Saskatoon trio Arson Cult raise ire and eyebrows with their punk politiking and angular brand of post-hardcore.
Pease list all of your band members and their roles in the band.
Jason MacKinnon, Bass/Vocals Matt Gravlin, Guitar/Vocals Jaye Luk, Drums
For starters, what bands were you guys a part of prior to Arson Cult? How long has the band been around?
The band has been around for 2 years. We have individually played in Niet to the Neins, Yuppie Killer, A Ghost in Drag, Jason Bezzle, The Lit Kiln, Adrenochrome, Aces Wylde, Peeping Minus
What’s the origin of that name and have you changed the band’s name before?
The name Arson Cult stems from the idea of trying to burn down what's come before and create new ideas in music while sticking with a punk ethos. All of us have played in punk bands before and wanted to approach this band as a destruction and rebirth of all the ideas we were used to. Arson Cult is our idea of progressive hardcore music made from the ashes of our influences.
Who writes your songs? What are the main themes or topics for most of your songs and do you think these topics will change over time?
Jason (myself) does the writing. The songs are very political while also highlighting our experiences traveling and backpacking and reflecting on outsiders we've met in our travels. The first album focuses heavily on gun laws and mistreatment of returning soldiers/issues of suicide rates. The new album focuses heavily on class issues including global wage/work inequality, womens/indigenous women's rights and the systemic forces that create unsafe spaces for them, and the dissolution of attempted democracies in Arabic countries in the post-Arab spring era.
What bands are currently inspiring the music that you’re making?
Drive like Jehu, Shotmaker, The Jesus Lizard, Converge, Old Man Gloom, Fugazi, METZ, North of America/Holy Shroud, VKNGS
Was there a particular band/artist or concert that inspired you to start a band?
I would say Shotmaker's album "Mouse Ear" was the initial inspiration and then VKNGS help solidify the bands idea to become something noisier.
What do you do to prepare for a show? Any flexing, exercises, ect …
We determine set order, create new bridges between songs and then perform. We have no physical warm ups or mental.
What has been the biggest highlight of the band’s career so far?
Playing with Big Knife Little Knife. They are comprised of members from Weights and Measures who were a really cool instrumental post-hardcore band out of Toronto. It's always tricky to catch bands in their prime when shelf lives are so short but it's cool to catch up with people who have moved on from former glories and continue to slug through it all again with new projects and new voices.
If you could tour with any bands, past or present, who would they be and why?
I would tour with North of America. We have met the guys a couple times and they are all really good musicians but super chill. I had my 24/7 tour experiences with no sleep and constant running so it's cool to see some veterans still doing it but in a more relaxed way. It's nice to know you don't have to keep with the old days and you can make playing and touring something you can still enjoy when you get older and don't have as much time on your hands.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
We are releasing a new album on October 19th, "Lay Waste to Past Erections