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

Choke bring 'sin-core' back to London

Gazette File Photo

By Dale Wyatt

Gazette Staff

"It's like we're all one big band, just in three parts," says Shea Shea, bass player for the Canadian band Choke, about his record label Smallman's tour set to hit London tonight.

The tour features three of the label's bands (Layaway Plan, .moneen. and Choke) playing 40 Canadian dates together. Although Choke has already been on the road for two months, the band is ecstatic about the upcoming shows.

After finishing two months of touring in the US, Choke is glad to be back in Canada. "All the American dates went way better than we had expected. I don't think we totally broke into the US market," Shea jokes. "But it's kind of funny because before we left, we were kind of dubbing the American tour as the break-up tour. Instead, we came back tighter and stronger than ever."

The trio of bands are no strangers to each other's company. .moneen. has gone on the record saying Choke and Layaway Plan were both a large part of the reason they were eventually signed to Smallman Records.

"We are big fans of each others bands," Shea explains. "Everyone is such good friends and .moneen.'s energy can pump us up so much, sometimes a little too much!"

According to Shea, Choke experienced some minor difficulty when it came to the task of labelling their music. "Sin-core is an old term we dubbed ourselves. It stood for sincere hard-core," Shea jokes. "We were trying to get the catch phrase going, but it doesn't seem to be picking up. It also just sounded kind of evil, like it's all about sinning."

The band looked to creating their own label as an alternative to the label Emo. "My major bone about the term 'Emo' standing for emotional music, is that even with the hardest hard-core, anger is an emotion. Every music for the most part comes from some kind of emotion."

So what's the current term? Shea quickly and triumphantly declares it chaotic and melodic. "I think we are into so much music that it makes us much harder to categorize."

The members of Choke focus on writing fast-paced music accompanied by self-reflecting sincere lyrics. "Our lyrics never come easy. I think if you write a certain song well, then the music will sometimes speak for itself."

This is obvious with lines like, "My intentions shape each moment," from their song "One More Opponent."

"That song is about the struggle of trying to hold onto relationships while still focusing on the things you want to do. It is about that fine line between living for yourself and trying to make it work with other people's plans."

Choke is also known for its creative and cooperative lyric writing. "It has been a pretty even split over the past three albums. [The songs] seems to come off like they are from just one person since they are the same style"

The band's originality when it comes to combining speed and raw emotion has put them on top of the Canadian punk scene. Choke executes familiar elements of all kinds of music, which helps it appeal to a wide audience.

Not intended to sound egotistical, Shea asserts the Smallman show will rule. They are excited to return to London as it was one of the first places that warmed up to them.

"It is always nice to come back and rock the house!"

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