Friday, 2 December 2016

UPDATE 12/02/2016

Greetings everyone! It's time once again for a general update. As another year approaches its end I couldn't help but feel somewhat guilty that I hadn't released any new material this year. Looking back now in retrospect I did release 4 albums in 2015 so I'm not feeling as bad about it now, plus I've managed to release an album before the year ended. 

I spent the better part of 2016 working on two albums, and recently I started working on two more projects. I am happy to announce that on November 28th 2016 I finally released "If You want C.H.U.D... YOU GOT IT" a vision I started in early 2014 after a friend and customer of mine mentioned he really missed me working with metal and hardcore bands. I decided to incorporate my two musical loves of rap and metal and infuse them into somethings special for my friends and fans alike.

I ended up working with a variety of people and that definitely shines through in the songs, as each one is different from the next. There's some rap metal, thrash, hardcore, electronica, industrial, and even 3 cover songs, all embracing the heavy music that inspired me growing up as a teenager. This was a super fun project and it was so worth the time it took to get out. 

I'd like to give a major thanks to Greg Dawson of BWC Studios for helping out with the mastering once again, and big props to Steve "Knuckles" Donohoe for passing more production wisdom onto me. You can stream or download the album for free via the link provided below. This is a free LP so simply click the "buy now" tab and enter $0.00 as your price. 

In some not so happy news, I lost a friend yesterday. I'd like to give my condolences to the family of Dave Wroblewski. In 2007 I became a father and I wanted security for my family so I took on a second job in the spring of 2008. I met Dave through work and we hit it off famously as we were close in age and shared a lot of common interests. I can count on both hands how many friends I made after 5 years at that job and Dave is right up there at the top of the list. 

I looked forward to conversing with him every day, as we always had great conversations and lots of laughs. He was one of the few co-workers I actually wanted to hang out with away from work, and we had some fun times. He was such a genuine person, and he was an amazing father, raising his son Teddy all on his own. Our kids became friends despite the age gap, and Dave would offer to babysit for me anytime I was in a jam. On top of that he was my goto computer repair guy and he helped me out a lot in that sense. 

Dave was a great generous person who would put his own neck on the line just to do a kind deed for his friends and family. After I left the job he was one of the only people I kept close contact with and we saw each other on a weekly basis. He ended up leaving his job and moved onto bigger and better things, earning employee of the year at his new occupation which in turn won him a trip to Vancouver. 

Just when it seemed like everything was getting better for Dave he was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer precisely one year ago. Things started going down hill rapidly, and unfortunately he was unable to take his trip last April. He was loosing weight at an alarming rate and chemotherapy wasn't helping, yet amongst all the madness he was still always positive, strong, and optimistic. This past year he spent most of his free time at his family's cottage, connecting with nature and his kin, which brought him great happiness. 

I was devastated yesterday when I heard the news even though I knew it was only a matter of time, yet still nothing can prepare you for the loss of a friend. He's left behind a 14 year old son and I want to do anything I can for that child as nobody deserves to lose their father at such a tender age. 

Once again I'm left baffled why the good ones are taken from us when there is so much human trash infesting this planet. You will be missed dearly by many people Dave, and even though we've only been friends for 8 years I feel like I've known you all my life. In reality I wish I had known you longer as you were an incredible soul. Dave was also an avid fan of this blog, and I'm honoured he is now apart of it despite the unfortunate circumstances. I'd like to think you are sitting on a cloud somewhere reading this.

Rest in paradise my friend...

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Eat Yer Words

Life was getting peachy again. I had a new love interest in my life, and Black Belt Jones was moving forward once again. We had come up with quite a bit of new material, and after several jams we were ready to hit the stage once again. As if the timing couldn't be better, a new bar had opened in Brampton called "London Bridge" and it was ran by a fellow named Billy, the same man who was responsible for Tremors & BackTrax, the two former Brampton bars that embraced live music. As much as it was great playing at The Ivy Bridge, it was greater to have another local place to gig. 

We were also ready to hit the studio once again and create our second demo tape. This time we wouldn't be doing it ourselves, as we enlisted the help of Pooh's brother Steve, AKA Knuckles, the same man who recorded the Wiggaz demo. I was quite stoked to be working with Steve again, this time however we would be recording at "The Geon" which was the nickname for "the dungeon". The dungeon was the basement of the Donohoe residence which Steve  occupied, while Mama D, Pooh, and youngest brother "Erk" inhabited the other two floors of the house. What was even more exciting to me was the fact that our second demo would be recorded on an 8 track recorder, as opposed to a 4 track like we used on our first demo. It was a great time recording with Knuckles, it was a very laid back environment and we really had no time restraints. 

Before long we were ready to release our second demo tape entitled "Eat Yer Words". Once again yours truly took care of the cover art, liner notes, and inserts. Each one was lovingly hand cut and folded by us and we took care of the dubbing as well once again. We had a new tape to sell, but we decided we needed free merchandise for our fans as well, which led to a plethora of sticker designs, Black Belt Jones matches and rolling papers, as well as our very own BBJ "pogs" a new game for kids that was sweeping the nation.

We also added some new blood to the band. On bongos and percussion we now had "Jus-Tone" who's real name was Justin. I had met him through Paul's circle of friends and took a shining to him instantly. He was a very peaceful and happy person, somewhat hippy-ish with funk and soul to him. He was a perfect fit. 

Our second edition was Derek Begley, who I lovingly deemed as "D-Rek" as he was a big muscular jock... minus the dumb jock mentality which I loathed. I had met Derek through Scott & Pino, although Pauly knew him from back in the high school days. Derek had recently returned from an Australian vacation, and he brought back with him an instrument from the Aussie natives known as a didjeridoo. Between the bass, guitars, drum machines and samplers, we now had two more dynamics added to our sound, which also gave us a bit more of a visual on stage for the audience.

It wasn't long before opportunity knocked and we were offered a spot at CMW, Canadian Music Week, an annual event that catered to any music lovers taste, with various bands playing at various venues for a 7 day stretch. BBJ ended up getting put on a bill with Choclair, who was a local rapper that was blowing up and receiving somewhat of a mainstream push. 

When CMW arrived I was pretty stoked that we'd get exposure to his fanbase, but was more so stoked at the fact he would now know the name and sounds of Black Belt Jones. Needless to say I was quite disappointed when he left the venue after his performance without even sticking around to check out our set. I found it highly disrespectful and distasteful of him, and from that point forward decided I would never support him or his art.

We had been gigging quite frequently, and once again it was becoming a thankless job. As much as I loved bringing music and happiness to people, it got rather taxing with all the traveling, lugging of gear, extra late nights and not really seeing any money for our hard work. Something had to give...

Thursday, 10 November 2016

Jenny 2.0

Day by day I was coping more with the passing of my close friend Jay Poole but deep inside I knew it was an internal scar that would never fully heal. They say that time heals everything, but even now 20 years after the fact I can honestly tell you that old saying doesn't hold true. 

Paul and I were continuing to plug away at his new sampler and it was both fun and very therapeutic. We had already came up with some pretty banging songs so far and it seemed that every new song we created was better than the previous.

I had eased up on the sauce quite a bit, but there was one good thing that came from my extensive alcohol binges. I had met a new love interest. Her name was Jenny and I had actually gone to high school with her. She was a girl I'd always admired from a far, but we were from two different worlds which I assumed was a recipe for disaster. 

Five years after graduating I had seen her one night at a bar in Brampton while on one of my benders. When I got home that night (or early morning) I decided to look her up in the white pages and gave her a drunken call at 3am in the morning. Surprisingly she answered. The conversation was brief, but I informed her she had a secret admirer. I left it at that.

I seemed to continue on with these intoxicated phone calls every time I was inebriated. Her curiosity was growing more with each call, but her patience was wearing thin as well. Eventually I mustered up the courage to tell her who I was, which I assumed would mark the end of our late night phone conversations. Much to my surprise she was still very flattered now that the cat was out of the bag.

We made plans to meet up a few days later and the rest was history. I now had a new girlfriend. Valentine's was just around the corner, and since I was never a fan of the holiday I decided not to get her a gift. The relationship was also very new so I assumed it was too early for gifts. Needless to say I felt like a complete asshole when Jenny showed up at my place with an extensive gift basket full of my favourite candies and even a carton of John Players Special cigarettes, which I had started smoking after Jay passed away. JPS were now known as "Jay Poole Specials" in my world and I started smoking them to honour my fallen brother. Every time I looked at that pack my thoughts were with him. 

It was quite obvious that I had landed a very thoughtful woman and I couldn't of been happier, especially after Tara turned her back on me in my darkest hours when I really needed a friend. Jen's generosities didn't stop there either, she was constantly doing nice things for me, picking up thoughtful gifts, and carting me around in her car to visit friends and partake in social activities & outings. I had even met her family, she had met mine, and it wasn't long before I was sitting down with hers for Sunday dinners. 

I had fully emerged from my dark place now. Between making new music with Paul and having someone to love in my life, my internal light was shining very bright. 1996 had started off as the worst year of my life to date, but I planned on grabbing it by the horns, owning it, and making it one of the best...

Monday, 3 October 2016


1996 was off to a terrible start to say the least. Wiggaz had broken up, our circle of friends was divided, and Jay Poole had passed away a mere 5 or 6 days after my 23rd birthday. I couldn't seem to get myself together, as all I was doing was drinking myself into oblivion. I always felt the need to get out and do something to clear my mind, unfortunately that "something" generally led to bars, strip joints, and excessive amounts of alcohol. On top of that I had found myself in a few fights since Jay's passing and that certainly wasn't helping release the pain I had deep inside. 

I was still hanging out with Scott & Pino quite frequently as I couldn't just sit at home. Unfortunately I was drinking a lot in their company as well, but they were great friends and I needed that during these hard times. Just when it seemed like my dark path of depression was leading me deeper and deeper into a void of negativity, there was still one positive in my life to bring me back to the I hadn't finished my song I started writing the day I found out about Jay, so it was now time to put pen back to paper.

Another very important ingredient to getting myself grounded again was my bandmate Pauly. Paul had recently upgraded from drum machine to an AKI sampler. Not only could we now sample beats, but we could essentially sample any sound from anything we wanted. This was going to elevate Black Belt Jones to the next level. Pauly started coming over religiously every Monday, and we would watch the newest WWF wrestling program "RAW IS WAR". After Raw we would head into my bedroom and work on music. This literally became my saving grace and it was the one thing I looked forward to most each week. 

I had kind of stopped watching wrestling around the time I graduated in 1991, I was still a casual viewer, but this new RAW show was ushering in what would come to be known as "the attitude era". It was actually unpredictable for once, had cliffhanger endings, and you really never knew what was going to happen each week. It was great to see a resurgence with unlimited potential.

It was also amazing putting my head together with Paul's each week and seeing what we could come up with. Once we composed what would be the "Jay Poole song" I was stoked to finally lay these lyrics down and pay tribute to my fallen brother. It was by far the most emotional moment in the history of my involvement with music. I literally had to fight back the tears throughout the whole recording, and you can literally hear the misery and heartbreak in my voice. On a positive note though, it really gave me the closure I needed and steered me towards the light. 

Pauly and I stared banging ideas out like mad and it wasn't long before we had quite a few new songs put together. Our next step in the plan was to work on recording a new release and to continue playing live gigs so we could showcase our new sounds and our new songs. Despite the fact he was still in the band with us, I really hadn't seen much of Mike C. since we had moved out of the Slayer house. I truly hoped the collaborations Paul and I were creating would garnish his approval, and I had faith that they would. After all we were coming up with some killer stuff, and Mike was definitely one of the easiest going, most laid back guys I had ever met. 

I'm not sure if Pauly realizes how important he was to me in these times, but I truly saw him as a savior. He's forever held a place in my heart, and to this present day I would still drop everything in a flash to answer his call or help him with anything. He was a true homie, a true brother, and a true best friend, and I shall cherish that until the end of time. 

Changes were occurring and they were all for the betterment of my life. I had cut my drinking down drastically, now limiting myself to only partaking on weekends. Musically the creative juices were flowing at an all time high. I was also making time to get out more and catch up with many of the friends I hadn't seen since moving home. I had seen the light, and followed it until I emerged from the dark tunnel of depression. 

Things were looking up...

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Blackest Christmas

It had been a rough fall/winter to say the least. For the last month or two that we lived in the Slayer house we actually had no phone, which meant I couldn't contact any friends and they couldn't contact me, with the exception of showing up at my door. 

Once I moved into my parent's basement I had a phone line again, so naturally I was reaching out to friends to make time to hang out, with the exception of my former roomies. Well, I was still in contact with Mike C after all we were still in the same band together. 

Speaking of bands, Wiggaz was now no more. Greg or Rob had called me at my parents to inform me that I was no longer in the band. They had decided to ask Mike Myres, the original Wiggaz vocalist, to rejoin them again. Mike had left Wiggaz & BBJ to focus on his marriage and career. I pleaded that this was a big mistake as Mike wouldn't do it, but my pleas went unheard. Sure enough Mike turned them down and within a week Wiggaz was no more. I really had no contempt for Frank the drummer as he seemed to have no say in this, but I was definitely feeling betrayed by Greg & Rob. Needless to say I didn't go out of my way to continue friendships with them. 

I spent a lot of nights at Hooterville station drinking myself into abysmal darkness. Once the bar closed I'd generally head home and stay up watching tv until sunrise while making drunken prank calls. I was slowly sinking deeper into my dark place but now that I could talk to my friends again things were brightening up. 

A few days before Christmas I got a phone call from none other than Jay Poole. I was so relieved to hear his voice again and to know he was still alive. Jay was in very high spirits, he had beaten his leukemia once again and grasped a new lease on life. He was his old self, high energy, full of jokes, and he was overly excited to share some new Mortal Kombat cheat codes with me. We talked on the phone for a good hour or so and in all honesty it was the best Christmas present I received that year... or possibly ever.

3 weeks later we were half way into January of 1996 and I had just celebrated my 23rd birthday. The following night I was back in Woodbridge working my job at the gas station. It was a typically slow midnight shift as per usual, but business was about to pick up. 

I saw a very familiar vehicle pull up to the first pump, a tracker jeep that belonged to none other than my ex girlfriend Tara. I had no idea why she was here or what I was in for, but I assumed it would be negativity. I was expecting her to walk in and start fighting with me right away, but she had a very worried look on her face. She proceeded to tell me Sanjai had called her because he couldn't get in contact with me. The message he passed along to her was that Jay Poole only had about 4 days left to live. His leukemia had come back tenfold and the doctors had confirmed this was the end of the road for him.

Tara split pretty quick after delivering the news and my brain instantly went into overdrive. I was flooded with all the memories I'd ever shared with him. It was so much to process in such a short time that I felt my mind was about to blow out of my ears. I just couldn't deal with the news. I was so confused and overwhelmed that I actually locked up the gas station and started walking from Woodbridge to Brampton. I got a few blocks before my logical side kicked back in. I couldn't just abandon work and leave Shayne's mom in that predicament. I headed back to work and finished the duration of my shift, as extremely difficult as it was.

To deal with my feelings I did what I do best, write. I immediately started writing a song about Jay to try and cope with the bomb that had just been dropped on me. I only wrote one verse which was hard enough, I wouldn't go on to finish the song until after his passing. 

When I got home I could not fall asleep, I could not stop crying, and I could not stop thinking about Jay. I really had no way to go see him, so I humbled myself and contacted Tara and thankfully she agreed to bring me to see him. 

It was definitely one of the hardest things I've ever done in my life. Walking in his hospital room and seeing him hooked up to tubes and machines, his face and body swollen almost beyond recognition. He looked very tired and he could not even speak. He shook his head side to side as to say "no I don't want you to see me like this". I stood at the side of the bed and held his hand, we stared into each other's eyes, and although we exchanged no words our gaze upon each other spoke volumes. It was as if I could hear his thoughts and he could hear mine. 

I stayed strong, said my goodbyes, and we were on our way back home. One of R.E.M.'s hit songs was on the radio, "Everybody hurts". I never liked the band, I never liked the song, and I never saw any importance or significance to it, but at this moment it forced me to break down like a child and ball my eyes out. To this day 20 years later it still pains me greatly when I hear that song. 

As hard as the experience was, I felt it would of been harder for me to deal if I didn't get to see him and say my goodbyes. A week later Tara was once again nice enough to drive Sanjai and I to Jay's funeral in Milton. It was a tough day no doubt, and afterwards we were invited to a local bar to share stories with his friends and family. Although we were there it was as if I wasn't there. Physically my body was, but mentally my brain was not. 

After the whole ordeal I was feeling very upset and I was now in the darkest spot of my darkness. I felt like if I was left alone I might do something drastically stupid, so I begged Tara to hang out with me for a few hours, to which she declined. If I ever needed her this was the time, but she chose to turn her back and walk away. This ended up leading to an argument, and in turn it was the last time I ever spoke to her. 

I continued my downward spiral of drinking, depression and negativity. I felt like I was in a black tunnel who's walls were slowly closing in on me. 

There HAD to be a light at the end of the tunnel....

Friday, 9 September 2016

A Slayer House Divided

Although things were going great for both of my bands respectively, things weren't so great on the home front. After both my girlfriend and Shayne's girlfriend had went their separate ways things had slowly been falling apart around the house. No one was cleaning or taking charge of any responsibilities with the exception of Noel, the treasurer whom we'd give our money to each month so he could manage the bills and rent.

Speaking of managing, Noel was looking to get into the music business and Wiggaz was now the first official band he managed. Our Malton bredren Dirge were soon added to the roster and Noel had taken his first few baby steps into a new life, one more glorious than working midnight shifts in a factory. Owen had completed the Wiggaz music video and we were all super stoked. It turned out amazing despite the fact all the footage was filmed for the song "Carnivore" and we ended up switching the music to the song "Seed" at the zero hour. Thankfully everything still worked visual wise and nobody was the wiser.  

Back on the home front, tensions were ever growing. Our kitchen counter was being over run by dirty dishes and no one was stepping up to the plates, pun intended. I literally made a conscious decision to eat take out for one month straight without so much as soiling a single piece of cutlery. Eventually Shayne confronted me one day claiming it was my turn to wash the dishes. Nobody had done them in months, and I told him I hadn't even used one dish in the past month. This escalated to an angered debate that resulted in the dirty dish pile continuing to grow.

As much love as I had for my BBJ bro Mike C, even he was getting under my skin. Mike had a knack to take the last of whatever you had in the fridge. I was all up for sharing, but Mike seemed to indulge himself at the inconvenience of others. He'd take your last two pieces of bread to make a sandwich, he'd drink your last beer, etc. Needless to say he'd rubbed all of us the wrong way more than once. His drinking was still quite extreme and he seemed to black out more often than ever. One night he passed out cooking burgers in a frying pan which resulted in a grease fire that threatened all of our lives. Thankfully Shayne and his quick yet reckless thinking were there to save the day as the rest of us stood around like deer in headlights.

I too was under scrutiny, my cat had kittens she had abandoned and I was so involved in my own life I didn't realize they were being neglected. I assumed putting water and cat food out for them was good enough, but they were so young they needed to be bottle fed milk, an undertaking that Shayne met graciously while resenting me for my lack of responsibility. 

The Slayer House had now become a boiling pot that was ready to blow it's lid off. Everyone of us were rubbing the others the wrong way in one form or another. On top of that stress my good friend Jay Poole had fallen into remission. His leukemia had come back to haunt him once again and I hadn't seen nor heard from him in weeks. Sanjai gave me any updates he could but he was somewhat in the dark too.

As all good things must come to and end, so did our lease. We all went our separate ways, and with the exception of Mike C I barely saw the other guys. Of course I'd still see Noel when Wiggaz played, but I literally didn't see or talk to Shayne for a year. That was tough, here was a guy I considered my best friend and somewhat of a mentor, and now he chose not to be apart of my life. 

I ended up moving back to my parents house as they had a basement appartment available. My folks would let me stay there to save money up for my next move. Our whole circle of friends seemed to be divided now. I was spending most of my time with Scott & Pino now as I still needed friends and a social life, and I was highly thankful those guys were there for me during this dark period of my life. We'd generally party at Pino's place and usually head out to the same local bars & hot spots each week. 

Inside I was hurting bad, my best friend didn't care to have me in his life, the tension with Mike had carried over a bit into Black Belt Jones, I still needed to find a new place to live, and to top it all off I still hadn't heard from Jay Poole. I feared the worst and for all I knew he could have been dead. It didn't help I was still working midnights for Shayne's mother which just added to my depression. I turned to alcohol as an escape and it seemed I was drinking away the pain every night. I felt it was the only way to escape my dark mind and thoughts, and the only way to get some sleep, which was always short lived at best each night. Alcohol is a depressant though and that led to a lot of mischief and acts of stupidity on my part. Months passed and my drinking and depression deepened. 

As Christmas approached  I desperately hoped that 1996 would bring a new light and a new hope with it...

Monday, 22 August 2016

Video Shoots 101

As one of the most memorable summers of my life was creeping towards it's end, that didn't mean the epic-ness would end with it. Wiggaz continued to play any and every show we could get and we carried forth with the peddling of our new demo tape. We were receiving a lot of great feedback which was reassuring, and we'd made a lot of new friends that summer, some in bands, some not. The same went for Black Belt Jones, we were performing whenever the opportunity presented itself, we were still moving units of our first demo tape, and we too had made a lot of new connections in the music world. 

Wiggaz had also finally started filming our music video with Owen Roberts. We headed out to the same area as the infamous barn bash to film some basic stuff; us walking through fields, burnt out barns, tossing a ball around etc. all while I swigged on my 32 oz bottle of Schlitz malt liquor from a brown paper bag. We eventually headed north towards Caledon so we could get a shot of us by the street sign for Oldschool Road. While in the vicinity we also captured some random tractors and incorporated Knuckles and his legendary white van into the shoot, with our new manager and longtime friend Noel riding shotgun.

A week or two later the culmination of the filming was now upon us, as we were scheduled to shoot more footage for our music video at a pool party. Our good friends Gary & Sue were hospitable enough to host an afternoon hootenanny at their house, well their backyard specifically. I had slept at Pauly's the previous night, and as hungover as we were, we managed to get our asses in gear to arrive for noon or 1 I believe. The boys had already set the gear up in the backyard, Owen was there with his trusted cam, and surprisingly there was already an abundance of party goers.

Gary & Sue had a pool, which ended up being the "mosh pit" for the video shoot. I honestly can't remember if that was a premeditated idea or if someone came up with it on the fly, but it was brilliant. One by one the boys all jumped in the pool and began a pit in the shallow end. All of our old friends were there, as well as our new pals from Viciousphere, Tire Kickers, and Knuckles crew "The Chutzpah Posse".

We were all feeding off of each other's ideas, which just kept the creative juices flowing. Someone would throw out a suggestion, we'd agree and roll with it. Asides from the moshing, we shot some people diving, friend's tattoos, people busting skateboard tricks into the pool, whatever came to mind. Owen had an idea for me to crowd surf on a group of guys who would then launch me high in the air to perform some of the most metal dives & cannonballs in aquatic sports history. Others followed suit and the camera kept rolling. It was quite hilarious and gratifying to be splashing around in jam shorts and a devil mask to be perfectly honest.

Pooh from EBS had come with his brother Knuckles, which was an honour to me. I knew Pooh had a sick little trick where he could make his shoulder blade pop out, so I insisted Owen film it. Any and every random idea proposed was documented. It was one of the best times I'd ever had at a party, and amazingly I was sober the whole while.

Once dusk hit most of the people had returned home for dinner and whatever plans they had for the evening. We stuck around to film some additional footage of us performing "live" on our instruments, which was an acoustic/lip sync scenario, that was very odd and foreign to me even though I'd done it in Grasshopper for some college kids school project, after all how does one fake it when one is so real? Regardless of that, we got the footage we needed and the day was a wrap. We'd performed earlier in the day while filming the pool pit scenes but I can't remember if we actually played live or played along to a recording. 

It had been one of the funnest and most memorable days of my life, and we were one step closer to completing our video...

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

UPDATE: 07/18/2016

Greetings readers, it's been awhile since I posted a general current update so I figured I'd fill you in on what's been going on with me. I've been trying to post at least twice a month in the ongoing story of Heavy Ghetto, and that has been a bit difficult to keep afloat. It really doesn't take me that long to write my posts, generally 30 minutes to an hour, but even that small window of time is hard to get my hands on frequently. Now with school being done for the summer I'll be spending a lot of my time with my son, but I shall still try to post twice a month if possible. Speaking of which, I'm proud to announce my little man passed with flying colors and he is off to grade 4 in the fall. 

As far as myself, I've been keeping busy with work while still taking the time to maintain my personal relationships with friends, family, and loved ones. On the musical front I've been scrambling to get my latest two full length albums complete and available to the public. Both releases "Theokoles" & "If You Want C.H.U.D." Are literally each a song or two away from completion. I was hoping to release one in April, but conflicting schedules with some of my collaborators are throwing monkey wrenches in the plans. If all pans out as I'm hoping, then both albums will drop before the end of the summer.

I'm pretty happy with the progress of both projects. Theokoles continues on where my last album left off, and once again I'm happy with my progression both musically and lyrically. I am an old-school guy and stuck in my ways, yet I always strive to grow a little and think outside of the box. I feel that definitely has shined through on my past few releases and the trend continues.

C.H.U.D. has been a tremendous amount of fun to work on, as I'm returning to my rap metal roots of the early 90s. This album will feature some material reminiscent to my old bands Wiggaz and Grift, some straight up trash and hardcore songs with no rapping whatsoever, and some heavy rap tracks that incorporate samples from classic metal songs. I'm even throwing in a few cover tunes that have always been inspiring to me. It's been a slice this far.

Looking towards the future, I've recently acquired some songs produced by DJ Moves, a Canadian cat who cut his teeth performing in such acts as Hip Club Groove, Len, and most recently Drunken Arseholes. I'm pretty excited to work with Moves two decades after our bands rocked shows together and its going to be interesting to see what kind of writing his music pulls out of me. You can expect a five song EP to drop this winter entitled "East Coast Alumni" and you of course know this is the only place to get the updates on that, unless you are a friend or follower of mine on other social media.

Well that about wraps it up for now. I'd like to wish everyone a happy and safe summer in advanced, and I shall return to you soon with more in the ongoing saga of Kabal...

Friday, 17 June 2016

I Am Elvis...

The summer of 1995 was off with a huge bang, and it was quite possibly one of the most memorable summers of my life. Wiggaz had been playing lots of live shows, we had a new jam space, new songs, and we had made a lot of new friends. Black Belt Jones were also performing frequently, we were still riding the wave of our second demo we had released earlier in the year, and we too had been making new friends and new connections.

The next event that transpired came out of left field. Wiggaz were set to record a second demo. If I remember correctly it was Frank who acquired a place for us to record through a friend of his. Essentially it was an empty office space that was quite large and located in the Rexdale area. We brought in none other than Steve Donohoe to be our sound engineer, and with him was his trusted 8 track recorder.

The first day of recording was fairly unexciting, as it consisted of the usual primary steps. Getting the drums set up with various microphones in their proper places which was followed by an hour or two of single hits on each drum piece as Steve fine tuned them into the mix. After that long but necessary task, the next step was getting the guitar and bass amps set up, once again setting microphones up and having Greg and Rob strum along until Steve had everything sounding the way he wanted it. We only had a weekend to get this demo complete, and the first day was practically spent on achieving the sound we wanted.

Day two would consist of the guys playing every song while Steve recorded, which generally took a few takes per song as we wanted everything to be perfect with no mistakes. The space we were recording in had an upstairs area, where I spent a lot of time just laying on the floor staring at the ceiling listening to the sweet sounds my band members were pumping out. It got a bit boring at times, but thankfully there was a strip joint within walking distance, which served its purpose well when it came to battling boredom.

After a very long Saturday of recording music, all of the songs were finally done. We had re-recorded new versions of a few songs from the original demo including: Carnivore, Death Metal Mama, Spray Cans, and Toad Loads. We also had quite a few new songs we had written in the past year; These Shoes, Wiggaz, R.C., Seed, and Field Party, which was our newest song complete with lyrics inspired by numerous outdoor parties I had attended over the years including Woodstock 91' and the infamous Barn Bash, both of which have been mentioned in this blog if you are keeping up with things.

When it came time to hit the vocal booth I was pretty hopped up from a days worth of beer drinking and whatever other recreational activities I had been partaking in. After we got a few songs done my throat was getting a bit sore, which in turn was affecting the sound of my vocals. Greg rushed out to the store and quickly returned with a package of extra strong halls, fisherman's friends, and a bottle of Buckley's cough syrup. The trifecta combo worked wonders  and my vocalizer was back in full function. I didn't know it that day, but the Buckley's would become a staple for me in future recordings. Most people can't handle a spoonful of it, but I've developed a taste for it over the years of recording which has enabled me to drink it straight from the bottle as if it was water.

After a sweaty, beer, metal, and stripper fueled weekend, our new demo was now complete. The only thing missing was a title for said demo. It felt like we were toiling with title ideas for weeks, although in reality it was probably only days....perhaps even hours. Nobody seemed to be coming up with any ideas, when from out of left field our drummer Frank proclaimed "I've got the title! I am Elvis, I died for your sins!" We all laughed in hysterics at his suggestion before unanimously deciding it was a keeper.

It was so irrelevant and odd, which is why I feel we liked it so much. I had never been a fan of Elvis by any means, but the thought of myself in an Elvis suit with the devil mask amused my mind to no end. We had now paid for hundreds of tapes to be manufactured and we had been selling them, even though they were absent of a cover and title. Once the title was finally agreed upon, I got into the drawing, cutting and pasting, and arranging of our new cover. A homemade DIY job which was standard in the pre-computer days. I combined images from comic books and my own illustrations to complete the final product. I was quite cheesy, which I felt was very suiting given the nature of our band and our music. 

Now that this order of business was done, we had another to return to,
completing our music video...

Monday, 6 June 2016

The Rumblefish Connection

One crucial step in the evolution of Wiggaz A.D. was acquiring an actual legit jamspot, and we did so through Rumblefish Studios in the Rexdale area. It was pretty exciting to have our own space, as we could now jam whenever we wanted pretty much, with the exception of after hours once the studio was closed.

We had been playing the same handful of original Wiggaz material since 1994, so it was refreshing to now have the means for writing new songs at our own leisure, and write we did. By early summer we had enough new material to start a new demo if we redid a few of the old songs too, with yours truly supplying the vocals this time around.

It was through Rumblefish that we met a few other bands who would essentially be supporting acts in the days to come. The studio was literally a square hallway with doors on both sides of the halls, each door containing a jam space. We met with the owner Dave Carravaggio in his office, which was quite slick and filled with recording equipment. I assumed this would be the next place we recorded, although my assumption would later turn out to be incorrect. Dave seemed like a straight shooter, he was very calm and soft spoken but it was clear he was no pushover.

Rumblefish didn't have much to offer besides a place to practice and a pop machine, but there was a McDonalds within spitting distance if you were hungry. Across the street there was also a strip joint, where we ended up after jams here and there for a relaxing beer or two. 

Asides from the boys in Viciousphere, I didn't really know anyone else in the building. After practice we'd usually head to their room for some smokes and convo... and to watch them jam it out. From what I remember they had the biggest jam space in the building. There was plenty of room for the gear, not to mention enough room for us Wiggaz to pull up some chairs and enjoy the show. The V boys were always chill, friendly, and their generosity extended for miles and miles.

It wasn't long before we made some new friends at "The Fish" through the universal power of music. There was Dirge, a crossover hardcore outfit from the Malton area. They were a straight edge band, but these guys weren't dead serious militants. In fact they were generally a bunch of practical jokers with great attitudes. Their singer Fudd, had one of the biggest voices I had ever heard from a man with such small stature. It was highly impressive.

Next up there was Fence, four young men from the Woodbridge area, all of Italian descent I believe, except their bassist Marshall who was Indian. When I first met them I believe 3/4 of the band were rocking their hair in braids, ala "Korn" who were a "nu metal" band that had recently blown up in the past year. Fence were also on a rap/metal tip, but they delivered their product much differently than us. They were mostly groove oriented, and groove they did. Their songs would get your head bobbing even if you'd never heard them before.

Last but not least, was Fractured. Another crew of young men from the Rexdale area, and they too were somewhat on the same tip as Fence, but they definitely had their own sound and flavour. Their singer Jim was Greek, so naturally him and I hit it off right from the start.

It was a very exciting time, each group frequently dropping in on one another to see what was going on musically. We were each other's biggest fans and supporters, and it was always a treat when any of us got a sneak preview of new material. We all fed off of each other which put us in highly creative states, thus enabling some extra kick ass song writing.

As the weeks passed we met new bands, and new friends through all the different circles in Rumblefish. Any Brampton bands that practiced there were generally people Greg knew from working at musicplex. Through Fence, Dirge, and Fractured, we met more people and more bands including Dr.Liquid. They were on their own page musically with a female vocalist named Rosina, and they definitely had their own unique sound. It wasn't long before Rose set a gig up in Woodbridge for us all to play.

Over the course of the summer we were playing any gigs we could get, usually with the above mentioned bands in the mix. It was a great support system, anytime one of us booked a gig we would make sure to include the others on the bill. In a short course of time we had built a strong family circle that was steamrolling forward with momentum, each scratching the others backs. 

Eventually we ended up looking into recording our demo at Rumblefish, but it just wasn't in our budget unfortunately. We already had to pay a monthly fee for the room, but combined we just didn't have the cash to afford the recording session we needed. Just when it seemed like we weren't going to produce a new demo, an opportunity fell in our laps...

Friday, 27 May 2016

Trailer Park Hip Hop

Black Belt Jones had quit a few gigs under our belts, but we were generally playing with Wiggaz or other bands that catered to the heavy music crowd. As far as Brampton went the only other "rap groups" I knew of were "Endangered Elements" and "Team Scam". 

Elements consisted of two members I believe, but the only one I ever met was Kevin McG who lived on Paul's street. He was white, quiet, and fairly reserved. I belive I only ever got to hear one of their songs, but he did join us for our end of the set freestyle session at the Ivy Bridge. 

Team Scam consisted of two of the best skaters to ever shred the streets of Brampton, Navi Singh & Sheldon Street. Back in the 3 n' Pass days we had them open for us at Tremors in Brampton, but since then they had sort of disappeared. To be honest I didn't even know if they were still making music. 

It was tough trying to win over these metal crowds at shows as most of them were there for just that....metal. People were more open minded now to rap even though many of those people despised rap 5-10 years prior. A lot of guys who liked metal and hardcore seemed to appreciate rap, and perhaps it's because they saw and felt the same parallels between the two that I did. It was always a great feeling to see some longhairs flailing around the dance floor while we played, many whom were friends of ours. I couldn't help but wonder if they actually liked our music or if they were just being courteous as it was the friendly thing to do.

Finally the call came we were waiting for, a new rap group to perform with. "The King" Willie New got in touch with us to see if we'd be interested in playing a gig with a rap group from the east coast of Halifax, and naturally we agreed. It was a breath of fresh air to know other kids across Canada were also making rap music. The group in question was called "Hip Club Groove" and us Black Belt boys were highly anticipating the show so we could see what they were all about.

The day of the show finally arrived and we headed down to The Elmo with our gear. We met up with the Hip Club guys and they were super cool. We chilled in the "backstage" kitchen area and enjoyed a few drinks and puffs while getting acquainted. When show time rolled around we finally got to see them hone their craft, and they did it well. HCG consisted of three members; Mackenzie, ChekLove & DJ Moves. Right from the get go I really enjoyed their energy. Both MCs had skills, stage presence, and great voices. 

Mackenzie always reminded me of MCA from the Beasties. He did not sound like him, but had somewhat of a similar look and personality. ChekLove was of smaller stature but he was larger than life. With his long braids, flashy style, and in your face voice, he demanded your attention while on stage. I didn't know what to make of Moves at first, he was very quiet and hard to get a read on. I assumed he was just a quiet guy, or perhaps shy, but in the end I saw him as a white Terminator X, a man who only "speaks with his hands" through the turntables.

Their set was killer, and all us BBJ boys really enjoyed it. Once again it was just refreshing to see someone else on the same page. We did our usual set then busted into the open mic freestyle jam at the end of our set as we always did. Mackenzie & ChekLove came up to join us and the mics were set ablaze. After the gig it was all good and all love. We had made some new friends, and we let them know that we'd take care of anything they needed during their visit.

Sure enough we got the call that weekend. Hip Club were performing in a record store inside a shopping mall, I can't remember where but I think it was the Woodbine centre. They had no idea where or what it was. Pauly gave them the 411, directions etc. and told them we'd be there. Before long we were in the car and on our way there. We met the guys outside the mall and partook in some herbal activities. From there we headed in to watch their performance, and I was honoured and humbled when the guys asked me to come up and spit some frees with them. These boys were a class act.

We were sad to see them go when the time came, but we knew we'd cherish these memories. Demo tape and cd exchanges went down before the dreaded goodbyes. I honestly didn't know if we'd ever see them or get to play with them again. 

The next time I saw Mackenzie was a year or two later. I randomly bumped into him on the streets of Toronto and he informed me himself and Moves were now apart of a band called "Len" who were getting pretty good exposure. It was cool seeing these guys on tv and getting some recognition that they rightfully deserved. 

I never knew what became of ChekLove until almost a decade later when I watched the tv show Trailer Park Boys for the first time. I was stoked to see him on a tv show as one half of the now infamous "Cory & Trevor". Since then, he's gone on to do choreography, directing and creating independent films of his own.

If you ever by some chance happen to see any Hip Club Groove CDs in the bins at your local record stores I suggest you snatch that shit up, as they are truly an important piece of Canadian hip hop history. 

Friday, 20 May 2016

Barn Bashing 101

Somewhere along the road Greg had hooked up with a Brampton band named "Viciousphere" they were somewhat reminiscent to older Metallica, and they did their thing quite well. They had turned Greg onto a rehearsal space in the Rexdale area called Rumblefish Studios, so we were now looking into possible renting a unit there. The boys in Viciousphere had also invited us to play a big barn bash in Brampton, and of course we said yes. I don't remember much leading up to it, but the day of the party arrived and we were stoked to say the least.

I really didn't know what to expect, but when we arrived it was definitely a barn. It was open on one side and boasted a natural earth floor. There was actually a legit stage in the barn which was very surprising to me. I was accustomed to playing small clubs that sometimes didn't even have a stage, or if they did they were generally very small. It was nice to have some room for a change.

I don't recall much of our performance or Viciousphere's, but majority of the crowd reacted well with the exception of some close minded individuals who couldn't fathom why I was decked out in a costume and rapping over metal. All in all though the vibes were very positive, and we received props from many people, all while meeting new folks and making new friends.

Owen was to start shooting for our music video that night, and for the life of me I can't even remember if he showed up. Part of me feels like he didn't as there is no footage from this night in our music video. Perhaps he was there but the footage was unusable? I honestly can't remember. 

Pooh's brother Steve "Knuckles" Donohoe was there, I can't remember if he worked the soundboard or not, but he had brought his crew with him and it was a pleasure to meet this motley bunch. Much like our circle of friends they all had nicknames such as; Scurvy, Bri the guy, Krustull, The Goat, Kid Ibanez, and Flint Rock. Flint aka Melroy was a brown guy and a thrasher, which was strange to me as I had grown up with a lot of brown folk in Brampton but had never met one who was into metal. Flint for one reason or another fed my some psilocybin and I knew the night would just get crazier from this point on.

Crazy may have been an understatement, as things were absolutely wild. There was a giant pile of wooden warehouse skids that were used as firewood. Needless to say the fire was of epic proportions and some of the nut bars decided to start jumping over it, an impressive feat no doubt due to the height and width of the fire, but clearly not the smartest decision on their parts. You can only tempt fate for so long, and eventually someone ended up falling backwards into the fire after a failed jump attempt.

This was definitely the social event of the summer. Great bands, great people, and pretty much zero drama. We eventually rolled out in the wee hours of the morning and as per usual I invited a bunch of people back to the Slayer house. We drank and smoked while revising the events of the evening, but our roommate Noel and a few other friends were suspiciously AWOL. We had all left at the same time yet their cab never arrived at our house which was starting to worry us all.

I can't remember if Noel called or showed up the next day, but their night had taken a turn for the worst. A conflict had arisen due to a debate on a flare rate fare if I remember correctly. Our pal Mark Fantini got into it with the driver as well, who was now trying to kick them out of the cab while calling for backup. Before long they were surrounded by cab drivers wielding crowbars and lord knows at else. Mark had a small cooler that he swung in circles by the handle to keep the mad cabbies at bay. I honestly don't remember how things resolved themselves, but I believe the boys ended up in the drunk tank facing possible assault charges. 

Talk about a sour ending to what had been the sweetest of days...

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Last train to Hooterville

Now that we weren't going to the bars in Toronto as much, we had to resort to the handful of lame bars in Brampton. There wasn't really much at the time, with the exception of Hooterville Station, which was generally inhabited by the college prep/jock type crowd. The place was always packed and we always stuck out like a sore thumb, which generally resulted in us getting kicked out when some pretty boy started shit with us. They did have their own alternative night on Wednesdays, and it was generally the one night of the week the bar wasn't packed. There'd maybe be 40-50 people, but they were at least the type of people I related to and associated with.

A lot of the times when I was going out in Brampton, it was with my newer friend Scott, who I'd met through Shayne when we lived on Homer square. Scott was a typical jock in his high school days, he played football and rugby like most did, but he didn't have the typical jock mentality. He was an open minded guy that had great taste in music and movies. It was through Scott I made another new friend, his name was John McQuaid. Scott had brought John by the Slayer House a few times and we hit it off great. John was also a jock, but there was something honest and real about him. Scott had dubbed him "Pino" because despite his Scottish descent, he looked and somewhat carried himself like an Italian. I generally loathed jocks and wanted no part of them, but these guys were different. I didn't know it at the time, but these two dudes would go on to be my closest friends before the year was through.

For the amount of activity that was happening with Wiggaz, we still didn't have an official jam space. The demo was recorded in the basement at Greg's house, and although we'd have the odd jam there it wasn't a regular happening. We were still playing shows when we could, which kept us from rusting up, but we were going to need a legit rehearsal space if we wanted to grow as a band. In the meantime, Greg's parent's basement and club stages would have to do. 

Black Belt Jones was still playing shows as well, honing our first batch of songs we released on our demo tape. It was the same usual stages mind you, either the El Mocambo or the Ivy Bridge in Brampton. It wasn't much but we were happy to be getting out there and spreading our sound to the masses. Mike and I no longer had our radio show at CHRY, but that didn't stop us from sending them our demo. During pledge week I made the highest pledge possible and in return received a sweet CHRY hockey jersey. I felt the need to support this station, as they were playing our demo and they'd always plug our shows for us. 

As the summer approached, both Wiggaz and Black Belt Jones were rolling with momentum, and nothing could stand in our way. We were looking forward to playing as much as we could and taking any and every opportunity that presented themselves. It wasn't long before some unique offers landed on the table. There was going to be a HUGE barn party in the south end of Brampton, and Wiggaz were invited to play. William New who was still running the El Mo reached out to Black Belt Jones in regards to playing a show with an up and coming rap act out of Halifax called "Hip Club Groove" and we graciously accepted.

Although my relationship with Tara had recently ended, this was indeed going to be a "Summer of love"...

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

The Wild Ones

The weekend ritual of bar hopping in Toronto had most certainly caused some strain on mine & Tara's relationship, and like the old saying goes "All good things must come to an end". We had been together roughly two years through good times and bad times. Our bond was toxic at times, generally when alcohol came into play. Regardless, our household was down from six to four people now, which meant another increase in rent for us.

One fateful night she showed up drunk to collect whatever belongings she had left at the house. Her and Shayne got into an altercation and she started throwing a barrage of full blown fisticuffs to his face and head. Not one to hit a woman, he opted to go in the garage and proceeded to throw a spare tire through the windshield of her jeep. Tara ran to the neighbours, phone calls were made, and in the blink of an eye the boys in blue showed up and hauled Shayne off to the drunk tank for the night. To this day I'm still dumbfounded how someone who was intoxicated, driving at that, assaulting people, and essentially breaking and entering, got to walk free while Shayne spent the night at the iron bar hotel. 

Speaking of alcohol, Mike C. was partaking from time to time, but generally to the extreme. Over the past 3-4 months I had literally seen Mike blacked out, passed out drunk, yet still standing. It seemed like every time we went drinking now it ended up with Mike asleep on his feet. This also caused him to become a different person, one who was more belligerent towards the people he cared about. One night in particular it sounded like someone was trying to kick the door down at about 3 a.m. I could see it was Michael through the window, so I unlocked the door to let him in. As I opened the door Mike fell right to the ground, the door was the only thing that had been holding him up. As I started helping him up I noticed he had some visible wear and tear on his face. I asked him what happened and he told me John McCuish had done this to him.

I couldn't understand what was happening. These guys were close friends, band mates, and fellow Scottsman. I helped Mike up to his bed and by the time we got there he collapsed into the mattress and immediately threw up between the wall and the bed. I was worried Mike might be concussed so I kept an eye on him, but I also called John in the middle of the night and started freaking out on him. John was super irate and explained everything that had happened between them that night. As it turned out Mike got into one of his belligerent black outs and had caused the whole debacle. A man can only be pushed so far before he snaps, and Mike had clearly pushed John passed the point of no return.

I really hoped Mike would see this as a wake up call now and perhaps slow down a bit on the sauce, and indeed he did. There was no bad blood between these two and they remained "brothers" for many years to come. 


I can't recall exactly how, but an old friend resurfaced around this time. It was none other than Indy filmmaker Owen Roberts, the man who was responsible for giving us the Epileptic Brain Surgeons music video for "Cows". I suspect Mike C. was instrumental in Owen resurfacing, as Mike still worked with Owen's audio engineer Stuart. It was cool having Owen back on the scene again 4 years later. He was the same old guy, but now sporting a half sleeve tattoo of an old ghetto scene. We sat around the kitchen table drinking, smoking, and reminiscing. 

As the conversation unfolded we eventually stumbled onto the topic of film making. Owen was still very much wielding his trusted camera, and he was looking for a new project. I do not remember specifics of the who what when wheres and whys, but by the end of the night it was official: Owen was going to shoot a video for Wiggaz...

Friday, 1 April 2016

Horizontal Underground

1995 had kicked off with a real bang. Wiggaz & Black Belt Jones continued to play gigs together when we could, which was always very draining on me psychically. I never let that stop me mind you, as I always wanted to give the best of myself to our audiences, even if it was 20 people or 200. 

We were still going to clubs in the city, but it was becoming quite difficult to get into the bars downtown now after Mike C had rushed some bouncers. When one door closes another door opens, and such was the case... But two doors had opened.

There were two new clubs on Queen street in Toronto that had opened literally across the street from each other. The first one was called "Velvet Underground" and it was very reminiscent of the Boom Boom Room, minus the caged dancers and dual levels. The place did boast a pretty sweet pool table lounge as well as a mysterious old bowling alley. Musically they were playing the same stuff we would typically here at the Boom Boom, but the clientele had changed a bit. There were many more clean cut college kids filling the dance floor, but we still had some great times there.

On the other side of the road there was a small hole in the wall of a club that was strictly catering to rap, hip hop, & r&b. It was called "The Horizontal Boogie Bar" and it's no surprise that this place was right up my alley. Generally we'd go there first for drinks until the place packed up, then we'd cross the street and close out the Velvet. I personally liked the Horizontal much better, and a lot of times I chose to stay there while my posse headed across the road. 

The vibe was awesome there, great music, friendly people, cheap drinks, good looking ladies dancing, and a super nice DJ named Mike Nice, who would ALWAYS play our requests for us. I liked the club so much I even once tried to get a job there as a bus boy. The only catch to me staying behind there was I'd lose my friends at times. Generally I could prowl the club district and find them, but there was one particular time I could not. 

It was 2-3 a.m. and I had no money on me, although I did have another type of green. I decided to start flagging down cabbies, the only problem was majority of them were Indian. When I finally found a Caucasian driver I explained my situation to him and he agreed to drive me back to Brampton. I couldn't believe it. The best part was the driver didn't even really take much green from me. It had restored my faith in humanity to know there was still good people in this world who weren't just out for a buck.

On the Homefront, Shayne & Pauline had decided to part ways, so she moved out and our rent slightly increased. He was civil enough to switch bedrooms with Tara and I, so we now inhabited the master bedroom, which was soon over run with an assortment of reptiles she had been acquiring from her new job at Super Pet. Our room was starting to more so resemble a zoo than sleeping quarters. 

I was still working midnights at the gas station for Shayne's mom, generally Sunday, Monday, & Tuesday nights. The rest of the week I'd be home with the homeboys either slanging, hanging, or banging out music in the basement. We were still congregating in the kitchen quite a bit, where the ghetto blaster was usually playing "Enter The 36 Chambers" by a new hiphop super group called The Wu-Tang Clan. As much as I was digging Wu-Tang, I was slightly disturbed by the fact they were on the Kung-Fu tip just like Black Belt Jones were. Once again a group had unknowingly taken a page from the Brampton books, and I feared most people would assume we ripped off Wu-Tang, but such was not the case I can assure you that.

Mortal Kombat II had been released for Sega Genesis awhile back, so there were many countless smoke filled nights in the basement with Jay Poole, Sanjai, Mike C, Pauly, and everyone else that was on the MKII "Pro Tour" as I used to call it. We'd have tournaments all the time and the fun seemed to never end. I even had a little black book with all the fatalities I had hand written myself. Some of my most fondest memories were forged in that basement and they are still dear and close to my heart in this present time. 

BBJ were still playing the material on our demo, as it was all so fresh and new to us. Wiggaz on the other hand had a demo tape that didn't include their current vocalist, yours truly, so Greg and the boys decided it was time to write some new material and record a new demo...

Monday, 14 March 2016

Clubbing 101

When the deadly duo of Wiggaz and Black Belt Jones weren't ripping up dingy clubs together on weekends, you could usually find our crew at a number of bars in the downtown Toronto area, and we were always rolling deep.

Between the four of us guys who lived together, we had quite the posse of friends. We each had our own friends, we each had some mutual friends, and we each had made new friends through our circle of people. Our house had become the hot spot on weekends where everyone would congregate to "pre-bash" as we used to call it...meaning we would partake in some drinking before heading out to the bars, in order to save money I suppose, although I'd easily spend $50 minimum every time we went to a bar or club. 

Generally when we were going to a club in the city, we'd have a convoy of cars leaving our house simultaneously. We'd also have other friends meet us at said clubs. It wasn't uncommon for us to have a group of 20-30 people at a time on any given night, which meant a nice secure feeling of friendship, safety, and loyalty.

Our bar(s) of choice were mainly The Bovine Sex Club and The Boom Boom Room, both of which were basically in spitting distance of each other. The bovine was cool, but it's a very small club, and when packed tight wth people it could easily make one highly claustrophobic. The Boom Boom Room was definitely the club of choice. It had a cool layout, go go dancers in cages, decent music, and they always had deals on drinks. 

We generally had fun without bringing any negativity to the table, after all we were there to have a good time, not to cause trouble. But of course trouble found us from time to time, which was generally bad news for "trouble".

One night I was grooving on the dance floor with some ladies and I noticed someone kept bumping me from behind. I tried my best to ignore it as I was having a great night, until I unexpectedly went slamming down to the ground. As quickly as I hit the floor I was back on my feet facing the assailant, who ended up being much bigger than myself. I asked him what his fucking problem was and he answered by wrapping one of his oversized mitts around my neck. Not one to be intimidated easily, I latched my grasp onto his Adam's apple and began to squeeze. His friends kept looking back and for between us to see who'd give first. 

What happened next seemed like an illusion. Somehow the big guy magically lifted off his feet and levitated about a foot in the air, then he went flying backwards and slammed into a wall. Through the cigarette smoke and flashing lights I realized it was my boys who had performed this magic trick. As the giant hit the wall and fell, all of his belongings when scattering about, which my friends eagerly retrieved. The bouncer saw the whole ordeal and threw him out, then apologized to me for the inconvenience. After all we were good customers who spent a lot of money there and we never caused trouble, we just ended it. I'll never forget driving home with Gerg that night, who had just so happened to pocket the big boys pager. Greg clipped it onto the sun visor in his car as a souvenir of the nights debauchery. We had laughs for weeks as the chump kept paging himself in an attempt to find his lost belongings. 

Once the clubs let out we would all head somewhere to eat, usually a roti or shawarma place. Although I usually headed to a small Jamaican place that was a hole in the wall, but they had the best damn curry chicken in the city. We'd generally see some ruckus in our journeys too considering there were so many clubs in that area which catered to different crowds. It wasn't uncommon to see fights in the street after the bars let out.

After months of hitting up the Boom Boom, there was an incident that put the kibosh on our fun. Mike C had gone to eat, or check out another club perhaps, and when he returned to the Boom Boom Room the bouncers wouldn't let him back in as he was clearly intoxicated. For some reason Mike decided it would be a good idea to bend over and charge the doormen headfirst like a wild bull. It was a valiant effort by Mike but he was denied entry.

The next weekend we decided to goto the Bovine as we figured Mike wouldn't be let in the Boom Boom, and wouldn't you know it the same bouncer worked at both clubs! As fate would have it he remembered Mike and denied us entry. We headed up to the Boom Boom and managed to get in, as different bouncers were working.

Each weekend now became a crap shoot because we never knew what bar we would go to. It was either one or the other depending on the bouncers, but said bouncer had now informed other bouncers of Mike's antics, which made it more and more difficult to get into a club as the weeks passed. 

One thing was apparent... It was time for us to find a new club...