Quest for Fire’s Mike Maxymuik (left), Josh Bauman, Andrew Moszynski and Chad Ross are discovering the joys of songs that last more than eight minutes.
QUEST FOR FIRE CD release party with ANDRE ETHIER and WYRD VISIONS at the Horseshoe (370 Queen West), Saturday (July 19), 10 pm. $7. 416-598-4753. Rating: NNNNN
If you tried to imagine the sound produced by a group comprising members of local garage soul heroes the Deadly Snakes, malevolent metalheads Cursed and freak rockers No No Zero, it probably wouldn’t be anything like the psychedelic snarl of Quest for Fire’s trippy stoner-friendly jams.
Evidently, former Snakes drummer/guitarist Andrew “Gunn” Moszynski and bassist/guitarist Chad Ross were just as surprised as Cursed drummer Mark Maxymuik and No No Zero bassist Josh Bauman at how little their eight- and nine-minute-long workouts resembled anything they’d done with their previous bands.
But even if they weren’t aiming for something in the neighbourhood of Black Mountain and Dead Meadow, that’s not such a bad place to end up. It shouldn’t hinder sales of their self-titled debut for Montreal’s Storyboard Records label. At least not as much as naming the band after the worst tune on Iron Maiden’s Piece Of Mind album, which three or more grindcore groups also thought would look really rad air-brushed in flames on their tour vans. Oops.
“We definitely weren’t thinking of starting a psych band,” insists Moszynski from the group’s practice space. “When Chad and I got the idea for the group, we began talking to friends of ours with whom we’d like to be in a band, not giving too much thought to direction.
“Everyone in the band has completely different taste in music – I’ve been listening to a lot of Lee Perry, and Chad’s been on a Link Wray kick lately – but as soon as we started jamming together, we hit on the sound you hear on the recording. On paper, it might not make any sense, but I swear it’s working for us.”
Quest for Fire have been performing sporadically over the past year, rehearsing and recording between opening spots on bills with Ladyhawk, Pride Tiger, Eric’s Trip and the aforementioned Black Mountain, although Moszynski admits the group has been playing since early 2006. He wisely didn’t wait until the Snakes started playing a series of “final” shows in August of that year to get his new project up and running.
Not that Snakes main man Andrew Ethier would’ve minded. His own solo career was well under way at the time of the split. And they’re still apparently on good terms. Besides opening for Quest for Fire at their Horseshoe release party on Saturday night, Ethier also contributed the dope Quest for Fire album art. According to Moszynski, the creepy-woman painting the group selected wasn’t his first choice.
“I was pushing to use one with a winged lion in space on the sleeve, but because the lion’s genitals are kinda large, we got into an argument over whether or not it’s appropriate to have a giant wang on the cover of your first album. I lost, but you can still see the image on our MySpace page at myspace.com/questforfireband.”
It’s an intriguing coincidence that Quest for Fire’s album release and promotional tour kick off just as Cursed have announced their demise, freeing Maxymuik of any Cursed performance obligations. The group’s seven-year run came to a heartbreaking halt two months ago when the members had their entire European tour earnings stolen just days before it ended.
On May 22, Cursed singer Chris Colohan posted a note on his blog confirming the worst.
“Whoever did it, it was a bullet in the head, the end of the line. A sudden and totally fucked-up way for it to end, which I know will be fitting when I look back on it…. Yes, it’s true and yes, it’s over.”
Rumours about the mysterious incident have circulated since, but the details of what actually happened have never been clear, even to the band members themselves.
“We spent the second-last night of the tour at a squat in Mulheim, Germany,” Maxymuik recalls. “Our tour manager had about 8,000 euros in his bag. While we were asleep, someone ‘broke into’ the building, came up to our room and swiped the bags of both the manager and Christian (guitarist Christian McMaster). We awoke to find all the money was gone. I don’t even want to think about it any more.
“After we made the last Cursed record, we weren’t really sure if we had it in us to keep touring like maniacs. So we said, ‘Let’s go to Europe and see where we’re at when we return.’
After the incident, we gladly said, ‘That’s it.’ We had a good run and we’re all still buds. I’m very proud of everything the band did. But now it’s time for a new band. It’s refreshing and I’m excited.”
Guitarist Andrew Moszynski learned about the advantages and disadvantages of recording with Pro-Tools while making Quest For Fire's debut disc.