Interview With Action Sedition – 2014

What follows is an interview with Action Sedition done up for the February 2014 issue of Tres Flechas zine (put out by RASH GDL), out of Guadalajara, Mexico. English version followed by Spanish version! Thanks to RASH GDL for sharing it with us!

3FZ – How are you guys? Could you please introduce yourselves and tell us how the band started.

tresflechasGreetings comrades! Action Sedition is made up of Milioi! (ex – Diarrhée Bucale, Les Gens D’armes) on bass and vocals, Remi (ex – In Situ) on guitar, Bo ( ex – Open Wounds) on guitar, Eric on vocals and Junior on drums. The band was formed with its current line-up in September 2011, following our first show in Montreal. Continue reading “Interview With Action Sedition – 2014”

Interview With Action Sedition – 2013

Back in November 2012 we heard Action Sedition for the first time, via a Youtube video for the song “Prisonniers Politique.” We loved the music and message and immediately hit the band up for the interview which follows.

Since then, we’ve been honoured to have Action Sedition on the label in the form of not one, not two, but three releases!

The interview was completed by the entire band and the answers are in both french and english. Continue reading “Interview With Action Sedition – 2013”

Spanner – Interview 2012

An interview with Bristol’s militant ska punk band Spanner that we did back in 2012,  just prior to their triumphant 2013 Canadian tour … you can both download their “Crisis” album and their split 7″ with Action Sedition for free / pay-what-you-want from the Rebel Time Records Bandcamp page … new album from Spanner out shortly on Rebel Time Records and other like-minded labels … 

All right, let’s get this party started…for those of us unfamiliar with Spanner, how about a bit of a history? Who/what is Spanner??

We are an anarcho ska punk band from Bristol, U.K. Formed around 2000 from the wreckage of Disruptive Element (folk punk), we’ve been playing benefit gigs, squat gigs, a few uproarious tours, festivals and the odd wedding since. The band is really going well at the moment, having recently released our first full length album (yeah, I know, what took so long?!) and getting out and about a bit more in Europe over the last few years. We all get on well and really enjoy the band. There’s a distinct lack of rock n roll rows or punk rock punch ups in this band! I love the mix of radical politics and pleasure and I’m happy and proud that Spanner has put a lot back into the scene / movement and supporting a wide variety of struggles. We’re not the most organised of bands, but somehow we carry on!

Spanner has been described as ” knock out in-yer-face political punky ska, more spikey than skanky but still eminently danceable.” Accurate assessment?

We’d say that’s a fair and comradely analysis indeed. We play a  mix of ska, punk and budget  end dub with a bit of bodge it drum and bass now being thrown in here and there, coz we hear the kids like that sort of thing these days! And we call it militant ska punk, because we believe and hope that the music we play should be a reflection of and a contribution towards our politics; part of the soundtrack to revolt and music to riot to, not just for entertainment or pacification / confinement in the subcultural comfort zone. Long live the resisdance!

What do you think of when you think of Canada? If indeed you think of Canada at all…

My reflex response to that question would have to be… Trailer park boys!!! Pure class. If ever we feel the need for bodyguards or getaway drivers for our Canada tour (yeah, we’re thinking a lot about that too!), we’ll be asking for Ricky, Julian and Bubbles. Put a shirt on Randy!!!

Also the 500 plus years of indigenous resistance, anarchist organising and attacks we hear reports of (most prominently during the Winter Olympics and G-20 periods) – and the legendary punk rock city of Montreal! One day we wanna play with Jeunesse Apatride, for example! We’re still pretty envious of the title “Black Block n Roll!”.

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Crisis” is the first track on the album, and it’s also the name of the album so I would assume it’s an important song to the band…what’s it all about?

Well, where do we start? Oh yeah, these capitalist scum have a real habit of wanting it all their way, don’t they? Not content with bailing the bankers and desperately trying to save themselves from system collapse with our money they’re intent on making us pay again with their so called “austerity measures” (read full scale attack on working conditions, livelihoods and essential services for millions of people and our class as a whole). We are now faced with increased, intensified insecurity and precarity and deteriorating conditions in the workplace and job losses everywhere. Meanwhile profits rise and the bosses and bankers continue to reward themselves with huge pay rises and bonuses for their services to capital. Last year, the world’s millionaires managed, in the thick of the “crisis”, to increase their accumulated wealth by 10%. The richest 10% now own 83% of the world’s wealth and the gap between the haves and the have  nots continues to grow ever wider. And yet in the U.K. we are cursed with a government filled with multimillionaires spouting shit like “we’re all in this together” and urging us to tighten our belts and work harder and longer for less, all for  the “national interest”. Their plan is the wholesale destruction and privatisation of public services and this so called crisis is just an excuse to further neoliberal policies and go looting capitalist style i.e. on a massive, global scale. As always it is us who suffer the consequences, with libraries, day centres for the elderly, community projects, youth clubs, advice centres and so much more abandoned and closed down. Working class kids are shut out of further education and left with nothing and the sick are left to die while mercenary corporations are queueing up to get their hands on our schools and hospitals.

We often hear people talking about “Tory cuts”, but this badly misses the point. The present government is simply continuing where the last one left off. Capitalism itself is the problem and all government serves the needs of capital, managing a system based on massive inequalities of income and wealth. The cuts are not just part of economic class warfare, they are totally political and designed to discipline us all and to let us know who’s boss.

They try to tell us that the cuts are “inevitable” but we’ve got other ideas about how we can redistribute the wealth and turn their crisis into our opportunity for advancing the spread of revolutionary ideas and action. It’s a good time to be an anarchist as the system has been so thoroughly shown for what it is and our ideas suddenly seem to make a lot more sense. But our rulers won’t go down without a fight of course. We have to counter their lies and misinformation designed to confuse, divide and demoralise our class and to divert and destroy any rebellion and revolt. But we’ve already seen some inspiring examples and more potential for widespread, collective resistance, in our communities and workplaces. We have to do all we can to link up seemingly isolated struggles and increase coordination and solidarity and make or actions more effective and powerful.

The song “Autonomous Spaces” seems to deal with, it seems to me, a particular space? Is this the case? Is the band associated with (or affiliated with) a particlar info-shop or something?

I’m involved with Kebele social centre, which is an anarchist centre in Easton, Bristol.  It has it’s ups and downs and can often take over a lot of your life, but it’s a very inspiring project which has been going for 15 years now. It’s about collectively meeting our needs and organising for ourselves without bosses or leaders, showing a good example of putting our politics into practice in the here and now, in a DIY, not for profit space. Again, so much to say about it all but this is a zine, not a book! Check out http://www.kebelecoop.org for more info on our history,ideas, events, activities etc and come and visit one day! So, the song is about some of the experiences of the day to day problems and pitfalls but also the constant sources of inspiration and confirmation of the strength of our ideas and in making revolution every day. There’s also a benefit CD for Kebele available from our Info shop!

The Class Assassins – “The Addiction & The Solution”

The Class Assassins: Timeless, catchy-as-heck, anthemic, sing-a-long streetpunk with something to say. The guys in the band are a veritable who’s-who of Toronto punk rock … over the past 20 or 30 years they’ve been in such bands as Bitter Grin, Hockey Teeth, Direct Action, 2-Pump Louie, Sinkin’ Ships, Problem Children, Chronic Submission and more. 

Stoked to have a couple of Class Ass releases under our Rebel Time Records belts.

The Class Assassin’s latest offering, “The Addiction & The Solution” is a top-notch, 2-song, 1-theme, digital-only release that clocks in at a super-sized 13 + minutes.

1pn Insert.qxd:CD 1pn Insert.qxdIt’s a “concept single,” says guitarist Cactus Vella, “the concept for the two songs came naturally, and together they tell a full story. It’s something unique and it’s different from anything else the band has put out. We’re known for writing 3-and-a-half minute anthems, so it’s nice to break the mould once in a while.”

On writing ‘The Addiction,” singer Chad Nugent says: “The lyrics came easily to me as I was fed up with how governments across the globe are in bed with the major corporations and are being bought and controlled by them all the while using us as their tools.” He adds: “I don’t want to get into a big political discussion about it; it’s all in the lyrics. I think that if you read them you’ll see exactly where we are coming from. They stand on their own laurels.”

When it came to penning the 9-minute “The Solution”, Chad states that “I looked at the words for The Addiction, then I looked at the Idle No More” movement and it all kind of fell into my lap. I have a deep respect for Indigenous peoples. Right now they are not only standing up for themselves but for the entire globe and that gave me the inspiration I needed. We’re the solution if we all stand together and fight for what’s right. Make your voice be heard!”

1pn Insert.qxd:CD 1pn Insert.qxdOn putting together this punk rock piece de resistance, Cactus says that “We started writing The Solution” a year ago. We were excited about writing a song that was well over the 6 minute mark and liked the idea of potentially composing a 10 minute long song. But it wasn’t as simple as just repeating your chorus 8 or 9 times, and a bunch of guitar leads. It was about creating a flow and a direction. Moving forward and upward, keeping the listeners attention, building the energy, until finally reaching the coda.”

Both Cactus and Chad are quick to point out the invaluable assistance of Producer Dave Baksh. “Working with Mr. Dave Baksh is a treat because it’s almost like having a sixth member. Our songs are never truly finished until he hears what we are doing. He really pushes us which brings out the best of us,” says Chad, while Cactus adds,”We were excited to work with Dave Baksh again. After he produced “The Treason 45” we knew we wanted to work with him again. He really gets our band and brings out the absolute best in us every time.”

Here’s what folks had to say about the release

Canadian Street Punk outfit ‘Class Assassins’ are back with a new single and it’s a pretty cool release. The A-Side ‘The Addiction’ is a full on high quality punk rock affair that you’d expect from these guys. What makes this single is the second track ‘The Solution’ which is a up-tempo punk rock number lasting over 9 minutes! I was quite surprised how well it works as I was expecting the song to be dragged out but how wrong I was. If you love bands like the Clash then you’ll certainly enjoy what’s on offer with the Class Assassins. 8/10  -(Street Voice )

Formed in 2001 in Toronto, Ontario THE CLASS ASSASSINS and play anthemic, sing-a-long, melodic street punk that will stick in your ear holes and won’t get shook out. 
This two song single is being released online only, which kind of sucks because I like to actually own the physical copies of my music, but with such a great band like THE CLASS ASSASSINS, I will forgive this crime…this time! It starts off with “The Addiction” which has the power that I expect from their releases, great gang vocals, raspy lead vocals, chiming guitar playing that has a touch of THE CLASH to it, pounding drums, bass playing that fits perfectly in tune with the drumming and a chorus that is huge, and “The Solution” starts off with some acoustic guitar, some feedback and then the band kicks you in the teeth with its hard-hitting street punk that has great gang vocals, and playing that will get you moving whether you want it to or not, and you will comply to their music and move your ass. 
With the great lyrics and their talent at playing, this is a release that needs to be heard by a lot of people, tell your friends to go and get this download and play it loud and proud. Every time I see something new from this band, I must get it, they are that good!  (Altered Frequencies) 

“The Addiction & The Solution” is available both from  Itunes and the Rebel Time Records  bandcamp page. for only $2.00

Here’s what your toonie gets you:

THE ADDICTION

I know just what I want/ It’s a world of peace and a world of love/ But it’s so hard to believe in what this world has become/ Some of us will cope where others fail/While all the bankers get out, they get out on bail/ A soldier sets out to war/What’s he really fighting for?/Build the rockets, line the pockets/ For the next generation of the money whores/ Hang on to hope to no avail/ Hang on to everything because it’s all up for sale/ Well you know what’s right & you know what’s wrong/ So tell me what is going on?/Well you know what’s right and you know what’s wrong/So tell me what is going on/ It’s the addiction & it don’t belong/ So tell me what’s been going on/ Hold the power, harness the greed/ Wealth will come from growing the seed/ Build the rockets, line your pockets for the distribution of the chicken feed/ Hang on to hope to no avail/ Hang onto everything because it’s all up for sale/

THE SOLUTION

Opinions matter at this event so we all listen to what we are against/Stand and deliver is the intent but it’s all in a colour code as we sit on the fence/What’s the solution? Were the solution/Built up with promise it’s all been sent/All an illusion so we we’ll fold the tents/We will rock you, heads will roll/We must shock you, this nations soul/This nations soul. Were the solution/Stand between the power and the greed. So goes the script we all need/You say you know just what I want/Set the rules, set the play/I flip my card and all I feel is rage/It all comes down to you and me but some of us are too blind to see/They took a turn but turned away as we stand here with something left to say/This attack is on a global stage. Tear it down/No one seems to wanna turn the page. Burn it down/All is lost if we don’t stand. Tear it down/Take back time and circumstance. Burn it down/In search of monsters to destroy/They’re in the mirror not the toy/Lies & bigotry has got no one to employ/No stock, no time, no living proof left in their voice/Now that the truth has been exposed/ It’s up to us how the story goes/ In the book of our nations soul/It’s time to take a stand/ Take back what is our land/Were the solution, their heads will roll/

 

The Fallout – Interview From Free Society – 2008

Here’s an interview that The Fallout did with Free Society zine ( out of Peterborough, Ontario ) around 2007, just before the release of their “Dismantlement” CD.

Photographs are from the Hamilton Rock Against Racism show mentioned in the interview.

The Fallout has been together for a bunch of years and you’ve got something like 6 records to your credit. What, if anything, keeps you guys fired-up and moving forward or inspires you to keep knocking out the ‘socially conscious’ punk rock?

Well, we really only have 2 full length releases on Longshot. As our earlier CD’s were independent and now out of print, we have repeated older songs on the first 2 CD’s for Longshot. Our current release is an EP of covers. So we’re not as prolific as it may seem. But we’re just 3 guys that like to rock out more than anything. We get bored fast; hey our songs are quite short, so new songs keep it fresh. We may be ‘socially conscious’ but it’s just that we write about what we know or care about. We write about our lives, our concerns and our country. We don’t write about US foreign policy or fast cars.

Yeah, I’ve noticed that quite a few of your songs deal less with international issues and more with local specific issues and concerns; things like gun violence in Scarborough, or migrant workers in the Niagara Region or even your paean to the ‘Equalizing X Distort’ punk rock radio show. Is this The Fallout taking the “Think Globally, Act Locally” maxim to heart musically?

I guess we think that local action everywhere amounts to global action. More than anything we sing about concerns we have and can hopefully do something about as Canadians. I can’t vote Bush out of office but I can be outraged by governments I can vote out who have enacted legislation that is clearly stacked against workers as is the case with migrants in our new song ‘Leaving Ontario’.

I see a tendency to focus on US crimes while thinking Canada doesn’t have its’ own shame to bear. It’s easier to point fingers than to look in the mirror. It seems more productive to rage about something we can affect with our votes and our numbers.

OK, so you’ve got a new CD coming out on Insurgence Records this year…I’m guessing we can expect more of the ‘politically charged’ anthems you guys have become known for?

The new CD has lots of punk attitude and challenging lyrics. We move in a few new directions too. We try and draw some connections between animal advocacy, abolition and civil rights. We even do a cover of ‘Strange Fruit’, a song made popular by Billie Holiday about a lynching. The problems we’ve been having with the RAR shows and these fascist-minded boneheads seem to confirm that there’s a need to get these messages out there.

The Fallout played a Rock Against Racism show in Hamilton a little while back. A thread on the Stormfront neo-nazi message board trash-talked that show and the bands involved and one bonehead disparaged that “The Fallout even call themselves ‘punk rock’. They’re anarchists, which means they love the idea of no borders (which would mean one world government and 1 race)” Is this really an accurate description of the band?!

I think we’ve been called communists as well and that we support ‘terror’ groups like ARA. Considering that our lyrics are on our website it should be plain for anyone to see that we are not promoting any particular ideology. We have an old song “Fists of Fury’ that states our position on thug-minded fascists and groups like ARA that react to them. We are clearly anti-violence. We certainly can sympathize with ARA’s cause but not all of their actions. We certainly have some anarcho-syndicalist themes. We are singing about unfair practices or situations some workers in our communities have had to deal with. These are stories that are not well known but are very telling about how are society is really organized. I think most people, regardless of political inclination, would empathize with the unjust conditions some workers face. How anyone can read so far beyond that is incredible, but I guess for these boneheads, reading at all is a first step.

They got the punk rock part right.

There are a couple of songs on the new CD – Meat Market and Compassion Over Killing – that talk about animal liberation. I’m assuming you guys are all vegetarians and concerned with Animal Rights? Any favorite veg/vegan recipes?

Yes, we are all vegetarian. We see it more as animal advocacy.

‘Meat Market’ is stolen from the book ‘Meat Market’ by Eric Marcus. ‘Meat Market’ is an honest look at factory farming and what can reasonably be done to promote animal advocacy. At http://www.vegan.com you can even download Eric’s first book ‘Vegan – the new ethics of eating’. ‘Compassion over Killing’ is a non-profit animal advocacy group http://www.cok.net. Hopefully, the idea that factory farming is cruel and unnecessary will continue to spread. I feel that anyone, vegetarian or not, can agree that current factory farming practices are not acceptable. Eric Marcus makes the case that the need to abolish factory farming today has analogies to the abolition of slavery in the 19th century. Just as abolitionists were likely racist, they could accept that slavery was wrong. Today, it seems reasonable to accept that factory farming is wrong, even if you consume animal products. It shouldn’t be so hard to create protection for animals against such cruelty.

There is a new book out, Vegan with a Vengeance: Over 150 Delicious, Cheap, Animal-Free Recipes That Rock by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. I haven’t got it yet but I understand it’s quite good.

The Fallout, or members of The Fallout, have been instrumental in putting together the (pretty much) annual Anti-Warped Tour show in Toronto and you do a song called “Peace, Love And Anarchy” that extols the virtues of this event. What’s the story behind the show? What’s it meant to be?

Jeremy has put together the Annual Anti-Warped tour over the last 10 years. Last year there was difficulty getting a venue but Jeremy will hopefully do it again this year. Anti-Warped is a celebration of independent music. While primarily punk, Jeremy has tried to always include other genres as well. The problem has been that these big shows fail to give an opportunity for local independent bands to have a large showcase. They end up commercially co-opted. So the punk thing has always been to DIY and now it has become a cool alternative on or about the date of the actual tour in Toronto for Jeremy to do the Anti-Warped.

The song ‘Peace, Love, Anarchy’ takes the frustration of being in a punk band and watching the Blink182′s and Sum41′s of this world cash in and dilute the very music you love. But as always there is Anti-Warped to remind us the entire strong, supportive local scene that makes being in a band all worthwhile.

You’ve got a song called “Raise The Minimum Wage” – now that the minimum wage has actually been increased by a whole 25 cents (while the MPPs increased their own salaries at the same time by 25%), will you still be playing this tune, or is it “mission accomplished?”

I guess we should rent a battleship for a photo op, eh? Heh heh. The fact that we need a minimum wage suggests the current economic structure is suspect. We have to prevent by law Capitalists from impoverishing workers. The market may be free but by no means fair. And who opposes the increase? The constituents of the members of parliament? I don’t think anyone who casts a vote is going to be against an increase in pay. This song suggests there are other constituents that the government is listening to. So I think we’ll keep playing the song for a while yet.

Last year you also released a CD called Turning Point which is The Fallout covering a bunch of well-known and not-so-well-known early Canadian punk rock bands. Was this a way for you guys to pay homage to the bands that got you into punk rock?

It hopefully accomplished that and more. When we came up with idea for the CD I saw a need to inform younger fans of the rich Canadian punk tradition. I see so many kids with US and UK bands on their t-shirts. At the last Hamilton RAR show I remember seeing Dead Kennedy’s and Exploited tees. I want to see Youth Youth Youth and Young Lion shirts!

In the last few years we’ve seen Punk History Canada , re-issues from a lot of bands, DOA’s early catalogue, CD’s from Jan Haust’s OPM label, merch through Stacey Case. So it’s starting to happen which is great.

How D.I.Y is The Fallout and why….my understanding is that you do everything yourselves, even to the point of having built your own recording studio from scratch?!

It has become fairly easy for bands to be completely DIY. Technology allows for the easy creation and sharing of music. We want to promote DIY as a way of self-empowerment. If you aren’t getting what you want then get off your ass and make it happen. There’s no reason you can’t. Our studio, The Farm House, is simply our collection of gear at my home. I hope to have a self contained structure to allow other bands to use it too. I hope it can happen this year.

The recording gear we have is professional. We have built gear through resources like http://www.groupdiy.com and http://www.DIYfactory.com. Anyone with a library card can learn all they need to do most anything.

Everyone in The Fallout contributes more than just musically. Jeremy is a great graphic artist and booking agent and Bob takes care of our business and legal needs. I twiddle the knobs and handle the soldering iron. We do as much for ourselves as we can. We work with people, like Insurgence Records, who understand and share our ethic.

Finally, any local bands that you would recommend?

Some bands that we’ve played with locally are Angels, Saints and Heroes, BlackJacket, The Rotten. Across Canada , Knucklehead, The Prowlers, Rebel Spell and The Riptide. These bands are all keeping punk alive and deserve support when they come to your town.