The Quahogs formed from the ashes of two of Halifax's best know 80's hardcore bands: System Overload and False Security. But they went in a different direction focusing on the poppier side of things (not unlike Montreal's The Nils) and were embraced by both the punk and indie rock scenes. During their 4 years as a band they released a demo tape and a 7" EP. I recently (Sept 2013) spoke with their guitarist Todd Calder just to find out some basics about one of my favourite Halifax bands of all time. Let us begin.
How did the 7" with Cinnamon Toast Records come to be? I think the Cinnamon Toast people asked Scott if we'd like to do a single with them. Or maybe Scott told them that we were going to record. I don't remember the details.
|Quahogs Glaze 7" cover|
The following is from a piece my incredibly good friend Mark Black did for The Coast magazine on Halifax 7" records. Here's more info from Todd about the 7"!
“We saved the money we made from playing shows (mostly at the Double Deuce) and decided to record some songs. At some point the Cinnamon Toast people got in touch with us and asked if we'd put it out on their label. I think this was before the recording. They said, “If you do the recording we'll do everything else including promotion.” Scott Tappen, the singer in the band, was in frequent contact with the Cinnamon Toast people, but we all knew Shawn Duggan and Walter [Forsyth].
Terry Pulliam did the recording at Soundmarket Recording. He was a big wacky hippy guy. He was always talking about this voodoo shit that was on the record. We never really knew what he was talking about. But he had lots of effects on his board, which really impressed us at the time. I don't think we were completely happy with the sound of the seven-inch when it came out. But then…maybe nobody is ever completely happy; especially back then when it was difficult to make a good quality record outside of a studio. He fixed the intonation on my guitar (a shitty Hondo with one good pick-up), which was good.
But it kinda sucked because we were paying so much money to be in the studio at the time. The release of the record was at the Double Deuce. I can't remember who we were playing with, but it was a good time. I remember that the Cinnamon Toast people were making cinnamon toast in the back of the bar and every time they pushed down the toaster the power went out. We didn't know what was going on for a while. It caused some chaos.
I was able to get a hold of "Songs from the Tiki Lounge"...was that ever released officially? No, that was never officially released. We recorded that just before we broke up.
Aaaaand finally...any favourite memories?? Lots of great memories. We used to break strings and not have back up guitars. That made for some interesting shows. I remember Johnny getting really pissed off and throwing his bass around. Luckly he was able to borrow someone else's bass. I'm a lefty, so when I broke a string they had to play songs without me till I put a new one on. I wrote a song about that happening one night at the Café Ole. We got to play with some great bands which was super awesome, e.g. Eric's Trip, Sloan, Hardship Post. I think I'll stop there before I incriminate anyone.
|Demo tape cover|
And of course you get what I believe to be a complete discography of The Quayhogs. It includes:
"Raw" demo tape, 1992
"Glaze" EP, 1993
"Songs From The Tiki Lounge" unreleased 4 song EP, 1994
"Back To The None" live song from Cod Can't Hear, 1992
"Back To The None" early version from Mass Turbulence comp, 1991
Listen to their demo tape here:
And the unreleased "Songs From The Tiki Lounge" here: