon as things become more clear. 

dying scene1Toronto’s MusicSheBlogged has launched a new compilation, Ho Ho Holy Shit, It’s the Holidays. The comp features tracks from The New Enemy, Wasted Potential, Sixteen Scandals and more, and it aims to raise money for local charity Toy Mountain.

The song I contributed is “Rhythm And The Rebel” and it’s a very old recording I did on a digital 8-track recorder in the attack of a house I rented on Dovercourt Ave back in 2000. The master files were lost but I was bale to digitize the track from a cassette tape dub of the session.

Click here to listen to Rhythm And The Rebel. 

PLAN 37 RECORDS NEW ALBUM

November 9, 2015

12208523_892181707536426_8541588564223861416_nHey everyone! Great news from the Plan 37 camp. We entered Taurus Recording Studio this weekend and under the guidance of producer Jon Drew we recorded 13 songs for our full length album. After three long days we were able to get all drum, bass and guitar tracks down. To be completely honest we did all of the rhythms live off the floor. So with the exception of vocals and my guitar leads, everything you hear on the album is totally live and raw. This process requires a little more time and patience but the end result can be something special if captured properly and the band is well rehearsed and up to the task.

12227631_892181607536436_1379921873921432329_nOur good friend Nic Pouliot from RockPhoto.ca stopped by to document the recording session on Saturday afternoon. Nic is easily one of the best live band photographers around these days. Check out the pics on facebook at the link.

We’ll be returning to the studio shortly so Shawn get get his vocals down, followed by another session for back up vocals from all of us.

12227233_892181520869778_2763746360761856212_nIt’s my hope that this recording ends up on vinyl, but only time will tell. We have no information to share yet as to who will be releasing the record.

Our next gigs are on Friday Nov 27th in Guelph and Saturday Nov 28th in Toronto. Both shows are My Fingers My Brains showcase gigs.

dyingscene1Back in June I was asked to fill in and play a few gigs with Plan 37 after they parted ways with their lead guitarist. I had two weeks to learn the 9 song set before the first show. That first gig was a supporting spot for the Ataris here in Toronto. I learned the tunes and had a killer jam session with the band. A couple of days later we rocked the Dance Cave at Lees Palace.

A few more gigs later and we decided I would stick around and continue playing guitar in the band. Since then we’ve played a handful of shows around Ontario and we’re now gearing up to record the bands first full length album this November with producer Jon Drew.

ARROWSI recently formed a new acoustic band this past May. It features Cindy from Plan 37 on percussion and Matt from Whiskey Hearts on the upright bass. Our first show was the Mini-Pouzza Fest event in Toronto. We’ve recently taken it on the road and performed in Guelph as well as an opening spot for Mischief Brew last month.

Speaking of Whiskey Hearts, Ty recently moved to Mexico city to be a teacher. We played our last gig back in May opening up for the amazing Nato Coles and the Blue Diamond Band. It’s safe to say Whiskey Hearts are definitely on hiatus for the time being.

cactus vella podcastI was very fortunate to be asked to be the first ever guest on the new Stereo Dynamite Podcast. It was a great honor to sit back with my good friend and Toronto alumni Adam Sewel as we chatted for a good 30 minutes in his Parkdale office on a cold January night.

In the podcast we talk about Whiskey Hearts, The Class Assassins, growing up in Vaughan, Sinkin’ Ships, my graphic Design company Anxiety Attack Designs and many other things. After recording the podcast we hung out for a while and I was lucky enough to hear some brand new tracks from the upcoming Simone Denny record on Stereo Dynamite Recordings… and Damn they sound awesome!

So if you have half an hour and want to hear two dudes shoot the breeze about this and that give the first episode of the new Stereo Dynamite Podcast featuring your truely a listen.

Click here to check it out.

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.

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.