Every now and then, a band comes along and stops us cold in our tracks. It's always a singular moment, defined either by a recent live performance, where we were enchanted from their vantage point on stage or after their record starts spinning. Either way, there are moments when we fall in love with artists, and it's exactly this type of admiration that's inspired us to start 190 Proof Artist of the Month. This showcases musical acts that have truly done something special and are picked by several members of the PureGrainAudio staff. You can't go wrong with anything by a band that has made it onto this esteemed list. For those musicians and artists out there that are looking to get some hard-earned recognition, we are always on the lookout for anything that melts our face off or tears out our hearts.
Whet your appetite for the new Murder and Create EP with the "Plaster" video.
The Skinny:Speaker is our first 190 Proof Artist, the new "Band of the Month" showcase of mainstream or underground raw talent that is making waves. This four-piece hail from Toronto, and have already released two EPs, one in 2015, and another last year, both of which have gotten some love from yours truly.
The group appear to have started their tenure in late 2014. Since that point, they have played constant shows in and around the Southern Ontario hardcore scene, particularly with support for touring bands in the Ajax/Whitby/Oshawa area. Currently, these guys are gearing up to deliver a very dark winter, with several shows in the GTA both already played and more yet to be seen. They have recently shared the stage with the likes of Die Hexe, Kennedy and punk darlings PUP. And of course, their new EP has been turning heads and making a name for Toronto heavy music, with Murder and Create, engineered by Scott Middleton of Cancer Bats, slated to release on November 10, 2017.
If you have any time at all to look for something new and intense, the list starts and stops here: blast beats and vocal savagery are accompanied by some of the finest breakdowns and heaviness you could ask for. Just head over to Lance Marwood's latest album review here. All told, Speaker is gearing up to show us some of the most abrasive metallic hardcore to come out of Toronto in recent years.
Five Quick Questions with Speaker:
The Murder and Create album cover is crazy-cool. What was its inspiration and how did it come together? Marc-Anthony: While writing Murder and Create, we evolved a lot as a band sonically. We wanted the album cover to represent the process as a whole. We contacted Keenan Kosolowski at Heavy Sleeper Co. and explained we wanted some sort of bug coming out of its shell to represent it evolving. It didn’t have to be realistic, we just wanted it to be dark and unnerving. He nailed it with the concept.
This new EP seems to have a new sound and feel from previous work. Is this a natural evolution, something conscious or both? Please elaborate. Marc-Anthony: Naturally, we wanted to be better than our previous releases. We wanted to write something that would blow everything else out of the water. We knew we wanted to be darker, heavier and faster than before, bringing in Scott Middleton was a huge advantage. He was very hands on with the writing process and helped us find that sound we were striving for. He also helped us find our sound in the studio, drums and guitars were recorded off the floor without a click to capture that raw aggression. We wanted people to hear the record and know what to expect at our live show.
Will you be planning touring to support the new album? Marc-Anthony: We have an Ontario/Quebec run coming up mid-November with our friends in Die Hexe to support Murder and Create. We plan on hitting up a lot of new places in the new year to continue promoting the new album. We don’t plan on slowing down for a while.
Is a full-length in the future at all? Marc-Anthony: A full-length is definitely in the future, as for when, that’s still up in the air. We’ll be primarily focusing on touring in the new year but when the time feels right, it’ll happen.
Tell us 1 thing about the band that no one outside of the band knows. Marc-Anthony: We’re usually pretty open about everything when it comes to the band. One thing that comes to mind though, that not many people know, our guitarist, Matt Flanagan is actually a father of 3 children.
Check out the premiere of the guys' brand new EP Murder and Create.
Be sure to also witness the guys' intense live energy with this 2015 performance.