Bring The War Home: The Interview

Bring The War Home … first came across this newish Hamilton band when one of the members got in touch about possibly playing one of our Punk Rock Matinees.

Right off the bat, I was, as a student of US left-radical politics, intrigued by the name, which I assumed alluded to the October 1969 SDS / Weatherman “Days Of Rage” demonstrations in Chicago. A good start!

A quick review of the Bring The War Home facebook page revealed a band both serious and self-deprecating. A good mix!

The ended up playing a Punk Rock Matinee (video below) and blew people away.  More than one person commented on how good they sounded, considering it was their first show.

So, stoked to have Bring The War Home playing a couple of the Spring Offensive 2019 dates … catch them in Toronto at See-Scape on March 22nd and in Hamilton at This Ain’t Hollywood on March 24th …

So, “the best revolutionary agit-punk band you never asked for” … well, dammit, we’re asking … what is Bring The War Home ??

Basically we (Martin, Dael, and Gross Biff) started a band to play fundraiser shows for Hamilton Against Fascism (HAF) last spring and had more fun than we expected, so we kept doing it.

It was initially just Martin and Gross Biff, but we met Dael when they punched Martin in the face. He deserved it so we knew it was a good fit.

We set out to be a pop-punk/skate punk band but it usually comes out a little heavier than that. Think of us as a smart person’s Green Day and a stupid person’s Propagandhi but with less raw talent than either.

I get a feeling the band members are all pretty active politically … band interests, according to FB, include revolution, communism, socialism, working class, peoples’ war … how’s that coming along? Keeping you all busy?

Cop Question. But seriously, capitalism is going to pieces all around us. Wages are stagnant, the standard of living for the working class is dropping, fascism is resurgent, and we’re being thrown into one imperialist war after another. So yeah, we’ve been pretty busy. This is probably the best time in the last half a century to be a communist, people are receptive to it in a way they haven’t been in a long time. Specifically, we’re involved with Hamilton Against Fascism, and some of us are supporters of the Revolutionary Communist Party. We’re also active in our union locals. Wherever there’s a fight, we try to be there.

An EP is in the works! Tell all!

Yeah, we’re pretty excited about it. It’ll be the five songs that best represent what we’re about as a band: anti-fascism, working class struggle, and revolution.

It’s self-titled, comes out March 20th, and will be available on Bandcamp, Spotify, and CD.

Musically, what’s on your turntables, in your tape-decks?

Martin: Currently I’ve been really digging War on Women, Bad Cop/Bad Cop, Direct Hit, No Use for a Name, The Last Gang, Negro Terror, and Material Support. I really liked Spanner’s most recent release, “We Won’t be Stopped”. I’m excited about the upcoming albums from Masked Intruder, PUP, and Bad Religion. And always returning to bands like Propagandhi, Anti-Flag, and Strike Anywhere.

Dael: If I were being honest, I’d tell you I was listening to nothing but ABBA and Cardi B all week. That said, I’m also the band Emo. I like Soccer Mommy, Pity Sex, and Makeshift Shelters.

Gross Biff: I was only allowed to listen to Christian Rock growing up, so my adult life has been spent making up for lost time with 90s alt-rock and 3rd wave ska. So you’ll pretty much always catch me listening to Streetlight Manifesto (yes, they’re ska. Yes, I’ll argue with you on the internet about it). I treat every track like it’s an audition for Our Lady Peace, which I feel like is a better fit now that I have to wear glasses.

And, the obligatory, interview-ending question: what’s ahead for Bring The War Home?

We’ll be playing a bunch of shows in Ontario to promote the EP, including with the Spring Offensive in Toronto and Hamilton. After that, it’ll be back on the grind writing new music for our debut LP, hopefully within the next year. Then, it’ll either be The Revolution or the death of the planet so wish us luck.

Here’s the band’s debut gig … October 21st, 2018 at This Ain’t Hollywood …


Interview With Mike From Reckless Upstarts and Rough Cuts

We’re stoked to have Reckless Upstarts (out of Windsor) playing Spring Offensive 2019 on the Sunday. We’re equally stoked to have Rough Cuts (out of Toronto) making their debut on the Friday. Both bands feature the dulcet tones / vocal stylings of Mike. Without further ado, here’s a bit of a back-and-forth with Mike regarding these two outfits…

Image may contain: textFor those who might not be familiar with the Reckless Upstarts, how about a bit of a history?

Reckless Upstarts started as a hobby project between myself and Curtis. I had met Curtis at a feminist rally I was attending in 2013, we started talking about music, had a few too many whiskies, and the rest is history. The band had a relatively slow start, and didn’t really start gaining momentum until around 2016 or 2017 when Matt joined the band as a second guitarist. We’ve cycled through a few drummers as well… Corey is our fourth drummer and is hands-down the most talented one in the band. In the last couple years we’ve put out a couple EPs, done some touring, shared the stage with some of our heroes, and made tons of new friends in the process.

You’ve also started a new band in Toronto, right? What is going on there?

I moved back to Toronto in August 2018 for work, which was bitter sweet for me. On the one hand, Toronto is where I grew up so it was familiar and exciting to be returning. On the other hand, Windsor has a special spot in my heart. The people in that city are some of the most genuine, down-to-earth, hardworking individuals I have ever met. Windsor was, and always will be, a main reason why Reckless Upstarts exists.

That being said, I don’t get to practice with the guys in Reckless Upstarts as much as I would like now that I’m in Toronto, and I needed a new outlet. Rough Cuts came about pretty organically after reconnecting with some friends. It features Zack from Dirty Work on guitar, Scott, ex-Dirty Work and Bare Bones on Bass, and Andrew, ex-Bare Bones on drums. We felt Toronto was in need of a proper Oi! band, so here we are.

Reckless Upstarts were recently part of an excellent split 7″ with Streetlight Saints on Insurgence Records, how’d that come about?

Steve, from Insurgence, contacted us one day saying that he liked what he was hearing and there was the opportunity to work together. He mentioned doing a split 7”, and we found Streetlight Saints from Calgary to hop onboard with us. I think there’s a lot of similarities between our bands in terms of what we write about and what our values are, so it was a pretty natural fit. The timing for this release was perfect as well. Both bands were lined up to play the 2018 Montreal Oi! fest, so we were able to do a mini-tour and promote the release. Working with Insurgence has been a great fit for us and we’re proud to be a part of that family.

You’ve got a track called “$78 Million” on the “Never Alone A Benefit Album For the International Antifascist Defence Fund” … clearly no fence-sitting here …

Politics are such a sensitive subject, and even more so in the skinhead scene, but they’re a part of everyday life. I won’t speak for my bandmates on their political affiliations, but I will say that I’m strictly SHARP (skinheads against racial prejudice) and that includes anti-fascist, anti-homophobic, and anti-sexist. I’ve never been one to tell people how to vote, but I’m not going to shy away from voicing my views either. The fact is we have a soap box, and as much as I love singing about getting drunk at the pub with my friends every weekend, there are important issues that should also be given their share of attention.

A European tour happened just a bit ago … any highlights?

Reckless Upstarts did a run of shows in Europe in September and October of 2018 and it was a surreal experience for all of us. I don’t think any of us thought we’d get to this point. We did a straight run of 9 shows between the Netherlands and Germany, and loved every second of it. Having the opportunity to drive around those countries really drives home how beautiful they truly are. And it’s also a totally different experience touring Europe than North America… their hospitality is on a different level. My personal highlights were the shows in Hannover and Hameln; the energy and camaraderie at those shows was top notch. We had skins from Hannover take the train to Hameln to catch our set again towards the end of the tour, so that meant a lot to us. But every city was special… Essen we made new friends in an awesome band from the UK called Criminal Mind, in Dresden we played with the mighty East End Chaos, and in Berlin we drank too many Mexikaner shots and took in the Ramones museum. We also managed to snag a couple days off in Amsterdam to bookend our tour, so that was a riot as well.

What’s next for the bands? Recording? Touring?

For Reckless Upstarts, we’ve got a busy year ahead of us and we haven’t even really started planning everything. We have a bunch of one-off shows lined up, including the Rebel Time Spring Offensive matinee blowout in Hamilton on March 24th. As far as touring goes, we have 2 days lined up in Alberta with our pals in the Harrington Saints for early May, we will be playing the Midwest Live & Loud festival in Chicago in late August, with a short Midwest tour around that fest. And we’re trying to make it back to Europe again this year.

With regards to recording, we have an EP scheduled for release this year on Insurgence Records (North America) and Contra Records (Europe), so watch for that to come out. We have started writing our next release as well which will be our debut full length. We hope to get that recorded this year and released in 2020.

For Rough Cuts, we just finished recording our debut EP, and are just starting to book shows. Our first ever show will be March 22nd for the Rebel Time Spring Offensive show in Toronto, but we’ll be booking more shows to fill out the year.

Please check out the Reckless Upstarts facebook page and the Rough Cuts facebook page to stay up to date with all news, shows, music, etc.

Here’s Reckless Upstarts doing “Rose City”:

And, here’s Rough Cuts doing “New Breed” :

Spring Offensive 2019 – The Soundtrack

… Spring Offensive 2019 … three days of peace, love and anarchy … we’re putting together a bit of a digital soundtrack featuring (hopefully) all of the bands taking part in this extravaganza …

… here’s 5 of the bands / artists anchoring this event …  an eclectric and eclectic mix of punk rock, oi,  hip-hop and revolutionary oi/folk … songs for agitators, instigators, malcontents and mischief-makers …

… stay tuned for more tunes …

Spring Offensive 2019 – Toronto – Kitchener – Hamilton

… all the details about Spring Offensive 2019 below …



In 1946, in the introduction to People’s Songs newsletter No. 1, Pete Seeger said “the people are on the march and must have songs to sing.”

And, that’s the theme of Spring Offensive 2019 … a 3 day / 3 city musical exposition in and around Southern Ontario that will feature some of the best socially-conscious, politically-engaged, anti-authoritarian and multi-lingual music we can find. Here’s a few of the bands / artists playing over the course of the weekend …

We start it all off in Toronto at See-Scape, on Friday, March 22nd.

Event info can be found right here … with Union Thugs, The Fallout, Lee Reed, Bring The War Home and Rough Cuts … 

Then, on Saturday, March 23rd we head off to Kitchener-Waterloo where  we’re teaming up with Death Crew Hard Core for show #2 at The Boathouse.

Join us prior to the show for an “Introduction To The I.W.W.” workshop with The Union Thugs!

Event info can be found right here … with Union Thugs, La Gachette, Lee Reed, The Fallout, Stand Against Fear and KillerCoins …

Sunday, March 24th finds us in Hamilton for a Punk Rock Matinee at This Ain’t Hollywood.

Show will run from 3PM to 7PM.

Event info can be found right here … with The Fallout, Union Thugs, Reckless Upstarts, Lee Reed and Bring The War Home …

Spring Offensive 2019

Venues and dates are all confirmed for Spring Offensive 2019!

As previously noted, we’ve been working on a few shows in and around Southern Ontario that will feature some of the best socially-conscious, politically-engaged, anti-authoritarian and multi-lingual music we can find.

Shows will be happening as follows: Friday, March 22nd at See-Scape in Toronto, Saturday, March 23rd at The Boathouse in Kitchener and Sunday, March 24th at This Ain’t Hollywood in Hamilton.

Still getting the line-ups all sorted, but, you can expect to see, on some (or all) of the dates: The Fallout, Union Thugs, Reckless Upstarts, Lee Reed, Bring The War Home and more.

Stay tuned for more details and info! We’ll be putting a spotlight on some of the bands and artists shortly.

Spring Offensive 2019

Coming in March 2019! Spring Offensive 2019!

We’re working on a few shows in and around Southern Ontario that will feature some of the best socially-conscious, politically-engaged, anti-authoritarian and multi-lingual music we can find.

As of this date, we’ve got Kitchener (March 22nd) and Hamilton (March 24th) booked.

Stay tuned for more details!