"Making the Grade"

by MikeSOS
Sponsored In Part By
Try Me?

Canada's Grade returns with Headfirst Straight to Hell,  quite possibly their most complete and best work to date.  We had a chance to sit down and shoot the breeze with band member Charles about the new CD and some of his aspirations and feelings regarding touring and Grade in general.

Skratch: How have you felt the band has evolved with the release of Headfirst?

Charles: I believe that this album is Grade in its truest form.  Although we have always written with little regard to others' expectations, I think this album takes that idea to its extreme.  Personally, I don't see the point of writting an album for someone else.  We're the musicians, and we're going to use what comes out of our heads.  That school of thought has been, is and will be the evolution of Grade.

 Skratch: What kind of processes were employed when writing this album?

Charles: We spent 50 hours a month spilling out brains on the practice floor and 30 days in the studio piecing together our mess.

Skratch: Is there a stigma placed on you guys being Canadian?  Being a different kind of hardcore outfit?

Charles: Somewhat, I think people are generally confused by what to think of us.  And personally, I can agree that there are a lot of things that make up this band that I can't understand myself.  The fact that we're Canadian somehow seems to be a scapegoat for everything that's completely illogical but somehow works in this band.

 Skratch: What's the one thing you'd change thus far for Grade that would make you completely happy?

Charles: Having had a world tour booked with AC/DC.  Mind you, the rest of the band would vote for Iron Maiden.

 Skratch: Touring -- enjoy or destroy?

Charles: Both.  There's nothing better than playing your music all across the world.  But there's nothing worse than missing out on the lives of your family and your friends.

 Skratch: Current touring plans -- any bands you'd like to hook up with you haven't thus far?

Charles: There's a rough outline of a US/Canadian tour followed by a Japanese/Australian tour starting in October (2001).  As for bands, refer to question four.

Skratch: What's the one influence the band has that is the least obvious?

Charles: Rave Techno.

Skratch: Describe the current musical climate and where Grade fits in.

Charles: Grade doesn't completely fit in anywhere no matter what trend seems to be looming over the music scene.

Skratch: If you weren't in Grade, you'd be...

Charles: Writing a travel journal or dead.

Skratch: What's the best and worst advice you've been given by anyone that has helped you in some way?

Charles: Best advice,  'Don't listen to Kyle' - Matt Jones
Worst advice, 'Don't listen to Matt' - Kyle Bishop.

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