Sick City population five… and growing 

Sick City debuts new album Nightlife at Punk Night with live music from Boys Night Out,Ten Second Epic, Ill Scarlett and Living With Lions

click to enlarge Special Punk Night Sick City joins Boys Night Out and Ten Second Epic for Punk NIght on Wednesday, Sept. 19 at Garfinkel's.
  • Special Punk Night Sick City joins Boys Night Out and Ten Second Epic for Punk NIght on Wednesday, Sept. 19 at Garfinkel's.

What: Punk Night

Who: Sick City

When: Wednesday, Sept. 19

Where: Garfinkel’s

Tickets: $10

Boys Night Out and Ten Second Epic videos are in regular rotation on Much Music. They’ve stacked up Juno Award nominations, Independent Music Awards and See Magazine Best Ofs. Boys Night Out got the ball rolling with their first Ferret Music debut, Maker Yourself Sick in 2002, while Ten Second Epic first made their mark on the music scene playing every single date of the Canadian leg of the 2005 Warped Tour.

So besides awards and album sales in the tens of thousands what do Boys Night Out and Ten Second Epic have on Winnipeg’s Sick City? Just a few more years to get their music rolling.

“We’ve only been playing fulltime for a year now,” said Sick City drummer Joel Neufeld. “We are still pretty new and fresh, our EP isn’t even released in stores. We are just still babies. We are a one-year-old infant…

“We were touring with Ten Second Epic last year on a cross-Canada tour. That was before either of us had videos. They just finished their album. They are a little bit ahead of us. They are great guys to hang out with and we are stoked to party with them.”

Boys Night Out, Ten Second Epic and Sick City will also be hanging out with Ill Scarlett and Living With Lions for a special Punk Night on Wednesday, Sept. 19 at Garfinkel’s.

Sick City is well on their way to getting their music out there. The group of Neufeld, Josh Youngson, Dorian Paszkowski, Dave Grabowski and TJ Stevenson played Taste of Chaos and Warped Tours and opened for the likes of Papa Roach, It Dies Today, Bedlight For Blues Eyes and From Autumn to Ashes. Alternative Press readers voted the Winnipeg fivesome one of 2007’s Hometown Heroes, even with only a self-released EP to their credit — something soon to change.

The travelers between pop and hardcore sounds are kicking off their cross-Canada tour in Whistler promoting their new album, Nightlife , dropping into stores this October on Trustkill Records internationally and Smallman Records nationally.

“My main goal with the album was to make it sound huge,” Neufeld said. “I wanted to sound like King Kong on drums; a silverback gorilla sound. I think we accomplished that. It sounded bigger than any other recording we’ve done before and it comes in a neat package.”

Neufeld takes the time to explain “neat” in terms of tight, not as in cool — a pet peeve of his.

He is shouting over his cell phone as Winnipeg traffic competes for airtime on his walk to a jam space downtown where the group is rehearsing for the upcoming tour.

“Just so people can get 100 per cent perfection,” he says of the rehearsals, then laughs. “No, no. I’m just joking. We just want to party with our fans and put out a hard rocking show.”

Conversation moves on from silverback gorilla music to the motivation behind touring Sick City’s music internationally.

“I’d like to see us to go to Australia,” Neufeld says. “My brother was there and said it was fantastic. He brought me back a pair of jeans that I wear every day. I want at least three pair.”

Don’t let Neufeld’s cheeky humour fool you. He is considered one of Sick City’s “older” band members. The band members’ ages range from 19 to 29 years old, resulting in a broad assortment of interests, strengths, music preferences and personality types. Hint: Neufeld isn’t the serious organizer type.

“Every single member of the band is a totally different person,” he said. “We all draw from different influences.”

He sites old metal — and admittedly even some new metal — among his album collection, while lead singer Youngson is all about Frank Sinatra.

“He sounds like one of those pro singers over top of hard rock; it’s a cool mix,” Neufeld explained.

Sick City is built on catchy pop and hardcore rock, a mixture self described as 60 per cent evil and 40 per cent pop. The best of both worlds converge with the melodic hooks and solid vocals of pop, and the riff and drum-driven edge of hardcore. This two-world collision is most skillfully exercised in Tora, Tora My Dear Tora on Nightlife . Angelic back up vocal harmonies and stirring piano lines haunt lyrics charged in screaming and angst. Rhythm really drives music staffs and lyrics, especially with In The Millions — soon to be their new mantra with album sales for Nightlife .

Advance $10 tickets are on sale at Billabong and Garfinkel’s. Doors at 9 p.m.


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