Volume 94, Issue 90

Tuesday, March 13, 2001


A look at your inner metal head

Choke bring 'sin-core' back to London

Disc of the Week

Nothin' like a little Misbehavin'

Art film fails to please

Chillout to some laid back grooves

A look at your inner metal head

Gazette File Photo

By Jeff Warren
Gazette Staff

"I think everyone has got some metal in them."

Layaway Plan guitarist Stacey Hahn's insight into the inner workings of anyone who has ever heard the words '80s metal' or lent their ear to its contagious sound is spot on. It was only natural that Hahn and his bandmates would take this revelation and run with it, not forgetting to stop and throw in some punk along the way.

"We're a hybrid of both metal and punk," Hahn states. "We definitely have the 80s metal influence because all of us love that, but we also listened to punk growing up."

On their latest effort, Solutions to Substance, Layaway Plan has created a dynamic, fluid sound, easily combining the two genres in a way that seems totally natural. "We write our songs basically as metal riffs in a punk format," he says.

Despite the possibility of alienating certain listeners with their unique style, Hahn feels their music is generally well received. "People are totally receptive. The odd time you get people who are like, 'What the hell?' but most of the time, people are bobbing their heads," he says.

Bobbing heads is the most restrained movement Hahn expects to see at a show, especially if the audience feels the band's energy. "We like to go off," Hahn says assuringly. "We like to put 100 per cent effort into every show. We're not lazy up there, that's for sure."

Layaway Plan's concerts are so intense, in fact, the results are sometimes overwhelming. "Terry [Ovans] pukes after almost every show," Hahn says of the band's guitarist.

The in-your-face live show of punk performers is just one enjoyable aspect of the growing Canadian punk scene. With Smallman Records paving the way, Layaway Plan is just one band in a family of many that are contributing to the growing popularity of this often overlooked genre.

"The punk scene has been strong all along," Hahn says. "For a while, raves became popular and it took a lot of people away from the punk scene. Now live music is back in full effect."

Although being part of the punk family in Canada may not entail big success, that's the way Layaway Plan prefers it, Hahn claims.

"We just want people to come to the shows," he says. "We want to be able to be successful enough to pay our rent when we're not on the road. We don't care about being big rock stars. We just want to do this for a living and if we can live comfortably with it then, damn, let's do it."

This humble mentality seems to be accepted by the other punk bands across the country that Layaway Plan has had the fortune of playing alongside. "It's more about the experience and playing the music," he says. "If it ended up that we made no money, we'd still do it because we all love it."

While currently touring across Canada, Layaway Plan will take its show to the United States this summer in the hopes of reaching a larger audience. Should success follow them, Hahn believes that the band will remain true to their roots.

"I don't think we would ever sign to a major label, especially being with Smallman Records. It's so personal, it's family. All the bands get along so good. It's not about the business with us – it's about getting along."

Whether they're avoiding the business, spending some quality time with their family or tossing cookies after an intense show, every now and then, Layaway Plan is here to remind us to have some good old-fashioned punk fun while satisfying the metal within us all.

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