As we ramp up for Death to False Hope's 2nd Anniversary Fest, Punknews has teamed up with the label to bring you a series of interviews from some participating artists. First up label and Fest founder, Scotty Sandwiches, talks with Hugo Mudie of The Sainte Catherines about their departure from Fat Wreck Chords, the fate of Yesterday's Ring and how to be DIY in Montreal.
Fireworks seemed to blindside a lot of people with the stylistic change in the songwriting. What was the writing process on this record compared to your previous efforts?
I think we wanted to go back to our initial sound on our first two records (Those Stars Are For You and The Machine Get Underway). Leatherface, Jawbreaker, The Broadways, Fifteen…mid-tempo emotional punk rock. We wanted to get away from hardcore which is a style of music I really hate and we wanted to have more fun playing those songs live and not feel angry doing so. We are not angry..anymore.
What has the reaction for Fireworks? been like? Personally I think it is the strongest record you have released.
I think a lot of people were surprised. Lots of people are telling me it's their favorite yet (thanks for that) and some people seemed to think that we changed too much and are too "pop " or something, which is fine by me. I think it's totally fair to dislike a record by a band that you liked before. I think we sold more of this one in the 1st month than any of our other records before which was surprising and uplifting. I love playing those songs live and I think it's by far my favorite Sainte Catherinesâ record.
Was there a reason for moving from Fat Wreck Chords to Anchorless records for the release of Fireworks?
Fat Mike kicked us out saying that we changed our sound too much and that it was not, "angry and punk," anymore. I think he was right. I love Fat Wreck and Fat Mike and it would have been an honor to be part of the label, but he decides. I think The Flatliners are taking all the "Canadian" attention anyways and it's great because they are great guys.
You have had the opportunity to share stages across the world with some of the greatest punk bands to ever exist? Who were your favorite bands to tour with? What band would you like to tour with in the future?
Fifth Hour Hero was my favorite band to tour with. They were friends and we were in the same situation kinda, although they were way better than us. We had great times with Leatherface. I mean, they are one of our favorite bands ever and they were so nice with us. Watching them play every night was a blessing. I think Mad Caddies, The Honor System, Dead To Me, The Lawrence Arms, Inepsy, Dirty Tricks, Suck La Marde, Dig It Up, Agasint Me! and J Church are all bands that we love and had good times with. Personally, I would love to tour with The Pogues or Bon Jovi.
Are there any future plans for Yesterday's Ring?
No. Yesterday's Ring died in September 2010.
You are part of organizing a fest up in Canada which looks to be shaping up nicely. How as the organizing process been going? Any awesome surprises we should be looking forward to?
It's crazy. I obviously stole the idea from the Fest in Gainesville. I thought it was absurd that nobody was doing it in Quebec, so I decided to do it myself, which is always why I do stuff. I'm always like, "Fuck, it would be cool to have a band like that in Montreal…ahh fuck…gotta do it myself again." Hahah. It's a lot of work, but I know a lot of people that are helping and I'm friends with a lot of bands that are giving me a break and helping me out a âlil. We are almost done with the booking. A lot of other surprises coming up. I'm excited, but it's also nerve wrecking, because I'm putting all of our company into this and we don't want to fail.
What do you think of all these smaller weekend fests that seem to be popping up across North America?
I love it. I think it's ideal for fans of punk rock and it's very fun for bands to hang out with other like minded people. With The Sainte Catherines, we try to play as many as them as possible.
What bands are you looking forward to seeing at the Death to False Hope 2 Year Anniversary? Anyone you haven't seen before that you are excited to see for the first time?
Definitely excited to see and hang out with friends in Off With Their Heads and with Brendan Kelly. I'm pretty excited to see Less than Jake. haven't seen them in 7-8 years I guess. I like the Dopamines and Mixtapes a lot. I wanna see Coffee Project, Spanish Gamble and Jeff Rowe. Joe from Smoke Or Fire also. I'm very excited about it all. The only thing I'm concerned is playing last on the last day. It seems to me like we should play in the middle or something, but not last on the main stage, after all those amazing bands. I told that to Scotty, but he said that it was gonna be ok… hahaha
What are your views on what labels like DTFH, Quote/Unquote and Juicebox Recordings are doing with releasing music under a donation basis?
I think it's great. I just think that it's not a good way to release a proper record. I'm more materialistic I guess, but I think it's amazing for a demo, 1st release or special release type of thing. I would be totally down to do this for a release of covers or b-sides or live stuff, but not for a proper album, but I still support the whole thing.