PlaylistKEN mode reveals tunes that celebrate successful border crossings
Posted by Anna Lazowski, SCENE Producer | Monday January 14, 2013
KEN mode's new album "Entrench" is slated for release in March (Scott Kinkade)
Winnipeg metal rockers KEN mode may just have the best one-line band description ever: "Northern bellicosity done politely."
And that loud politeness is serving the trio well. They took home the first ever Juno award for Metal in April of 2012, have endorsement agreements with companies including Orange amplifiers and just signed an international deal with Season of Mist, a label dually based in France and the United States.
They've also recently wrapped up production of their new album, Entrench, which is scheduled for release in March. Vocalist/guitarist Jesse Matthewson says the band worked with producer Matt Bayles (Mastodon, Pearl Jam, Isis) at Private Ear studios in Winnipeg.
"We'll be embarking on a full North
American tour in March and April with Today is the Day, Black Tusk and
Fight Amp, with stops at South By Southwest 2013 in Austin, TX - our
third consecutive year of playing the fest," he says.
Since they're fresh out of the studio and listening to music other than their own, SCENE asked each band member to offer two picks from their respective Playlists:
Andrew LaCour (bass/vocals) "Resurrecting the Stones" - by Examination of the...
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I missed this band on their final tour when they came through Florida. It is still, to this day, one of my biggest regrets.
EXAM were an anomaly in the heavy music scene, and all of their albums influenced me immensely. The sound aesthetic and song craftsmanship are absolutely stellar.
There isn't a single overnight drive that I endure on tour without listening to, at least, this track from their catalogue. Do yourself a favor and check them out, in great depth.
"Who da Neighbors" by Juicy J
Our sound engineer, Ryan Haft, dropped this jam once immediately after a set in Montreal. I've never felt better after a grueling performance. Juicy tears it up. This is the best way to keep a decent morale on an endless tour. We trippy mane.
Shane Matthewson (drums) "Turn Up the Night" by Black Sabbath
Our friend (and former KEN mode bass player extraordinaire) Jahmeel Russell got me into Ronnie James Dio era Black Sabbath a couple of years ago. "Turn Up the Night," the first track off of the Mob Rules album became one of the KEN mode tour anthems and border crossing celebration track!
I can vividly remember riding in the van blasting "Turn Up the Night" and pumping my fist out of the window as we headed back to Winnipeg after a long tour. Listen to this track and try NOT to sing along with Ron!
"Snakes are Charmed" by Torche
This is one of my favorite tracks from one of my favorite albums of 2012. I love the combination of the noodling guitar line and the laid back bass and drums.
The show we played with Torche this past October in Columbus, Ohio was probably my favourite of the entire tour. One of the best bands out there today, hands down!
Jesse Matthewson (vocals, guitar) "Instant Larry" by The Melvins
The Melvins is my favourite band. They've been so since I was probably 14or 15, and due to this fact they will likely remain my favourite band until the day I die.
"Instant Larry" is a track that appeared only on the Tales From the Crypt: Demon Knight soundtrack, alongside another stellar cut from Rollins Band, titled "Fall Guy." To this day it's still strange to me that two of my favourite bands of all time would put such amazing un-released tracks on the same obscure movie soundtrack, but I suppose why it happened doesn't matter; what we're to focus on is just how much "Instant Larry" gets my blood moving.
I can't help but punch walls and steering wheels, elbow desks, and thrust my knee at invisible foes whenever I hear this song. It is undoubtedly one of the most straightforward and violent songs The Melvins ever produced, and for this reason it is one of my go to tour jams - whether it's to prepare for a show, keep myself awake during a night drive, or walk the street playing air guitar.
"Hank is Dead" by Red Fang
As Shane mentioned above, KEN mode has border crossing anthems. As a band that frequently crosses the Canada/U.S. border, and given the relative variability of the border crossing experience, no matter how many neatly ordered ducks we have in a row, we can't help but get a little nervous each and every time we pass through that invisible line in the sand.
Over the years our crossing anthems have changed from tour phase to tour phase....the last North American tour we undertook in the fall of 2012 "Hank is Dead" was IT. Red Fang have managed to combine just the right parts melody and burliness, wrapped it in a catchy hairy, beer drenched wrapping paper, and still managed to not come across as trite, cliche stoner/party rock/metal to a van full of a**hole elitists.
In fact, Red Fang totally rules, and this song is goddamn great. To get the full border crossing experience it must be played at maximum listenable volume.
KEN mode's fifth album, Entrench, will be released in March.