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Removed from the spotlight

Enigmatic instrumental rockers come back to The Punk Night



Who: Removal with Married To Music

What: The Punk Night

Where: Boot Pub

When: Sunday, May 23

A mainstay of Whistler’s resilient Punk Night is coming back this Sunday. Vancouver-based instrumental band Removal will take the stage at the Boot Pub for another round of their signature fusion of organic punk-metal and electronic vocal and sonic samples.

Since forming in 1997 Removal has made regular trips up to Whistler – about one or two every year, estimates one third of the elusive trio.

It’s not exactly a frequency worthy of Wayne Newton’s Vegas floorshow, but still, they haven’t exactly been strangers.

Yet, the band remains somewhat of an enigma.

It’s of their own doing. They’ve deliberately shielded themselves from hype and self-aggrandizing, letting their music do all the talking.

"We don’t really have a riding philosophy, but generally speaking, we’re not really into self-promotion," confirms band member Ernie.

Don’t wait for the last name. It’s just Ernie.

Maybe it’s an alias. Maybe not. Who knows? Who cares? Monikers be damned, all anyone needs to know he’s Removal’s drummer and producer. More importantly, he’s Removal’s original drummer and producer, an integral part of the current and original and only lineup Removal will ever have.

"This is the sort of band that wouldn’t continue if any of the band members couldn’t play," Ernie emphasizes. "We’re pretty unique that way. We have a three-dimensional sound that’s all based on the people in the band. No one’s replaceable."

So tight they would rather self-destruct than initiate – it makes sense the band has no distinct frontman. As the band’s engineer and album producer, Ernie’s the best they’ve got. Live shows feature slide show-style visuals of text, artwork and real life abstract photography to compensate for any real or imagined lack of a focal point.

From their first independent recording Remove All through to the appropriately titled fourth album the strong silent type , released just this past March, Removal has not yet deviated from their cyborg formula.

Any questions regarding progression should be referred to the band’s Web site where the latest album is accompanied by the following statement: " the great thing about having a fourth album is that by now, you know what you are and what you want to make, thus we are removal and this is what we made enjoy."

Any urge they might have to incorporate vocals is quelled through their celebrated collaboration projects, a series of singles that so far have featured Nomeansno’s Mr. Wrong, SNFU’s Mr. Chi Pig, D.O.A.’s Joey ‘Shithead’ Keithley Hanson Brother Johnny Hanson, Danko Jones, and Mike Watt (the only American collaborator so far.) Waiting in the wings are projects featuring Snake from Voivod, Peaches, Devin Townsend from Strapping Young Lad, Chris from Propaghandi and more.

"We don’t really fit into a genre, we’re not part of a clique or a scene. There’s not really any group of bands we align ourselves with," Ernie states matter of factly. "The band is in a heavy category, but it’s out in left field in its own little area."

So while the singles are pleasure projects they also act as the only type of self-promotion the band seems comfortable with – "vanity pressings" Ernie deems them. By collaborating with well-known performers, new audiences are in turn turned on to Removal, which continues to be in a category all its own.

Removal takes the stage at the Boot Pub this Sunday night along with Vancouver indie hardcore band Married To Music.

For more information call 604-932-3338.