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A Dislocated Jaw, Sexist Remarks, Bullies and Chai Tea: The Tour Diaries of Le Butcherettes.

Since the release of their latest album, Cry Is for the Flies, Le Butcherettes, Teri Gender-Bender, Jamie Aaron Aux and Chris Common, have spent their nights in arenas full of screaming, adoring fans ready to get a glimpse of the band. They take the stage and command the audience’s attention. Gender Bender makes performing a raw, hair-thrashing abnormal event you crave to see more of. Encountering everything from dislocated jaws to hecklers, Teri herself takes time to give an exclusive look inside the tour diaries of Le Butcherettes.

The Shows

The First Performance—I was 12 years old when I first got an acoustic guitar and decided to take it with me to class. While the teacher was writing a long paragraph on the chalkboard for us copy unto our notebooks I took the opportunity to get in front of the class and sing songs I had freshly written. The teacher tried to interrupt me but I wouldn’t’ stop playing eventually the teacher was taken aback and let me finish my songs. The bullies in the classroom tried to make fun of me after I finished so I smashed the my guitar over the leader of the packs head. His head was so thick and dirty that it ended up breaking my guitar into pieces. The teacher did not like this one bit so she sent me to the principal’s office. I got a suspension. It could have been much worse for me said the teacher but he said in a whisper, “You may have a future in music and in…. prison…”

The Best Performance—The best show? Damn, they are all so much fun and each show has it’s own unique moments. But recently, the best after show must have been in NYC (with The Melvins) because we got to hang out with our loved ones, Trevor Dunn, Kimbra, Brian Cook, Bex Sheers, Mudhoney, Ipecac team, were all there to show their support so that was like taking a hit of delicious powered orange juice to the brain. It was very nice. The crowd is always good in NYC. So much goes in in that City. Damn oh man.

If you could go back and tell yourself something the first time you performed, what would you say? I would tell myself to not be so trusting of people. But I would have not listened to my now self either way. I can be very stubborn. Always. In any dimension I am sure.

How is touring different with a second album under your belt? It’s definitely more exciting because you can get pretty bored of playing old material over and over again. Playing new songs is always fun because it’s a process of breaking into them. Like breaking into leather shoes. You need to use them a bit until they stop hurting your feet.

 How do the crowds differ from your first tour? It’s always different every time. You try to feed off the energy of an audience but when the crowd seems to be more interested in looking at their phones or yelling obnoxious sexist remarks I tend to beat the shit out of myself out of desperation because it brings me back to my childhood at school where I would blame myself for not being accepted by the bullies.

The band is known for the eye-catching shows, do you ever feel pressured to exceed expectations? I would probably feel pressure if it was a gimmick. But I can assure you that the one thing I’m good at in this life is being able to express honest emotions. Honest emotions created by a hologram world? Maybe. So then that means it’s all a copy of a copy of a copy of a machine from another machine that will never know the true purpose of it’s purpose. Not knowing your true purpose makes one feel purposeless therefore life turns into a crude joke, so funny yet so hauntingly beautiful. So to feel pressure by something that is essentially funny would be even more hilarious but I’m not that funny. Just good at being a clown.

 Have you ever left the stage unhappy? Never leave a stage feeling unhappy. Quite the opposite I leave it feeling fulfilled; for that split moment it feels Like it is okay to pass away. Mission completed. Even if there are technical mishaps or a stale audience or this or that or power shortage or this or that… The key is to use those problems as elements and turn them around to favor you. Again, playing music is a beautiful joke. Have a good time. Release. Just like lovemaking. Release. Accumulate. Release. And if the juice is good it will leave it’s magic behind if not at least there was some sort of pleasure.

The Hardships

The craziest thing that has happened on stage? My jaw was dislocated during singing with a very wide mouth while…. then there was a blur and it felt like a volcano had erupted in my face and before I knew it a 12 year old in the audience helped me pop it back in. Mexico is a surreal country.

What is the worst part of touring— Getting sick on tour. Everything else isn’t bad at all. I really like the repetition to it. It’s a reinforced routine. I actually love it.

Is there anything you dread? Oh, not so many things: Illness, Incompetence, Lack of sleep, my morning breath and people with a lack of perspective and empathy.

Your past has a way of catching up to you; a feeling Teri knows too well. She’s outspoken, raw and has made it known to push the boundaries and redefine normal. With a strong female lead there are bound to be some antagonists lurking in the crowds.

“You try to feed off the energy of an audience but when the crowd seems to be more interested in looking at their phones or yelling obnoxious sexist remarks. I tend to beat the shit out of myself out of desperation because it brings me back to my childhood at school where I would blame myself for not being accepted by the bullies. Whoever is mean and rude to opening bands speaks volumes of what they are like in a modern day in the life. You have to be pretty bitter person to give someone hell for pouring their guts out to strangers. But then again, it’s what makes a show more interesting: the battle.—The constant shift of moods in an audience is impressive. Fortunately enough I feel a sincere connection between the audience and us. Because if you work for their trust they appreciate that and they themselves begin to trust you and slowly open themselves up to you as well. It’s a two way street.

Behind the scenes

What are the main things you personally need to survive a tour? Carry on bag, notebook, book, recording device, small four wheeled luggage, neatly rolled up clothes, zinc, elderberry immune boosters, acoustic guitar and good company.

 What is the one thing you always look forward to on the road? Writing in notebooks, drinking Chai tea while listening to Marc Maron podcast, it varies though; From working on new tracks in my logic to listening to The Beatles. JAJAJA! Such creatures of habit we are!

Is there any particular place you look forward going back to? I looked very much forward to visiting Kentucky. I have never been there before until recently on tour with The Melvins. The Bluegrass state.

What have you learned about the band on the road? The band is very easy to travel with. We all keep to ourselves but at times it feels like a comedy club cause Jaime and Chris can crack out hilarious observations when in unknown cities or eery midnight road driving. One thing is for sure we are all introverts so it’s nice to be in sync cause’ also we are all creatures of habit so touring goes well with us. : )

With a third album, A Raw Youth, to be released in September you can bet the band will be on the road again with plenty of chai tea, notebooks and lots of ‘love-making’ on stage.

 

Live: Maybelleen with Do Tell & A Listers

Maybelleen @ The Cavern 2

With their beers on the stage’s edge and their shoes forgotten somewhere backstage, Do Tell ended the night by sending good southern vibes into the crowd with their foot-stomping, hand-clapping, rockabilly-folk set. From the modest stage they struck the room with their pure intent to have a good time by laughing with one another, dancing and cracking jokes at and with the crowd. The six-member set up, including three singers, managed to insert their positive energy into the room while impressing all who hadn’t heard of them with rich harmonies by vocalists Emma Schnurr and Caitlin Comeau-Jarvis. While on guitar, vocalist Steven Herman got cheeky with the crowd and faded into the back until it was time for him to unleash his rounded, raspy voice unto the audience. The room fed off the band’s energy by taking a seat in front of the stage, raising their beers or by letting out their best moves in the back.

Earlier in the evening Maybelleen, Peter and Charles Camiré from Montreal, took the stage. After a bumpy start with a few technical difficulties, the French boys played a great set. Focusing on playing songs from their latest EP, Stereotypes, the brothers sent good vibes into the crowd. Their interaction with the audience was minimal, but their eye catching attire and unique stage presence spoke for them.

The youngin’s on the block, A Listers, opened the show. With an interesting stage presence, including a saxophonist, they had range of genres from blues, rock to funk. The crowd jammed with them and while their set wasn’t particularly as clean sounding as it could have been, the crowd had fun showing them their love.

Inside the Final Show: Happyness w/ Michael Rault and Juan Waters

Michael Rault @ A hall2

Taking over Adeliade Hall for the last night of their tour was Michael Rault, Juan Waters and Happyness. The three performances couldn’t have been more unalike. First up was Michael Rault. Dressed to impress in blue jeans, T-shirt and sneakers that have seen better days, the seasons musician drew the biggest crowd and delivered a great rock performance that had the crowd wondering why they hadn’t heard of him before.

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Juan Wauter’s decided to draw on a little theatrics for his set. With a sheet duck taped to two mic stands, and light blub acting as a spotlight controlled by a men hidden behind the sheet, the act was interesting to say the least. The crowd danced along to his set that had the charm of a high schooler performing at a talent show for the first time. It was awkward, enjoyable, had the crowd in lightened spirits.

The crowd dwindled as Juan said goodbye, but for those who stuck around to see Happyness, the three lads from London, Jonny Allan (Guitar-Bass-Voice), Benji Compston (Guitar-Voice) and Ash Cooper (Drums), saw a mellow type of alternative rock. Technical difficulties kept stalling the band, but the crowd waited patiently as the band joked off the interruptions drawing more laughs from the crowd than dance moves.

Five Things You Didn’t Know About Little Boxer

Little Boxer @ The Horseshoe Tavern

If you like Toronto’s music scene, chances are you’ve seen, or heard of Little Boxer. What makes the band so intriguing is the husky voice of lead, Zachary Erickson that elevates their alternative rock into a unique territory separating them from other bands. With the mixture of the surprising talent of Juan Udarbe, who makes you appreciate what great bass is, and drummer Dave Silani who rocks the stage from the back with a smirk, Little Boxer has put themselves on the map as the ones to watch. The young performers own the stage like pros and make each show different than the last. With the night scene a buzz about the boys, here are a few things you probably didn’t know about them.

1. They used to play folk-pop.
You wouldn’t have guessed it, but the alt-rock now wasn’t always the band’s primary sound. Beginning in back 2014, the band classified themselves as a folk-pop group due to Erickson’s musical interests at the time.

“As time progressed and we began to grow as a band and get to know each other, everyone’s influences and musical tastes began seeping in, and pretty soon I found myself craving a different sound,” Erickson said. “We still have our roots obviously but I would definitely say we are closer to rock than folk now.”

Though the folk influences of the past can still be heard in their sets with the song, Problems, which shows the bands range and lighter side, the sound heard live is much closer to rock.

2. Exploring music through other musicians is what solidifies their sound.

“In order to be the best musician I believe you need to immerse yourself in music. Not specifically rock music or jazz or whatever kind of style you play but just all kinds of music,” Erickson explained.
Currently signed to Dungus Records, the groupings of musicians are important aids to the bands sound.

“Everyone knows and respects one another and wants nothing more than to see each other succeed and all of these things are especially true in the Dungus family,” Erickson said. “Having this close relationship with other artists grants you this ability to peek into unfamiliar styles, get more acquainted with it and grow as a musician from it.”

Little Boxer @ The Horseshoe 5

3. The Horseshoe is home.

There is no one venue for a musician, but which is the favourite?

“Usually whenever we are performing we’re happy, whether it is in a basement with 2 people watching or at the Horseshoe with over 100,” Erickson said. “If I had to pick a specific venue I’d probably have to say the Horseshoe Tavern right now. We play there the most out of any venue, I believe, and it has always just been such a great experience.”

No matter, it seems wherever the band performs their fans follow, which is why number 4 is so important.

  • Little Boxer @ The Horseshoe Tavern 2
    4. They’d be bored without you.
    What would any musician be without their fans? The boys are so humble and down to earth, you’ll see them before and after their shows sincerely interacting with whoever came to see them play.“The musician could play with complete perfection and skill but it would still be boring,” Erickson said. “What makes live music so great is the energy. That dedicated connection with the audience that makes a night impossible to forget.”And the fans love them. Back in December the band sold out The Cameron House, which for a band in its first year, is overly impressive.“It was, I believe our first big headliner show and we packed the back room of the Cameron House,” Erickson said. “I just remember feeling on top of the world after that night, seeing so many people showing up to watch you play.”5. They’ve got an album on the way.

    If you follow them, you’ll notice the boys disappear for just a little while, but the absence isn’t in vain. The band will be recording their first full-length album. Focusing on the sound they’ve established, the album will feature songs that have been heard live revamped with more of a full band sound.

    “We’ve been working on this grouping of songs for close to a year now and finally we’re ready to take on this huge project and make something we can be really proud of,” Erickson said. “We also want to make this album as big as possible, so we’ll adding in additional parts into a variety of the songs that people haven’t heard live yet,”

    A release date hasn’t been set and the number of tracks is still a secret but Erickson promises, “We’re working on it,”

The People You’re Sure to Find at a Palma Violets Show

Palma Violets

Don’t let the suspenders and slacks fool you. If you were expecting four sharp English boys to come on stage and play smooth hymns around Samuel Fryer’s yawning and mollifying voice, you’re in the wrong place. At their Toronto show on Friday, Palma Violets proved that live, they are a drunken, stumbling and slightly mumbly sight. Alexander “Chilli” Jesson, (guitar), follows drummer, William Doyle, and Jeffrey Mayhew (keyboard) by playing from beneath a buffer of hair they aren’t shy about flipping during their performance. Their music translates from the unhurried indie rock heard on albums to sweaty, screaming high-energy punk when they play live. The juxtaposition of their sound live may be a little disappointing to those that are probably not expecting to walk into a punk-rock show, but if you follow the bands live work then you know exactly what you’re getting.

The spectacle on stage does draw a vast variety of people, from the expected to the lesser; there are certain people you’re sure to find at a Palma Violets concert.

The stage diver—you know the guy. By the time the first song is over his beer has been poured on half of the crowd and his shirt has gotten lost somewhere in the sweaty moshpit (that he started). There were more of these guys than expected at the show. The mosh pit was in full swing, but it wasn’t violent until that guy took his place on the stage and dove into the half willing crowd. Once the trend started it was a tough one to end and the less intense Palma fans found themselves heading for the back.

The guy who is a little too happy to be there—We see you jumping up and down, grabbing at the singer. Oh, he high-fived you? You’re probably best friends now. You should keep inappropriately grabbing at the lead singer and keep “accidentally” touching his penis. It’s great you’re having a good time, but don’t randomly grab the people around you and shake them until they look as ridiculous as you. Let them be, have a good time but be courteous of everyone else having a good time in their own way. PS: if you want the band to come back, maybe tone down the stalker eyes. And just know, you’re the reason for the next person.

The roadie who has been doing this for far too long—He’s over forty and the music scene. He’ll wait in the corner of the stage waiting to push anyone who gets too excited. He can still appreciate a good show when he sees it, but rarely gets the chance since he can’t focus when there are constantly people rushing the stage. The stage diver is the natural enemy, unless it’s the end of the show and all of the crazies rush the stage. That’s the roadie’s time to relax and watch as long as no one goes after the instruments.

 The girl who is just there for the music—she’s dressed in expensive clothes that will surely be ruined after tonight. She got there an hour early to claim her place at the front. But after the shoving began, the stage diver kicked her and the beer marked her white shirt she retreated into the back.

 The ones going at it—in the corner it’s dim and busy, but we still see you there. What we don’t see are where your hands have gone. But we know that you don’t care. You’re too young and in love to possibly be bothered with anyone’s disapproving eyes or the rock show going on in front of you.

In the end, they’re all there for the same reason. To enjoy the energy of four drunk men as they yell into a microphone. Though the songs sounded vastly different than their albums and videos almost to the point of incoherence. The experience made up for what the music lacked. There was a touch too much yelling, but the band enjoyed playing and it translated into the crowd.

The Grotesque (and unavoidable) Things You’ll Experience When Front Row @ Fat White Family

Fat White Family

Ah yes, cheers to some good old rock music. The energy is high and the music of Fat White Family is pretty damn sick, both positively (and negatively). Being front row is an experience that had some covering their eyes; backing away in disgust and relishing in Saudi’s (lead) sweat-shower. The London-based band Lias Saudi (vocals), Saul Adamczewski (vocals, guitar), Adam J Harmer (guitar), Nathan Saudi (organ), Joseph Pancucci (bass) and Dan Lyons (drums) played The Horseshoe Tavern before GOASST for CMW. As everyone was packed as tightly to the stage as possible, anticipating Sean Lennon, they got more than a few surprises from FWF. If you ever get a chance to experience this band, here’s a little warning for those front row lovers and an insight into what can only be described as an experience too rude for Canadians.

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