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Dawn of the living dead

T.O. rockers take music scene by storm

By Adrian Josiukas

A new and explosive force has emerged onto the Toronto hard music scene, known simply as Dead By Dawn.

Hailing from all over Canada, the four members of Dead By Dawn formed to create a dynamically heavy, yet melodic sound. Having influences ranging from Hanoi Rocks and Jane’s Addiction to Pantera and White Zombie, this eclectic quartet has created an original, aggressive, groove-based hard rock foyer for fans who believe in music heavier than Green Day. 

Head screamer T.C. leads his pack of fresh toque-wearing misfits. He is backed up by the raunchy guitar hooks of Staci T. Rat and the pounding rhythm section of Ragz (drums) and Mr. Bones (bass).

Describing themselves as “a well-oiled machine,” writing comes naturally for the group, as the whole band contributes to the creation of new material. “Writing for us is pretty easy, we just wing it,” says Staci. “We’ll just start jamming and about half-an-hour later we’ll have a tune,” he says. “Most of the songs we’ve probably written in like, an hour, tops.”

The band has recently finished recording their self-titled debut CD, independently financed and produced. The songs, both musically and lyrically, are dark and twisted. STaci describes one of the songs, “Flesh,” as “…about a guy who went out, kidnapped a girl, brought her home, tied her to a chair, and then started slicing her skin off, peeling it like a banana.” ‘Nuff said.

It’s this kind of morbid attitude that keeps the band unique. They find the fluctuating state of the Toronto music scene and the “alternative” music that’s popular today unsurprising. 

“I’m totally happy, ‘cuz I was always listening to Metallica, Testament and shit like that,” says Staci. “Even when I was listening to Hanoi Rocks, I always thought that was so cool, but nobody listened to it and now that’s what everyone is listening to. People are going back and buying the same thing I was listening to before because it’s popular now.”

T.C. agrees. “That’s how I feel too. It’s like before, I was ostracized because of some of the music I listened to.” 

“What’s ostracized mean?” Mr. Bones interjects. 

As far as the original Toronto music scene is concerned, the band can’t contain their disappointment. “A lot of bands don’t have their heart into what they’re going,” says Staci. “They want us to be in bands and they want to play, but they might not be playing what they want because they feel they have to play a certain way in order to [get gigs], which is unfortunately true in a lot of places,” he says. “If you’re a cover band right now you’re laughing, but if you’re [original], you’re playing once a month and getting like a hundred bucks.”

Despite the lack of public support for original indie bands, and having only played a handful of gigs thus far, Dead By Dawn has witnessed a steady influx of crowds to their live shows. 

“I think the crowd response has been totally intense, totally, ‘cuz it’s an intense band so there’s an intense response,” says T.C. “(We) can tell more and more people are coming. Each time it’s been getting better, and then you’ll notice the same people come every time,” adds Staci.

“When you see people you don’t know wearing your shirt, well, you know you must be getting somewhere,” says Ragz.

Intense touring is what the future calls for. The group’s priorities include getting out on the road and plying their trade across Canada, as well as hitting important markets in America, such as New York. The band’s resolution: tour, play as much and in as many places as possible. The objective: to keep going, leaving a path of slaughtered fans in their wake on the road to success.

Dead By Dawn plays a special CD release party this Friday, September 29th @ the Gasworks. No Cover.

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