A&E » Arts

Macedonia here we come



WHO: SideSixtySeven

WHAT: CD Release Party

WHERE: The Boot

WHEN: Sunday, Sept. 9

Whistler will be under attack by SideSixtySeven for the second time this summer.

When the Vancouver punkers came through The Boot in May there was a sneak peak of the new arsenal of tunes and big talk about the launch of their upcoming CD. After a whirlwind summer of recording and touring, the finished product has arrived, and its causing quite an explosion.

This little molatov cocktail is a completely home-grown concoction. The band’s five members and general manger dug deep into their pockets and called on the talents of friends to write, produce and distribute the CD on their indie label, Bad Idea Records.

"It’s a big rock album and we’re proud of it," enthuses singer Ian Roberts.

"Playing with your own money, you want to make sure what you’re doing is worth while," Roberts continues. "When you’ve got someone else’s money, you don’t really give a shit. You can take it for granted. But when you go on the road, after accomplishing something like this, seeing all those people there to hear your music is such a reward."

And getting to that point was a bit of a battle unto itself. SideSixtySeven was fortunate to be invited to Los Angeles to record with producer Mike T (Millencolin, Oscar). Heading into the heartland of SoCal punk seemed like a good idea at the time. The band had the opportunity to hang in bars where many of their idols had started out. However, the area also proved to be a bit of a war zone. Several members were lucky to walk away from a car crash with a semi and all were a little intimidated just making their way to the studio each afternoon.

"We recorded in the ghetto of East LA," laughs drummer Shawn Colig. "There were always helicopters, gangsters. When we’d go to the studio, we were like ‘Ok, we’ll drive to the door, go in one by one. Don’t look at anybody.’ Yeah, that was really comfortable."

"We couldn’t even go out in a group," adds Roberts. "We’d get stopped by the cops and they’d ask, ‘What are you boys doing on this side of town? Go back to Hollywood!’"

SideSixtySeven braved LA long enough to complete their first full length effort, appropriately titled More Stitches Than Riches . But riches may not be too far off for the Vancouver quintet. The CD was just released about two weeks ago, but already it’s receiving international interest.

"Macedonia wants us," exclaims Colig. Bad Idea had sent the band’s previous EP to a small station in Macedonia, and its loyal underground following is keen on the Canadian sound. The station owner has been hounding the company for a copy of the new CD and has invited SideSixtySeven to play in an upcoming festival.

"We want to go to Europe, but I don’t know about Macedonia. There’s a war there," says Colig.

And closer to home, LA industry types have also been requesting more info on the boys. Although they don’t want to drop any names for fear of jinxing themselves, let’s just say, this could be big.

For now, they return to The Boot, admittedly one of their favourite venues. Roberts feels he owes the resort a little something after May’s performance was cut short by a collapsed lung.

"I’m just a tall, skinny bastard. I guess this sort of freak thing happens all the time to basketball players and crack heads," he jokes.

"No one really knew, but Ian just turned lime green, walked off stage and went straight to the emergency room," adds Colig.

For the moment, all five are injury-free and are bringing along surprise guests for the assault. SideSixtySeven played to an enthusiastic crowd last week in Vancouver, but says there’s nothing like heading up the highway to Whistler.

"There’s so much energy there," says Colig.

"Vancouver needs to catch up to Whistler," Roberts adds.