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A scant two years after forming, Vancouver Canada’s BISON B.C. released its second album (first for Metal Blade) entitled Quiet Earth on September 30. Two years…two albums…not to mention the countless shows all over Canada & the USA. To say these guys are “busy” just doesn’t cut it. This constant motion has paid off, as it turns out, because Quiet Earth is one of the best albums I’ve heard all year. I was able to track down guitarist/vocalist/anti-hipster Dan And to answer a few questions for me.

Thanks a lot for taking time to answer our questions. The new record is fantastic, by the way…great stuff!

Hey no, problem and thanks a lot. I’m stoked you dig it.

For us non-Canadians out there, give us some background on the band. I’m sure you’re getting tired of repeating this by now, but you’re pretty new to a lot of us.

We’re four dirt bags from Vancouver who got together to play some heavy-ass tunes about two years ago. We’ve all been in a hundred different bands over the years of all different styles. James and I originally got together and talked about how much we hate a lot of new heavy music. We just wanted to play heavy fuckin’ tunes with riffs that we would want to bang our heads to. This is what we came up with.

You guys have a pretty healthy scene in your area? Good crowds?

It has it’s moments. There a lot of really fuckin’ awesome bands here but unfortunately not much cross over. We’ve been lucky to be able to play with lots of different types of bands…punk, crust, stoner, psych, hXc, whatever. The real problem in Vancouver is the fuckin’ lack of venues. A bunch of bars in town decided to start fucking over bands in favor of DJ dance nights and hipster raves. There are some underground venues and houses that do shows. One is a rad indoor skate park/art gallery called The Sweatshop. Those bar owners better enjoy their quick cash grab because once those hipsters grow up and move onto the next thing they’re going to be fucked. Rock n’ roll never forgets, fuckers.

Are you seeing younger or older people at your shows? Are you winning over any new converts?

Definitely leans more towards the older scale. I don’t think younger kids are too sure what to make of us at first but the old, fat, bearded dudes know what’s up. We play with some bands that are just raging dudes doing karate and some that are just kids with hair-do’s playing to their girlfriends but I think we get a good mix of young and old, guys and gals. I love looking out there and seeing every type of face you can imagine head banging along having a rad time.

How do you keep yourselves busy when you’re on tour and waiting all day to go on stage?

Answering interviews, ha! We pretty much just drive all day, load in and then play. It can be tough going from zero to hair whip but as soon as you start playing you kind of forget about how boring your day was and just start given’r. It’s the same with any road trip: nap, read, smoke, repeat.

What touring plans are on the horizon for you guys?

We’re in America right now until Nov 2 or 3. We’ve been here for about a month playing all over the west coast, mid-west and north east. We head back up into Canada on November 8 to start a full Canadian tour with PRIESTESS, BARN BURNER and FLASH LIGHTNING. We’re trying to get something going for a European tour in late winter/early spring 2009 and after that who knows? I’d love to do another cross American but maybe try to hit some southern towns. We’ll see.

The tones and the mix on the the new album are huge. Are you happy with how it turned out?

We were really happy with how Earthbound turned out for only taking four days to do all the tracking, mixing and mastering. When we decided to go back we knew we wanted for once to try to take a little bit longer and see what Jesse (Gander) could do this time around. Quiet Earth turned out better than we could have expected.

What was it like working at The Hive with Jesse Gander (Three Inches Of Blood/The Absence)?

Jesse Gander’s a fucking wizard in the studio! We just call him Gandalf. We’ve known him for years so working together is super easy. We trust his input all the way and he isn’t afraid to tell us if something isn’t working. The Hive is just like hanging out at a buddy’s place and everyone that works there is awesome.

How long was the process from writing the riffs to finishing the album?

The new songs started coming together as soon as we finished the first album. Some of them we’d been playing live for almost a year and a couple others we were still working on while we were recording them. We were in The Hive for almost two weeks doing Quiet Earth.

Any interesting tales from the studio?

We always try to get as many of our friends involved in our shit as often as we can so of course we had to have a gang vocal session. For “Wartime” on Earthbound there were only about 7 or 8 of our friends there but on the song “Quiet Earth” we somehow managed to get like 40 or something. What actually kind of started as a joke turned into two friends of ours Colin McKill and Kris Derkson playing violin and cello on a couple of tracks. We also somehow convinced James’ awesome dog Milo to turn into a beast for us. That was a feat because he barely ever even barks. Our friends are fucking awesome.

Speaking of writing, how does your writing develop? Is it jamming on riffs or do you bring in finished songs?

Usually James or I will come up with either a bunch of riffs and we’ll arrange them all together. Sometimes even a song that’s pretty much done that we tweak here and there. So we do both but we always hammer them out as a group and everyone has equal input as far as arranging goes.

How was the transition from a small Canadian label Forest Recordings to indie giants Metal Blade? Is the Metal Blade staff treating you well?

The Metal Blade staff is awesome. We got to hang with a bunch of them on this tour and they were all rad. Forest is our good bud’s Nick Hart’s label. He works his ass off in a bike shop and has put out a few CD’s on the side for distro and stuff. He went out on a limb by offering to put out Earthbound for us and we love him for it…and for the fact that he’s just a rad dude.

Your sound is something of a melting pot of Metal styles, yet I see a lot of comparisons in the press to Mastodon. I mean, it could be worse, but do you think the comparisons are valid?

Masto-who? Never heard of ’em. No, it’s a huge compliment but I honestly don’t hear it. People are always going to compare bands as a point of reference. I’ve heard some bizarre ones before and even if i don’t necessarily agree i can’t say they aren’t valid. If someone hears something that reminds them of something else then it’s valid.

If you could compare yourself to another band, what band would it be?

MASTODON!Haha! No…CCR because we’re playing in a travelling band. Sound-wise? Play every single CORROSION OF CONFORMITY album at the same time.

Now is your chance to convince everyone reading this interview to buy your album…go!

If you’ve ever wondered what it would sound like to play every single CORROSION OF CONFORMITY album at the same time then check us the fuck out!

Again, thanks very much for taking time to talk to us…good luck with everything!

Thanks, take it easy, stay posi and stay fuckin’ rad. Peace.


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