The Fallout interviewed by Mike from No Productivity zine (and, of course, one of the hosts of Rebel Time Radio) in 2014 in Hamilton …
No Productivity: I’m here with Byron from The Fallout, this really long-running Toronto punk band. How long have you guys been a band for?
Byron: I think we’ve been together since about 1997. We started as a four-piece, and I guess I’m the third lead singer. So yeah, we’ve been around for a while. Myself, I go right back to the Toronto Hardcore scene, in the early 80s, and Bob he was around in the early 90s. At one point we had Jeremy on bass, and he was in the 90s band 2 Pump Louie. So yeah, we’ve been long-time Toronto punks.
No Productivity: I remember seeing you years ago, and then you kind of disappeared for a while.
Byron: Yeah, we kind of took a little hiatus. Jeremy, he was a guitar player first and he was playing bass. He’d offered to play bass for us but really it’s what he wanted to do, and so he wanted to move over. For a while we were talking about having a second guitar, but just a few other differences and we decided put it on hold for a while. So I guess about two years ago Bob and I were talking about getting together and Patty from Class War Kids and Brutal Youth graciously has been helping us out.
No Productivity: Yeah, I was already curious about how Patty from Class War Kids and Brutal Youth came about. Did you guys ask him about it, or was it his initiative?
Byron: Who knows. We’d met for the first time in Saint Catherines, and he was touring with this band from Newfoundland or Labrador there, I guess was The Embarrassments. I remember loading in hand hearing this band had already started their set, and I was really enjoying what I was hearing, this really really upbeat sound. And we got talking and I was really amazed how these guys were touring in Canada from the East Coast, and I mean, being in a band in Canada you know it’s absolutely difficult to tour this country. And from there we met up again when he was in Class War Kids and they were on tour. We’d gotten involved with helping Class War Kids with their album “Reflection! Rage! Rebellion!”
No Productivity: I saw that you put out this seven song CD of covers of old Toronto punk bands, bands like Young Lions, Viletones, Youth Youth Youth, Red Squares.
Byron: Yeah, I guess at the time there were songs that I had on tapes and cassettes and singles that were in my collection, and I always thought it was unfortunate why all these great bands got overlooked, while the American and UK bands got on bigger labels and made more widely known and I just felt that so many cool Canadian bands got overlooked. So at that time, I kind of focused on stuff that, at the best of my knowledge, hadn’t made it out of the city. That’s why with the Viletones, I picked a song off the record “Look Back in Anger”. You know, just songs I grew up listening to.
No Productivity: Yeah, when I was looking over the tracklist of the CD it almost seemed like a celebration of earlier Toronto scene.
Byron: Exactly. Well there was that song by the Ottawa band, the name’s escaping me now. We would have done the Bureaucrats but we’re not good enough to cover the Bureaucrats.
No Productivity: Again, sort of with celebrating the early Toronto scene, what is it about local scenes that really seem so interesting or important?
Byron: Well, I think that it’s like, like here tonight you know, it’s a real sense of community. The last few nights, it’s old friends getting together, supporting each other. We’re all starving artists, it’s a really happy time. It’s not like everyone’s trying to out-rockstar one another. It’s the same in the 80s as all the way to now. Punk’s always had a really limited mass appeal, so it’s like you’re members of a special kind of community, and that’s why everybody’s so supportive. You know, like we have Randy and Rebel Time, you’ve got The Rebel Spell coming from Vancouver, and everyone from Kitchener-Waterloo, and all these people coming from Toronto.
No Productivity: Off the hiatus, playing a bunch of shows the past couple years with Pat, is there anything new planned for the Fallout?
Byron: Yeah, we’re playing a new song tonight “Pick Yourself Up” (see video below) and we’ve got the basics for a full CD written, but we’ve got to play them a bit better before we play them live and those sorts of things. We’re definitely going to start recording over the winter and hopefully maybe work with Rebel Time, maybe get some of the old stuff remixed and get it up for a digital download. You know, stuff’s in the works but we’re a little older, we’re not as fast as the new kids.
No Productivity: Anything you want to add?
Byron: Thanks for wanting to do the fanzine, that’s another part of the local scenes; it’s everything from the bands to the people putting on the local shows to the people putting out fanzines and it’s all great. Now let’s go listen to The Rebel Spell!