Volume 95, Issue 10

Tuesday, September 18, 2001
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The new Plan calls for an ass kickin' good time

The Glass House shatters

Keanu gets it right in the 'hood

Hissy Fit: adding a little spunk to punk

Don't be silenced by tragedy

Tielli solo is a no-go

This is for sure, tweaker rocks

The new Plan calls for an ass kickin' good time

By Dale Wyatt
Gazette Staff

Gazette File Photo
"I THINK OUR INTENSE SHOWS HAVE MADE A HUGE DIFFERENCE." Layaway Plan's guitarist Stacey Hahn explains the secret behind their success.

Layaway Plan is one band that fits snugly into almost all of the stereotypes surrounding Canadian Indie artists.

Everything the band members experience, such as the difficulty they have in retaining part-time jobs and maintaining their homes, is straight out of the independent musician textbook. While nothing has ever been handed to them easily, guitarist Stacey Hahn believes that's just fine.

It would be a lie to suggest Layaway Plan has struck financial success. In fact, they still have to find work outside of band-life to make ends meet.

"We all have jobs at home and if they don't let us go [on tour], we simply quit," Hahn says. "We are all really into the band, so there is not much that can really hold us at home."

Given the constant struggle this band faces, one might assume they would jump at the opportunity to sign with a major label. However, Hahn doesn't feel that way.

"We have not had any offers yet. We have had people check us out at shows, but a major label is not our goal. I personally don't think major labels are the way to go," he suggests.

"We are obviously not in this for the money. We just want to be able to live off it. If we can make enough to pay the bills on an Indie label, than that is what we want to do," Hahn admits.

Like most groups, Layaway Plan's sound wasn't an overnight decision.

"We have gone through some changes in finding our sound. It has changed some from when we were younger, but we still listen to punk and as time has gone on, we have been getting to go back to our roots."

So how does Hahn describe the current sound?

"It's punk/metal/hardcore. Kind of like metal songs written in punk rock format," he explains.

The sound is not the only thing that's evolved since Layaway Plan became the first "outside" band to get signed to Canadian Indie label, Smallman Records.

Before Layaway Plan, the label consisted solely of bands who were friends of the owner. Since Layaway Plan's addition to the label in 1995, other bands have been added, but Hahn insists the family feeling surrounding the label has not changed.

"It is totally cool. Smallman is more like a family rather than a label. It never feels like business at all, as everyone [on the label] is such good friends," Hahn says.

The family feel of the Smallman label tends to transcend business matters, as many Smallman bands toured together on this year's inaugural Smallman Records Tour.

"The Smallman tour was the best time of my life. We toured with Choke and .moneen., who are both great bands. They have both definitely influenced us a lot. It's cool to have bands like them with us, but it won't ever change our style."

In terms of geography, the East Coast crowds have always been a challenge for this West Coast quartet. "It was hard at first, but Eastern Canada is getting better every time we come out here. Whether there is five to 100 kids, it doesn't matter. We still play the same way because that's what we love to do. Quebec has always been unreal," Hahn says.

Yet one thing separates Layaway Plan from other acts, according to Hahn. "The touring helps, but I think our intense shows of not just standing there and playing have made a huge difference."

Now that the band has established a base across Canada, they're anxious about crossing the border. "This is our first big tour in the [United] States. We are not expecting huge shows, we just want to spread the word and get people to talk. I mean there are only so many times you can play in Canada," Hahn admits.

They have a couple stops to make before they take on the U.S., including a brief stop in London tonight.

Hahn is quick to add: "If you get your asses out to the show, we promise we will kick 'em. Come and rock out 'cause the more people there, the more fun we usually have. It's always fun being in the studio, but doing it live is what we live for."

The musical attack begins at 9 p.m.. Tickets are $5 at the door. Hissy Fit are also on the bill.

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Copyright The Gazette 2001