A&E » Arts

Reason to rock



Ontario punk band works their way across the country

Who: The Reason with End This Week With Knives

What: Punk Night

Where: Boot Pub

When: Sunday, Oct. 19

Tickets : $5

The Reason is your standard hard-rocking, Southern Ontario punk band. They work hard, they party hard, and they drive long, long distances between tour dates in their van and trailer combo.

They’re in Cochrane, Alta. right now, a satellite town on the edge of the sprawling suburban metropolis loosely defined as Calgary, and lead singer Adam White can’t talk long. He’s needed up front. Punk fans, even Canadian punk fans, aren’t known for their patience.

They’re going to get a blast of driving guitar and ferocious drums, and intense vocals. The band’s influences are obvious: Hot Water Music, Face to Face, White confirms both and then throws a curveball.

"Phil Collins, U2, stuff like that. We listen to it and base our melodies on it. Because that’s when I think the best stuff was written, in the ’80s," he says.

So there you have it. If you’re playing the six degrees of separation game and someone gives you Hot Water Music and Phil Collins, the common link is a five piece Canadian punk band.

As recent as last year, however, The Reason didn’t exist. In essence they were a threesome called Sewing with Nancie, a band White started back in 1996. Nancie was a fixture in the deep Southern Ontario punk circuit, touring since 2000 and even landed a date on the 2002 Warped Tour, which featured such bands as NoFx and Antiflag.

Being one of the smaller bands meant more work, said White.

"Warped Tour was really, really tough. We weren’t getting paid for it. We were on one of the smallest stages there. We’d show up to the venue at 4 a.m., sleep for a few hours, then they’d wake us up at 7 a.m. and we’d have to start setting up the stage We basically had to work our asses off the entire day."

Of course this doesn’t mean the tour was a write off.

"It was really fun," confirms White. "We met so many bands that we look up to. Warped tour was a great experience. It was just a lot of work."

This year marked a name change for Nancie, ditched for the more intriguing The Reason. The band added two extra players to The Reason roster this past summer and it’s this brand spanking new grouping that is currently touring across the country. White says even with the relatively new members, life on the road has been free from personality conflicts and drama.

"We do a lot of sleeping in the van," says White. "It’s pretty comfortable. We all love it, know what I mean? And we accept everything that comes with it. So there’s no real tension. We all know what we have to do."

Touring has also temporarily separated them from one of the most dynamic scenes in Canadian music. Ontario seems to be spawning young, high energy punk bands at a rate of one a day and White confirms the scene is just as exciting as it appears to outsiders.

"It’s a big network, basically, a big happy family of bands," says White. "Everyone is friends with everybody else, so everyone helps each other out. When one band makes it, they’re helping out all their friends at the same time."

The proximity of cities in the area also helps.

"In Southern Ontario you can play five different shows in five days all within an hour of each other. And you’ll get completely different people at all five shows," he says, adding the coast of B.C. is the closest thing to Southern Ontario he’s witnessed so far, in terms of proximity and enthusiasm.

The Cochraneites are hungry for choice Grade A Southern Ontario punk. But before White takes off, he pauses long enough to explain The Reason’s raison d’etre.

"We just want to make people feel good and chill out, and at the same time, get everything they need to get out, out, because if people hold shit inside, they become sketchy," he says. "Our whole thing is, just be true and be a real person and everyone gets along a lot better. That’s what we try and do. We’re just ourselves. We’re really modest but at the same time, we’re really in your face. Because that’s just who we are."

Catch the Reason at Punk Night this Sunday at the Boot Pub along with End This Week With Knives. Tickets $5 at the door.

Add a comment