INVASIONS with Loose Pistons, Lost Babies and CHico No Face at Sneaky Dee’s (431 College), Friday (November 16). 9 pm. $5. 416-603-3090. See listing.
Toronto garage rockers Invasions celebrate the release of their debut album, Cult Of The Half Moon, on Friday at Sneaky Dee's. But for singer/guitarist Alex Zenkovich, the record is already old news.
"It was done over a year ago, but we were waiting for the label to get distribution, and everything lined up. During that time, one band member left to join the Holiday Crowd, and another joined July Talk," he explains over pints. "The waiting game didn't really suit me too well."
He's since decided to release it independently. The delay's silver lining is that Zenkovich's new five-member lineup has allowed him to explore beyond Cult Of The Half Moon's roughed-up 60s-inspired sound to incorporate more spaghetti western twang and reverb-drenched surf influences. It helps to have a someone in the band, Brian Moyer, who can play organ and trumpet simultaneously.
"We've found more of our own sound, but I'm still really happy to put this album out. It's a document of my childhood. I wrote the songs when I was going through a super-dark time, and it means a lot to me."
Yet another factor in the delay resulted from a PR company's warning Invasions that if they chose to release the album in October, it would compete for attention against too many bigger ones. That might seem overly cautious, but the advice was solid. Had they not waited, we might not have gotten around to watching their rowdy supermarket-demolishing video for the song 666.
"That was an out-of-business store that my dad was kind of overseeing," Zenkovich says. "I got wind that the store was going to be empty for the weekend, so we just went in and trashed it."
They may be breaking shit in their videos, but they've actually toned down their raucous shows a notch. It seems bar owners have a much lower tolerance for chaos than audiences do.
"We've played some shows where things got destroyed, and we've been banned from venues. We've had to rebuild a lot of alliances because of it. But we're not that band any more."
One thing Zenkovich doesn't regret from his wild teenage years were his early encounters with the artist now known as Cold Specks.
"She actually booked my first show ever, seven years ago, back when I was in high school."