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Cunter - 06.27.13

Interviewed by
Cunter - 06.27.13Since Cunter released 27 on June 25th through New Damage Records, I got on the phone with vocalist Erik Hughes to discuss the new release, his other band Moneen and more:


So 27 just came out through New Damage Records, which appears to be a fairly new label based out of Toronto. What made you decide to work with them?


Well, itís associated with the Dine Alone crew and weíve worked with them for years through the Moneen and Alexisonfire connection. Then they decided to put out New Damage, which is exclusively for punk and hardcore and it kind of made sense. Weíve had this album done for awhile and we were just waiting for the right label to put it out. In the end New Damage was the perfect fit. Itís an up and coming label big time, New Damage is killing it right now with KEN mode, Misery Signals. Itís really growing super fast and weíre super stoked to be part of it all for sure.

You say youíve had this album finished for awhile, when exactly did you finish writing these songs?


It was awhile ago, to be honest. One of the songs, ďThe Blue and White,Ē was written after the Leafs failed to make the play-offs. That was the season before, to give you an idea of how long ago we started writing it. We started recording over a year ago now too, so weíve been sitting on these songs for awhile, but itís new for everyone elseís ears which is exciting. Weíre pretty fast with the writing process, we donít over think anything. Greg [Dawson] writes a lot of the riffs and then next thing you know Jordan [Hastings] comes in with the drums, he doesnít even tune his drums, he just sits down, puts microphones in front and records it so fast. For all the lyrics, I write it all, I donít over think it either. I just write what comes to mind and try to keep it as short and simple as possible. I mean, how much lyrical content can you fit into just one minute? It just comes together fast, we just record it all really quick and there it is, itís punk rock.

What was the hardest part of the recording process?


There really wasnít any hardest part at all, it comes so naturally. Jordan is probably the best punk drummer Iíve ever seen in my life and the guitarists Greg and Billy Curtiss are just total metal shredders. Itís kind of cool to see them play simpler songs actually. And Kenny [Bridges], I guess he was demoted from singer to bass player, but heís a monster musician too and Iíve never seen anyone so wildly creative in the studio. With me I just get up and scream my lungs out, see what happens. We just have a lot of fun with it, itís like an opposite band because with Moneen we really analyzed every part of the music and picked it apart, tried different ways. With Cunter we just let it rip. All intensity, all the time, thatís our motto.

Iím guessing you recorded somewhere in Ontario?


Yeah, it was at BWC Studios which is Gregís, our guitar playerís studio where he works out of. Weíve been working with that guy for a long time, he produced the early Moneen albums, like the first 2 Moneen albums. We go way back, in the 90s to when I was in a punk band called Dilan Dog so heís been doing studio stuff forever. Itís kind of cool to play in a band with him now, plus we get to record for free. He puts a lot of effort into it too you know, a lot of his own time, he wants every recording to be as good as it can be.

Whatís your favourite song and why?


Iíd pick the first one, which is ďStay Hungry.Ē Itís kind of an interesting tune because it actually is a drum solo. Like we set up all the mics and Jordan just did a minute and a half drum solo, which is bizarre and then the song kind of shaped because of that. Billy Curtiss ended up writing a menacing riff over top, then we added the bass and I came up with the vocal ideas. It kind of became a song in the reverse way songs are written, usually they come together with a vocal or guitar part. Itís my favourite for sure, itís a wild tune and basically a drum solo.

Where did you get the picture you used as the album art? I think it really sets the tone for the record.


Thanks, though itís not quite as offensive as our last album art thatís for sure. (Laughs) The guyís name is Matty Matheson, heís a chef at Parts and Labour and he volunteered to be punched in the stomach. It was technically Kennyís idea, he always comes up with these weird bleeding crotches, punching stomachs ideas. Itís funny, I think it turned out really well. I noticed the ďBricks and MortarĒ tattoo, which dates back to the Cancer Bats video, he made a cameo in that one as well. Heís a good guy and he took one for the team.

This record seems pretty similar to 20. Would you agree or was there something you guys tried to do a little differently?


Itís certainly not a departure album, we didnít invest in any delay pedals or anything like that. We just want to keep it as intense as possible, itís a band that we take seriously. We take the songs seriously and want it to be a really intense punk rock album. But at the same time we have fun with it, you know? We donít take things overly seriously. But in terms of comparing the albums, if you liked 20 youíll like this one. You wonít be like ĎWhat the hell is this shit? What has this band become?í If anything I think itís more intense.

Whatís next for Cunter?


We just want to keep playing shows. We just did a show last week at the Handlebar or I think itís just called Handlebar. It was in Kensington Market and it was so good, there was lots of people out there freaking out and enjoying it. We just want to keep doing that, though we recognize that everyoneís so busy. Kenny is on tour right now with City and Colour working as a tech, we just try and do as much as we can, you know? But Iíd love to tour to be honest, I really miss that and it would be so much fun to take this band and play multiple shows in a row.

A cross Canada tour would be awesome, but probably difficult to fit in.


Yeah, itís true. Itís not as easy as it was years ago, I toured with Moneen for 10 straight years pretty much and that was our only job, just playing in Moneen. Now everyoneís got other stuff and weíre just older too. As you get older it gets more challenging to tour punk rock style with a band, but trust me thereís nothing I wouldnít want more. Iíd love to hop in a van and just play some cool punk rock shows. But we still have so many other projects going on, I play in another band called Seas with Hippy, itís more like 90s indie rock stuff. Hippy is in a doom metal band with Greg and Iíve got an acoustic project thatís completely the opposite of Cunter called bronzecat which is much more mellow.

Lots of side projects.


Yeah, Iím in like 5 bands right now, which is stupid. (Laughs) And Moneen is the most inactive one.

That kinds of brings me into my last question. Can we expect any tours/records or is Moneen totally on the backburner?


Itís totally on the backburner. Weíll see, nothing is for sure yet, but right now itís just on hiatus. We have so many other things going on. Itís cool though, I love Moneen, that band will always have a special place in my heart. But now my focus is on other projects for sure, Iím having way too much fun not to focus on them.

So in some ways that tour with Alexisonfire was sort of like a farewell tour for Moneen as well?


Yeah, in a sense. It wasnít announced as such, weíll still probably play some more shows at some point. But that tour was unbelievable, I canít explain how crazy those shows were and weíre just lucky to have met up with Alexisonfire. Theyíre such a good band of dudes and it was really cool for them to bring us on that last run there. Nothing but respect.
 
Displaying posts 1 - 9 of 9
08:59 AM on 06/27/13
#2
bob.osos
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AHHH!! YESSSSSS Farewell tour was incredible, hope to see Cunter playing in Southern Ontario sometime soon!

In case anyone hasn't seen these guys live, DO IT. I had a chance to fill in on bass for an opener at a TINY show with these guys and Odium in Hanover Ontario last year and they totally just blew me and everyone else away. One of the best bands I've seen live, my kinda show.
09:09 AM on 06/27/13
#3
dragani
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I tried listened to Cunter (formerly Hunter before the pre-lawsuit) and it wasn't working for me.

I'll never understand why members of bands focus more on their less lucrative side-projects when seemingly all the members of the band are available and doing other things in music. I wouldn't make the argument if certain members couldn't tour or had other personal, non-music/non-band obligations. Kenny tours with bands; Hippy Chris is doing his solo/new band thing and Erik is doing Cunter - they're all still on the road and a part of the music scene. It makes no sense.
09:26 AM on 06/27/13
#4
Deborah Remus
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I tried listened to Cunter (formerly Hunter before the pre-lawsuit) and it wasn't working for me.

I'll never understand why members of bands focus more on their less lucrative side-projects when seemingly all the members of the band are available and doing other things in music. I wouldn't make the argument if certain members couldn't tour or had other personal, non-music/non-band obligations. Kenny tours with bands; Hippy Chris is doing his solo/new band thing and Erik is doing Cunter - they're all still on the road and a part of the music scene. It makes no sense.
While these side projects might not be as popular, it seems like the guys are having fun with them, at least that's what Erik said himself in the interview, haha. You can't really tell, but if I uploaded the audio file you'd be able to hear in his voice just how excited and enthusiastic he is about Cunter.

And while I love Moneen, I'd hate for the guys to tour/put out records just because they could make some more cash.
11:12 AM on 06/27/13
#5
dragani
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While these side projects might not be as popular, it seems like the guys are having fun with them, at least that's what Erik said himself in the interview, haha. You can't really tell, but if I uploaded the audio file you'd be able to hear in his voice just how excited and enthusiastic he is about Cunter.

And while I love Moneen, I'd hate for the guys to tour/put out records just because they could make some more cash.
Erik is generally a really upbeat guy (about nearly everything), but I'm glad to hear he's very excited about Cunter.

When I said "lucrative," I wasn't entirely talking about profits. I just don't see why those three wouldn't want to make music under Moneen, considering they're all still doing things musically. I know they're still friends, so something tells me the overall sound or image of Moneen must have soured for them a little bit.
11:33 AM on 06/27/13
#6
DLBogosian
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I love and miss Moneen and AOF so I've been waiting to buy Cunter. Good interview. Wish I knew their press contact.
06:41 AM on 06/28/13
#7
baton
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While these side projects might not be as popular, it seems like the guys are having fun with them, at least that's what Erik said himself in the interview, haha. You can't really tell, but if I uploaded the audio file you'd be able to hear in his voice just how excited and enthusiastic he is about Cunter.

And while I love Moneen, I'd hate for the guys to tour/put out records just because they could make some more cash.
that's exactly what I'm thinking.. although I miss moneen real bad.. And AOF too. However, I'll check this record out to get some of that energy.
03:13 PM on 06/28/13
#8
bakerboy420
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Never checked Cunter out been meaning to for awhile. Miss Moneen so much though. One of my favourite live bands, so tight. I live in Southern Ontario so ive seen them countless times and never disappointed.
05:36 PM on 07/07/13
#9
Archael
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what a name lol

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