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ROCKthusiast Q&A with Band of Rascals

ROCKthusiast Q&A with Band of Rascals



Band of Rascals hope that if there’s a rock album that will have people hollering, it’s their new EP Tempest, available now via the links below. To get to know these “wascally” Vancouver Island rockers a little better, Music Editor Gilles LeBlanc had an email exchange with lead guitarist Malcolm Owen-Flood.

Q) As soon as I heard your song “Holler”, I said to myself how blues rock is back in Canada. (That’s a GOOD thing, obviously!) How would YOU describe the sound people can look forward to hearing on your latest EP Tempest? As a still relatively new band, who’s music has shaped the four of you to where Band of Rascals find themselves at this moment?

A) First off, thank you! That is a very flattering reaction to our song! We have always happily carried the genre of “Nuts and Bolts Rock ’n’ Roll”, but this album has really expanded on that. We never pigeonholed our writing process and as a result our songwriting and sound has expanded and developed into an entirely new beast. It’s still rock, but it’s heavier, deeper, more bombastic, more… everything! We just went and made everything as huge and impacting as we could.

Q) You’re on tour with fellow BCers Bend Sinister in October. Do you already have a set playlist of songs for listening to while on the road, or do you mix things up depending on say where you’ll be playing?

A) The RV (our home on wheels while on the road) has a few regulars on the iPod – John Mayer (usually the trio), Royal Blood, and Queens of the Stone Age have been the usual suspects on recent trips. But a few of us have Spotify accounts and are always hunting new music to show everyone while we drive from town to town. We ingest a ton of music on the road! We plan on making a public tour playlist to share with our fans on our next trip! I am sure that we will be trading a lot of musical tastes with Bend Sinister while we travel with them!

Q) I can’t help but ask if you know or have heard from Band of Skulls in the UK; not only do you have similar names, your hard rockin’ styles are very complementary – You should think of teaming up for some shows together! Are there people you actively think of contacting in order to learn from or just jam with?

A) We do know of them! And we love them! They weren’t an early influence for us, and they didn’t play into the naming of our band but, oddly enough, one of their record producers, Ian Davenport, was on our list of potential producers before we hooked up with Eric Ratz to record Tempest. You make a lot of friends while touring and we try to learn what we can from all of them. We did a festival with Big Wreck in Minnedosa, Manitoba this past August and I haven’t stopped practicing my guitar since their set!

Q) Being bluesy boys as you are, I was wondering if any of you have had the chance to see the new documentary on Eric Clapton…or caught his comments about how “maybe the guitar is over”? Besides yourselves of course, what current-day artists are inspiring in terms of keeping 12-bar rock alive?

A) None of us have seen Eric’s documentary, yet. And I don’t think you’d catch any of us agreeing that the guitar is dead – but maybe we are biased! I think that as long as people are wanting to connect to music and feel a part of something; Rock ‘n’ Roll and the guitar will survive. Honestly “12-bar blues” is definitely fading away, but the new and innovative forms of Rock ‘n’ Roll are what is keeping the genre alive and relevant. Monster Truck, Billy Talent, Big Wreck, and Royal Blood are just a few examples of excellent Rock ‘n’ Roll that is not even going near the 12-bar blues.

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Gilles LeBlanc literally fell into “alternative rock” wayyy back at Lollapalooza 1992, where he got caught in his first mosh pit watching some band named Pearl Jam. Since then, he’s spent the better part of his life looking for music to match the liberating rush he felt that day, with a particular chest-beating emphasis on stuff coming out of his native Canada. It took him awhile, but Gilles now writes feverishly about all things that rock (and or roll) through his ROCKthusiast alter ego.

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