Category Archives: Interviews

Interview: PEARS

An interview I did for Absolute Underground.


Photo: Linus Yang

PEARS: delicious fruit, awesome band. The New Orleans quartet have only been around since 2014, but have already released two LPs, two Eps and have toured like globe-trotting maniacs. Their latest LP on Fat Wreck Chords, the exemplary Green Star, is one of the most exciting and eclectic punk records of 2016. It’s an album marked by breakneck shifts from catchy pop-punk to face-clawing hardcore, thesaurus-emptying lyrics, and irreverent musical homages to the likes of Blink-182, The Misfits, and The Beatles. Absolute Underground’s Michael Luis talked to frontman Zach Quinn before their Nov. 4 show supporting NOFX at Vancouver’s Commodore Ballroom.

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Interview: The Flatliners

This is a longer version of an interview that will appear in an upcoming issue of Absolute Underground.


The Flatliners

Over the past decade or so, Toronto’s The Flatliners have proven themselves to be an unstoppable force in Canadian punk. Whether it’s as teenage ska-punk darlings or the melodic-hardcore hit-machine they are today, they’ve assembled an army of passionate fans both domestically and abroad. Absolute Underground’s Michael Luis sat down with front-man Chris Cresswell this past June in Vancouver during its iteration of the Levitation festival.

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Interview: Kvelertak

This is a longer version of an interview that will appear in an upcoming issue of Absolute Underground.


Photo: Stian Andersen


Let’s say hypothetically that a scruffy, disoriented guy in a leather jacket were to approach me.  “Hey, man,” he says. “I just came in a time machine from 1974. I’m a huge fan of Zeppelin and Sabbath, and I was wondering, what does heavy metal sound like in 2016?” I may just have to show him Kvelertak. The quintet takes the attitude of hardcore phhhunk, the soaring theatrics of cock rock, and the sheer brutality of black metal and wraps it all up into a dynamic package that has made them superstars in their native Norway and a rising force abroad. The group recently released their third LP, the phenomenal Nattesferd, and completed a North American tour with Torche and Wild Throne. Absolute Underground’s Michael Luis sat down with lead screamer Erlend Hjelvik before their May 2nd Vancouver show.

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Interview: Tom Thacker of Gob and Sum 41

Here’s an interview I did for The Martlet late 2014. Both of Thacker’s bands had a huge influence on me when I was in my teens, so this was definitely a cool one.


Link to original article:

Full article:

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Interview: Lee Spielman of Trash Talk

This is an extended version of an interview which will appear in an upcoming issue of Absolute Underground.

Trash Talk

L.A.-based hardcore band Trash Talk is doing as well as a band can with 70-second songs and gratingly screeched vocals can do. The four-piece (sometimes five live) has been building their name in the west-cast hardcore scene for the past nine years, is signed to red-hot hip-hop label Odd Future, and recently achieved cross-over success with appearances at such festivals as Coachella and Pitchfork, events which don’t typically feature many heavy acts. Absolute Underground’s Michael Luis sat down with frontman/madman Lee Spielman before their Vancouver show with Dillinger Escape Plan, Retox, and Shining. Continue reading

Interview: Jesse Matthewson of KEN Mode

This is the full version of an interview that was just printed in issue #56 of Absolute Underground.

All photos by Noel Anstey.

Formed by brothers Jesse and Shane Matthewson, Winnipeg’s KEN mode have been terrorizing ear-drums with their potent blend of noise, sludge-metal, and blistering hardcore since 1999. After winning the inaugural Heavy Metal/Hard Music Juno in 2012, the power-trio, which now features bassist Andrew LaCour, has been getting exposure to wider audiences both within and outside Canada. They’ve toured relentlessly, and their most recent sixth LP, Entrench, has received overwhelming critical acclaim. Absolute Underground’s Michael Luis caught up with frontman Jesse before their Nov. 12 show in Victoria. Continue reading

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Interview: Liam Cormier of The Cancer Bats

This is the full version of an interview that was printed this past September in issue #54 of Absolute Underground.

Photo via Cancer Bats Facebook page.

Photo via Cancer Bats Facebook page.

Ontario’s Cancer Bats have been taking their brand of sludgy metallic hardcore all over the world for the better part of the last nine years. Absolute Underground’s Michael Luis spoke with lead singer Liam Cormier as they prepped for their upcoming tour. Continue reading

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