By Margi Ende
After contributing to a Sunny Day Real Estate tribute album to be released this spring, and with their school careers ending soon, Toronto band, Louis Mistreated is at a turning point.
The seven-year old band consists of third-year Radio and Television Arts students; guitarist Mike De Eyre, bassist Ryan Zdebiak; along with drummer James Brylowski, lead singer Jeremy Nichols and guitarist Matt Davis.
The band feels their next show, at The Horseshoe Tavern on January 23, will tell them a lot about where they are headed in the future.
If the show goes well and they get a good response to the Sunny Day cover, “In Circles” there’s no reason why Louis Mistreated wouldn’t devote more time to recording new material and playing more shows.
Louis Mistreated didn’t have to break a sweat for the Sunny Day Real Estate cover. They had performed “In Circles” long before De Eyre got in touch with the promoters.
In summer 2001, they recorded the song, prior to SDRE’s breakup.
Their music is similar to emotionally charged bands like Sunny Day Real Estate or Dashboard Confessional, but the emo tag doesn’t quite fit.
The band did progress from hardcore to a softer, more melodic sound. Nichols’ voice is whiny, but at his best, you can hear glimpses of Radiohead’s Thom Yorke. The subject matter is self-indulgent, in the emo vein, but it’s a relief that they don’t mention the seasons of the year, as many emo bands do, on their demo tapes.
Throughout the years, the band has put out three tapes, all of which sold out.
The band’s influences differ from member to member, but they all agree that Radiohead is major for all of them. Their name is from a Radiohead b-side, Lewis (Mistreated), from the My Iron Lung Ep.
“We thought of the name when we were rough and tough hardcore kids and we thought it sounded painful,” said De Eyre.
The band’s left-of-centre beliefs is something they don’t enhance in their music — they don’t want to force their options.
“We’re against preaching. If someone comes to our show, they don’t have to believe in everything we do — coming out is enough,” says Nichols.
In the early stages of the band, the guys were part of the hardcore scene in Mississauga, playing shows in church basements and community centres, with bands like Grade and Slaves on Dope.
Perhaps the sound matured when the guys did.
“Now that we’re older, we’re not satisfied with playing politically charged, screaming music or the three chord power rock stuff. We don’t fit into the scene anymore,” said De Eyre.
The guys usually practice individually, since Davis and Nichols attend the University of Guelph, and most band members have part-time jobs.
Unlike the traditional model of a band, Nichols doesn’t assume the leadership role. Instead, De Eyre is the one who kicks everyone into gear. However, De Eyre is the first to admit that they are the laziest band you’ll ever meet when it comes to organizing a jam session.
The album, under CatFish Records, should be available in most indie and major record stores.