Volume 95, Issue 18

Tuesday, October 2, 2001
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Grade-A, Canadian hardcore

Don't spend a dime or waste your time

Zoolander is Ben Stiller-iffic

An emotional trip to the Hearts In Atlantis

Grade-A, Canadian hardcore

By Dale Wyatt
Gazette Staff

Whether you know it or not there is at least one Canadian hardcore band that consistently receives a high grade south of the border.

Born in Burlington, Ontario, the members of Grade have found far greater success in the United States than at home in Canada.

"It's slowly not becoming true, which is kind of a relief to us. It's still ten times the amount in the States or Europe, but the popularity and growth of the band in Canada has really stepped up, especially in the past year.

"We have had great support from MuchMusic, campus radio, magazines and papers who all seem to be supporting us," explains lead singer Kyle Bishop.

Grade constantly push the limits of hardcore music and consistently produce unique and diverse albums.

Photo by Peter Lorimer
"DO I WANT TO BE PRESSING METAL IN A FACTORY OR SELLING KHAKIS IN A MALL?" Hell no, Grade is all about the rock and roll as they will demonstrate tonight at Call the Office.

"[With] every record we have ever done, everyone has always said the same thing. 'You guys have changed so much, you guys made such a drastic leap in sound.' It's like our minds and souls are in a certain kind of headspace. Whatever comes out of us at that moment comes out of us," Bishop explains.

"I think the new sound was somewhat due to our new guitar player and drummer on this recording. We were able to do a lot of the stuff we wanted to do all along. To us it's a great record – it's the exact record we wanted to make for a long time and we are very pleased with it."

Grade's sound is a fusion of intense guitars, accompanied by solid drum and bass work all overlapped with passionate, screaming vocals. It's an intensity that's signature Grade and somehow, they manage to sustain it on tour.

"Honesty in ourselves and who we are keeps us intense. I think it's 'cause we're not copying anybody and [have] never tried. We, as a group, are true artists. We do what we want to do and it allows us to expand. If we were copying anybody, we would be stuck in a certain perimeter.

"It's easy to play night after night. When we do a long tour, your voice sucks for the fist couple of shows, but once you get into it, it's great. There are always nights you are just not on," Bishop says.

A strong live show is obviously important to the band.

"It adds more fun and a totally different element. You need to have some kind of humanity to your live show. People understand that you are humans too. Some fans will put you on a pedestal like you are God or something, then when they notice you fuck up, they're like, 'Oh all right.'

"It just encourages people they can do it as well. Every show is a new experience and every time someone comes out to your show, you got to appreciate it."

Although Grade has done an excellent job of pleasing their fans, there is still one person Bishop has trouble pleasing.

"The hardest person to please is yourself. To a certain degree, I have pleased myself with the new album. I'm kind of stuck in perfectionism. There is always something that really bothers me about an album. I can nit-pick through anything I have ever done and hate it," he says.

"True success is not about popularity, it's about being satisfied. Success is personal satisfaction and the other shit is a bonus."

Bishop has managed to keep going by remembering one thing: "Every time I feel exhausted and overdone, I think, 'do I want to be pressing metal in a factory or selling khakis in a mall?' then I'm like, 'fuck that. I'm going to go play some rock 'n roll.'"

Grade bring their loud and aggressive show to Call the Office tonight. Tickets are $7 and doors open at 9 p.m..

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Copyright The Gazette 2001