Thursday, April 09, 2015

NEXT OF KIN

Next Of Kin - late 80's hardcore punk from Fredericton, NB featuring members of Neighbourhood Watch. I missed my one chance to see this band open for Sudden Impact in 1989 in Halifax, a decision I have always regretted. They put out one demo tape which is one of my favourite Atlantic Canadian punk releases. I got the details from their bass player Nick Oliver, so let's find out what he had to say!! And JUST ADDED....singer Peter Mccarty's recollections!!! MP3 download at the end!!

When/where did the band form and what were your influences? Were Guilt Parade and Neighborhood Watch already formed by that point?
Nick: Not exactly sure.. sometime in '87 I think. We were all high school buddies. At the time I was listening to a lot of straight edge HC, & thrash metal like DRI & SOD. Pete was really into The Exploited at the time as I recall. And yes, Guilt Parade and Neighbourhood Watch had already been going since all us guys were in our early teens. They were the bands ahead of us.
Peter: Next of Kin started in the garage of my skateboard friend Rob (can’t remember last name, sorry Rob). It was Steve Dugan (from Absolute Choke), Colin, Rob and myself. We were just goofing around and wrote what became “where is my head?”. Colin had a guitar, Rob had a bass, Steve did rhythm just on a plastic pail or something and I did vocals. I met Roman one morning skateboarding to school. He was a drummer and went on to take over for Steve. Rob had some hand issues and would cramp really fast. Nick would take over his duties. Tristan Pym joined as lead guitarist for a very short stint but didn’t stick it out. So the core band line up for quite some time was Colin, Roman, Nick and myself. Nick went to Montreal for University. John Vine had moved to Fredericton to go to University so we invited him to join. But he was a guitar player. Colin know how to play bass too so he moved to bass to allow John to take the guitar roll. I listened to DRI, the Accused, Dayglo Abortions, Scum, Corrosion of Conformity...

Who was in the band?
Nick: Me, Nick Oliver - bass, Peter Mccarty - vocals, Colin Maicher - guitar, Roman Van Liempt - drums

Nick playing bass with Next Of Kin
When did you first play out live? What were the shows like then?
Nick: Hard for me to remember our very first show, but most shows were small, around 100 people, sometimes more if the band had a really wide appeal (a band like the Nils or DOA for example). by the time NOK were around, I was putting on a lot of the punk shows myself with a lot of help from others, especially the intrepid Steve Staples from CHSR-FM, who used to do sound tech for me at a lot of my shows for a pittance.
Peter: First show was Dressed to Kill ’88 at the Exhibition Center in Fredericton. Great weekend!! Bands from all over headlined by No Means No (I believe). We did mostly shows in Fredericton over the years.




Did you get to tour much? I know you played Halifax with Sudden Impact.
Nick: Halifax, Moncton, & Saint John once I think, but that was all we did outside of Fredericton. I went away for a year or so in 1989 and the band continued on without me. John Vine (of System Overload, Safe, etc) took over guitar and Colin switched to bass. They may have done more out-of-town gigs of which I'm not aware.
Peter: We got to open for Sudden Impact in Fredericton. That was a cool show. They invited us (or we begged) to do the show with them in Halifax. That was our largest crowd we ever performed for. Halifax had a great scene. We did a show in Moncton once in a friend of ours basement, you know who you are Pierre! Last show: April 1991 at UNBSJ in St John. Great show! We did a 4 song reunion set one time when Nick’s band from Montreal came to town.
Halifax show poster

Talk about the recording the demo tape. How was it received?
Nick: As I recall, we did most of the recording in Roman's basement. But lots of it we did at CHSR-FM in their studio there. A lot of local bands did. It was the easiest way to get quiet rooms with some decent isolation, and if you were a working member at the station, you could use them for free. I think they intentionally built it in such a way that setting up a full drum kit whilst still being able to use the door was a problem, so not many bands did their drums there. But lots and lots of local demos have bits of work done there, both large and small. I don't remember the local scene really making a big deal of our release. We were a bit of an orphan musically. Four angsty, teenaged guys tend to make music for the entertainment of other teenaged guys by their nature, I suppose. Maybe it can't be helped. We had a lot of fun but only took it seriously when it was necessary. Colin and I were both in other bands at the same time.
Peter: The demo was made in the basement of a friend of ours, Andrew, over a weekend. He lived just off Montgomery St  and Regent St with gear ick had borrowed from the radio station. If you wonder what the cheering is at the end of Older Generation, it took us so many takes to get that song right. It was new at the time and long and was hard for everyone to get it done. When we finally did, we were all pretty happy. Andrew thought we should leave it in so we did! Crowd favorite song was Cops Suck Shit. We wrote that after I got a ticket for skateboarding. We walked out of a Chinese Restaurant on Queen St one day. I put my board down and put my foot on top of it, just standing there. Cop walked around the corner, saw me and gave me a ticket. Cops Suck Shit was born soon thereafter. Nick and I did most of the lyric writing. Roman was involved there as well. I think he wrote all of Rapist. Then we would just figure out the music together. Songs that I am proud of: Cops Suck Shit, Stage Dive, Blood on the Square. Favorite lyric (from Older Generation): “Lawrence Welk is not our God, and for that you think we’re odd” & “Look at me this what I am”. Wow, as I listen to this song, I remember how powerful the lyrics of that song are, the whole song.


Tell me about the (what I assume is) fake rivalry with System Overload.
Nick: The song "System Overload Sucks" is indeed just a joke song. SOL were among my favorite Atlantic Canadian bands. I travelled with them for about 10 shows through Ontario and Quebec in 1988, and I think as far as punk bands go, the rest of the guys felt the same as I did. Peter Rowan's Dressed To Kill Music Fest in 1988 saw f'ton play host to Moral Support and System Overload opening for Montreal's S.C.U.M. (now with Frederictonian Pat Oancia doing vocal duties). Bootleg tapes of both MS and SOL performances circulated our scene for a long time after that. So we had lots of love for them. I wrote the song out of frustration of so many of my own riffs were unintentionally turning out to sound like so many SOL songs - so I wrote a song where I could make a medley of them.

When and why did the band break up? What did the members go on to do after? (Musically or otherwise)
Nick: After I moved away the band went on with John Vine as mentioned previously. Peter and his girl moved in together. We never really spent as much time together again. Colin and I would play together again in another band that could never seem to decide on a name (but Rail and Ricky Lizard were among two that we did use). Roman kept playing the drums for a long time I think. I'm really not sure. it's been years since we've really spoken.
Peter: The band just kind of dissolved. I was going to College in Moncton and we just kind of didn’t have time for the band. Looking back, our first songs are kind of simple. But as we grew up and were together for a bit, we began to come into our own. Cops is definitely a good one. I think the last song I wrote “He’s coming for you” was very good also. We only performed it once, our last show in St John. I remember John having a copy of it on cassette…which I had a copy of that!



DOWNLOAD THE DEMO TAPE HERE:
NEXT OF KIN DEMO

Or just listen on the youtube:


1 comment:

Roman van Liempt said...

Wow - I never thought I would see the day where this crept onto my browser!