November 12, 2003  
Volume 97, Issue 41  

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Shotgun Rules shoot the shit

By Gabriella Barillari
Gazette Writer

Kids of all ages unite in a familiar cry: “Shotgun Rules!”

No, I’m not talking about claiming the front passenger seat of your roommate’s car. Regardless of whether or not you know the game, I’m referring to the stellar punk band straight out of the Forest City.

This past Saturday, the Embassy Hotel hosted a cancer benefit show featuring seven Canadian punk bands, including The Dying Light, Off The Mark and A Day And A Deathwish, to name a few. As one of the headliners, Shotgun Rules performed a mind-blowing set with their straight-up mix of heavy instrumentals and thunderously loud lyrics.

Speaking with guitarist Ric about the show, he explained his reaction when asked to participate in the event.

“It was all set up by Brandon [Eedy] from the Embassy and Allister [Orlay] from The Dying Light,” Ric recalls. “They decided to get some local bands together to make the show. We were overwhelmed and literally jumped at the amazing opportunity because it’s for a really good cause.”

The group originally got together over a year ago, but they’ve only existed in their current incarnation since September. The youthful and energetic band loves to play with other rockers like Blue Skies at War and The Breakup when performing close to home.

“The London scene is great,” Ric raves. “With us, we just feel it’s all about having a good time. Our sets get pretty wild and the live shows are what it’s all about — we really push that. Then the next thing you know, there’s blood everywhere and we’re all getting hurt. It’s a good time,” he laughs.

Shotgun Rules describe their sound as being similar to other favourable hardcore bands like Thrice and Thursday.

“We’re really intense, yet extremely melodic. We like to push the singing parts a lot. John is really good at mixing it up. He sings about a lot of clichéd lyrics, I guess. You know — girls, best friends and stuff like that,” Ric explains.

Beyond the stereotypical punk tunes, Shotgun Rules’ sound is aggressive and they focus a lot on personal experiences. “Embers” is dedicated to a close friend of the band who passed away. The members also concentrate a great deal on religious issues and on questioning the beliefs of others and themselves.

“Three out of the five of us are atheists, but we don’t push that so much in our music,” he notes. “We ask why people go to such extremes to believe in something and if all that is necessary.”

Other artists with the same frame of mind, such as Elliot, Hopes Fall and Silver Mt. Zion, inspire these predominantly straight-edge guys. With two demos behind them and plans to re-enter the studio in late November, the band is loaded with potential and is ready to rise up in the world of punk rock.

“We like being an independent group,” Ric says. ”I think that it’s really about self-promoting, which is important. And it’s about rocking out. If you ever come to one of our shows, make sure you wear a hockey helmet because it gets pretty wild.”

The Rock Out For Cancer benefit show went down this weekend and raised close to $3,000 for the London Regional Cancer Centre.



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